Delany Testimony Full of Holes

By Kyle Rowland on June 23, 2014 at 8:30a
91 Comments

There’s a famous scene in the movie Forest Gump in which the title character appears on the Dick Cavett Show alongside John Lennon. When Gump speaks of Chinese citizens lacking belongings and religion, Lennon memorably responds, “No possessions? No religion, too?”

The scene is a play on Lennon’s song “Imagine.” And on Friday, during Jim Delany’s testimony in the Ed O’Bannon-NCAA trial, one would have been apt to ask, “No Rose Bowl? No college athletics, too?” The Big Ten commissioner painted another doomsday scenario when questioned about amateurism in intercollegiate athletics.

Last year, Delany crafted a bleak picture, saying major college football would go to a Division III or Ivy League model if athletes made money off of their schools’ television contract.

“It has been my longstanding belief that The Big Ten’s schools would forgo the revenues in those circumstances and instead take steps to downsize the scope, breadth and activity of their athletic programs,” Delany wrote in a court declaration. “Several alternatives to a ‘pay for play’ model exist, such as the Division III model, which does not offer any athletics-based grants-in-aid, and, among others, a need-based financial model. These alternatives would, in my view, be more consistent with The Big Ten’s philosophy that the educational and lifetime economic benefits associated with a university education are the appropriate quid pro quo for its student athletes.”

Most people balked at Delany’s statements and rolled their eyes. He soon shied away from the comments after much criticism. But there he was again last week, this time in an Oakland, California, courtroom making head-scratching remarks.

When it comes to business ventures, Delany is usually spot-on. His off-balance stances enter the picture during debates on the current structure of college sports. But Delany’s answers to a laundry list of questions at the O’Bannon trial were even more peculiar.

He made a pitch for returning to freshmen ineligibility due to athletes spending a majority of their time playing sports. Delany also said he favored multiyear scholarships, a hot topic among conference commissioners and athletic directors. The former North Carolina basketball player lobbied for ending the practice of athletes spending the summer months working on sports.

The primary motive for Delany’s comments was academics. In seemingly every sentence uttered, he referenced academics and their mission in college sports. At the same time, Delany gave a blueprint of why and how athletes differ from the general student population.

“We don’t think about a major college football player taking a semester abroad,” plaintiff attorney Bill Isaacson said. “With our children at colleges, it’s one of the top things that colleges say, ‘Think about our study-abroad programs.’ We don’t even think about that opportunity for college football players. It’s just one of a long list of reasons they’re different now. They’re not integrated into academics. All that can be improved, and none of that will be hurt by sharing some licensing money.”

When Delany, one of the most influential figures in college sports, took the stand, he exuded confidence that sent a message to O’Bannon’s team that it would be difficult to crack the NCAA in a potential landmark antitrust decision. But Delany left the courthouse defeated, whether he knew it or not.

The dints, holes and other cosmetic deficiencies in the NCAA’s defense have become overwhelming. Each day of court proceedings brings more belief that U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilkin will grant an injunction prohibiting the NCAA from limiting what FBS football and Division I men’s college basketball players can receive monetarily for use of their names, images and likenesses in TV broadcasts, video games and other forms of marketing.

From the beginning – not the trial, but since whispers of athletes receiving any form of payment cropped up – the NCAA has been busy pitching worst-case scenarios to anyone who would listen. A pay-for-play format would cause severe damage to college sports, they’ve screamed. Competitive balance would be thrown out of whack and academics would become an afterthought.

Somehow, every time the sanctity of major college football and basketball has been threatened, the sports and universities have persevered. Apparently this time presents and endgame. As shoddy as Delany’s testimony was, NCAA president Mark Emmert’s may have been worse – and more damaging.

“You heard a lot of testimony from Dr. Emmert about where reform is coming and where it’s not,” Isaacson said. “He talked about cleaning up the rule book and making it easier to read, basically a deregulation agenda, and maybe that makes sense. But he fully admitted that there’s no reform agenda for commercial exploitation or commercialism.”

The NCAA Tournament takes the cake on money generated off college athletes’ backs combined with heavy commercialization and marketing. Close behind is college football’s bowl system, with the Rose Bowl occupying a spot near the top.

The Granddaddy of Them All has long been treasured by Delany. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have remained steadfast through the years on the bowl’s status, even balking at having a playoff because the leagues felt it would stain the tradition of the Rose Bowl.

“I just want to make sure that the changes that we make are evolutionary, that they support the regular season and from the Rose Bowl perspective they sustain that tradition and that we’re able to produce something that the public appreciates and supports,” Delany said before the playoff was agreed upon.

At the heart of his decision-making has been money and control. Delany is now facing a situation where he could lose both. Delany’s Armageddon features a conference rebellion, where some schools pay players and others agree not to. The offenders are kicked out of the Big Ten, creating competitive imbalance. Thus, no Rose Bowl.

“There wouldn’t be a Rose Bowl if either they or we were operating in a very different wavelength in terms of paying players,” Delany said.

Yet, he’s fine with the millions of dollars that roll into the Big Ten and its member institutions each year from TV and other media rights deals. Delany said the money is distributed into athletic programs and the academic side of universities.

If O’Bannon is victorious, a chunk will go to athletes. For Delany, it’d be akin to the family dog dying.  

“These games are owned by the institution, and the notion of paying athletes for participation in these games is foreign to the notion of amateurism,” Delany said.

As is, athletes are virtually devoid of possessions. O’Bannon is a dreamer, though not the only one when it comes to proving the NCAA is a fraud.

Jim Delany is there to help. 

91 Comments

Comments

Doc's picture

If O'Bannon wins this.  Watch the price of everything in the stadium skyrocket.  We'll be eating $10.00 hot dogs and drinking $12.00 waters.  Ticket prices will go up as well.  Don't think for a minute the universities will make less money.  We, the consumers, will be the ones to shoulder the load.

"Say my name."

+13 HS
Bucksfan's picture

The Michigan game costs $160 face value this year, which is about 50% more expensive than all the other football games...which went up about $20 over the last 3 or 4 years.  If you're worried about a $6 hot dog being $10, boo-hoo.

+3 HS
AndyVance's picture

Yes, the cost of attending an Ohio State University football game has risen precipitously in recent years. That does not, however, obfuscate the previous poster's point: any additional costs these schools incur by paying players will ultimately be passed on to the consumer. 

+7 HS
HattanBuck85's picture

Then point your blame at OSU or the NCAA- not the players.

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." - Woody Hayes

+5 HS
AndyVance's picture

I'm not blaming the players for anything - Doc made a point, that if players are paid, costs will rise. That is accurate - it's not in any way a condemnation of the players.

+1 HS
spacemonkey57's picture

Maybe they could give Gene Smith a pay cut to offset the increased expenses. 

+2 HS
AndyVance's picture

Any answer to an OSU-related criticism that refers to Gene Smith's salary is the equivalent of and example of Godwin's Law.

bafiesta's picture

Disagree.  The universities are already proving they are trying to make every $ possible.  Attendance is down at college football games.  If universities could raise prices without causing an equal or greater reduction in attendance they would have already done so.  Prices are already at the perceived revenue maximizing level.

sb97's picture

Sure tickets/concessions/souvenirs all go up in price.  We will also likely see financial support for non revenue generating sports dwindle.

+2 HS
GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

It's hard to see it this way, but I'm glad its expensive to attend Buckeye football games...... It means we are really good and worth watching. Think about it, it could be worse. I live about 4 hours from Columbus, so going to a game every week is almost out of question. I usually make it a point to go to one game a year, two if I'm lucky. Everyone has differing opinions, but I would take paying extra to watch excellence, than keep a few bucks in my pocket to watch just above average.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

For perhaps the first time, Kyle has written a pretty much one-sided article. There was no presentation of "the other side" in this story, but rather an ongoing breakdown of why Delaney and Emmert and their ilk are bad men who are ultimately going to lose in court. I had to check the byline, because I was pretty sure this had to have been penned by the one and only DJ Byrnes.

I get it, most of the staffers here appear to be firmly on the side of paying the players - but let's provide some balance to the discussion guys. There are other viewpoints on this issue, and they are worthy of consideration.

+20 HS
Bucksfan's picture

But what Delaney said in his testimony was hilarious considering what the plaintiffs are arguing in the case.  By suggesting that payment of athletes would cause cataclysm in divison 1 sports, and outright saying that division 3 is more in line with what the Big Ten wants to do and that student athletes don't get the same opportunities that other students get, he basically made the plaintiffs' case.  Inasmuch, there really isn't another side of the debate to defend if the biggest cheese of them all "disagrees by agreeing."

I half expect the NCAA to roll out Jim Carrey from Liar Liar as their next move.

+7 HS
AndyVance's picture

Perhaps, and maybe I'm being unfair to Mr. Rowland because DJ has conditioned us to assume that any article on the site about the O'Bannon trial will be a de facto essay on why the NCAA is evil, amateurism is a sham and we should just throw up our hands and open the checkbook for the D1 athlete.

Then again, what's Jim Delaney supposed to say? "You know, these O'Bannon lawyers are right - we are evil, greedy bastards." His job is to defend the concept of amateurism, because that's what the University Presidents who employ him expect him to do. People forget that at the end of the day, the presidents of the B1G institutions are in charge of the conference.

+8 HS
Bucksfan's picture

Well, I think one could interpret Delaney's arguments as a kind of admission that the plaintiff's case holds water in more ways than one.  Presidents, boards, ADs, conference commissioners...they're all just threads in a tapestry of a system.  They hold each other up and defend each other until one of them gets in trouble for something.  I'm not sure how much of that matters.

The main argument in this case is whether or not the NCAA owns the likeness of its participants, or even whether they are allowed to do so.  Their main defense is that "likeness" is something that doesn't even exist, and the main argument against them is that it is written in plain language throughout all the documents that they make athletes sign.  I don't even know why Delaney testified.  As far as I understand it, the NCAA invented something that didn't exist before - "player likeness" - then took ownership of it, then denied it even exists in the first place.

+6 HS
AndyVance's picture

You're clearly much more well-versed in the case and its arguments, and for that my hat's off to you. I'm not sure why the concept of "player likeness" is so foreign, though - this happens all the time in a variety of industries. Someone trades their talents and skills for some form of remuneration - in this case the student-athlete is trading his performance on the field for a college degree, room, board, training, food, etc., etc., etc. When these types of trades occur in a variety of industries, the work product itself and quite often the rights to any images, recordings, representations, etc., of that work product are protected and reserved by the party providing the remuneration for the work in the first place.

+7 HS
theopulas's picture

so the students can only trade with the school that they sign with..?...!!!

Theopulas

Bucksfan's picture

What you're describing isn't amateurism, though.  You're talking about industries that compensate their employees in the form of taxable cash, not education or some other sort of intangible.  I don't know of any other industry that forces you to receive a grant in order to partake of a likeness-forfeiting, unpaid position in a revenue-generating extracurricular.  The scholarship is not a "payment."  It may seem like one, but it's not.  Otherwise, they would not be considered amateurs.  Ohio State, the NCAA, and all of the Bowl games would have to forfeit their non-profit status...which is why it's funny that Delaney is arguing both that they're compensated enough AND that to re-classify them as professionals, it'd be the end of it all.  He's right on that.  But that is sort of what the plaintiff's have been saying.

The very crux of this debate is whether or not these athletes are amateurs or not.  If they're not, then they are not getting compensated.  Compensated education is not considered gainful employment.  That's a big reason why it's tax-free.

cronimi's picture

Andy, he actually did present "the other side" -- he used Delany's and Emmert's own words. It just so happens that those words were turned against them. And while I may not like some of the likely consequences that will come with players getting some compensation, it is extremely difficult to argue that a system that generates billions of dollars a year in revenues isn't commercially exploiting the athletes who make the plays that allow the system to generate billions of dollars a year. 

+2 HS
AndyVance's picture

It is extremely difficult to argue that a system that generates billions of dollars a year in revenues isn't commercially exploiting the athletes who make the plays that allow the system to generate billions of dollars a year. 

Sorry, I have a hard time using the term "exploitation" in reference to a system that provides college students with a world-class education, luxury residences, insanely well-appointed training facilities, the best professional physical training in the business, and a staff of professional nutritionists and dietitians, all free of charge. Very few corporations put this much money into the professional development of their staffers - and yet these universities are doing it for their athletes, and spending more and more to do so all the time. This is not exploitation in any sense of the word.

+5 HS
gutterwaste's picture

I would also add that the student athlete receives far more academic support than is routinely available to the non-athlete.  Privileged scheduling, tutoring, etc.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it would be easy to carry an academic load and put in the hours and hours it takes to be an athlete, but I also think that the athlete signs up for this and the universities, generally, do a lot to put them in a position to succeed.  

+2 HS
chitown buckeye's picture

Andy, I appreciate your comments. Well stated and I agree with what you've stated throughout this thread. Cronimi, the amount of money revenue generated in the system is irrelevant to the amount of money deserved by the players. Most companies that generate billions of dollars "exploit" (using your term) their employees. Because Wal-Mart or McDonalds generates a billion dollars (wouldn't happen without their employees) doesn't mean that their employees deserve equal portion of the revenue in some way. The business can decide what they want to give them. If you don't like it, don't work for that company. As said by many, most would agree with a stipend for general costs of living but overall the scholarship/benefits/education are a huge payday for 4 years worth of "work".  

"I'm having a heart attack!"

+3 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

Andy, you make keep making comparisons to corporations. That's not a good comparison to what's happening with college football and basketball, #1, especially since those corporations DO pay their employees a salary, in addition to a package of major benefits, some of which include dining facilities, gyms, child care, hair cuts, dry cleaning, etc.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

+1 HS
chitown buckeye's picture

 Replace the words salary with scholarship, benefit packages with room, board, nutrition, etc.. Point being the students are getting "paid" through those items similar to corporation employees.  No set of employees to these corporations are going to take said corporation to court to demand a bigger piece of the pie simply because the company makes Billions off the hard work of the employees. If they area unionized the employees certainly have more leverage but in general they still will never take a piece of the pie as large as people want to suggest these players deserve.  

"I'm having a heart attack!"

-2 HS
cdub4's picture

I see your point, but the fact is you are replacing words, and putting played in quotation marks. You can't buy anything with a scholarship, or room and board. I just don't equate what the athletes receive with getting paid.

The more I have thought about, I wouldn't pay them past a stipend, but I don't see why they couldn't get a cut of jeresy sales, video game sales, licensing, etc.

+3 HS
chitown buckeye's picture

Had to edit my post as I had a typo it was meant to be paid in quotations not played. You have a fair point, I guess it comes down to a matter of opinion as to how much worth you put on the scholarship, etc... I consider that to be payment for services or them being paid. I am often on the fence and could be swayed either way on jersey sales, however I tend to wonder how it would all play out. There are many questions that go into the selling of number  for example. . A lot of great Bucks have worn that number. Who are you buying the number to represent? Doss? Pryor? At what point do the players sales stop on the jersey? Also, there are typically multiple players on the team with the same number. Who reaps the rewards? Many more questions that make it a grey area. I tend to side with the fact that I believe OSU owns that Jersey. But again that's my opinion. 

This has been a great thread discussion on this topic. Probably the best we've had on this site in a while. 

"I'm having a heart attack!"

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

I'm not making that comparison at all - my point is simply that proponents of paying players an actual salary instead of a de facto salary are completely ignoring the fact that major athletic programs are already providing students tens - perhaps even hundreds - of thousands of dollars in non-taxable benefits that go well beyond what all but a select few employers offer in today's market. Yes, Google may offer facilities and benefits that are comparable, but I highly doubt that the average employee there is receiving a free education, world-class personal training and nutrition and free room and board on top of their salary. Show me one corporate example (aside from those folks occupying the C-Suites, please) where an employee receives the benefits these student athletes receive in addition to their salary. It can't be done.

What we're essentially debating here is whether college athletes should be treated and compensated as professionals. Those of us who favor the amateur athlete model want to see a system in which these students receive a stipend that takes the place of the part-time jobs they might otherwise enjoy if they weren't spending their non-classroom time training and practicing. Critics of this model are more or less saying that the athletes should be treated and compensated as though they were already in the NFL or NBA - as a fan of college football and basketball I reject this notion. That's all.

+2 HS
cronimi's picture

Chitown and Andy - I used the term "commercially exploit" in the non-pejorative sense, i.e., to use a resource for commercial purposes. I do not think that student-athletes are 'slaves', 'indentured servants', or the like. That said, it is irrefutable that these athletes are used to generate billions of dollars for the programs for which they play. And unlike the greeter at Walmart of the fry-guy at McDonalds, the athletes are the main reason for the revenue generation. I would compare the athletes more to the actors in a Hollywood movie than the line workers at a retail store or fast food restaurant. 

The business can decide what they want to give them. If you don't like it, don't work for that company. 

Except the athletes can't. If a player doesn't get playing time or the school drops his major, he relies on his 'boss' to consent to his going elsewhere. And as we've seen recently, the 'boss' can block any attempt by the athlete to change schools.

As for the value of the education received, that can be, but is not always, a real value. The recent UNC scandal is not the first, nor will it be the last, indication that not all college athletes are getting the education they're supposed to. (Yes, some of that is on the athlete for taking no-show classes, etc., but there's little doubt they are urged/pushed into such courses by the 'boss'.)

+3 HS
AndyVance's picture

Chitown and Andy - I used the term "commercially exploit" in the non-pejorative sense, i.e., to use a resource for commercial purposes.

Understood, and I didn't think you were making an "indentured servant" argument, though some folks (not in this thread) have certainly made that quantum leap. 

 The athletes are the main reason for the revenue generation.

Ah, here's the real question/debate/issue at play - and it's sort of chicken-and-egg: is the player the reason for the revenue, or is the school/brand the reason? In other words, was Kahlil Mack more valuable to his team than Ryan Shazier? Trade the two of them, and the result is likely the same - the player at Ohio State will end up selling jerseys and the player at Buffalo will not. Mack was obviously a first-round talent, but the fact that he played for a MAC school meant that he was not generating near the revenue for his school... But insert any number of great players at Ohio State, and the cash register starts to ring.

The benefits accrued are a two-way street, then. Yes, Ohio State (or Alabama, Oregon, A&M, etc.) derive financial benefits from having a successful football team, but the benefits of being associated with Ohio State are a large part of the reason a quarterback like Braxton Miller is "worth" more than an equally-talented quarterback at a no-name school. How many people had a Big Ben jersey when he played for Miami?

You make a good argument - as Bucksfan has throughout this thread. I just fundamentally hold to the concept of amateur sports, and want to see Ohio State and the rest of the FBS improve that system by allowing the students to have a stipend - similar in concept to those earned by graduate research and teaching assistants - that allow them to have some "walking around money," while recognizing that they are already enjoying six-figure-level benefits via their scholarships and sports-related amenities.

+2 HS
chitown buckeye's picture

I agree with your point on transferring and am in support of rules like that being gone. I am talking from a financial standpoint only. There are a lot of NCAA rules that could be abolished for the sake of the student athlete. From a financial standpoint they do have a say in what they want to do. You can go to school with a full ride scholarship, get the best training in the country, great exposure or you can choose not to go to school and find other means to support yourself. These kids have choices and with the arms race of recruiting, where we are currently putting offers out to 8th graders, where does it stop? Can Phil Knight then offer an 8th grade "prodigy" who has great "upside" a Nike contract to get him to commit to Oregon? When can these kids start earning money on their "likeness"?

"I'm having a heart attack!"

IGotAWoody's picture

And I don't know of many people who are making the argument that the players deserve a salary. My read on this is that most of us advocate giving the players a larger stipend. And it seems that most people agree with that solution. There is a faction of people that are against increasing the stipend, but that seems to be a minority. I admit that is simply my take, and is not in any way backed up by hard numbers. But increasing the stipend would be a very workable solution.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

FitzBuck's picture

I just hope we don't get into bidding wars for a kids commitment.  We will have a bunch of kids that lose their drive because they have already "made it" without a clear picture of what being successful looks like.  We may also see more kids broke without a degree because they may not understand the need to save for their future.

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

+5 HS
AndyVance's picture

Right on, Fitz - I think "bidding wars" are just the tip of the iceberg. I definitely want to see the students receive a stipend that covers their basic needs since a part-time job (or two or three, like several of us had when we were in school) is pretty much out of the question. But the concept of making this a pay-for-play venture beyond a reasonable stipend and the significant benefits already offered is a proverbial Pandora's Box.

+8 HS
Xenia_Buckeye's picture

^^^This!

AndyVance for President. I'm going to go through this entire thread and up vote you on every post. Quit whipping the dead horse guys! We get it - The NCAA is E to the Vizzo I to the Lizzo (EVIL) (Quote courtesy of Dr. Evil)

-1 HS
AndyVance's picture

Thanks for the kind words - I think the thing about which I am most impressed this morning is the level of discourse in this thread (I've come to expect it from fellow 11Dubbers), and the fact that it has thus far not degenerated into a downvote- and invective-laced rantfest. This is perhaps the healthiest "debate" we've had here in a while, and I appreciate the differing viewpoints we're sharing.

+1 HS
YTOWNBUCKI's picture

I think it's almost certain that this would happen in a pay-to-play system.  Would you pick Toledo when Ohio State is offering you more money to ride the pine?

Education is being devalued wayyy too much not just in college athletics but our society as a whole.

+3 HS
Remy's picture

South Park nailed this topic two years ago with the Crack Baby Athletic Association episode:

 

"I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later." ~ Mitch Hedberg

+9 HS
YTOWNBUCKI's picture

I still believe that if they were to just let the players receive monetary value for their likeness, whether it be jerseys, video games, etc., a lot of the problems here would be resolved.  Once universities start paying players we're talking about an inequality case to the likes of which we've never seen and it would certainly make me less of a fan of all college athletics.

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

YTown, you bring up a good example of the "Pandora's Box" I mentioned above - I'm not opposed to the concept of players being able to profit from their likeness, etc. (I am a capitalist at heart, after all), but the problem I run into as I ponder the concept is how it would be regulated - something the NCAA has proven it's not terribly good at, after all. Consider this as a pretty extreme example: if a player can ink endorsement deals or profit from their jerseys, what prevents a booster like Phil Knight from making sure that every Oregon player (or prospective commitment, for that matter) has a cushy contract with Nike? Yes, at the end of the day a guy like Knight wants to make money from his endorsement deals, but there are plenty of ways for boosters with big pockets to exploit these "opportunities."

Just a thought exercise - I'm in favor of the players being able to have some walking around money, but I'm really concerned about how exactly that happens. The clearest answer is multi-year schollies, a "cost of living" stipend, and otherwise maintaining the concept of amateur athletics as we know it.

+5 HS
YTOWNBUCKI's picture

Andy, I am also for the stipend and I agree with you when you basically say "at what cost?".  If it does happen it will more than likely be exploited like anything else.  I think it could be solved with a room and board fee that provides a stipend or some sort of pre-paid Visa or something.  I would still like to see it having to be paid for by the athlete or their family though.  Whether that be student loans or whatever.  They need to learn responsibility when they're at that age.

+2 HS
AndyVance's picture

You know, I think the student loan thing gets overlooked A LOT by proponents of paying athletes for their performance. Case in point: when I first went to Ohio State many, many years ago, you expected to spend what, $3,000/quarter? (I'd have to go back and look to be sure). When I went back to finish my degree in 2010, I attended for 6 quarters and walked away with more than $25k in student loans, and that was without any room and board (had my own place), and having paid for one quarter in cash.

How much does the average Buckeye graduate owe in student debt when he leaves campus today? Those athletes are receiving a huge leg up in getting a degree for free, and that is more or less taken for granted - and it shouldn't be, considering the value of a degree today. (And I could get into a separate discussion of the access playing for a school like Ohio State provides - look at the list of participants in an OSU football-specific job fair Urban and staff organized... How many of these companies are lining up to interview random OSU grads as opposed to former footballers? I'm not sure I have an answer to that question, but it's a nice perk for the athlete, for sure.)

+3 HS
Bucksfan's picture

But Delaney himself testified that athletes aren't regular students, and that they aren't offered the same opportunities as other students (study abroad, for example), because they're expected to do things that are well outside the realm of regular students.  He essentially said that it's an apples to oranges comparison.

If you're going to agree with the part about a free access to education being an adequate quid pro quo, as Delaney put it, then you're going to have to explain to me why athletes (football and basketball mostly) are admitted to Ohio State, and the vast majority of other schools, not meeting the academic requirements of all other students, and give me a reason why THEY are the ones getting the free education.  It's real easy saying they're adequately compensated with free tuition, but many of these 18 year olds are going in without the capacity to achieve a degree in the first place and ultimately don't finish their degrees.  What's Ohio State football running at right now, 60% graduation?

+5 HS
YTOWNBUCKI's picture

Maybe that's kind of the point.  They are already getting into schools that they may or may not even qualify for AND getting that education for free.  So why in the hell should they be entitled to even more?  The entire scenario is a slippery slope.  Damned if you and damned if you don't. 

+2 HS
AndyVance's picture

Bucksfan, that is a fair criticism of the current system - student athletes who would otherwise never qualify for admission to Ohio State (let alone a Stanford or Northwestern) are frequently admitted to play "big time" college football and basketball. So the solution then is to further broaden this pre-existing inequality by paying them as employees of the university and giving them a degree that they may or may not be earning in the classroom in while providing them a salary as a paid professional? I guess what I really want here is for folks to declare what they are really after: an actual minor league (or NFL D-League) instead of a de facto one.

+3 HS
Bucksfan's picture

I'd be all for that.  Let the student decide on what to spend their $30,000 per year stipend.  Maybe use an incentive program.  We'll pay you $30,000 per year as a non-student employee.  If you choose to enter school, you will need to pay for it yourself out of your stipend, but you will receive bonuses depending on your grades.  I don't know, just an idea.  But I know that Delaney is full of shit when he tries to claim that the entire system is predicated on the athletes not getting a choice if they want to use their compensation for education.  It's lazy and uncreative.

+2 HS
fear_the_nut70's picture

And what you write isn't even the true value.  Like every other bank loan, the interest is paid up front so that hte principle remains in tact for much of the loan.  This is the reason on a 30 year mortgage, you will sometimes pay 2x or 3x the face value of the loan.  Student loans are similiar in that their payback period is often set at 25 years (if you haven't paid them off in 25 years not to include forebearance periods, they are then charged off so to speak and the borrower must pay taxes on the balance as income).  So in other words, the true value of a 4 year schollie in actual dollars paid back is much, much higher.

+2 HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

I would assume most schools offer an unlimited meal plan to students, for use at campus dining facilities.  I went to a D3 school, and there were 3-4 places to get food that would accept your meal plan on campus.  It was good for 7 days a week.  Is this not something that is included in the athletes scholarships?  I mean, I know that food isn't always the highest of quality, but it was pretty good, especially after a night of drinking, nothing like some eggs and pizza for breakfast.  

HattanBuck85's picture

Great article, Kyle. Exposing the NCAA for what it is always puts a smile on my face. 

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." - Woody Hayes

+4 HS
Remy's picture

How many people view the NCAA and this topic:

Carman Speaking Truth?
 

"I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later." ~ Mitch Hedberg

+6 HS
Rizzoni's picture

If amateurism is totally sucked out of college athletics, I will stop watching college football. I have no interest in watching or promoting minor leagues.

I believe in doing more for the players and giving them a stipend--like many graduate teaching or research assistants get--will be a reasonable thing to do, but treating them as employees would be the end of the college football, at least for me. Instead of making them employees, let's scale down college athletics a little and allow student athletes to be both student and athlete.

As a graduate research assistant at tOSU, I worked my butt off. I got free tuition and a monthly stipend of $1600 for working 20 hours a week, but I don't remember working for less than 40 hours, and it was not uncommon for me or for my fellow research/teaching assistants to spend 70+ hours per week to meet the demands of their advisers and/or departments. My academic advisers and mentors who put in lesser hours than I did got paid handsomely. For most research projects, it is the graduate students who do most of the heavy lifting, but they don't get paid in proportion to their efforts. Should all the graduate students who get paid for 20 hours but have to work for 40+ hours unionize and start demanding a bigger share from hundreds of millions of research dollar? 

As students, we have to make many sacrifices; monetary rewards seemingly don't match the efforts students put in. Why student athletes should be any different?

+9 HS
Borrowed Time's picture

As students, we have to make many sacrifices; monetary rewards seemingly don't match the efforts students put in. Why student athletes should be any different?

People aren't watching you on national TV do your research work every week.

+2 HS
NW Buckeye's picture

So that's the difference!  People watching you on national TV is worth $$ but corporations making profits that dwarf athletic revenues off the work of students, GA's and TA's is worth nada.  Now I get it.

+2 HS
I_Run_The_Dave's picture

To accent your point -- OSU's revenue from research absolutely dwarfs the athletic department, and research assistants actually are employees and absolutely are exploited for gain.  But employees in every industry are exploited for gain, and it is perfectly acceptable to do so and it is why contracts are signed (and also why unions exist).

I feel like designating athletes as employees actually makes them riper for exploitation than their current status.  What happens when Oregon gets all their players nice little Nike endorsement contracts?  What is Nike going to do, just give them free money?  Or is their time commitment requirement going to increase further as they have mandatory commitments at Nike?  And on top of that, we are going to see non-revenue sports cut all over the place.  The student athlete is only going to lose if these proceedings continue.

+2 HS
NW Buckeye's picture

You are making way too much sense here.  It does not fit the narrative that college athletes have it soooo bad compared to the average student.  Afterall, your typical average students have lots of extra time on their hands and can get summer jobs galore in this economy enabling them to more than pay for their college experience (not).  And, of course, the Universities never profit from their hard work as interns, research or teaching assistants. 

The University system in this country has a lot of faults.  However to focus on the negative would surely overlook the magnitudes of benefits to the individual student and society in general that do come from the system.  My niece recently graduated from med school.  She worked her ass off for nearly 12 years since graduating from HS in order to achieve this goal.  She had very little social life, if any.  Got paid a pittance for the unbelievable hours she put in.  And, now has quite a substantial student loan to pay off despite all the scholarships and grants she received (which all required quite extensive work and time consuming qualification processes).  Every time I hear how bad the student athletes have it I simply look at the 'real' college students like my niece.  Kind of brings everything back down to earth. 

+2 HS
Buckeye Knight's picture

That's great for your niece, but like most things in life, college and your education are what you personally make of it.  Your niece sounds like she made the most of it and had to put in the work to do so.  Likewise, the true student-athletes put in similar hours.  Classes early starting at 7:30 AM, finishing up around 12:30 or 1:30 so, grabbing a quick lunch if you have time, then studying film, working out, practice, dinner, back to the dorm for homework, then all of a sudden it's 10-11 PM.  Then games or community service or speaking engagements and more homework on weekends.

 

On the flip side, some regular students at the university on mommy and daddy's dime party all night, wake up at the crack of noon and hit some classes, then go party some more.  Again, it's what you make of it.

NW Buckeye's picture

I'm quite familiar with the student athlete's life in school.  I lived it.  It is not such a bad deal. 

+2 HS
fear_the_nut70's picture

RIZ, I agree with you 100% and was making this EXACT point arguing with DJ last week.

You Don't make money in college, you go there to learn a skill or trade (or just earn a degree) that will enable you to make more money when you leave.  It is no different for student athletes, except that they don't have to take on loans and/or pay turition, plus get all kinds of other access the rest of us don't get.

This thread is one of the best discussions I have seen on 11 W and I will be book making it for future review.

Great job goes out to ALL of the posters in this comment thread.

+1 HS
fear_the_nut70's picture

Oh and Riz, one major distinction between your grad work and the student athlete--You had already earned a degree which meant you would have had increased employment opportunities on the open market.

I know this will rankle a few who think the athlete has no options, but he does--Canadian football league, Arena Football league, NFL Europe, etc.  Most athletes play CFB because they know it will increase their draft stock immensely as it pertains to the NFL.

Even without a degree, I am in favor of paying them a stipend as I think all the extra time precludes them from a part time job.  Still, that does begin to open the box a bit, as there are clearly some schools that can not afford this.  When this is all said and done, I am afraid the game we loved won't look nearly the same.  Behind every mess there is always an Okie to blame...

 

Patriot4098's picture

In the end, he's right. Prepare to say goodbye to college sports as we know it.

"Evil shenanigans!"     - Mac

+2 HS
1967Buck's picture

There is an old saying, don't bite the hand that feeds you. Peace. 

Gametime's picture

We seem to be split on facing worst case scenarios versus too much "status quoing". What this ultimately comes down to is you have people who take what I'll refer to as the Sterling approach where in spite of all the issues surrounding what he said, one thing rang true: There's a system that is in place, and either you're a part of it or you're against it. 

Some of us are very much a part of it: established business ethics, government policies, laws of the land, etc where people will firmly answer "well that's just the way it is, because the guys with titles and green-backs said so". 

Some of us are very much against it; wondering why our veterans, teachers, health care & emergency services aren't compensated like professional athletes screaming "they save lives, those guys dribble a ball." 

But as things stand we're somewhere in this gray area with some real concerns and overstated hyperbole (irony intended). I've got ask, when we're looking these scenarios with these exuberant amounts of money: why is GREED never called out?

Sure we could say, they should be allowed to do this, that, & the third, within their system, but why is that system accepted? Everything I've seen from the fear of them raising ticket prices or concessions, to graduate students getting taken advantage of relates directly to the obvious political issues of the 2% and the other 98% which this is all ultimately a microcosm of.

Remember the issues they were making about the Olympics when they decided to send NBA players for the first time? Did that ruin USA Basketball? Or the heavily marketed Olympics are still considered amateur events, despite hosting professionals from the NBA, NHL, WTA tour, PGA tour, MLS, Euroleagues, etc, etc. It's not considered ruined because some individuals standout more than others and can sign endorsements. Why wouldn't that model be acceptable?

Why does the NCAA pretend that there isn't already a disparaging gap in competitive balance between the Power 5 and everyone else as it is? The Ohio State, Alabama, Texas, & USC types of the world already have a resources advantage over the MACs & AACs types. Is making it transparent really going to change college football?

Ultimately it seems like there should be a fair way to work this out, because all of the fears generated by the NCAA just sound like a slowly shattering illusion that has been presented as some sort of prestigious order to save college athletics.

It's a fact that Braxton Miller is worth more to the team than say, Stephen Collier is right now. If Braxton's #5 jersey is being sold, and he's able to appear on multiple covers of Sports Illustrated, appear as #5 from Middletown, OH on NCAA Football, but he's not allowed to make a living off his own name & ability, in ANY facet, because the NCAA essentially wants to own HIS image & likeness while parading the idea that access to a free education is enough is completely bunk.

 

Between goals and achievement is discipline and consistency. That fire you have inside to do whatever you love is placed there by God. Now go claim it. ~ Denzel Washington

+2 HS
Jpfbuck's picture

I think Delaney may be right in a sense but might actually have the equation backwards, I will try to explain

if paying athletes for likeness or a salary were to occur then the uber rich among colleges will have an even larger advantage than they now do.

to that end when you look at something like the B1G Network, it value is driven by at most half the schools in the conference (OSU, UM, PSU, Nebraska, and maybe Wisky Iowa and MSU) beyond those 6 or 7 the others are actually money drainers not suppliers,

does anyone think B1G TV revenue would decline by 1/14th if Purdue left the conference, or Indiana? I sure don't.

granted this may change with Rutgers/MD and their potential to draw in even bigger revenues from DC/Balt/NYC, but that is not due to Rutgers actually playing because if it was they would already be on NYC tv today,,,the draw is that you can now watch OSU and Nebraska and UM on TV in NYC

if that becomes that case I think where Delaney may be part right is that the upper end teams like OSU, UM et al start to question why they "subsidizing" Purdue, Minny, NW and Indiana, and rather than get kicked out, instead decide to leave on their own effectively eliminating the others from the massive revenue stream they essentially provide.

 

the B1G network without the big 4 (OSU, PSU, UM and Nebraska) is a mid major and those "leftovers" would be priced accordingly and would no longer be the recipients of the B1G network money, instead the Big 4 would either on their own or in some combo renegotiate just for themselves, and although the top dollar figure for the group may be smaller, their individual shares will likely be larger

this could be the real end of college sports as we know it

Delaney is essentially saying he would stick as the comish of the reduced B1G that had in fact  lost their major cash cows, and hence the others may be forced at that point to significantly down size

I am not sure how I would feel about that, but I can easily see a day when there are 30-40 or even as few as 20 truly major programs that draw massive money, while the rest slowly fade back to D2 level of exposure

 

 

+1 HS
bleedscarlet's picture

I hate every bit of this mess. There is something fundamentally wrong with a legal system that allows pro leagues to keep these athletes out and then tries an amateur institution to make them pay the very players that are denied professional status. Someone should email the NCAA defense team a copy of Conners 11W interview and let them slap that down in front of the judge. Tell them "There's their payment, these are the kids we want, if that isn't enough.... go somewhere else".

I'm too drunk to taste this chicken

fear_the_nut70's picture

So is there something wrong with a Corporate America that systematically keeps people out because they haven't earned a college degree?  Sorta forces some people to go to school if they want such a job, doesn't it?

Except it doesn't (go get whatever job you can get with your HS diploma)  Same in football.  The great HS football player does have a choice.  Go play in the Candian Football League, Arena Football League, NFL Europe etc (or hell, just sit home, work out, and get paid however you can) OR go to college and take advantage of 100 years of branding, a free education, world class training factilities, some of the best coaches money can buy, free room and board, medical, free meals, all the while getting exposure on TV (also not paid for by the athlete) so you can increase your value ahead of future NFL drafts (hey, I'd like to be on TV on Saturdays in the fall for four years to increase my career options.  Buehler?  Buehler?)

There are many that simply can't stand the idea of colleges raking in billions of dollars while student athletes aren't getting directly paid.  For reasons that aren't clear to me, this type of "exploitation" in other aspects of society simply isn't as troublesome.  I don't get it.

+1 HS
ELJTSA76's picture

What a great debate. These kind of thoughtful discussions definitely set this board apart. I favor taking care of the players a bit better, rather than paying them. The "going hungry" mantra is absolute BS, and I cannot believe so many subscribe to that.  High level collegiate athletes are taken care of - much better than the average student already, in my opinion. The issue here is that, increasingly, the value of an education/degree and a debt-free post-collegiate life are viewed as inconsequential. Forget about the fact that these school do pretty much anything to keep athletes eligible, by providing as much "support" as is necessary.  And the nutrition, coaching, publicity and marketing, housing, and post college opportunities are nice, but . . .  I am not so persuaded that this is a terrible life for 2-4 years - certainly not worse than other college students or other college athletes. 

However, I think we can all agree that the NCAA can do almost everything better than is has for the last 30+ years. I don't know what the best answer is, but we'll get some kind of answer within the year. 

+3 HS
cdub4's picture

The players not having ownership of their likenesses, despite the money being generated is what really irks me. The fact that they leave school with no debt is great, but I think people emphasize that too much. That's not compensation or salary, that is a benefit. I believe it should be more of a free market, I just have a problem with benefits and compensation being capped for the labor force in a multi billion dollar business.

I also think it is absolutely ridiculous that baseball and hockey can figure out

+1 HS
D-Day0043's picture

Rather than paying players, I think a extended line of credit up to say $35,000 per school year should be offered to them. It should be sufficient to cover off campus housing, car payment, expenses, etc. If the player goes pro, they should be able to pay back a maximum of $140,000 with no problem. If the player doesn't make it to the next level then it is still a manageable debt to pay with a college degree. This should promote players to finish college to at least obtain a descent job if they don't go pro. It is entirely up to the player if they choose to borrow this money or not. As far as less lucrative sports, simply adjust the loan amount. A college student can live a little more comfortably even with an extra $10,000 per year.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

+2 HS
BuckeyePoetLaureate's picture

With all due respect, I don't think that $140,000 of debt is a good idea for someone who is getting a Bachelor's degree in General Studies or Kinesiology or anything else, really.  That's more than four times the average student loan debt.  (I think the average was 28K.)

Further, look at how short pro careers are and how few players actually make big bank.  (You should also watch the great ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, "Broke.")  If 2% of players make it to the pros and a fraction of those make significant money, you're hanging a massive financial albatross over their heads.  (And we know that many DI athletes are not exactly from rich families.)

More significantly, I suspect that $35,000 is a LOT less than the average DI player receives in tuition, room/housing allowance, food, travel expenses, bowl gifts, health care, etc.

And perhaps even MORE significantly, how does Title IX play into this?  If you're literally giving football players (male) a credit line, what must you do for other athletes and for female athletes?

Proud alumnus of the Ohio State Creative Writing MFA Program.  Creator of the writing craft site Great Writers Steal.

D-Day0043's picture

The amount of credit extended should be proportionate to the earning potential of the player. I just threw the 35k per year limit out as an example. You can live modestly on 35k a year. The players don't have to borrow that much if they don't want to. It is completely up to them, but there should be a ceiling in place.

If you watch the NFL draft and see these players buying $40k watches, $50k cars, and $5k suites with money borrowed from their agents, before they ever receive a check from an NFL team, they don't seem to much care about going into debt. 

If you are not responsible enough to manage your money and go broke that is the players problem. Why are we so concerned with the financial well-being of athletes? What about the everyday person? Does anyone care if we go broke or how much debt we acrue in our lives? They either screw it up or they don't. It will greatly reduce players taking money from people they shouldn't be.

If a player intends to borrow that kind of money, then they had better get a degree that will get them the type of job that can make sufficient payments on the loan.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

BuckeyePoetLaureate's picture

Again, I respect your point of view.  I just don't think that your position can represent the vast majority of student-athletes.  Braxton Miller?  We all hope he makes some serious bank.  Think about someone like Aaron Craft.  Did we all love his play?  Sure.  Was he a critical part of some great teams?  Of course.  We all hope that he's going to medical school, but look at the options:

The current situation: Craft has (or should have) zero undergraduate student loan debt.  He received superlative perks during his years in Columbus.

An alternate situation: Craft could have tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.  He gets drafted by some NBA team in the late rounds and receives the minimum.  Which is cut in half by taxes.  Then by 10% by his agent.  Then you factor in all of the other expenses.  AND he has to pay back that student loan debt.  If he signs a LeBron contract, the debt isn't a problem,  but for every other journeyman NBA player...it is a pretty big concern.  And if he wants to go to medical school, that's another, say, hundred grand in debt.

And student loan debt is FAR different from buying an expensive house with a stupid mortgage.  As I pointed out, those players who buy the cool cars and watches are often part of the majority of players who end up "broke." (That documentary really is great.)

Proud alumnus of the Ohio State Creative Writing MFA Program.  Creator of the writing craft site Great Writers Steal.

D-Day0043's picture

My wife and I are non-traditional students. Between us we are nearly $100k in debt from student loans. We both have excellent grades and most of our school is paid for.  We have two kids and I own my own business. I can barely work during the semester and if we didn't get student loans then we wouldn't have been able to survive. If we can manage it, then I am sure that these guys will be able to manage it as well. They are getting a full-ride, so anything they acrue is strictly what they borrow. One year in the NFL at the league minimum is more than what I make in 4 years. 

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

BuckeyePoetLaureate's picture

Again, only 2% will even MAKE the league.  When you think about the league minimum, you also have to slice it by half because of taxes.  Then 10% because of agent.  Maybe a publicist.  Then relatives who need a loan.  

And if they're already getting a full ride scholarship, should they be paid anything or allowed access to loans inaccessible to others?  And should we give this access to ALL players?  Just Braxton?  Should we include third-string linemen who could be replaced with pieces of cardboard?  $35K in loans is LESS than the financial equivalent most players receive now, as well.

Let's think about the other 98% of DI college football players.  Let's keep in mind the number who have full rides.  And who aren't in college to get an education.  And who leave after a couple years.  And who DON'T make it to the league and end up like Maurice Clarett.  And bear in mind that...

A Sports Illustrated article reports the grim statistics -- 78 percent of NFL players face bankruptcy or serious financial stress within just two years of leaving the game and 60 percent of NBA players face the same dire results in five years.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-athletes-go-broke-the-myth-of-the-dumb-jock/

Here's a back-of-the-envelope calculation.  Let's be conservative and say that a second-string offensive lineman takes out $100K in debt.  He is great and we love him, but he doesn't make it to the league.  He gets a tryout with the Jaguars, but that's it.

If they take out $100K of completely unnecessary debt (he had a full ride, after all) and pays back over 20 years and actually stayed for all four years and graduated, the monthly payment will be...

Monthly Loan Payment:$763.34

Number of Payments:240
Cumulative Payments:$183,201.36

Total Interest Paid:$83,201.36

http://www.finaid.org/calculators/loanpayments.phtml

Or..........he can owe ZERO, as is the case in the current system.

Proud alumnus of the Ohio State Creative Writing MFA Program.  Creator of the writing craft site Great Writers Steal.

D-Day0043's picture

You are completely missing the point. You are fixated on the number $35k per year. Again, I just used it for an example.... I said it's not concrete. It could be as little as $5k per year. Whatever. People go into debt. That's life. 

So if you are dead set against athletes borrowing money that get a full-ride scholarship, then what about the millions of college students (or parents) that have to pay for their entire education? Should they just not go to school because they might go into debt? And it costs a hell of a lot more than the average $28k student loan debt you mentioned to get a bachelors degree.

Would you rather these kids take money legally and pay it back, or would you rather them take it illegally (which would result in NCAA sanctions for the school and player if caught) and from shady agents when they enter the draft? Because many are going to take money anyway. A lot of these kids are going to do this because they are impoverished and come from low income families.

No it's not going to completely stop kids from taking illegal benefits, but it should stop quite a bit of it. The kids that do do it and get caught should be nailed to the wall, because they really wouldn't have an excuse to take money if a legal way to borrow it was offered.

 

 

 

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

216ToThe614's picture

All I know is if I had the opportunity to work extremely hard and get free school, I would take that and never complain. I already work extremely hard every day and I'll walk out with a piece of paper that says I'm entitled to make this (   ) much money at my next job and 50,000 dollars of debt, just like the millions of other college students before me. I never understood this push for more reward. Every college student in the history of college has been taken advantage of, thats how the college model of business works. They make money off of you in exchange for a future career and success, so that hopefully you can pay forward and send your kids to college without loans, just like these athletes get to go do. I'd give anything to have the opportunity that a scholarship athlete or student has. You sign away your rights when you agree to attend a university, it's not like anyone was being led to believe any differently

Pick up your feet, turn your corners square! And DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE!!!
WB

+3 HS
DJ Byrnes's picture

 

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

1967Buck's picture

Everybody has different thoughts on this. But these young women and young men sign an agreement that the college of there choice will use there name to promote that said college. In return the student get almost everything for the time they are at that said college. This is it, in a nutshell folks. That is whats this is about. They want to change that agreement, change the rules and make new ones. Peace. 

+2 HS
Borrowed Time's picture

I hear a lot of people saying they would stop watching college football if the concept of amateurism is gone. Haven't the TV contracts, corporate sponsors, bagmen, poor graduation rates, and lower acceptance standards already destroyed the concept of amateurism?

+1 HS
fear_the_nut70's picture

Pro = getting paid for playing

Amatuer = you don't get paid for playing.

This is the heart and soul of it, so no.  You are right that they have been widdling away at the edges alomst to the point of absurdity, but the core still remains in tact.  JMO...

 

 

+3 HS
Jdadams01's picture

It is just like any other barter system in the history of the world. University offer A (scholarship) for B (play) from athlete. Athlete accepts and signs a contract. Both parties fulfill said agreement.

+1 HS
BucksFan2000's picture

I'm surprised the general tone here seems to favor the NCAA and not the players.

Maybe I'm still bitter about how the NCAA treated our players during tattoo-gate, but I hope the NCAA goes down big time on this.  The current system left an undefeated OSU team out in the cold.  Emmert sucks and change is coming.  I'm all for it.

AndyVance's picture

Oh, I don't read it that way at all - the current NCAA can disappear completely as far as I'm concerned. They're bumbling bumblers who bumble and get paid handsomely for the trouble. What I'm arguing throughout this thread is that the model of amateurism should be celebrated and preserved, which should in no way shape or form be construed as A.) support for the NCAA, or B.) not "favoring" the players. What I'm arguing has nothing to do with the payers not being treated fairly or even treated extremely well (as I believe they are, by and large). It's about not turning D1 football and basketball into another professional league.

+4 HS
BucksFan2000's picture

Why should the model of amateurism be preserved?  The whole setup is based off an idea to avoid taxes.

It's going to get blown up in our lifetimes.  Too many people making millions off the work of others for it to continue.

AndyVance's picture

I don't disagree that it's going to get overhauled, and probably sooner than we would imagine, but I disagree completely that the system was designed as a tax dodge. That has zero basis in reality aside from the concept of non-profit entities in the first place.

Too many people making millions off the work of others for it to continue.

Don't take this personally, but that statement is way too Karl Marx for my taste. People "make millions" off of the work of others every day, and that is a good thing - the people who make the millions employ the workers, etc., etc. Profit is not a dirty word. AND that has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion.

+1 HS
BucksFan2000's picture

If you think taxes aren't a factor then you're just naive.

Making millions off workers is fine, but compensating revenue generating athletes the same as non-revenue generating athletes?  I think you're confused on which one of us is the Marxist.

AndyVance's picture

Huh? Now you've confused me. Yes, if we start paying college athletes an actual salary, then I want them paying taxes, no ifs ands or buts about it - but your original comment was basically that the entire NCAA/amateur athlete model was designed as a tax dodge, which is a farcical statement.

BucksFan2000's picture

They're not a 501 c3 by accident.

BUCKfutter's picture

I've said this many times on this site, but I'll say it again. Let the kids benefit off their names and likenesses, but pay no additional stipend/salary.  That accomplishes two ideal goals.

1) The elite players, the ones that make the universities the big bucks, get paid by advertisers and merchandisers in accordance with their value (let the MARKET set the value instead of some arbitrary stipend, salary, whatever you want to call it).

2) It takes the burden off the smaller universities.  If football is split in to pay/not pay divisions based on the schools that can afford it, the main revenue stream for smaller D1 schools, which is games against the big boys, is gone and probably so are the full rides for their players.  This way, the non-elite players don't lose their full rides just so the big schools can pay their players.  Let the advertisers spend the money for them.

the kids are playing their tail off, and the coaches are screwing it up! - JLS

+3 HS
bafiesta's picture

If players actually made money based on someone wanting to license their image and likeness I'd be in favor of that, but there's no way to police it.  What if an Alabama booster says he's willing to pay $50K for every 5* & $40K for every 4 star recruit who signs a picture for him?

Once you allow payment for image and likeness you have allowed boosters to pay players.  

 

+1 HS
BUCKfutter's picture

That stuff already happens anyway (see Manziel, Jonathan).  Hate to liken it to this, but eventually it will be like what happens to the black market when you legalize a drug.  All of a sudden the back room deals go away because the market can now set the price.  Sure, you'll still have boosters paying kids, but that will always happen anyway regardless of anything anybody tries to regulate.

the kids are playing their tail off, and the coaches are screwing it up! - JLS

+1 HS
Eph97's picture

Here's a way to cut costs if the players get (rightfully) paid: Cut all the non-revenue, parasitic sports leeching off football. It's un-American to not-get paid for your labor and there's no reason the football team has to subsidize fencing, synchronized swimming, all-women's sports, etc.

To quote Alec Baldwin in Glen Garry Glen Ross [addressed to all the parasite sports]: "Hit the bricks pal, you're wanting"

 

-3 HS
klfeck's picture

I think most of us who are reasonable can agree that players should receive more compensation than they currently do. They should have no reason to accept a $500 handshake while the university sells their image. That said, we all know this isn't a battle between reasonable people. We have the institutions who want the status quo, and players rights lawyers who want the the entire pie. I hope reason wins in the end, I doubt it will.

Kevin

OH!!!!!

Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University