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Should OSU athletics reclassify to Division III to avoid pay-for-play?

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Poison nuts's picture

People can answer this question however they please, but if you're answering yes, I have a question: Why?

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

topher3003's picture

I answered yes but it's really hard to put into words why I feel that way. Basically it boils down to the fact that I agree with Delany's overriding principle that football/basketball players shouldn't be treated any differently than the rest of the student athletes on campus.

Poison nuts's picture

While I agree in principle with not paying athletes, would you truly be content seeing OSU become a div3 school, playing div3 competition? I have a hard time believing this would make anyone happy...It's all a very complicated scenario, but at the end of the day, if these kids are making millions for the university, then I suppose it wouldn't be the end of the world to pay them something extra...even if I agree with the principles of amateur athletics. What I don't want to see is OSU playing crosstown rival Otterbein or the like on a weekly basis. Can't imagine anyone does.

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

jeremytwoface's picture

It wouldn't be maintainable. If OSU wouldn't have scholarships to give out, it would attract almost 0 talent. People would stop coming to games against Baldwin Wallace and Capital (yes, I had to look up to see what Division III schools were in Ohio).
You can't tell me they would fill Ohio Stadium.

Poison nuts's picture

No, it would definitely not fill The Shoe, athletics would crumble, the school would hemorrhage money if they tried to keep all the athletic programs they have, the school on the whole would suffer - IMHO it would be a disaster.

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

topher3003's picture

Athletics would certainly take a huge hit, but I highly doubt it would cause that big of an effect on the school as a whole. OSU football brings in around $50 million dollars in revenue each year, which is only ~1% of the academic budget of $5 billion

Unky Buck's picture

What he's saying, though, is that OSU could not afford to pay for the other sports that football (and basketball to an extent) essentially pays for. If the school tried to keep those sports open, they would be losing a lot of money. Regardless of the budget for academics, the school does not want to be losing millions upon millions of dollars to try and keep other sports running.
On top of all that, though, has anyone thought of the ramifications on the local businesses that thrive on home games? I worked at the Varsity Club nearly my entire time through college and I know that those home games bring in enough money to support that place for most of of the year, if not the whole year. You take that away, now you're taking away something that businesses are relying upon to survive. This isn't just about an athletic department, this is about a whole community that it will essentially affect.

...

Poison nuts's picture

You said it Unky, that's pretty much what I was thinking.

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

buckeyefanatic's picture

>> the principles of amateur athletics
By what definition?  The NCAA's definition is a joke and is there to line their own pockets with $$$.  Love hearing Jay Bilas talk about it because he is so fed up with the NCAA and their BS when it comes to protecting the principles of amateurism.

How many batteries does it take to beat Michigan football?   1AA
Want to beat Michigan? There's an App for that.

faux_maestro's picture

Just trollin'. Just like Delany.

Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

buck-I.8's picture

Maybe I should take the time to read the information, but I don't have that luxury at the moment; Can someone tell me why reclassifying would be avoiding pay-for-play? Technically DIII programs can't aid athletes additionally anyway..

chicagobuckeye's picture

You answered your own question. They wouldn't be in pay for play because at D3 you can't aid athletes any more than anyone else.

buck-I.8's picture

So what's the difference? Why play worse competition and still force athletes to pay their own way? (In theory of course, as DIII schools routinely give athletic scholarships under different names)

Bucksfan's picture

Right.  The question isn't exactly the real issue, because the question takes seriously a passive-aggressive, sarcastic take from Delany on the situation.  The reason I answered no, even though I agree with Delany's underlying point, is that EVERYONE is going to have to comply with the pay-for-play rules.  This is going to knock EVERYONE down.  The B1G is actually the most well-equipped to deal with a change in financial structure if one came to pass.  Delany's comments about moving to D3 are strange in light of this.  I don't think the B1G will have to move to D3 because D1 is going just adopt a D3 model.

buckeyedude's picture

Huh? ***scratching head***
Why? So OSU can compete with Mount Union for championships?

 
 

RedStorm45's picture

Is this a serious question?

jeremytwoface's picture

No it's not.. read the Skull Session today.
In regards to the lawsuit filed against the NCAA by former players wanting compensation for them using their likeness, Jim Delany said he would rater use the Division III model than a pay-to-play system. He said if that was the case, Big Ten schools would "take steps to downsize the scope, breadth, and activity of their athletic programs."
Pretty dumb ass thing to say by Delany.
 

yrro's picture

They are so committed to making millions of dollars off of amateurism... it's really important that they don't soil this system with money :P

jthiel09's picture

If the commissioner of the Ess Eee See made a statement like this it would be National News.
If colleges like OSU, Nebraska or Michigan moved down to DIII what would that do for the non-BCS conference schools?

JT

cronimi's picture

I think the poll lacked the obvious third option: HELL NO, ARE YOU #@$*&^% KIDDING ME?!?!?

d1145fresh's picture

I really think Delany is using the typical law school argument of the slippery slope. In this instance if O'Bannon is correct, players will be able to get a portion of the TV revenue from the NCAA. While this makes some sense, schools are also required to abide by Title IX granting relatively equal financial support for both men's and women's sports. In Delany's argument, if you are dividing a school's athletic budget roughly 50/50 between the sports and you are now adding (random figure) 5 million of TV revenue to be given to player's for their TV revenue. Most of this money would come from football and men's basketball and those players are arguing they deserve the highest piece of that pie. Thus, if O'Bannon wins the class certification and it is stated the players deserve a piece of TV revenue, schools will be in a difficult position of retaining the 50/50 split under title IX. Would you give all 5 million to football and men's basketball players considering they are the teams bringing in the TV revenue? This would cause another lawsuit, I would imagine, by female and small sport athletes asking for their money. Or in the alternative, it would cause another lawsuit by men's football and basketball players arguing they deserve the highest amount of money from the TV revenue.  Would a school like Ohio State or Texas be at a severe disadvantage because they offer the most sports? In essence, IMO, what Delany is stating is that if the NCAA/Big Ten/OSU has to pay student athletes from TV revenue it is going to cause so many more problems that it might be simpler to reclassify to DIII so they can just avoid all of these problems. While it is an extreme statement, it epitomizes the slippery slope argument that allowing this lawsuit to go forward will cause numerous unforeseen problems in the future. 

buckeye76BHop's picture

HELL no!

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."
Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

skiehl's picture

Pretty sure the B1G would dissolve before this happened.

Riggins's picture

Memo to all: If colleges were forced to cough up 40% of TV revenue to athletes, they all lose money. By lose money, I mean they can no longer pay their own bills.  They're in the red.  Even Ohio State.  Only 25-30 athletic departments are even profitable right now.  Football and to a lesser extent subsidize all the other sports.  If the athletic departments become even less self-sufficient, I don't think many college presidents would see continuing to fund all of these sports a worthwhile venture.

Gametime's picture

That's not necessarily true, you're assuming way too large a chunk of what T.V. revenue actually is.

For Ohio State in particular, we have the numbers from the 2010-11 season where Ohio State had a net income of $18.6 Million. According to this article from ESPN of that same year, the BIG split $284 Million, with Nebraska getting "new member" slash in their cut until 2017, averaging to be about $24.6 Million per school for T.V. revenue. IF, the Ohio State Men's Basketball & Football teams' players were warranted the proposed 40% split, (what would that be like 25/15% Football/Basketball?) and the other programs still received their run off from the top earning sports for support, etc, and I'd assume maybe the 3% they contribute to the T.V. deals (if that?) then we're looking at a grand total around $10.57 Million going to the players (of all sports) of each school in the BIG. 

Ohio State in that case would still retain a Net Income of $8 Million. Schools like Wisconsin, Purdue, Northwestern, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, & Indiana would be in the "red" based on that static number, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State would be fine.

Adding Rutgers & Maryland's footprints however, are estimated to bring in an additional $100 Million (or more)of T.V. revenue to split.  So adding two teams & that figure would produce a split of $27.4 Million (out of an assumed $384 Million) which would calculate to a T.V. revenue split of $11.8 Million for the players (of all sports).

Depending on the years - expenses will vary more dramatically with facility upgrades/construction of sorts - but most of these schools easily afford it depending on it's allocation IMO.

Just thought I'd sharpen the noggin on some numbers ^_^.

...I too dream in color and in rhyme
So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house
Cause whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth
A touch of God rains out...

Danify's picture

GAMETIME, Big props for crushing the numbers, learned something new about the finanical structure of the Big Ten. Thanks for that ^^.

Gametime's picture

Np Danify!

...I too dream in color and in rhyme
So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house
Cause whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth
A touch of God rains out...

Riggins's picture

You're not considering the whole host of other issues that pop up once athletes start getting paid.
- The big one is athletic departments losing their tax exempt status.  (If they won't already after all this conference realignment shenanigans)
- Losing potential donors who could no longer make tax deductible contributions to their favorite "non-profit".
- Say goodbye to tax-exempt and interest-free bonds for stadium and facility construction.  You now get to pay through the nose like the rest of us.
- Not only would the student-athlete's new income be taxed, but by losing their amateur status, I think the value of their scholarships would be taxed as well.
But if I'm reading that right, you're proposing paying the football and men's basketball athletes, but not the non-revenue sports?  Or at least unequal pay?  That'll go over swell with the Title IX crowd. 
 
I'm in favor of a stipend of a few thousand dollars for student athletes to cover the "cost of attending college", but 95% of athletes don't warrant being paid more than the cost of their scholarship.  That's why I favor the Olympic model for player compensation.  If McDonald's wants to sponsor Braxton Miller, that's fine.  The market will decide who warrants compensation above and beyond scholarship/room & board.  It also avoids the Title IX issues that would necessitate paying your starting QB and a female cross country runner the same.  The market would decide who is worth it.  I bet Brittany Griner (Baylor basketball phenom) could even fetch some sponsorships this year though.
 

Gametime's picture

Depends on how they package it my friend. You know these Wall Street/Finance gurus can find loopholes in anything regarding money. 

I largely doubt they would lose tax exemption because the student-athletes would remain as such, rather than working employees subject to a specific string of laws pertaining to that.

I would think of it as a similar arrangement from the negotiating standpoint of the BIG as an entity itself dealing with that, then the universities as some sort of subsidary effect via contract and specifics of allocation via contract with flux by circumstance - baaahh it was all really vague speculation for fun anyway.
On that note, I agree with you 100% with the Olympic-style endorsement for star players - but the TV package example, while I'm sure selling Ohio State, Michigan, BIG Basketball, etc. are the stronger selling points; somewhere the everyone is getting an equal cut - so my suggestion was more or less along the lines of how the higher revenue sports bring in income to support non-revenue sports, that in the same vein, players who compete but don't generate the revenue for the programs could still get a small percentage based on whatever portion is represented in the contract language.

Whatever the case, these schools can't keep making cash hand over fist off these kids without some tweaking to the definition of "amateurism" or if somehow a school could act as a defacto sponsor to the student-athlete in which additional stipends could be granted on as needed basis. 

Good post!

...I too dream in color and in rhyme
So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house
Cause whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth
A touch of God rains out...

Oakland Buckeye's picture

Hey Chicken Little! Have some common sense people, Delaney is not going to eliminate own relevance, revenue & position by moving to d3. That this is being discussed is comical - This is nothing more than posturing on Delany's part to tell the O'bannons of the work that you come too hard, you may kill the cash cow for all of us! It's mainly about licensing of images, that issue is easily solved in varying your marketing approach.
Fresh is right - Delaney is illustrating - "If you think THAT is bad, here's what else could come when you open pandoras box"

Michael's picture

Good write-up about this over at The Big Lead:

Let’s say, hypothetically, Delany saw a settlement over amateurism as inevitable. Does he spell out exactly what he thinks now? Or, does he take a hard line? The latter would let him frame the debate as far toward his side as possible and reassure the most recalcitrant Big Ten presidents, before subtly nudging them in the direction they needed to go. Sound familiar? That’s precisely what happened with the playoff.

Source: http://www.thebiglead.com/index.php/2013/03/19/jim-delany-has-a-history-of-saying-outlandish-things-rose-bowl-big-ten-realignment-expansion-and-the-division-iii-model-threats-are-the-latest/

JTownBuckeye's picture

New Poll: Is Jim Delany a moron for suggesting this? Yes or No? I vote yes.

smith5568's picture

I vote no, see comment above yours by Michael. 

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

OSU sport will always be big time sports.  I don't ever see us moving away from D1. 

Seth4Bucks's picture

Huh, there's a lot more yes votes than I would've thought. I figured the yes votes would've been less on a site dedicated towards OSU athletics. Now, I wouldn't have been as surprised if these results reflected a straw poll of the general OSU fan population and not us addicts who need daily doses of 11W or we'd suffer withdrawal.