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How do you hope the O'Bannon case turns out?


FROMTHE18's picture

sure the NCAA and its procedures are flawed, but what isnt? I think chaos would ensure with any significant changes (be it dissolve or reorganization)...keep it the same.

rdubs's picture

I am not convinced those are the only outcomes.  I could see some resolution where the NCAA has to pay those who have graduated (or otherwise no longer eligibile) to continue to use their image, but current athletes continue essentially as is.

awarren84's picture

I get annoyed when people act like athletes aren't compensated...They have the absolute best paying college job around. With and average cost of $20,000-$40,000 tuition depending on in state outta state tuitions plus u add in housing paid food, clothes, and tutoring. Also given the opportunity for future earning potential. Nobody is forced to attend college. But obviously it's the best way to show case talents to make a lot of money in their future.

"Anything less than flagrant is just playing grab ass!"

4thandinches's picture

Great point. How many students are begging for financial aid, working two or three jobs, and taking a full load just to get that degree. Then you have these athletes who have tuition, housing, etc. saying they do not get enough.
What is the average amount of student debt per graduate? Most graduates would be lucky to pay off that debt in years or ever. 

I wasn't born a Buckeye but I became one as fast as I could. 

yrro's picture

When I was at OSU, a full ride in state scholarship (half of our players are in state) was $15k. I know it's gone up a bit since then, but that's still basically minimum wage, for players who bring in millions of dollars in revenue for the school, putting in hours equivalent to a full time or near full time job, and who put their bodies at risk of significant injury. I got paid more than that hourly for my internships, and I never made anybody no millions of dollars.
Personally I'd just amend things slightly. Keep players on essentially the same scholarship model, but anything that uses their personal likeness (jerseys with their number/name, video games with their likenesses) pays into an account payable on graduation.
There are parts of value that are really "the team" - people come to see OSU more than they come to see Braxton Miller, and will continue coming when he's gone. But they're selling a Braxton Miller jersey, and people are paying a big premium to get one with his number instead of a generic OSU one - he should get a cut of that.

awarren84's picture

and I never made anybody no millions of dollars.

double negative? u did make them millions then?
Also, so what are your thoughts on that if they did not graduate they would have to pay back their scholarship, room and board, and all expenses including travel to the university.
Or here's an idea...instead of scholarship and any other expenses paid...they give them $40,000 a year, but they have to pay for everything themselves.
And the major kicker is...u don't have to play football or go to college. If it's so bad and unfair don't go. It's pretty simple, but all of us would trade a ton to be in their spot.

"Anything less than flagrant is just playing grab ass!"

yrro's picture

The fact that it is a voluntary system does not mean that it is fair or one that fans should endorse. We've all seen how hard it is to get a professional job as a football player without going through university.
My basic point stands - they're getting paid, yes, but it's essentially minimum wage, for a pretty tough job. Are we as fans really happy with that?

awarren84's picture

One follow up question... U say..."We've all seen how hard it is to get a professional job as a football player without going through university." My question is how hard is it to get a professional job as a doctor without going through university? Or accountant? Or lawyer? Or teacher? Here's my main thought...if a boss says..."u get paid x dollars to complete your accounting job" and I am not happy with it. Then I can walk. I can find a different job. But u say u can't get another football job. Well maybe I can't get another accounting job. But at the end of the day it is his business and at that rate maybe nobody will work for him. But as long as someone will step right in without much drop off he will continue to offer that pay. And there is no shortage of quality football players hoping for a scholarship offer to play at a university. A university that provides the stadiums, the access to national TV games, that offers fans, and offers a quality education to go along with it. 

"Anything less than flagrant is just playing grab ass!"

penult's picture

Your boss (the NCAA) does not have a tax-free monopoly on accounting jobs (amateur sports). Your analogy is invalid.

awarren84's picture

Honest question...what is preventing me from starting a professional team and paying them. Straight out of high school? Would the government shut me down? 

"Anything less than flagrant is just playing grab ass!"

GABuckeye's picture

I agree 100%.  They get their tuition, room/board, food and books paid for.  That doesn't include free tutors, the equivalents of personal trainers and dietitians, and other "gifts" that they're given.  Plus getting that piece of paper at the end of 4-5 years is HUGE.  Depending on the school, you're talking about a lot of money.  A large percentage of us average folks would give a lot in order to come out of college with zero debt.

jbcuky's picture

A lot of average folks pay money to play sports too. We're not talking about average folks here.

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

I agree completely.  Someone posted a link (I think NY Times) stating that the average scholarship student-athlete (or perhaps just football/ basketball, which is all we are talking about) receives approximately $120,000 per year in total compensation; includes tuition, room and board, tutoring, travel, the best medical care available, the best physical training available (Mariotti !!!), increased public exposure, etc.
If someone can find that link, that would be great. mmmmk Thanks.
Anyways, I think something similar to the Olympic model might work best.
Edit: It was from the Jim Delaney de-emphasizing sports discussion.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

buckeye76BHop's picture

The NCAA will win without a doubt.  The ole mighty $$$ goes farther than many know and they have A LOT of it.

"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 

FitzBuck's picture

I've got to admit I'm very surprised with the poll results.

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

chicagobuckeye's picture

Look, no one is forcing these individuals to play at a specific school, or hell even play at all. If they didn't want their likeness used, or their jerseys sold, then they didn't have to play. Do they bring in lots of money to the school, and NCAA? No doubt, but no one is forcing them to play football. They choose to do it, knowing the possibility of their jersey being sold, or likeness used in a video game.  If I'm the NCAA I say that if they don't want to play they don't have to, but if you choose to do so for a free education, and ability to display your talents for future employers you know what comes along with it. Don't like it, go elsewhere.

penult's picture

A player graduating high school with the talent to start in the NBA isn't forced to play in college? That's a bold faced lie.

ih8rolltyde's picture

Brandon Jennings decided to play in Europe for that limbo year and he turned out better than just fine. Nobody is forced to play sports in college.

****igan smells like old water that hot dogs were boiled in.  FACT

chicagobuckeye's picture

You can play in Europe. Is it what they want to do? No, because they will get better exposure in the United States. The rules for Basketball are 1 year out of high school and 3 for football. You can read anywhere you want, but none of them say you must play it in a NCAA college.

Buckeyeneer's picture

I don't see how them playing in college is much different than when I worked as an intern. I was making dick, but I was honing my craft and making myself marketable so I could make good money later. That is what they are doing. I don't really have a problem if they get jersey money or video game royalties which have accumulated post college, but I fear about the law of unintended consequences if the NCAA loses. And I say this thinking that if the NCAA does lose, schools like OSU will actually do better, because they are one of the few that could feasible absorb the costs. If it occurred the blue bloods will get bluer and everyone else will get bloodier.

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

penult's picture

The difference, obviously, is that as an intern you weren't bringing in millions of profit for somebody (I assume, if not I hope you've reaped the benefits by now). 
If you had a skill that would have allowed you to earn hundreds of thousands or more a year, I highly doubt you would have wasted time being an intern.
Seriously, why do people make such erroneous analogies fraught with such glaring incongruities? 

Buckeyeneer's picture

Well there is no perfect comparison, Penult, and you are right, I did not bring in millions of dollars and perhaps my analogy is completely wrong. But you got me thinking, how far off am I? I work in the business world on commission. I did not have the skills nor the appropriate licenses to make the big bucks. I needed to be taught those by a mentor or "coach". I worked my butt off and by the time my internship/apprenticeship was over (roughly 3 years), I was able to make a healthy living for myself. Like most OSU football players I had raw talent, but not the skills to go directly to the big time making big money. Only after honing my craft was I able to do that. Sure there may be a few genetic freaks that can skip the training, be it in the business world or on the gridiron, but most need more instruction than that.
Still your point about the millions of dollars is a good one so lets go back to that. I made roughly $16,000 ($8/hrs x 40 hrs/week x 50 weeks/yr <excluding 2 weeks unpaid vacation>=$16,000) in my last year as an intern and I drove roughly $400,000 in revenue to my company. That equates to 4.0% or they made a $1.00 for every $0.04 they paid me. Pretty good deal for my bosses. Again, I didn't start there, that is where I finished before I went on to make money for myself. If you look at this link from Forbes (OSU Football Revenue) Ohio State made, on average, $50 million a year between the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons. If you look at this link from Forbes (average value of football scholly) they peg it at roughly $100,000 for 4 years for in-state athletes and $150,000 for out-of-state athletes, though OSU is a little higher on average. This equates to $25,000 or $37,500 per year, for in and out-of-state, respectively. Keep in mind, this is immediate benefits and does not take into account long term benefits if they choose to earn their degree. Read the rest of the article to see how much more they will make over their working career with a degree vs not having one. But I digress . .
If we divide $50 million in revenue to OSU by 85 scholarships we get $588,000, so that is the revenue that each scholarship football player is driving to the university. So let's be conservative and say that all of the players on Urban's roster are in-state and get the equivalent of $25,000/yr in immediate benefits. $25,000/$588,000= 4.25%. For every $0.0425 a student athlete gets paid, they make the university $1.00.  Wow!
Believe it or not, I did this exercise out of curiosity and not to prove my point. On a percentage basis, it appears they drove a similar amount of revenue to their "boss" (OSU) as I did to mine. So therefore I think my comparison is valid. Anyone feel free to let me know if you see a mistake in my logic. I whipped this together pretty quickly.

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

penult's picture

I see a number of issues.

  1. The Forbes numbers appear to be incomplete, for example no numbers on merchandise sales.
  2. No consideration of marketable value which is denied to players (likeness is used for marketing and products by the university and a number of companies in advertisements and products). Also including denial of opportunity to make money through endorsements. Not only are the Forbes numbers incomplete, even if they were complete, they don't include other income denied to players (which is what the O'Bannon lawsuit is about).
  3. The $16,000 is all yours, free to spend as you choose. Your company did call your employment an "education" and tell you the 16K will go to tuition and board. (Do internships not give real world experience and knowledge about business in the real world?) By the way, you're not stuck to a limited number of choices for residency and dining options.
  4. A university granting $25K tuition (which may be what a student has to pay) is not equivalent to it paying $25K cash to an employee.  It does not cost a university exactly the same amount as the tuition students pay to provide the services.
  5. I could go on and on, and I haven't even gotten to the questions about your internship and the $400K figure to determine if there is any true basis for fair comparison.

Why not use a more fair example, which also has public figures available and is more comparable given the common knowledge about the business?
The Cincinnati Reds had revenue of $202M in 2012, according to Forbes. The Reds had player expenses of $102. In other words, greater than 50% of their revenue went to paying their players. Using your numbers for Ohio State, only 4% of revenue went to paying players. I would argue the true numbers would be even less than that. Either way, that is a HUGE discrepancy.  I think it also highlights how your analogy could be based on a number of false assumptions and/or incongruous comparisons. 
(I've probably wasted my time since the poll will change before you ever have time to see this. Oh well, guess that's the internets.)

4thandinches's picture

Saying that these players bring in millions of dollars to the university and that they should be compensated is like you working at a company, on salary, and making demands for more money 'because you bring the company in more money than you make.' 
You know when you sign that scholarship what you are signing up for. If you don't like, don't sign the scholarship. It's a free choice.  

I wasn't born a Buckeye but I became one as fast as I could. 

cplunk's picture

Not to be "that guy" that just quibbles with the example rather than the crux of the question, but if you work for a company on salary and bring in more money than you make, you are doing yourself a disservice if you are not asking for more money. You have leverage, can prove it, and can take your assets elsewhere. Use your leverage.
I've spent my 20 year career in Procurement and Subcontracts, and I've never understood coworkers whose primary duty is negotiation not utilizing that negotiation in their own lives. Know your worth. Stand up for it.
To parlay it into the main question, yes, the players knew what they signed up for. But so what? There is absolutely nothing preventing them from pointing out perceived discrepancies and working to correct them. A contract shows what you are legally entitled to- it has nothing to do with the morality of the entitlement, and it doesn't prevent you from asking that it be changed. 
Trust me, the company/university will drop the individual like a hot potato whenever it suits them, contract or no. The players are right to ask for more. 

yrro's picture

Exactly. As a professional, if my market value is higher than what I am being paid, I can go elsewhere.
In football, there are a pair of legitimized monopolies that actively collude to prevent anyone from going elsewhere or being paid for their labor.
If I'm a sophomore engineer on academic scholarship, and I invent the next Facebook, I can quit school to go sell it to someone and be a millionaire. If I'm an athlete, sorry, I have to wait three years and continue to provide a school my million-dollar skills for (nearly) free. It's nowhere close to a fair system. 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I don't like any of the three possibilities.
On the one hand, if the NCAA loses or settles, it could result in a serious financial blow to the Big Ten universities. The existing structure is more fragile than the Ed O'Bannons realize, or would care to take into consideration.
On the other hand, there is the corrupt NCAA clown show.
How about option #4: the NCAA (read: the universities) wins the case and then 18 minutes the NCAA is disbanded and replaced by a different rules body?

Riggins's picture

I would estimate 2% of all NCAA athletes might be getting a raw deal.  Those are the superstars on the football and men's basketball teams.  For everyone else, the scholarship is above and beyond compensation because they lose money funding your sport.  And not every football or basketball player contributes more than their scholarship value.  It's the elite, elite players that are getting a raw deal. The Adrian Petersons, the Andrew Lucks, etc.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

My question: If it turns out this way, won't FCS, DII, DIII, and NAIA eventually pay? Who's next? High school? I never got paid to play HS Football, it was the other way around! I HAD TO PAY TO PLAY IN LOUDOUN COUNTY, VIRGINIA.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Jonnferrell's picture

Paying players is a bad idea.  Free school, housing, stipends, but no to paychecks.  Open that box and it will consume college sports.

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

phxbuck's picture

Hi my name is Ed O'Bannon.  I was really good at ucla.  I really stunk it up when it came to my professional career where I could make money.  Now I don't know what the hell to do so I sell cars and I'm pretty bitter about the fact I have to make a living for the next 25 years just like everyone else, this work stuff sucks, hey I know I will sue the NCAA for money, brilliant!

Suede80's picture

To question do players deserve to get paid?
We clamor over these kids to commit to our school not for accounting and engineering but for touchdowns and national championships. How can anyone dare say they don’t deserve to get paid? Last time I check nobody was buying jerseys of the debate team or the academic student with a 4.0 but we are willing to buy a jersey of the kid making 3 pointers and scoring touchdowns. We treat these student athletes like superstars but don’t expect them to get compensated as such. Money is somehow illegal if you're a student athlete our #1 means to survival in this society. But an art student on scholarship can sale his work on the side while in school and be compensated. The coach makes millions, the school makes millions and gets huge recognition, the networks make billions we get fulfillment and joy watching them play but they cant get a fair piece of the pie. Heck they’re even on video games and the way recruiting sites are booming nowadays...YOU are Delusional if you think that what most of these kids do is only worth a scholarship and if so, you my friend would not be constantly wondering who the next big recruit to commit would be. I do believe a scholarship has value to it but that all diminished once these mega contracts came into play. Its one thing to play football for a scholarship which is huge way to get closer to success in this world BUT all bets are off when corporations are making and paying BILLIONS to see them in action. 
I wonder how would most of you feel if there was no more college football. Ask your self is it really the school or is it the players that master there craft and we get a joy out of it. If it’s really only about the school then we wouldn’t care about the coach or players on the team and we would be satisfied with a mediocre team that is all about the academics first. Wonder how many would wake up to see a sub 500 OSU team produce year after year and be happy. That scholarship is not worth the amount of money these kids generate today $$$Billions. Last time I checked you did not need a College degree to play in the pros however this is the only way to get there for majority of college athletes. You should not have to go oversees in order to make a living in your trade if you are qualified to perform the job in your own country. Lets be honest these kids aren’t in it for the education first. Its only a backup plan incase they don’t make it big. Ca$h is and always will be King. Schollies are used as a ticket in hopes of stardom/fame and success just like most of us only went to college to get that career we so desperately don’t wont to work at McDonalds or Wal-Mart. If you could get a nice career with a 90,000 salary without a degree would you skip college I sure would but we pout when they leave early for a chance at riches (Imagine your sophomore or junior year being offered a position worth $100,000 in earnings would you take it if they wanted you to work for them now without a degree?) Remember there is no age limit in going to college these kids can always go back to school if it doesn't work out cause college doesn't guarantee you anything you have to get it yourself…It’s a shame that only 2 sports in America Basketball and Football deny entry for employment unless they meet some absurd age restriction. You can play hockey, baseball, tennis, boxing, MMA, soccer, golf, NASCAR, smoke cigarettes, run for President or any other political area and even join the military before you can run for a 1st down and tackle or shoot free throws or three pointers and be compensated. WOW only in America!