Ohio State Cares About Its Football Players – Too Much

By Nicholas Jervey on March 29, 2014 at 6:00a
Why don't Ohio State players have greater control over the team?
205 Comments

Universities won't let their football players form unions for a simple reason: they think they care about their athletes too much.

Much has been written about the National Labor Relation Board's decision to designate Northwestern's scholarship football players as employees. As expected, the world is ending.

Northwestern's president emeritus prefers Northwestern no longer playing Division I sports to collective bargaining with a players union. Former Georgia coach Vince Dooley is glad he's retired so he doesn't have to deal with any issues. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney thinks professionalizing college athletics would "devalue an education," (by the way, here's a term paper a North Carolina player allegedly turned in for an A-). It's not anything new: NCAA president Karl Leib said "I predict we will have chaos in college athletics" in response to schools offering athletic scholarships all the way back in 1950.

In contrast, Ohio State's athletic figures are pragmatic. Athletic director Gene Smith supports a $3,000-$5,000 annual stipend for athletes, more than current NCAA president Mark Emmert's proposal of $2,000. Smith couldn't help but point out that the NCAA could have avoided all the lawsuits if it had the new governance structure in place four years earlier. 

Archie Griffin told the Columbus Dispatch on Thursday that players deserved more, seeing how ticket prices, salaries, and expenses have skyrocketed while their compensation stayed the same. Griffin said that commercialization made Tuesday's ruling that Northwestern football players are employees of the university inevitable.

Smith and Griffin care enormously about OSU's athletes, and even those opposed to payment of players want the best for their players. Take Dabo Swinney, who favors an indeterminate stipend:

"I am 1,000 percent in favor of a stipend or modernizing the scholarships, because they haven't changed. It costs more to go to a movie, costs more to buy gas, costs more to wash your clothes than it did when I was in school. There needs to be an adjustment there. But as far as professionalizing college athletics, college athletics would go away."

It's easy for Swinney to talk about giving players a thousand dollars when he just signed a $27 million dollar contract, but he deserves the benefit of the doubt. He cares about his athletes.

Though it's hard to tell by their behavior, Northwestern cares about its athletes as well. Through this entire trial, Northwestern has said it is proud of its students for raising these issues and pursuing a solution to them. It has also thrown every lawyer it can at the case to undermine them and will do so until the bitter end, but it's reasonable to say that Northwestern wants the best for its athletes as well.

There is a two-pronged pattern to the objections above and with the few Ohio State players who have addressed unionization: 1) Nobody wants to allow college athletes to be professional. 2) Even so, everyone wants to compromise for their players' benefit. What gives?

The focus of all these objections is on money: professionalization, payment, maintaining amateurism. That's what the NCAA wants to keep the discussion about, but that's not what the players want.

The College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) is the foremost representative of players' goals. Most of CAPA's aims are directed at player safety, due process, and greater representation of players in making policy. In the face of all the rhetoric about professionalization, only one of its goals is related to payment (allowing compensation for commercial sponsorships). The other goals are about injury prevention, due process, coverage of sports-related medical injuries, and increasing athletic scholarships and GPA, all marks of wanting to stay within the current system. 

The real issue is quite simple: this isn't about money, at least not for now or the next decade. It's about who controls college athletics, and the people in charge believe they know what's best for athletes better than the athletes do. Gene Smith provides a good example of the paternalism of people who want to accommodate players without giving up control:

"I'm anxious to pull some of our student-athletes in a room and say, OK, this new governance structure is in place, we're going to start talking about potential student legislation for student-athlete benefits, guys, tell me, what do you need that you're missing?”

Gene Smith and Dabo Swinney and Northwestern care about the athletes – they would just rather parcel out enough money to keep athletes happy than cede control.

The regional director of the NLRB in Chicago, Peter Sung Ohr, made it clear how much control Northwestern has over its football athletes' lives. ESPN's Lester Munson summarized Ohr's findings about Northwestern's tight control:

[Ohr] devoted more than 10 pages of his 24-page opinion to a detailed description of practice schedules, workout requirements and coaches' supervision, including approval of living arrangements, registration of automobiles, control of the use of social media (a player must be connected to a coach), dress codes, restrictions on off-campus travel and demanding study schedules. It was the kind of control, Ohr concluded, that an employer has over an employee, not the kind of control a school has over a student.

Rather than being limited to the maximum 20 "countable" hours a week players could participate in football activities, Northwestern players spent 50-60 hours a week on football. In everything but name, Northwestern players were full-time employees of the university.

Northwestern's two-facedness is typical of an organization that wants its students to be independent but still control them for their own purposes. It's a kind of self-deception that Northwestern's players weren't willing to tolerate any longer.

Unlike Northwestern, Ohio State football athletes aren't going to unionize anytime soon, but the control issues are even worse. Ohio State athletes without question spend as much time on football each week, with the additional twist that the athletic department has access to most of its athletes' bank accounts, to monitor spending. 

In part, Ohio State's obsessive control is based on the university getting slammed three years ago when everyone decided tattoos and trinkets were the shame of college athletics. For Ohio State to break off its now would ruin the university's reputation... or would it?

Back in 1950, scholarships were banned under the Sanity Code. A group of seven schools, the Sinful Seven, admitted they paid scholarships and would not budge. Among them were Virginia and Maryland, two schools the NCAA absolutely could not afford to nuke. The NCAA backed down, and Virginia and Maryland are still held in high esteem. The same goes for the University of Oklahoma, which successfully sued the NCAA for wider access to TV in the 1980s. If Ohio State is afraid of being the first to give up its excessive control of its athletes, it should know that history will vindicate it eventually. 

Gene Smith was right: the NCAA could have avoided the whole mess if it were willing to relinquish its obsessive control of athletes and treat them like adults. But Northwestern and everyone else cares so much for those players, they refuse to let them go. Now they're going to leave by force.

205 Comments

Comments

AndyVance's picture

Nicholas, I'm guessing that you're one of the younger staffers here, because this reads as though it were written by a college student fed up that Mom and Dad still checks his bank statement.

Gene Smith has suggested a reasonable proposal: offering a full cost-of-attendance scholarship and/or a decent stipend. My suggestion is to treat football and basketball players like graduate teaching/research assistants, and pay them a fellowship/stipend for their work.

Even ignoring the obvious Title IX and tax implications of treating athletes as employees in terms of compensation, however, this question does ultimately go back to the issue of amateurism. What is the point of college sports? If you want Braxton to get a cut of t-shirt sales, why pretend these young men are students at all - give up the ruse and turn NCAA Division I football into a minor league for the NFL, because that's what you're asking for in the long con.

College football is still extremely popular because of the tie to the university, and to the illusion, at least, that these are kids fighting for their school's honor. I, for one, am not eager to see that thrown away quite so capriciously.

+30 HS
buckeye_heart's picture

Andy I completely agree with you. The reason I like college football so much more than the pros is because it feels like the players are fighting for "their" school. They picked the school and many times they pick it because it "feels like home" or "a family" to them. Unlike the pros where no one seems to have a care for the team, just how much money they can make. It's too bad that the pros can't be more like they used to when players spent their whole career with one team. But getting back on topic, Gene Smith has a good idea going. The thought of paying players is never going to sit well with every person, but it will happen.a

+10 HS
Scarlet-Gray's picture

Andy, you took the words right out of my mouth.  I 100% agree these kids need something more, but what that is exactly needs to be sorted out by people much smarter than myself.  Let's not forget that these kids are part of a team, they themselves are not the entire team. And while we all love watching Braxton throw touchdowns or scramble for 20+ yards, we go to the games and watch the games on TV to support our team, not just one individual. These players individually don't bring in millions of dollars to the school, the team as a whole brings in that money. The OSU brand is what puts butts in the seats.  In 3-5 years this group of players is gone and another crop of athletes come rolling in.  

So figure out what these guys need, because they do need more and are an asset to the university, but they themselves are not the university.  And the university is going to continue to move forward when they move on, and we as fans are going to continue to go to the games and sit in front of our TV's.

+11 HS
kmp10's picture

Great point… and I agree, though not in totality. The tone of the article does read as if it were written by a young(er) person, but so do most articles on 11W. The staff is young and their opinions tend to be college-centric. The daily skull sessions, to me, sound like the ramblings of an angry frat boy who has much yet to learn and experience about the world (I certainly admit this point of view could be attributed to the 'old man' in me). I enjoy the site and visit daily… but more so for the outstanding recruiting information and the forum debates than for the articles. 

As for the debate itself, I love college football and, selfishly, I don't want it to change. I suppose my opinion specific to the "pay the player" debate is based on experience; not experience as a college football player, but as a long ago college student/graduate (1986), and now the parent of a recent college graduate. In short, what my grandparents, parents and I paid for, once for myself and now for my child, is given to all major college football players on scholarship. Tuition, shelter, food, healthcare, tutors, books, lab fees... plus personal trainers, the best gym membership money can buy, expert training / preparation in TWO potential career paths AND a monthly scholarship check. It's all FREE to these players. They have, essentially, a free four or five year life experience, plus the once in a lifetime opportunity of playing college football in front of tens of thousands live and millions on television. They are idolized, exalted, admired and put on a pedestal. When it's all over they leave their chosen school, often times a university they would have no chance whatsoever of being accepted into if not for football, with a degree, a DEBT FREE start in life, parents who didn't have to sacrifice retirement accounts to pay for their education and the invaluable resume piece that says 'played varsity football at The Ohio State University'. In general, and depending on where one attended college / payed football, the four year experience is worth between 200k and 300k. 

It's very difficult for me to get behind a group who already has so much but who complains about wanting more. To me, it's laughable. In my opinion our time would be much better spent coming up with ways to make a college education more affordable for the average student and his/her family. There are studies that now say a college education is cost prohibitive. In other words, the cost of attending university is no longer worth the benefit. Now, I don't agree with that, but that numbers exist that legitimize that position is foreboding. To be concerned about Kain Colter and his team mates when Joe student is leaving Northwestern six figures in debt, living with mom and dad, waiting tables because the job market stinks and wondering how many decades he'll be paying off his college loans is an indication of priorities in this country. I just cannot get behind it...

+21 HS
BuckeyeCrew's picture

Kmp10, I up-voted you for two reasons: 1) That was one of the most well-constructed posts I have seen on these forums; it's refreshing to read a piece that presents an argument which begs for an in-depth diatribe, and delivers. 2) I concur with your opinion.  I had to win fellowships, and write for grants, to receive my degrees.  I would love to have had the opportunity to play a D-ANYTHING sport (NAIA included), and receive a full-ride, regardless of the time commitment.  But then again, I value education above most.

+10 HS
nm_buck's picture

KMP10, as a parent who footed most of the bill for 2 student athletes, I couldn't agree more about the benefits of leaving college with a degree DEBT FREE.  This is a point which needs to be stated forcefully.

My sons were given some money for athletics, but were not fortunate (valued) enough to earn full rides.  They attended the colleges of their choice and earned the privilege of representing their schools on the field.  Which was awesome.  I sacrificed more than four years of income to pay for their tuition, room and board, transportation, etc, and they still each owed about 8000 bucks worth of student loans as they graduated.

Of course, this was by choice.  They could have went to UNM (University Near Mom) and wouldn't have had much debt, if any. We're not complaining tho.  They enjoyed going to school out of state and it was a decision on which everyone agreed.  

However, college athletes who enjoy these lucrative D1 scholarships ALSO have a choice.  Nobody is twisting anyone's arms.   

I am selfish too I suppose, because I enjoy college sports way more than professional.  Not even close.  Last thing we need is the college game looking like the pro game.

+8 HS
theopulas's picture

you want to look at what the students give to the school....but what they profit from the players are billions of dollars....it doesn't compare....i am a Big Ten grad and college sports fan....but they should get a percentage of the profits....everyone is making millions except those putting there health on the line...

Theopulas

-1 HS
BuckeyeCrew's picture

Then, as someone in this thread has mentioned, let them avoid the falsehood of naming themselves "student-athletes", by going to a pro team.  There are plenty of professional football leagues in the States, outside of the NFL.  Let those leagues serve as farm-teams.

And what you're saying is flawed, in any case.  How do you know which athletes to value the most, outside of the obvious ones (e.g. a Braxton Miller, or Joey Bosa)?  You're telling me that those on the opposite end of that scale (i.e. the perpetual practice team players) are making "profit" for the university?

And then what of the other pitfalls others here have mentioned, that come with going down this path?  There are so many, and they WILL come.. it's just a matter of time, once the ball gets rolling. Everything from player-unions to the inevitable death (or marginalization) of college football, for many smaller programs who simply cannot compete.

+1 HS
theopulas's picture

it is sad that it all must change but good or bad....they have to share with those who produce ....i wish it could stay the same but right wins over what we like or what is good

Theopulas

-2 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

There are plenty of professional football leagues in the States, outside of the NFL.  Let those leagues serve as farm-teams.

Unfortunately the reality is that there really aren't solid options for football players whose only goal is a professional football career. Those options need to be there, they just aren't there yet.

The two most stable alternate pro leagues (AFL & CFL) both utilize different rules than the NFL. While not an absolute deal breaker it does make it harder to develop for someone who wants to play 100 yard, 4 down, 11 man ball in the NFL.

The other issue is that neither actively targets those 18 y/o players coming out of HS. Part of that may be due to wanting to avoid any potential battles with the NFL but it certainly makes them less visible as options for the kid who doesn't want to spend 3 years in college.

RuGettinIt's picture

Excellent and couldn't have stated it better.  I paid my own way through undergrad and a Masters and now I am looking at a house payment for my child's 4 year degree.  I will be paying on that for at least 10 years.  Athletes need to get a clue as to the opportunity that has been provided them.  The education and lifelong connections are priceless.

+1 HS
M Man's picture

I am not so terribly concerned about college football changing; I just don't like the notion of it changing in a direction that makes college football more like the NFL.  We should be changing football in a direction of "less like the NFL, not more."

I don't wish to see college football players be treated like employees, nor organized like employees.  I'd like a lot less professionalism and commercialism, not more.

My question to Gene Smith would be the exact same question I'd put to David Brandon:  What are you doing, this year, in connection with other athletic directors, to make college athletics less expensive, less consuming of student-athletes, less costly to supporters, less commercial in appearance?  Michigan is not going to "unilaterally disarm" in the college athletics arms race.  Neither will Ohio State.  They need to work together, to reduce all of the things that made Kain Colter & company feel like employees.  Unionization does nothing but continue and accelerate the process that so many people find offensive -- players separated from the rest of the student body; the professionalization of athletics; ever-more pressure on athletics to produce financially.

As a model, I quite seriously prefer the Ivy League to the NFL. 

+4 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

I hate it when you force me to upvote you M.

+1 HS
Menexenus's picture

To Andy: Your first sentence is extremely patronizing. Textbook definition of ad hominem. I think you're better than this. Prove it by offering Nicholas an apology.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

-6 HS
AndyVance's picture

Two things:

  1. I respect Nicholas as a fellow writer, because he is good at his craft; the perspective from which this story was written - in the opinion of this writer - sounds just the way I described it... My comment was not meant to be patronizing, but to offer an honest critique of the writing/argument.
  2. Nicholas is an adult and can demand his own apology if he thinks I was out of line. I offered a cogent argument counter to his, and I respect the writer and the commentariat here enough to assume that we can share such opinions without viewing disagreement as a personal attack.
+11 HS
SOF_Buckeye's picture

Andy, your verbiage and tone was correct, fine, and accurate. Today too many expect their opinions have a right to be heard, until a differing opinion is offered. These forums are for discussion, and your remark was not condescending. Let's just put our big boy reading glasses on and quit looking for apologies when we don't agree with each other. 

"The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." Woody Hayes

+7 HS
Oakland Buckeye's picture

Andy - 100% agree with your pionts & your tone was not patronizing - it was professional.

Gene Smith and Dabo Swinney and Northwestern care about the athletes – they would just rather parcel out enough money to keep happy than cede control.

Cede control to whom? The student athletes? Kain Colter? 18-22 yr olds fresh out of high school? The naivety of this argument is frustrating. These kids are part of an elite few. My High school junior has given his life the last 10 years in hopes of this kind of "enslavement" - and will be sad if it doesnt come his way. For many of these kids they are finding an escape from poverty & violent settings & given an opportunity to a free education & professional contacts that will carry them for a lifetime. I am in support of Andy's thought of being treated like a grad assistant or Smith idea of a fixed 5k or more annually - but to cede control to the athletes? Yes - my wife told her boss Friday even though she is compensated less annually than any scholarship football in Division I - she wants to be in control & come to work when she pleases and control her schedule..... I'm guessing a full scholly is worth about 35-40k annually? These kids ARE compensated, better than most working stiffs. sure they need more help - lets get it too them, but to turn the asylum over to the inmates? Naive & ridiculous Nicholas.

And I am sick of the "Dabo signs 27 million dollar contract" logic. At their age Dabo was a blank slate making nothing more than they did. He & Ubrz & others toiled for years from job to job barely supporting their families through the early years, made a name , moved up the ranks, and 30 years later they are millionaires - they did it the old fashioned way - worked their butts of to get where they are - not have it handed to them as a naive 20 year old. they argument does not hold water - they ascended to that role through personal excellence, diligence & hard work. 

+3 HS
NC_Buckeye's picture

Just to add my two cents... it's also naive to think Gene Smith will be ceding control to student athletes. Real world application is that Ramogi Huma and the lawyers employed by the National College Players Association will become the arbiters of that control on "behalf" of the students.

I don't trust Huma and will be very interested how his role as president of the NCPA will evolve. Does he get a salary? Where is that money coming from? Is he president for life or at some point will this union have elections?

+2 HS
Nicholas Jervey's picture

After letting anger far beyond my expectations die down, here is a response to you and everyone.

  1. It doesn't matter if someone calls me immature or a shit-eating Nazi, nothing would offend me enough to demand an apology. I have tough skin.
  2. The tax and Title IX objections are null, and what football athletes do is more like a work-study program with a greater workload and less freedoms. The difference between a football union and a graduate assistants' union comes from how the work relates to the school's academic mission. See this post from a labor lawyer at MGoBlog for more detail.
  3. Everyone needs to stop kidding themselves about the purity of college sports. Division I schools play varsity sports because they make money and/or attract notoriety for the school. They have nothing to do with enhancing the educational experience.
  4. It really isn't about the money. I've seen lots of people grousing about how today's scholarship athletes are better off financially than they were before. They are, but they also have zero autonomy and absurd time commitments. That's what the lawsuits are about; money is a secondary or tertiary concern.
  5. If you can't find a problem with the content or my writing ability, I'm not going to apologize for the tone or "angry youngster" point of view.
  6. I was hoping this would inspire debate about paternalism in college sports and not politics re: unions or socialism. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised how it turned out.

Ceci n'est pas une signature.

NC_Buckeye's picture

With all due respect NJ, you're talking like there are absolutes as to all the party's motives and how this is going to get resolved. The truth is that everything is just an opinion at this point... including that MGoBlog labor lawyer.

+1 HS
buckeyedexter's picture

give up the rouse and turn NCAA Division I football into a minor league for the NFL

A minor league for the NFL would fix this whole problem.  If they want to get paid and are good enough, go play football for money, if they want to go to school and play football, they can go to school.  Right now many players are in school for the wrong reason because they have no other choice.

+13 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

A minor league for the NFL would fix this whole problem.

That's the real elephant in the room that needs to be addressed.

+5 HS
Jugdish's picture

This has been my opinion for several years now. When a student comes out of high school he can choose one of two paths. The student can go pro immediately because, let's face it, college is not for everyone. Secondly, the student can choose to become a student athlete whereby he gets a scholarship to go the college that will accept him. This is already set up for the student as it stands now. A real education is not easy. Many students work and still find time to get to class. If the student chooses the college route, he/she must make a 3 year commitment to the college in any sport. The minor league will be an issue for the professional organizations and not the colleges.

Remember to get your wolverine spade or neutered. TBDBITL

+1 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Honestly I'm not even on board with the mandatory 3 year commitment. Let the kids leave anytime if they want to go pro. There's no reason to restrict that. 

The real issue is that the NFL & NBA are being allowed to employ discriminatory policies based on age. There are no valid job requirement arguments that a player must be 19-21 rather than 18 in order to be considered for hiring by the NFL or NBA.

The problem is that the players' unions are equally responsible because removing the age restriction would mean fewer openings for the older players.

These issues aren't cropping up in other sports which have professionals (baseball, soccer, tennis, golf) because all of those professions allow a qualified player to join without forcing them to spend 1-3 years on a collegiate team.

The answer isn't to turn collegiate football (and basketball) players into professionals, the answer is to remove the professionals from the collegiate ranks.

+4 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

Amen, Scarlet! Well said....

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

NC_Buckeye's picture

The answer isn't to turn collegiate football (and basketball) players into professionals, the answer is to remove the professionals from the collegiate ranks.

Same here. Amen.

BuckWylde's picture

Good argument, and totally valid if we're talking about working at Krogers, or some similar enterprise, but one thing I haven't heard is anyone addressing the right of pro leagues to quality control their brands. I've seen for several years how the influx of half prepped kids has weakened the quality of NBA play and I was happy to hear Charles Barkley say what I've been thinking for a while about the decline in quality. I'd hate to see the same thing with the NFL game. I hope that some sort of football "D-League" can be developed to protect the game from the carnage inflicted on underdeveloped "high schooler" bodies that jump to the pros, as well as the inferior on-field product that the presence of too many kids would likely produce.  

BuckWylde

+1 HS
theopulas's picture

bingo...you are right on the money.....players have no option so schools can treat them however they want....

Theopulas

Borrowed Time's picture

why turn this into a generation battle? 

we should be discussing proposals that create a system that is more fair to everyone involved, which I strongly believe entails a complete overhaul of the NCAA.

+1 HS
nm_buck's picture

Well stated Andy.

+1 HS
Ericgobucks's picture

I love your response, except the first sentence which was really a dick move. You were blatantly condescending referring to his age and parents checking on him. His work speaks for itself and maybe your response speaks of a guy who is wearing adult diapers and needs his pudding fed to him. I do not feel that way, but do you see how that same strategy could be used back against you? You are a smart guy with good points. Skip the patronization next time and you have a highly insightful and intelligent post. 

-8 HS
Ericgobucks's picture

To all you guys who think the tone of the first sentence is ok, ask yourself would you say the same thing had Ramzy written the article? Ramzy isn't an old guy. It was rude and unnecessary. 

-5 HS
AndyVance's picture

Actually, if Ramzy had written this article, I would have had the same issue: the tone of the article makes it read as though it were written by a 20-something pissed off that he doesn't rule the world. There are two key components to any piece of writing - the content, in other words the argument being made, as well as the tone. The content here was fine, and I as I stated above, Nicholas is a solid writer. But tone is another thing entirely, and in this case I felt that the tone weakened the argument.

And at the risk of sounding like Mike Gundy, I'm 30 for cryin' out loud, so don't give me this "old white male doesn't understand" bullshit.

+1 HS
Ericgobucks's picture

I'll say it again, aside for the first sentence, i really liked your post. Unfortunately, I think you've created a whole sideshow  argument because you took that route of criticizing his age/perspective in a condescending way. It's taking away from your points and the quality of your argument. Even if you felt that way you can say the same thing with out saying Nicholas needs his mom to blow his nose. 

-9 HS
Ericgobucks's picture

Your punk ass is 30 and you're calling Nicholas a "kid?" What a douche. You are seriously ridiculous. 

-10 HS
AndyVance's picture

Reading comprehension is seriously not your thing, is it? I never called the writer "a kid;" as a fellow professional, I observes that the tone of the piece sounded like it was written by an angry youngster - not the same thing in intent or in practice.

i maintain that the tone of the piece weakened an argument that - at least in part - has merit. In the same way, calling me a "punk ass douche" shreds any credible argument you might have made elsewhere on this thread, as does your political name calling further down in the comments. Oh, speaking of which, you've violated the 11W commenting policy repeatedly (no politics, remember?), so you've also got that going for you.

+2 HS
Ericgobucks's picture

Oh my apologies dear Sir. I was unaware that parents check adult children's bank accounts. Clearly you mean that in the kindest, most professional manner. There is no implication whatsoever you were referring to him as a "kid." 

I didn't break a "no politics" rule, because I didn't say anything about a party or candidate. I was saying this thread has devolved into a political debate without speaking it's name. For a well-written guy, you are again either being willfully ignorant to help your arguments, or simply a writing this from your immature perspective as a 30 year-old who clearly hasn't fully matured. My advice is some service to your country might help you grow as a man. 

-6 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

My advice is some service to your country might help you grow as a man.

Care to post your DD-214?

+1 HS
Ericgobucks's picture

You are 30 and say "youngster." I bet you get a lot of girls, don't you?

-6 HS
AndyVance's picture

At least as many as an internet tough guy who thinks "punk ass douche" is a strong debate tactic, I'm guessing, although I'm a one-woman man, so it's hard to say.

Suffice it to say, I think we've exhausted this conversation. Go in peace, Tough Guy.

andretolstoy's picture

Why don't they just let them sell their stuff? It seemed to work in the past. I think it's highly hypocritical of these news stations screaming bloody murder when the student athlete went to make some pocket money, yet now get on the university for being too strict?

I would have no problem with athletes selling their jersey, autographs etc. How about local food businesses giving meals in exchange for free advertisement (if that doesn't happen already)?

Unions? Come on guys. Give me a break.

-1 HS
I_Run_The_Dave's picture

For what it's worth, I went to two different private Universities that had to approve my living arrangements (including off campus housing), had a dress code, restricted my internet access, restricted off campus travel, and required me to register my vehicle (the first one also required a registration fee each semester). I had an academic scholarship that required 40 to 60 hours of work per week in order to keep the grades necessary to renew. I was still a student, not an employee. With that said, I disagree, not with the decision, but with the reasoning, used to declare student athletes as employees.

+9 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

For what it's worth, I went to two different private Universities that had to approve my living arrangements (including off campus housing), had a dress code, restricted my internet access, restricted off campus travel, and required me to register my vehicle (the first one also required a registration fee each semester).

I can't even imagine that as part of my college experience. Of course when I started school I was a Marine NCO and used to taking care of myself in a restrictive environment.

I_Run_The_Dave's picture

I had been a SGT in the Army prior to college as well, so no sweat off my brow either. But these kind of restrictions are very common in private, particularly religious, schools so they shouldn't be used as a basis to declare an individual to be an employee. However, I didn't contribute to millions of dollars in revenue (unless the 30k per year of tuition I paid counts).

+4 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

I'm aware of the practice (it's entirely possible that I had to sneak a female Cedarville College student or two back into their dorm after curfew), it was just a comment about my personal views on over-officiousness.

Of course we also made fun of the Army types in "A" school who had to stay in PT gear when not on duty or in class & weren't allowed off base for the first several weeks.

I actually have a pretty good idea of how much Stanford has made off of my work since it was patented. On the other hand my one year on the football team didn't net them much as I managed to get free tickets for my USMC buddies who would come to games...maybe in the tens of dollars for concession sales. lol

Edit: I just re-read the article & realized what your initial post was in response to. Somehow I completely missed that the first time around. Now I can't help but wonder where Peter Sung Ohr has worked that has led him to believe that those types of restrictions are representative of an employer/employee relationship.

+1 HS
krodawg's picture

The real issue is quite simple: this isn't about money, at least not for now or the next decade. It's about who controls college athletics, and the people in charge believe they know what's best for athletes better than the athletes do.

I work for a company where the people in charge feel they know best for the employees. How bass-ackwards is that?

 

+8 HS
LeftCoastBuck's picture

If the football players are indeed employees, then they should be taxed on the value of their compensation which would include…

1) the value of their scholarships
2) the value of their housing. According to the IRS, anything beyond temporary housing is taxable.
3) the value of their coaching. Since coaching enables them to reach the pro ranks, it should be considered as compensation. A simple guess at the costs of coaching for the program are likely around $7M…excluding facilities…divided by 100 players….they should each pay taxes on the tangible benefit of coaching at $70,000 per year.

i fail to see the logic of wanting to pay taxes on $110,000/yr in value for the 90% of the players that will never reach the NFL simply to join a union. What I do see is a naive young man who will never play pro ball being manipulated to the detriment of college sports for the benefit of Union thugs in Chicago

"To crush the Wolverines, to see them driven from their stadium, and to hear the lamentation of their fans" Conan the Barbarian (paraphrased) on "what is best in life."

+16 HS
NC_Buckeye's picture

And finally the tax issue is getting talked about.

Players could get a big tax bill  -- ESPN

If Northwestern players did form a union and they were taxed, it's not clear exactly what they would be paying tax on. If, for example, their entire scholarship was deemed taxable, the athletes would be paying at least $15,000 in federal tax alone on the $61,000-a-year scholarship. One athletic director in a major conference, who requested anonymity, speculated that the value the players received from the training table, travel and even coaching could be taxed.

+2 HS
buckeyepastor's picture

The stipend proposed sounds like a decent answer to addressing the concerns of players barely scraping by.  And clearly, the really large athletic departments can afford the 250k-420k to pay it's football players.   Adjusting for the other revenue sports with a similar or smaller stipend, and it's about 300k-500k.  The Ohio States of the world can handle this.  I'm curious how it will affect the smaller programs, whether the MACs of the world will still be viable, what other sports they'll have to drop to pay their football and basketball players.    Maybe everyone's sitting on that much cash every year, so it's fine.  Just curious how many schools will need to scale back their athletics offerings, and by how much   

 

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

+2 HS
mb5599's picture

Many of the smaller schools would not be able to pay the additional stipend whithout making some tough decisions.  Close down the football program entirely, shutdown other sports, or cut back on expenses (recruiting, faciility upgrades, equipment, salaries, etc.).  The effect will be that fewer players will have the opportunity to play at the collegiate level.  It would be nice if the smaller schools (who cannot afford it) would not be affected by these coming changes, but that's not how this works.

Big B

+6 HS
ibuck's picture

In discussing stipends, I don't believe all the possibilities are on the table. Some of the parents of scholarship athletes can give the additional needed cash to their kids. For those who cannot, need-based stipends could be provided by the schools, either as low-cost loans (similar to other student loans) or as grants (additional scholarship money). These could also be made available to other students or athletes. Using such an option could reduce costs for the universities.

Also, the time requirements for sports, especially football, could be cut way back so that athletes could have jobs in the off-season. That means having an off-season, which football currently does not.

There may be other possibilities as well.

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

+2 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

Everyone is ignoring the schools that are already operating in a deficit. Also, what about the schools that already contribute student dollars to athletics? If this is going to work, there needs to be a higher division to include schools like Ohio State. Even then, how many athletic departments are solvent enough to afford this?

+7 HS
d5k's picture

A lot of pro-status quo pro-socialism in this thread.  You first have to define deficit and note that most BCS schools receive a LOT of revenue from TV+tickets and when you account for the full cost of a scholarship in terms of the tuition a completely unsupported student pays (I would like to know what % of students are FULLY unsupported out of state students) in the income statement rather than on a cost basis, lots of schools will "appear" to be in the red when that does not explain how they can afford to constantly upgrade facilities and recruiting budgets.

Colby3333's picture

Yawn.  NJ, your article sucks.  How about some facts?  The fact is Dabo is a coach.  He paid his dues.  He applied for a coaching JOB.  It is a job that pays great.  With great success salaries increase.  He has a JOB, no longer an athlete.  As for college athletes, it is not a JOB!  It is a choice to play.  If you don't like the system, take your ball and greed and go home.  Sick of this generation of people looking for "fairness" and handouts.  Who will pay for this?  It won't  be those greedy Colleges or highly paid coaches, it will be the consumer, just like any other increase ( like taxes ).  Your double standard is comical.  You want them treated as employees but point out the monitoring of the social media.  Fact, in real life, if I write something on my social media outlets, my boss may see it, not like it and fire me.  The real issue is money, PERIOD!  Saban & Bert just used the injury aspect to pursue changing the game.  Wondering your opinion on that crap?  Think before you write stupid stuff like this.  Peace Out!

-1 HS
Borrowed Time's picture

If you don't like the system, take your ball and greed and go home. 

And where exactly would they go if they were good enough to be professionals?

-1 HS
Oakland Buckeye's picture

Where the rest of us go to...

 

+4 HS
d5k's picture

No, with ever-increasing revenue expanding the "water supply" and no other faucets to turn on but a few key individuals... that is why the salary for a head coach goes up.  Think about the extreme case of indentured servitude/slavery.  If the business is growing profitably, the manager will keep getting raises if the grunt labor force has an artificially fixed cost and no freedom of movement. 

This post is loaded with strawmen.  Here are the facts: there are not viable options to pursue a football career outside of the college -> NFL path.  This implies strongly that the schools that behave as farm systems for the NFL and collectively decide how to compensate their players are behaving like a cartel.  Your discussion of the cost passing to the consumer is another straw man that has little relevance.  The power to determine prices for labor and for the "product" currently lies entirely within the system of universities behaving like NFL farm system cartel.  If they could afford from a supply/demand perspective to increase prices of the product (tickets, advertising, merchandise licensing), they would already do so unless they are behaving irrationally or *gasp* feel like they shouldn't gouge their alumni base out of a few more bucks.  

Of course all of the above is part of the joke of these universities falling under a not-for-profit definition despite behaving like OPEC desperately trying to maintain their never-ending stream of cash through lobbying efforts, strong-arming, etc.  Their endless supply of lawyers and lobbyists do not need extra help from Joe Casual-fan who for some reason is jealous of the entitled athlete more than the aristocracy atop the totem pole.

mb5599's picture

Colter says that this lawsuit was not about paying players, but about fully funded scholarships, lifetime medical care for injuries sustained while participating in football activities, increases stipends, etc..  However, how long do you think it would take for some lawyer to convince a player to file a lawsuit demanding a percentage of all ticket sales, tv revenue, merchandise sales, etc.?  Some lawyer will take this case simply because if he/she wins, they will receive a lot of money.  It's about the money to them and the union's are for it because they will receive more union dues.  Many are saying that the NCAA and the universities are taking advantange of the players, but what do you think the lawyers and the union's will do? If this survives all of the appeals and goes into affect, there is no doubt that this will happen.  Too much money is involved.  This will ruin college sports as we know it.  Might as well watch the NFL.

Big B

+6 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

Your first couple sentences remind me of another point. If we concede that the athletes are employees, why then do they deserve lifetime medical care? If anyone knows a job I can work for 4-5 years to earn lifetime healthcare, let me know. I'll switch professions today. 

+11 HS
BamBamBuck's picture

Aside from the DC politicians, you are spot on! +1 good sir.

BamBamBuck

+4 HS
rdubs's picture

They don't want lifetime health care per se.  It has more to do with coverage for debilitating injuries that occur as a result of playing in college.  In fact being classified as an employee would help this case quite a bit.  They could file worker's comp claims or disability claims that would allow them to receive money due to their injuries and limits on their income potential as a result of those injuries.

+4 HS
nm_buck's picture

And who would pay for the worker's comp insurance you are advocating?  How long should it last?  As another poster stated, these guys have a 'career' of 4 years.  How much... and for how many years... should they be compensated after having an injury while playing a sport that they chose to play long before they went to college?  Not trying to be contentious... just wanting to know what should be expected here.

+3 HS
mb5599's picture

Good point.  Also, they have access to some of the best medical care during those four years.  For free.  Let's not forget that.

Big B

d5k's picture

Go find a spot that has asbestos or work in a coal mine and get black lung and you could probably achieve this.  This is just worker's comp / long term disability that all "hazardous" jobs have to some extent.

Menexenus's picture

Great article, Nicholas. You're absolutely right that this is all about whether you respect college athletes enough to treat them as adults. Adults should be given some say in the terms and conditions of their work. And if you don't think training to be a college football player is serious, hard, grueling work, you are just plain wrong.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

-6 HS
mb5599's picture

I have to disagree.  No one is forcing these athletes to play any sport.  They can go to college, pay their own way, and not have to worry about all the hard work that their training entails.  This is not about "treating them as adults", this is about money. Plain and simple.  Problem is, both sides are willing to blow up the system in order to get it. If this ruling stands, college football will never be the same again. The NCAA should be blown up, but that does not mean the players should be able to unionize.  Once the unions get involved, that will be the end for college football.

Big B

+9 HS
Qujo's picture

I am curious as to how many of the 85 scholarship student-athletes on a given football team will end up on a NFL roster. The value that a high percentage of them receive in form of a scholarship who will never sniff an NFL roster have received a benefit well beyond just going to college to get a degree, they are getting essentially paid to play a college sport while they are going to college. Otherwise they would never have received monetary value (scholarship) to play college football and essentially earn a free degree that most of us had to pay out of our pockets. 

if they need paid so much, go to the CFL and take college courses at night and in the offseason somewhere. In this sense most would probably never receive a degree, be out of football in a couple of years and then be shoveling dirt somewhere on a road patrol. In that sense the Colleges ARE looking out for the student-athlete. There are alternatives. Let them decide. Just don't implode college football on the way out to that stellar department of transportation job they truly and really always just wanted. 

frankly I have grown weary of the NCAA. But if I were them, I would preemptively tell any union wishing entity that was representing CFB student athletes to go pound sand and remind them this is a choice they made and find alternatives if this particular practice doesn't suit thier needs. I would do so before this infiltrates the rank and file and it is too late. To me this would remind them the SA is receiving something in return for playing CFB is probably better than the alternatives and they should quit looking a gift horse in the mouth. Especially those who aren't going to the NFL and would have to pay for college themselves otherwise.

"Tough times don't last, tough people do" - Gregory Peck

+5 HS
Poison nuts's picture

Great point. You often hear about the players who are stars deserving additional this & that, but not many people seem to address the the 90+% of the kids for whom the scholarships provide a leg up in life that they would likely never have gotten without sports. I don't doubt that the purity of college sports is a something of a fairy tale but I do think there is a tremendous & fair value given to the large majority of college athletes. Paying players is an issue that I have no hard stance on. I'd probably be in favor of athletes having the right/ability to profit on their own likeness, but I don't think I'd like to see college athletics be turned into straight up professional sports. I personally hope to always be able to root for my team & watch college football, which I find to be about a 100 times more interesting, exciting, & enjoyable than the pro game. If it all turns into a minor league system, I wonder if it would be something people would want to watch & follow...If people stop following & watching, then it could stop generating revenue. The whole thing makes me dizzy just thinking about it. Anyways, fuck it. Go Bucks!!

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

d gordon a's picture

The IRS is coming  Company execs that have stipends and are taxed on them ex gas allowance, transportation, entertainment, food  etc. Will they now move to put a claim on the cost of the education the athlete receives as income?

+1 HS
Borrowed Time's picture

let's not all pretend that paying taxes will stop D-I athletes from playing football if they were paid

-2 HS
nm_buck's picture

Good grief the whole point of this debate is that these kids are broke and can't even afford to take their girlfriends to a movie.  

If they are that broke... and if all they want is a little stipend as 'employees', then I can tell you with 100% certainty that they wouldn't be able to afford the income tax on the benefits they are receiving.  Some of these kids are getting annual benefits in lieu of 60 - 80K.

As most of these kids are single without any exemptions, they would have to up the stipend by tens of thousands just to cover the IRS.

Another point nobody seems to make... most of these kids are still claimed as dependents by their parents.  So the parents would be getting screwed too.

+4 HS
teddyballgame's picture

Might just need to bargain for a better deal...they'd have business advisors and calculators just like the execs.

Qujo's picture

Oh yeah, and let's not forget as an "employee", the university has to pay outlandish insurance premiums or pay a fine. 85 football players in the scheme of things probably not that big of deal, but we all know this would filter down to any student athlete and then the burden gets much larger. 

"Tough times don't last, tough people do" - Gregory Peck

mb5599's picture

Excellent point. Their tuition would have to be counted as part of their compensation package and would be taxable.  Welcome to a higher tax bracket!  They will have to also factor in the cost of an accountant to ensure they are paying all the taxes they owe on all the different types of compensation.  Would they be considered self-employed?  If so, good luck filling out those tax forms on your own guys. Plus the government WILL get their tax money and how long before some of the players are in court for failure to pay taxes?

Big B

+1 HS
741's picture

My solution(s): a.) Reduce the amount of rules and control exerted by the NCAA in general; b.) Allow universities to cover the full cost of education, plus provide a much more substantial stipend (as Gene Smith recommends); c.) NFL (and NBA) should eliminate the rules that disallow immediate entry into their leagues. (There absolutely should be an NFL farm league of sorts.)

+2 HS
Phoenix824's picture

I agree with you in many ways but the NFL already has a couple of free outlets as a farm league so I don't see them paying for one.    You just do not see may players coming out of the CFL or Arena Football and the athletes know that D-1 football is their best route to the NFL.

+1 HS
741's picture

I'm not even really saying the NFL should foot the bill for a "D-League" but they would be the ones with the best chance of making it a viable business I'd guess.

I'm just saying the door should be open for all kids good enough to play professional ball immediately if they choose. Some kids just aren't cut out to play school - so why force the issue?

To mandate that a kid must play college ball for one or two years (or functionally not be able to play at all) while denying them an opportunity to earn a living in the sport is kind of un-American, isn't it?

If there was a D-League professional football team here in Columbus I'd go check them out.

+1 HS
Bamabucknut's picture

Do you really want to have a bidding war for talent ?

Do we want to have players jumping from team to team because they get a better offer ?

How much player compensation is enough ?

What do you think will happen to ticket prices ?(who do you think pays for this  ? )

What do you think will happen to smaller schools ability to pay/attract great players ?

How will college coaches be able to manage/discipline their players when they have to deal with a union ?

Are fans prepared for union strikes and  litigation ? Are you prepared for one schools to strike in support of players at another school ?

What about "right to work" states and players who don't want to join a union? What if a player doesn't want to pay union dues ?

How can coaches remove a player from the team when their union says they shouldn't be ?

Are you prepared for unions for high school players(you don't seriously think it will stop at the college level do you) ?

Are you prepared to pay for player pensions and health benefits etc when players become injured or loose the opportunity to play in the NFL ? Are you prepared for endless injury litigation ?

 

 

 

 

+7 HS
Borrowed Time's picture

Do you really want to have a bidding war for talent ?

Sounds like the NFL, where people still pay to watch their favorite teams, even though the teams bought their services.

Do we want to have players jumping from team to team because they get a better offer ?

Sounds like the NFL.

How much player compensation is enough ?

Let's force administrations to take a better look at their costs so they can re-arrange where current dollars are spent and allow for a market cap per team and free market forces to determine what is enough.

What do you think will happen to ticket prices ?(who do you think pays for this  ? )

Ticket prices go up. Consumers pay for them.

What do you think will happen to smaller schools ability to pay/attract great players ?

They don't have as strong of an ability to pay/attract great players. Similar to how it is today where bigger colleges have nicer facilities, pay for better coaches, have a stronger alumni base that gives more donations, and have more fans to pay for tickets/jerseys to generate more revenue.

How will college coaches be able to manage/discipline their players when they have to deal with a union ?

They bench the players.

Are fans prepared for union strikes and  litigation ? Are you prepared for one schools to strike in support of players at another school ?

I'm not prepared for strikes, nor am I happy with the current NCAA system.

What about "right to work" states and players who don't want to join a union? What if a player doesn't want to pay union dues ?

Then they don't play.

How can coaches remove a player from the team when their union says they shouldn't be ?

Bench the player.

Are you prepared for unions for high school players(you don't seriously think it will stop at the college level do you) ?

I highly doubt there will be unions in high school where they don't generate even close to the amount of revenue college athletics does.

Are you prepared to pay for player pensions and health benefits etc when players become injured or loose the opportunity to play in the NFL ? Are you prepared for endless injury litigation ?

I think they should have better medical benefits.

-5 HS
cdub4's picture

Excellent post Borrowed time. Kids having to sit out a year if they transfer is more for the fans and coaches than the welfare or rights of the athlete.

mb5599's picture

Sounds like you should stick to watching the football on Sundays.

Big B

+5 HS
rdubs's picture

Amazing article.  Probably the best one I have read on the subject.  Another example of the totalitarian control that the NCAA and its institutions want to exert is the terms that it uses for punishment.  Lack of Institutional Control.  Control over what?  Its players and their lives.  

If you have ever made fun of Crean for limiting where players can transfer or Saban for cutting 10 players every summer, then you should support the unionization effort because it will allow the players to prevent themselves from being expendable pieces in a billion dollar industry.

The choice argument is bogus.  I choose to work for my employer, but that doesn't give them the right to treat me however they want.  They can't have access to my bank records or credit card statements, they can't monitor my private social media accounts (or eleven warriors account, see Big Meech).  

I hope that other coaches are negative recruiting based on these asinine comments from people like Dabo.  "I care about you, but I don't think you deserve any part of my 27 million dollar pie."

-3 HS
smith5568's picture

Players are being treated more like adults than they realize. The reason schools have access to certain personal information is because they are trying to monitor the amateurism of the sport and the school is trying to comply with the rules that are in place. You want the PRIVILEGE and OPPORTUNITY to play college athletics on a scholarship? Then giving the school access to your personal information is a small price to pay.

It is a choice. I choose to work for my employer. If I have the OPPORTUNITY to become partner I have to grant the firm access to all my financials because the firm has to be compliant with state and federal laws and regulations in order for me to be partner. The firm can and does monitor my "private" social media accounts (social media is almost by definition not private), and I can be fired if they feel my social media account is inappropriate and does not represent the firm well.

I paid my own way through undergrad, my JD, and my MBA via scholarships, student loans, and working two jobs. I chose to have student loan payments. I now have a job where I am billed out to clients at between $400 and $500 dollars an hour, I see less than one tenth of that as my after-tax salary. I would likely be laughed out of the room, my competency seriously questioned and perhaps let go if I asked the partner for part of the profits he earns because I feel like it is unfair that he gets all the profit that I worked for.    

 

+4 HS
rdubs's picture

So in other words you agree that they are employees?

smith5568's picture

No. Unless you consider every student who receives a scholarship an employee. Because of my goals and the requirements to maintain my scholarship I regularly had 50-60 hour weeks for school. Then I worked two jobs to help make ends meet. My position as a student did not make me an employee, so neither are these players.  

-1 HS
d5k's picture

I fully considered myself an employee when I was a TA teaching 20 hours per week.  I was paid in grad school tuition + a stipend.  My teaching requirements from a time perspective pale in comparison to football.  This is slightly different than an academic scholarship because of the non-academic requirements but that still is not that different in that you are compensated for specific work products (being a good student, boosting the university's academic #s).

It should also be pointed out that these guys literally are not allowed to get the extra jobs you refer to.  They are also restricted in what types of classes they can take during football season.  Sure they have a lot of good things, but in a billion dollar industry they should probably have some nice things.

mb5599's picture

The choice argument is not bogus.  Life is full of choices and being an adult means making a choice and dealing with the consequences of that choice.  Many jobs that require certain levels of security clearances monitor their employee's social media accounts, bank accounts, credit card statements, etc..  If the employee doesnt want to subject themselves to that level of scrutiny, they can choose not to work there.  The military tells their people what to wear, how long their hair can be, when they can wear jewlery, etc..  But, the people who sign up to serve in the military knew that there would be rules and regulations they had to comply with but chose to enlist anway.  If the player doesnt like the way let's say Clemson is treating them, they can transfer.

Big B

buckeyeradar's picture

I would just like to bring up two little points as I sit in my old age on the fence.  1) Don't kill the goose who lays the golden egg.  2) How much does a college education cost now and with that how much did you owe on your college loan?

Buckeye in Texas

+9 HS
rdubs's picture

And how would allowing players to receive money for appearing in commercials change either of those scenarios?

lsjSnail's picture

You are missing the part where they already receive money.....you know...the reason they came to whatever school...scholarship. 

+4 HS
rdubs's picture

And you missed the part where I asked a question by not answering it at all.

-1 HS
Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

I have a feeling they're going to run into some tax issues. I've never felt that paying players is a good thing. Maybe put $5K a year in a mutual fund and then give it to the player when they graduate. That would probably be the max I would do. $20K is more than I had when I graduated college. 

+1 HS
Ashtabula's picture

In my humble opinion, here is the problem: 95% of the athletes who play football and basketball get fair market value for their talent when you consider the cost of all the things an athletic scholarship affords them.  Imagine how expensive it would be for a non-scholarhsip student to hire unlimited one-on-one academic tutoring or unlimited access to state of the art trainers and facilities to prepare them for their future careers.  However, what do you do with the other 5% who are undervalued?  How do you provide extra compensation for Braxton Miller while giving nothing to Jack Mewhort? Plus, how do you provide extra compensation for football and men's basketball while providing nothing for the other scholarship athletes of other sports?

+7 HS
rdubs's picture

Letting the players get outside endorsements would be step one.  If IHOP wants to pay Mewhort to represent their pancakes, why not?  This would also likely allow the EA Sports video game to come back. 

lsjSnail's picture

That is simply not an answer and opens up a huge can of different issues.

+2 HS
rdubs's picture

Why is that not an answer?  It seems like a very easy solution to implement that would eliminate most of the problems that people have with the NCAA right now.

-1 HS
ibuck's picture

Can't you see how this could be abused by boosters? Like jobs that pay big earnings way out of proportion to work performed?

Would you be satisfied if, for example, SEC schools paid top jocks $25,000 (or more) for signing autographs, showing up at a car dealership, or appearing in an ad? Or merely showed up at a wealthy booster's house whenever the athlete wanted cash?

Would you be satisfied if athletes who ordinarily would have attended OSU on scholarship all went to SEC schools instead?

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

+2 HS
d5k's picture

What is the inherent problem with boosters paying the players more money to come to their school?  Think about it before coming back with some status-quo response.  Competitive balance is not a good reason from a moral/ethical standpoint so please some other reason. 

ibuck's picture

You're smart enough to play devil's advocate for yourself. 

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

+2 HS
Buckeyeneer's picture

It's probably less than 5% that is under valued based on the percentage that makes it to the NFL.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes
THE Ohio State University

+1 HS
Ashtabula's picture

Agreed.  Plus, most that make it professionally have short careers and make a lot less money than many believe.  We get blinded by the huge contracts ESPN reports.

2morrow's picture

I'm not a fan of unions in most cases. Gene Smith had it right in saying that if the NCAA had dealt with the issue in a timely manner, this would more than likely not be an issue. (I am less a fan of the NCAA than of unions). In listening to several shows on the subject, I would be in favor of:
1. granting a small stipend
2. guaranteeing a scholarship for 4 years (players are now cut - especially in other sports).
3. and lifetime medical coverage for any injury incurred while playing the sport while on scholarship.

In exchange, the student athlete must:
1. stay on schedule to complete a degree to keep the scholarship current
2. not allowed to work
3. and if the player does not graduate, they must repay a portion of the scholarship detailed in a legal agreement signed before the scholarship goes in force detailing the penalties.

+4 HS
andretolstoy's picture

Man. If playing college football, and getting an education for free is such a burden on these kids maybe they ought to find the easy life in the work force or, perhaps, join the military? I mean, I've seen some of these college players, it's a picture of rife malnutrition and strife. I'd hate for this needless suffering to go on without reason...

+9 HS
theopulas's picture

the oppressor always want to talk about what they do for the oppressed ... never about what they profit from there LABOR....

Theopulas

-2 HS
mb5599's picture

Please let me know when you start your own business.............

Big B

andretolstoy's picture

The useful idiot always want to talk about how the man keeps them down, but never consider how they could actually profit from their own labor - had they decided to labor ... or understood who was actually keeping them down.

+2 HS
Ericgobucks's picture

I did join the army infantry at 18 years of age. During basic training i made $465 a month after taxes and the 100 taken our for the Army College Fund. Your sarcasm doesn't address the concerns the athletes have and many others feel is an unfair system. Maybe you could man up and join the infantry and play D1 college football to speak from a position of experience as opposed to one of ignorance. No one said they are not malnourished, but unless the come from family money, they don't have money for a car, gasoline, a date, a dinner out with friends, etc. 

-4 HS
andretolstoy's picture

Thank you for your service. I'm afraid my age, weight, and knee strength would hinder my entrance into the branch at this point. If it's any consolation, I serve in a different capacity ...

So the unfair system won't give them money for a car, a date, and dinner out with friends? Like I said, if they don't like the unfair system of free ride education, spotlight, and spotlight status at one of the biggest universities in the world, let them join the fair system where they can earn money for dates and dinners with friends. (But they will also have to pay bills and taxes there) As long as the contemporary, post-modern sense of entitlement that seems to drip from the ears of our subsequent generations doesn't travel, they'll be ok in their fair system.

 

+1 HS
Donny T's picture

Let's look at this from the other perspective. The NCAA and member schools are making billions off of students-athletes. If there were no collegiate sports, that revenue would be lost. In fact, the NCAA would cease to exist without the gravy train of March Madness. So yes, as several have said, it's all about the money, but it's the money that the NCAA needs to exist and schools need to pay dumbasses like Gene Smith. How can anyone look at the $18,000 he made off the blood and sweat of a championship wrestler and not understand how screwed up this system is? I hope he at least sends the kid a Christmas card. Secondly, as we have known all along, not everyone gets that education they're handing over their lives for. There was a great piece on HBO yesterday about that very issue. Dude from North Carolina graduates barely able to read Dr. Seuss books. Graduation rates are pumped up via graduates of "general studies," which includes things like yoga, and as several people said in that piece, schools are just funneling athletes through the system to benefit the athletic departments, not the kids. So if you're going to hold the school accountable for at least an education, then you make sure these guys and gals who will not go pro attend the 5 or 7 or 10 years it actually takes for them to graduate, and the school pays for it.

Also, how many schools have admitted that having a great basketball or football program helps increase enrollment and private donations? Is that not exploiting the athletes?

Then stop the merchandising. That is the real hot button, that will be decided by the O'Bannon case. If kids can't make money off their images, then neither can the schools. Each school can sell one jersey with one number on it. Period. So no athletes can say their popularity is being exploited. The NCAA cannot license the image of anyone playing for a member school or benefit in any way. Funnel 25% of the NCAA's March Madness loot to medical coverage for athletes, instead of its toothless "investigators."  Make Gene Smith donate his $18,000 a charity. Lower ticket prices. Cap coaches salaries. There are plenty of ways to stop leeching off the athletes without forcing them to form a union.

 

+1 HS
smith5568's picture

See my post above, if you think Gene Smith getting an 18,000 bonus for a championship is offensive, you don't understand how a large portion of the real world works. The revenues at my firm are significantly larger than those of the NCAA and all other athletic departments combined and my salary is less than the value of the scholarship/services these players receive. Plus I have a mortgage as my student loan payment.   

+1 HS
BuckeyeCrew's picture

Apples and oranges.  Not many people (if any at all) would be entertained by watching you work, or use your likeness to generate money. Regardless, I get you, and agree that the scholarship plus other benefits should be more than enough.  I am opposed to compensating college players any more than they already are, for their service of entertaining us.

 

 

-1 HS
Donny T's picture

I know exactly how the real world works. Been in it for 57 years. The way the real world works is that powerful people like Gene Smith (and the athletic department that continues to keep him employed) exploit young, hardworking athletes for their own benefit. You mean that poor Gene can't survive on $1 million a year, without making bonuses off a kid he's probably never even spoken to? And as the other commenter said, nobody cares about what you do. Nobody is going to pay to watch you work. Nobody is going to ask for an autographed oxford shirt from you. I agree, a scholarship is a great thing, and worth a lot of money,  if the kid winds up with a chance to get a useful degree. If it's a thinly veiled bribe to acquire their services, that's something else. That has nothing to do with Gene Smith getting an unwarranted bonus. (Did he get docked pay when his stupidity kept us out of a bowl game? My guess is no.) 

Oakland Buckeye's picture

Exploit? Please see the definition. Exploitation here is a 2 way street. 18 yr old kids are fawned over & wooed by grown men coaches, they lead them around on a string - and then "say yes" to the lucky suitor. Then 25% of them change their mind, some more than once. Yet once they inter into that ralationship they are bound, & if they dont like it, they can transfer... All the while they have the opportunity to graduate from college without any loans or debt - something my kids would have liked.....

+1 HS
d5k's picture

if you think Gene Smith getting an 18,000 bonus for a championship is offensive, you don't understand how a large portion of the real world works. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

Logical fallacies are how the real world works I suppose.

-1 HS
mb5599's picture

You bring up the case about the Tarheel athlete who could barely read.  While the university bears some responsibility for that doesnt the player bear the majority of the blame?  You want to treat them like adults, right?  That player knew that his reading skills were substandard, but probably thought that he was a good enough athlete that he could get by anyway.  He made a choice.  Also, most of these universities have tutors to help the athletes.  Why didnt the athlete utilize this benefit and improve his reading skills?  Are you telling me the University of North Carolina refused to help him?  I don't think so.

Big B

rdubs's picture

I agree that the athlete bears a lot of the blame for this.  However how can you accept this as an A- paper and then claim that these athletes are merely students?  If that were the case they would fail out, but the university has to protect its revenue stream.

+1 HS
mb5599's picture

I never said I would accept this paper.  The university should be hit hard with sanctions/penalties for allowing this to happen.  However, allowing athletes to unionize will not solve anything.  It will only cause more problems and destroy college football as we know it. There is no reason to completely destroy the system in order to try and "fix" it.   Also, whatever teacher accepted this paper should lose their job.  Unfortunately, the teacher is probably protected by tenure and therefore basically untouchable.  Thanks to unions.

Big B

d5k's picture

So you are saying the specific university and even the specific teacher are the problem.  Treat the cause not the symptoms.

Donny T's picture

He taught himself to read. Yes, he bears a share of the responsibility, but the fact he graduated with a degree and, according to testing, has the skills of a middle schooler, is a sorry comment on the school that let him get that far. Plus, it was not just UNC. They talked to the guy who was responsible for getting Oklahoma football players through school. He resigned because it was such a sham. So, yes, students bear some share of responsibility, but it goes to my point that the schools, for the most part, are more interested in getting the athletes through school so as not to damage the sports teams, versus actually giving them an education they can use when they get out. 

+1 HS
OSUPhilosopherAndHomer's picture

Hello guys, my name is OSUPhilosopherAndHomer and I am a 17 year old junior in high school. I don't post much but am on this website just about all day. I live in Columbus, Ohio and work at a local Kroger. I applied just a few days after my 16th birthday, and was excited to put some money in my pocket, even if the hours were garbage and the people were even worse (trust me they were and still are haha).

Now when Kroger accepted my application and gave me a job, I was told that I had to join the union. I'm not exactly familiar with my employee rights or whatever, but I was fairly sure that I could not be forced to join a union. I was told that I wouldn't be given a job unless I joined, so I did. It all sounded fine and dandy anyways: my voice was going to be better heard and represented, it would bring the workplace together, and as a whole the employees of Kroger could better fight for what we believed in. I bought in.

I was well aware that the union took a piece of my paycheck, but was astonished at the size of the amount. Not only this, but the union is stupid! There I said it. I have no idea how the employees of Kroger and thus I am represented, and I still feel that my opinion is worthless. I believe that I'm essentially forced into an opinion which I may or may not hold myself, because I'm placed into the category of "the majority of the union believes 'X'." The union doesn't care about me, they just want my money. I guess my point is that I joined the union so that my voice would be heard, but in the end my voice is still not heard and the union goes to the liberty of taking a sizeable amount of my paycheck in exchange for the "services" they provide, the fruits of which are either not noticed by me or not extended to me. Okay end rant, final point: unions may not be as great as they seem.

I don't know how I feel about athletes being paid, but I consider myself to be a smart kid who will doubtlessly be applying to The Ohio State University in just a few months. There are not many things I wouldn't give to get my hands on a four year education without any debt, and to think that these athletes don't even care about their education or are put in pathetic classes and given an A- for a shitty paragraph written about Rosa Parks that the student probably had his tutor write up for him appalls me. So I ask why even bother calling them student athletes? That scholarship could be better used on literally anyone else. Yeah I just went there, and I hope that some of you who have had kids in college agree. Sorry, but I firmly believe in what has been said. We've all seen athletes in high school who play football yet can hardly read or write.

“This is America! And in America, if something sucks, you're supposed to be able to get your money back!”
-Stan

+5 HS
HattanBuck85's picture

You weren´t forced to join a union. This is America- you have the freedom to choose wherever you want to work. 90% of all workplaces are non-union. YOU just decided to work at union shop. And to be employed at a union shop, you have to join the union (now- you could be a fee payer if you would want). And by the way, there is a reason why there is a union at Krogers- the WORKERS voted in a DEMOCRATIC election to join the union. 

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

Oakland Buckeye's picture

you missed his point Hattan - he felt if he did not join he would not be hired....I worked for UpS in college & the strong armed tactics they used to try to force me to join were borderline mafioso. I was ostracized, forced to eat alone (who cares), hazed on the line, denied basic employee rights - denied OT & etc.... this 16 year old kid did what he thought he had no choice to do - wake up.

+2 HS
HattanBuck85's picture

If you don´t join the union in a union shop you will be fired. Most contracts, allow the union to direct management to fire any employee who is not in good standing (meaning they haven´t paid their dues- even after a letter was sent to them). And it´s fair. 

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

-4 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

And it´s fair.

Well except to the employee & the company.

+1 HS
HattanBuck85's picture

It's fair to the collective. That's what labor unions are about- collective action. WE comes before I. It's about solidarity. 

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

Oakland Buckeye's picture

You just negated your previous point Hattan & proved Homers - he WAS forced to join the union based on your last comment.

+1 HS
rdubs's picture

He could have worked elsewhere, but he chose to work for this employer instead.

-3 HS
HattanBuck85's picture

No he wasn't. He made the PERSONAL DECISION to join an employer that had a union shop. If he didn't want to join the union he could then CHOOSE to work somewhere else. Or he could become a fee-payer, meaning he would only have to pay around 60% of the normal dues.

To say that HE didn't want to join= he was FORCED to join a union is incorrect. A union, just like a politician, is voted in power in a democratic election. If you don't like the union then go find a job that is non-union. It's pretty easy- only 90%+ of the employers are non-union.

OR If you don't want to be in a union, then you need 30% of the workforce to sign cards saying they want to decertify the union. If you do this, it triggers a decertification election run by the NLRB.

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

+2 HS
OSUPhilosopherAndHomer's picture

That is correct I did choose. But I am certainly less than happy with the result. I applied to multiple places (Pet Supplies Plus, Meijer, Piada, Kroger obviously, Music Go Round) without a single response. I guess they see that I'm a 16 year old and automatically think "oh, well this kid is clearly a thug" haha. But that's not true. I do my homework, get good grades, and I play games on PC whenever I'm not working. Anyways I don't really know where I'm going with this response, but if unions were to become the norm in college athletics, and I'm not really sure that they would, the athletes wouldn't be able to choose. They would join the union and I'm sure some would like it. Some, however, would get caught up in it all, and would find their sentiment just as scorned as I find mine. In my opinion the union just takes your money until you can benefit their ultimate cause which is to stick it to the man that's got us all down! haha anyways I'm done I guess.

“This is America! And in America, if something sucks, you're supposed to be able to get your money back!”
-Stan

+2 HS
HattanBuck85's picture

Here are some things labor unions have done in America:

Weekends
All Breaks at Work, including your Lunch Breaks
Paid Vacation
FMLA
Sick Leave
Social Security
Minimum Wage
Civil Rights Act/Title VII (Prohibits Employer Discrimination)
8-Hour Work Day
Overtime Pay
Child Labor Laws
Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
40 Hour Work Week
Worker's Compensation (Worker's Comp)
Unemployment Insurance
Pensions
Workplace Safety Standards and Regulations
Employer Health Care Insurance
Collective Bargaining Rights for Employees
Wrongful Termination Laws
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
Whistleblower Protection Laws
Employee Polygraph Protect Act (Prohibits Employer from using a lie detector test on an employee)
Veteran's Employment and Training Services (VETS)
Compensation increases and Evaluations (Raises)
Sexual Harassment Laws
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
Holiday Pay
Employer Dental, Life, and Vision Insurance
Privacy Rights
Pregnancy and Parental Leave
Military Leave
The Right to Strike
Public Education for Children
Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 (Requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work)
Laws Ending Sweatshops in the United States

 

Just saying...

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

+3 HS
mb5599's picture

You forgot to add Detroit to your list.

Big B

-1 HS
Ericgobucks's picture

Globalization killed Detroit, not unions. Those manufacturing jobs were shipped overseas to pay a Chinese kid 40 cents an hour with no benefits and no worker protections. The difference in paying an American to do the work and an exploited poor person in a 3rd-tier economic country went into the corporate coffers and RIDICULOUS CEO salaries. It's a myth that unions killed Detroit. 

-3 HS
BamBamBuck's picture

Eric..please give us examples where unions and business co-exist and are co-profitable. Unions typically drive up the cost of every product in which they have influence (autos, fuel, education) and drive down quality (autos, education, etc). Point being, the consumer pays more for less when unions are involved.

BamBamBuck

HattanBuck85's picture

Kaiser Permanente:http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2014/02/kaiser-posts-27-billion-in-2013.html?page=all

Most densely unionized hospital in California.

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

+1 HS
andretolstoy's picture

I'm sure taxes had nothing to do with this - it was "rich folk being evil as usual". Oh, it was also EMINEM and that ridiculous Chrysler commercial ...

d5k's picture

Wait so you can cite a specific university/teacher as being the problem rather than the NCAA with academic fraud but then you cite Detroit as if all unions cause massive financial failures.  Public unions when coupled with corrupt government that kicks the can down the road rather than realizing and dealing with the massive future liabilities they are incurring can cause issues like Detroit but that doesn't mean every act of unionization or collective bargaining is evil or corrupt or harmful to society.  It is about power.  When one side of a transaction has all the leverage and power in every subsequent negotiation, primarily due to "free rider problems" where a single person has no incentive to fight for change because of the cost to do so, you come to a point where collective bargaining (or at least some method of gaining leverage for equitable negotiations) is necessary or the transaction may cease to exist ultimately.

mb5599's picture

It is telling that in Wisconsin (hardly a right to work state),  when given an actual of choice as to join a union or not, the majority of workers decided NOT to join the union.  If being a union member is so great, please explain that.

Big B

nm_buck's picture

7/8ths of that list had nothing to do with unions... just sayin'.

+1 HS
Bamabucknut's picture

When I went to work at a General Motors plant(to help fund my education/and put food on the table)....I did not vote to have my wages garnished by the union. Others voted years ago. I was not able to choose to not join . I did not want the union to confiscate my money, but they did and I could not stop them.

Jobs are not a dime a dozen(in case you haven't looked at the true unemployment numbers) . Under employment  is rampant. Growth of temp and non full time employment is soaring. Record numbers have left the work force completely because they have given up trying to get a job). In this tough employment market the ability to choose to not take a job with a  company that has a union is greatly reduced.

BTW  where does the money come from if schools are forced to pay athletes ?

The same place schools now go to get their funds. Increased tuition.....reduce the number of programs, athletes,teachers... from state legislatures taxing people more to give the money to schools etc etc.

+2 HS
d5k's picture

Had the union never existed, that job as you knew it with the wages you expected would not have existed.  Can unions behave corruptly?  Yes, but not any more corrupt than the entities on the other side of the negotiating table.  It is an interesting philosophical/psychological problem for me to understand why many people choose to side with the big business people rather than the workers whenever the workers actually stand up for themselves and try to negotiate for more money/benefits/whatever.

+2 HS
Oakland Buckeye's picture

I dont know who downvoted this kid - but I have a 17 year old son & would be busting with pride if he wrote this. - I have a feeling the future is bright for you young Homer.....

+4 HS
rdubs's picture

I don't know who is downvoting anyone on this thread.  None of the comments seem to warrant one.

EDIT:  Haha, LOL.  The irony....

+1 HS
OSUPhilosopherAndHomer's picture

Thanks, man. This is obviously not the right place but I guess now that you all know I'm 17 I just want to try and offer some pointless insight. I enjoy tradition just as much as you guys do, but please keep in mind my most distant football memory is losing to Florida in the championship. Heck, I was too young to even care, really. I remember how angry my Dad was, and I remember the score. Anyways, I digress. Tradition is great and all, but those all black uniforms from a month or so back were so epic, I could see why they would be considered, even if only as a recruiting tool. Also, I don't know how you guys felt about the helmets with the fat stripe and the almost holographic leaves, but I thought they looked sexy as hell.

“This is America! And in America, if something sucks, you're supposed to be able to get your money back!”
-Stan

+1 HS
741's picture

I had the same experience 30 years ago. I agree with you kid.

+3 HS
nm_buck's picture

The union doesn't care about me, they just want my money. I guess my point is that I joined the union so that my voice would be heard, but in the end my voice is still not heard and the union goes to the liberty of taking a sizeable amount of my paycheck in exchange for the "services" they provide, the fruits of which are either not noticed by me or not extended to me.

Welcome to the club.  Your dues are paying for the fat pensions of the union hierarchy, and to pay for political ads for candidates for which you probably wouldn't ever vote.  The idea that unions are for the 'little guy' is a farce... unions are for filling their own coffers. We went on strike back in 98, and missed four weeks of work.  The entire time all the union brass got their paychecks... we didn't get shit because a previous strike from another company had wiped out the strike fund.  Rest assured, after we got a contract (which was no better than the one originally proposed) the union took out their back-dues.

2morrow's picture

Does anyone know if or how much of the football revenue that is generated goes to need or merit-based scholarships for other students, athletic or non athletic at OSU?

Buckeyeneer's picture

My thought on unions is summed up by Harvey Dent: You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain. Once upon a time unions were important and necessary. They protected the workers and made sure that children didn't have to work 80 hours a week in an asbestos and lead paint manufacturing plant. However, they have often become as bloated and corrupt as the companies that they are supposed to be protecting the employees from.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes
THE Ohio State University

+2 HS
rdubs's picture

Did you know that the percent of corporate profits that go towards labor wages is at its lowest point in the history of our country?

+4 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Did you know that quoting a statistic without any context is meaningless?

-4 HS
nm_buck's picture

Ah yes the 'evil greedy corporation' meme.  Didn't take long.

Anyone who understands what it takes to actually run a business knows that the total amount a corporation spends on labor depends on the type of business it operates.

A family-owned restaurant that makes 500,000 in annual net sales might need 25 employees including managers to operate.  Labor in a restaurant averages 25-33%.  

I have a friend who is an attorney.  He has three partners, and two secretaries.  They took in over 3.5 million last year in gross receipts.  Their labor is about 2% of gross receipts.  

Who makes more?  Which is better for the country?  Guess we should take Billy Shakespeare's advice, eh?

rdubs's picture

You're the first one to mention greed, but since you did...  Everyone is greedy.  Shareholders, management, and labor are all greedy.  Everyone wants to maximize their share of the profits.  But since the decline of unions, 2 of those groups have made out very well, while the other has stagnated.  

A lot of factors impact labor wages, but unions have never had less power in our country and wages have never received a smaller portion of the profit.  I don't think that is a coincidence.  

+3 HS
nm_buck's picture

Agree 100% about greed.  

Unions are responsible for their own decline.  Take a look at detroit, chicago, and everywhere else that unions ruled the roost.  22 years in the Teamsters taught me more about unions and what they are about than any US history course could ever have done.  

Everything is cyclical.  There was a time when private unions were a necessary part of our economy.  Those days are long gone. Today we have government union employees being allowed to retire with full benefits after just 20 years of service and they retire at age 42 being able to collect their retirements for the next 40 years if they live to be 82.  There was a big stink here locally about a cadre of city employees who were double-dipping at a huge cost to the taxpayers.  They would retire after 20 years from their original position, and then grab another job in the same department (because they knew someone) and after ten more years be vested in a SECOND retirement.  

My old BA from our local worked for 20 years as a BA and earned a full retirement from the Teamsters.  Then he went on to become secretary treasurer and lo and behold he gets a second retirement.

Retirement was never meant to be for half of your life.  But that's the way it is in government unions, which are by far the largest percentage of unionized labor.  This is also the case with some private sector unions.  The fact that government unions are only beholden to the politicians they support, rather than the taxpayers (the shareholders) who support them, is going to be the ultimate downfall of this once-great nation.

It is unsustainable.

+1 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

You're the first one to mention greed, but since you did...  Everyone is greedy.  Shareholders, management, and labor are all greedy.  Everyone wants to maximize their share of the profits.  But since the decline of unions, 2 of those groups have made out very well, while the other has stagnated.  

That just isn't true at all. People are motivated by a host of factors beyond profit...meaning, acceptance, challenge, pride, social responsibility etc.

A lot of factors impact labor wages, but unions have never had less power in our country and wages have never received a smaller portion of the profit.  I don't think that is a coincidence

Unions have never had less power than they do now? Prior to Commonwealth vs Hunt in 1842 organized unions were mostly deemed to be illegal & were prosecuted. Of course there are points in our history where unions have had less power than today.
You're still repeating a single statistic and making assumptions about what it means without looking at what other factors may have influenced it. The bulk of the US economy is driven by very different industries in 2014 than it was in 1934. 
Regardless, whether or the role of unions on a national scale is far outside the scope of this discussion and wanders too far into the realm of politics.
Ericgobucks's picture

This is another dick post. This has nothing to do with the debate other than to be rude. If position is strong, argue the  merits. 

-7 HS
mb5599's picture

All you hear from unions are how business are greedy and how they exploit the workers.  Have you ever taken a look at the annual salaries of the top union officials?  How are the CEO's greedy, but the union officials are not?  Also, I have never understood why the workers (who feel so exploited by business) do not pool their resources and start their own company.  Then they can pay their workers whatever they want, shorten the work week, lengthen breaks, offer top of the line health care, etc..   Funny how none of the unions or those who feel exploited ever do this. It's a whole different story when you are the one who has to struggle and scrape by to start up a business.

Big B

-1 HS
HattanBuck85's picture

Oh really, MB5599? Let's check your facts:

Highest-Paid CEOs in 2013:

Ticker Company CEO Name Year Compensation ($)
ORCL ORACLE CORP Lawrence J. Ellison 2012 $96,160,696
TSLA TESLA MOTORS INC Elon Musk 2012 $78,150,010
GBL GAMCO INVESTORS INC Mario J. Gabelli 2012 $68,970,486
ATVI ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INC Robert A. Kotick 2012 $64,942,306
CBS CBS CORP Leslie Moonves 2012 $62,157,026
LNG CHENIERE ENERGY INC Charif Souki 2012 $57,518,332
CACC CREDIT ACCEPTANCE CORP Brett A. Roberts 2012 $54,282,500
MCK MCKESSON CORP John H. Hammergren 2013 $51,744,999
DISCA DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC David M. Zaslav 2012 $49,932,867
HCA HCA HOLDINGS INC Richard M. Bracken 2012 $46,359,246
LINTA LIBERTY INTERACTIVE CORP Gregory B. Maffei 2012 $45,302,040
JEF JEFFERIES GROUP LLC Richard B. Handler 2012 $45,182,239
LVLT LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS INC James Q. Crowe 2012 $40,708,970
XOM EXXON MOBIL CORP R. W. Tillerson 2012 $40,266,501
DIS DISNEY (WALT) CO Robert A. Iger 2012 $40,227,848
NUAN NUANCE COMMUNICATIONS INC Paul A. Ricci 2012 $37,077,679
YHOO YAHOO INC Marissa A. Mayer 2012 $36,615,404
RL RALPH LAUREN CORP Ralph Lauren 2012 $36,325,782
NKE NIKE INC Mark G. Parker 2012 $35,212,678
PLL PALL CORP Lawrence Kingsley 2012 $33,862,509
VIAB VIACOM INC Philippe P. Dauman 2012 $33,450,824
HON HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC David M. Cote 2012 $33,247,178
CVX CHEVRON CORP J. S. Watson 2012 $32,227,122
NLY ANNALY CAPITAL MANAGEMENT Michael A.J. Farrell 2012 $32,016,284
WRB BERKLEY (W R) CORP William R. Berkley 2012 $31,296,780
PRU PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL INC John R. Strangfeld Jr. 2012 $30,693,655
TYC TYCO INTERNATIONAL LTD Edward D. Breen 2012 $30,552,734
KO COCA-COLA CO Muhtar Kent 2012 $30,460,186

The highest paid union official (outside of sports & entertainment trades) was Gerald McEntee of AFSCME, who made over $1.2 million. Nowhere close to what the highest paid CEOs made last year.

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

+1 HS
mb5599's picture

 Where did the money come from to pay McEntee's salary?  McEntee gets his salary from the union dues that are taken directly from the workers.  Those CEO's you listed are in charge of multibillion dollar companies that produce products, make profits, and employee millions of people.  But by all means, feel free to start your own company and get yourself some of that "dirty" money.

Big B

-4 HS
Oakland Buckeye's picture

Dude - enough of your long winded socialist rants on unions. We get it - your'e in a union, probably high up there - maybe even collecting a side check as a union officer off other peoples dues. You are not going to convince anti-union people otherwise. I realise your union is almost a religion for you - many others see them as corrupt, controlling, special interest serving & at times, thuggish. Unions were necessary at the turn of the century as labor conditions were horrible, but they became money hungry like every other entity in business and are nothing more than a tool for socialist. Your 1st unending post is not accurate  - unions are to thank for a small portion, legislators had more to do with those benefits.

-1 HS
Ericgobucks's picture

Oh so now unions are socialism? If you have socialism you don't need unions. Not too bright are you? Collective bargaining is part of Capitalism and always has been. 

-5 HS
HattanBuck85's picture

Yeah, dude- you lose it when you make the whole "socialist" connection there. It's an easy thing to throw out that term (which you use as a pejorative) when you don't understand the facts. 

And I'm not even going to touch your last sentence because that is just absurd. 

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

+1 HS
nm_buck's picture

Yeah but all those guys in your list actually ACCOMPLISH something, and have to earn their paychecks from the BODs.  If you don't like how they reward their CEOs, don't buy their product or invest in their stock.  Pretty simple.  

+1 HS
Ericgobucks's picture

I love how many message board warriors are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, or they would all have you believe they are all business owners. These are the same clowns who say you can't tax businesses and social security is killing America. 

-2 HS
Buckeyeneer's picture

Rdubs, I am not necessarily anti-union, but it was more a comment on greed and corruption. Unionization is a noble idea ruined by this. We need workers to be protected, however, the few times I was in a union it appeared that it had fallen well of the path from its once noble purpose. As I was working my way through college I saw shitty employees keep their jobs because the union rep was a close friend or cousin. I don't have answers but the loss of luster and backlash against unions that we see here is a self- inflicted wound because the people who should be working for the betterment of the employees too often works for the benefit of itself.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes
THE Ohio State University

+1 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

Nicholas, I think this was a very well-written, and very fair look at this whole situation, but far too many people are looking at this and focusing on their perception that the students simply want more money, but already get plenty. I think you did a great job of reminding us all that the real focus, from the student athlete perspective, is gaining rights and more control over the process for themselves. The fact that, for many, their scholarships are not guaranteed for 4 years, is bullshit. The fact that they can be greatly limited by the school they want to leave, if they should ask to transfer, is ridiculous. These and other issues, are what's at the heart of this.

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

+1 HS
mb5599's picture

I agree, but those issues can and should be addressed through other channels.  One you allow unions into the picture, you will quickly lose control.  Do you honestly think the union bosses wont want a piece of the pie?  How long will it be before a star athlete wants a percentage of the gate, merchandising, concessions, etc.?  I believe Colter's heart was in the right place, but he has made a deal with the devil and it will have a hugely negative impact on college football as we know it.

Big B

-3 HS
Aesculus.'s picture

Make no mistake, the public realization that concussions are all part of the game, shifted the public's perspective to create empathy for the college players.  This is really going to help fuel this whole college football unionization.  Doesn't matter if you think it's right or wrong.  The perception right now is that college football players are being taken advantage of.    

Cover all sports related injuries for the lifetime of the player.  Players shouldn't have to pay a dime for health insurance, ever.  Keep college an amatuer sport.  Up the stipend to whatever the NCAA or college thinks appropriate and let the player make a fair cut on the merchandise. Keep the royalties in a escrow account until the player 1)Graduates. 2) Turns 30.  

This sends the message of education first.  If they want the money, then graduate.  They turn pro instead, fine, there's a payday waiting for them after their 20's.  

 

11/8/2014 @Michigan State aka Payback

+2 HS
mb5599's picture

Will allowing them to profit off of the merchandising cause them to lose their amateur status?  Also, do you think that if the unions get involved, that they will stop at just those things you listed? I dont think so.  The union leadership and their attorneys will wring every last nickel they can out of the players and the schools.  They do not do their jobs for free and the more they get, the more the schools will cut other areas.  The unions and the schools will still get their money.  It will be the students, other sports, facilities, etc. which will suffer.  College athletics will change forever.

Big B

-2 HS
Aesculus.'s picture

Will allowing them to profit off of the merchandising cause them to lose their amateur status? 

Depends on what the definition of amateur status is.  To me, earning the money and receiving the money can be differentiated.  It preserves the amateur status because the money is received after they are no longer amateurs. 

Also, do you think that if the unions get involved, that they will stop at just those things you listed? I dont think so.

I agree, that's why I think it's important to make the changes now.  Once all the privatized schools go to unions, it's only a matter of time before the publics schools do.  So the onus is on the NCAA and universities to break off a better deal now, rather than wait for unions to take over.....although it might just be too late.

The union leadership and their attorneys will wring every last nickel they can out of the players and the schools. 

Yeah probably.  But this is a very interesting dynamic.  The universities have a much better argument for allocation of funds than say an NFL team owner.  We're talking about public education vs. private bank accounts.  If the students and their lawyers want to get greedy they will have to take money away from their fellow students.  Will the courts allow public schools to unionize sports?  We may not even get there.  

 College athletics will change forever. 

The only constant in life is change, my friend.

 

 

 

11/8/2014 @Michigan State aka Payback

+1 HS
theopulas's picture

people getting rich on nothing but the sweat of others...meaning those who are only selling the talent of people but don't want to share in the profits with those people...this is how it always is...."we take care of them....they are better of with us..."...i love college sports but whats right has to come first and let the chips fall where they may....they should be made to totally share the money...

Theopulas

Ericgobucks's picture

I love the article and the author's age has nothing to do with his points.  The thin veil behind this article and subsequent comments is politics. It comes down to a pro-union vs anti-union worldview. As many of the posters on this or any message board are older, white, and conservative. They tend to be anti-union for their own reasons and that is their right. However you feel about unions, these kids are no amateur athletes and haven't been for a long time. They are conditioned as well as professional athletes, spend hours and hours per week in film study, obsessively have to study a playbook, go to organized meals, and have study tables for their academics. Like myself, almost none of the posters on this message board have been through this and the demands that are placed on these athletes. They are not permitted to hold a job and even if they could there aren't enough hours in a week. I love college football because it's still a "purer" game than the professional. However, as far as amateurism, the horse has LONG left the barn. Stop pretending this is 1950 and a college degree was a fair trade off for the rigors of college athletics. I am personally sick of hearing a bunch of couch warriors expecting college athletes to maintain a compensation system that was more suited to the 1960's or 1970's. If you guys are pissed off, direct it at the appropriate source. The NCAA has a monopoly on governance of college sports and they are guaranteed to make billions off the sports without any investment whatsoever. If you are pissed, be pissed at the dinosaur of an organization that bears the initials NCAA and all the shady, greedy, manipulative things they have been doing to college athletes for so long. The NCAA won't even compromise on allowing money made from a jersey sold on campus to go to the player even in the form of a trust after their eligibility is over. They fight tooth and nail to maintain the current system because it is insanely profitable. Ask John Junker how profitable college athletics are and what kind of shady shit goes down in the name of "amateurism." This is all happening because the death grip the NCAA has on it's profit stream. So, if you have some frustration to direct, aim in the right direction--------->NCAA. 

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Do you have any idea what the NCAA actually is?

-2 HS
Ericgobucks's picture

Yeah it's the North Carolina Automobile Association. 

+2 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Smart ass :D

People go on this long winded anti-NCAA rants like it's a remote boardroom full of land baron era fat cats using $1,000 bills to light cigars.

Ohio State is the NCAA. UD is the NCAA. The University of Cincinnati is the NCAA. Ohio U is the NCAA. The University of Toledo is the NCAA. Youngstown State is the NCAA. Mountain Union is the NCAA. The NCAA is all of the member institutions.

The NCAA board of directors isn't depositing billions of dollars in Swiss banks while stepping on poor starvin' college athletes. Almost all of the NCAA revenue goes to the schools & yes the student athletes (look up the Student Assistance Fund).

 

+1 HS
mb5599's picture

I have no issue with "blowing up" the NCAA.  They have been an unmitigated disaster for a while now.  That being said, do you really think unionizing will actually fix the problem?  The players would be trading one corrupt organization for another.  Players should be allowed to go to the NFL straight out of high school it they have enough talent and a team will draft them.  Or the NFL needs to start up a "farm system" for those players who want to be paid and bypass an education.  Let the player have a choice.  People would still watch college football because even though better talent may be in the farm system instead of the collegiate ranks, people love college football.  People have a personal attachment to certain schools and would watch even if the talent level took a dip.

Big B

-1 HS
HattanBuck85's picture

"Let the players have a choice." I agree with you. Many of the college football players agree with that sentence of yours. That's why some are unionizing. 

And I would ask you another question: do you think the NFL players would be OK with getting rid of their "corrupt" union? The answer is no. 

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

Colby3333's picture

Quick fix.  Void all athletic scholarships and propose student-athlete loans.  If pay for play it is, then use the interest generated from the loans.  All sports and schools pay the same and the consumer is not drilled for the payout.  The athlete pays back the loan just like any other student going to college on loans.

-3 HS
theopulas's picture

college begs players to come to there school.....schools wouldn't go for your idea...

Theopulas

-1 HS
Colby3333's picture

Under the current system.  If that is the only option?  The schools may have no other choice.

Brutal Brutus's picture

Can you say, "slippery slope"?  Time for the  "Big Boy" conferences to kick the NCAA to the curb!

The fix - pull the football and basketball programs out of the mix, create a separate governing body, and make academics optional.  Additionally, offer the players a contract where both the institution and the "independent contractor" agree to a "governing-body sanctioned" compensation plan.  The contract would also outline how both the institution and contractor can profit off of both the likeness of the player and his association with the institution.

Stop the insanity....

Fear the Nut...

+2 HS
krodawg's picture

...and make academics optional. 

If academics are optional under this scenario then what affiliation to these teams would the academic institution have? 

 

+1 HS
The Butler's picture

You know, I have never understood why athletes were not allowed to major in the sport that brought them to the university. While there are athletes that come to school to get an education, why shouldn't the Cardale Jones' of the world be allowed to major in football or basketball (or whatever sport)? If a kid has the desire and ability to be a professional athlete, why not at least give him the basic tools he needs to succeed at the next level - physically & financially? I would think that if universities were truly interested in the athletes best interest, they would want them to have the basic knowledge for the job they intend to pursue after college.

I've trained Canaries in the sport of falconry.

 

NC_Buckeye's picture

A major based on a game is not a field of study. Any school that did that would probably lose their accreditation. And rightly so. The mission of Ohio State is higher education.

+1 HS
The Butler's picture

It wouldn’t be a major based on a game; it would be a major based on the business of sports. It wouldn’t be just about learning the tactics of the game; it would deal with all of the aspects of a career in professional sports – including nutrition, physical fitness, business, business law, and anything else that goes along with being a professional athlete. All of the classes already exist at Ohio State – or any major university. It would just be a matter putting together a curriculum for a four year course of study – and nobody would lose their accreditation. It’s not like they would be working towards certification in Sports/Commercial Turf Equipment.

I've trained Canaries in the sport of falconry.

 

HeuermanTheFireman's picture

If they want to get paid cut all the players and I will play for just a measly scholarship.

The person responsible for toes clearly wanted you to stub them.

+1 HS
bleedscarlet's picture

Actions speak louder than words and since these kids are busting their asses to get into the mean, controlling, unfair universities.....

I'm too drunk to taste this chicken

-2 HS
krodawg's picture

Student athletes want to be defined as an employee? How about the schools then elect to add language in the "offer" that binds both parties into an at-will employment scenario? I can quit, you can fire at any time for any reason. It's how my employment is governed.

Go with the stipend kids. The grass is not always greener.

+1 HS
buckskin's picture

Agreed with posts above that this could hurt college athletes severely. Colter has stated that he currently receives 75,000 a year in " compensation" . This is a very good yearly salary for any college athlete. Also, does the nlrb have jurisdiction over the NCAA, B1G, or school athletic departments or not? If players strike, I could see a big time program dropping its sports program just to make a point, then what? Tread carefully players, this whole thing could blow up.

+1 HS
HattanBuck85's picture

NLRB only has jurisdiction over private institutions (in regards to labor-management issues). Public employees, like Ohio State players, would have to go through the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB). The ruling on the Northwestern case only affects Northwestern football players, although the ruling by the NLRB will allow other private school football players to seek unionization.

But I can PROMISE you this: we are only in the 1st inning here. Appeals will be filed. The NLRB is severely underfunded meaning that some cases can take years to process. I know of cases where it has taken over 5 years for workers just to have an election. The NLRB, no matter where you lean politically, is a joke. This thing is gonna take a long time to play out. 

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

Ericgobucks's picture

And I am sure you know why there is such a backlog for the NLRB. I can tell you its no accident. 

-1 HS
HattanBuck85's picture

Yep- you are absolutely correct.

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

+1 HS
BuckeyeOfTheTiger's picture

Seriously, how many of these student-athletes take out student loans to pay for their extraneous expenses?  Why are student loans not a valid option for these student-athletes who just need some extra money to manage their cost of living?  Then they can pay their loans back and have to learn to manage their money responsibly, because the kids who will go pro will be able to pay their loans back with their huge pro salary and the kids who won't will have to be cautious about the amount of loans they take out so they can pay them back on a likely lower salary, like every other college student.

+2 HS
Eph97's picture

Just let boosters pay whatever they want, in essence becoming benefactors to players. Also, let players sell their autographs. It is un-American to not get paid. What a joke when Gene Smith gets a bonus for a wrestler winning a title. Why should Nick Saban earn $7 million a year based on the labor of 18-22 year olds playing for in-state tuition worth only $25k a year? Saban isn't risking injury while his players are.

No other industry allows this collusion and one-sidedness where the employer has all the power.

-1 HS
Ericgobucks's picture

I can tell who every poster on this thread voted for in November. This thread is simply a left vs. right political debate. Pro labor people vs. those who believe in corporate supremacy. To say anything otherwise is disingenuous.

-4 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Given that broad brush you just used perhaps you shouldn't be accusing others of being disingenuous.

+1 HS
Ericgobucks's picture

Hey sport, I said this is nothing more than an unspoken political debate. I didn't say if you voted for candidate X, you are being disingenuous. You response makes no sense. 

-4 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

No what you did was incorrectly assume this is a binary discussion based upon your own world view (with a little passive aggressive shot at the side you don't agree with).

Couple that with your numerous ad hominems towards various people in the thread you disagree with, it might be a good idea for you to take a breather until you get your emotions under control.

+2 HS
kmp10's picture

Respect your opinion but I disagree. I don't consider college students/football players to be "labor". That's the polarizing part of this entire debate to me. They play a game, and in return for playing that game they get school and life paid for by their university. They aren't depending on college football to meet their financial obligations (the school already meets those for them), put food on their table (again, the school takes care of that for them), provide their healthcare (once more, school provides that for them) or pay their mortgage (last time… school provides housing for them). If they want to bypass college and start an NFL 'B" league, unionize to ensure fair working conditions, pay, healthcare, time off, et al, then fine. Go ahead and do that and I'll be the first guy to support those efforts… but I do not support 18 - 22 year old kids who already have so much insisting that they deserve much more. The VAST majority of these guys will never play a single down on Sunday, and many play very few downs on Saturday. Those student/athletes are getting one helluva deal and to hear them say otherwise is an insult to all the kids who leave their university six figures in debt. 

If college simply isn't for you and you're only in "school" to showcase your football ability then go to Canada and play. The average salary in the CFL seems to be between 80-90k / year. If you're a five star stud coming out of an Ohio high school, i.e Braxton Miller, secure an agent, make it known you're skipping college and want to play for pay in the CFL (the CFL has no minimum age requirement like the NFL) and negotiate with all the teams lining up for your services. Put three years in and if you're as good as most of these kids seem to think they are then you'll be in the NFL once three years removed from high school… and you'll have made around a quarter million dollars honing your skill. You can join the CFLPA, a REAL union organized by actual LABOR; guys who are feeding their families and putting roofs over their heads via their JOB as a PROFESSIONAL football player. Listening to Kain Colter, in my opinion, is comical. Here's a kid who, by his own admission, would never have been accepted into an elite university like Northwestern if not for football. He has a DEBT FREE start in life and a degree from an academic bastion that will, all things being equal, serve as his personal tie breaker for the rest of his existence. He had a four year FREE life experience in one of this country's great cities, played B1G football and enjoyed all the benefits and accoutrements that go along with that, and was able to build a network that is unimaginable for the regular student and will benefit him for his entire professional life… all because of the chance to play college football. 

+3 HS
NC_Buckeye's picture

Actually I lean left and I'm vehemently against paying players anything more than what the typical graduate-assistant makes as a stipend.

I'm not jealous of these kids abilities. Nope. I just think the majority of them have dismissed the one thing that will ensure they have future livelihoods... a degree. They major in General Studies and other nonsense that's been designed to get them a degree with the least possible academic effort (which is a lot better than the ones who never have any intentions of getting a degree in the first place I guess).

They do this because they are confident in their abilities. That they will be in that 7-10% that will actually have a professional career. Odds are that they won't though.So reality sets in finally. But the sense of entitlement doesn't. Instead of thinking (like a normal person) that they should actually have taken the opportunity to get an education seriously. Their thoughts immediately turn to how their university cashed in on their abilities and that they deserve their share of that money. So they sign on to the lawsuits and the players unions and whatever the hell else these lawyers are going to come up with (truly the sharks are smelling blood in the water).

Like M Man said above. I want my alma mater to refocus on amateur athletics not be more professional. If this all ends with collective bargaining and college football as a second professional league -- I'm going to make sure that the board, the president, the faculty senate... basically anyone with some authority on campus... knows that I want Ohio State to pull out of D-I athletics altogether. And if this happens and you feel similarly -- I encourage you to do the same. Contact all the stakeholders on campus and let them know.

+2 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Well said NC. People really seem to be missing the forest for the trees here.

Buckeye419er's picture

You want money.. give me a 5 year contract that includes graduation. Still want the money?

+3 HS
darkhorse3d's picture

Well written. Really enjoyed this article. 

theopulas's picture

funny how people who don't like unions don't want anyone to have the right to unionize.....

Theopulas

HattanBuck85's picture

I know- it's pretty ironic. Also, I find it comical that most people who hate unions also hate freeloaders. But they are the same people who believe they should be able to have ALL the union benefits without paying a DIME. Most of the anti-union folks call unions freeloaders- but the union(s) (or as I would call it- a collective of WORKERS) are the ones who are not asking for a handout. They are coming together to negotiate wages, benefits, etc. without any handouts. It's the complete opposite of a handout. And many of these workers had to go on strike and risk their livelihoods to fight to get these wages, benefits, etc.

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

-1 HS