Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 Oct 2010

Austin, Little, And Quinn Officially Done At UNC

The fallout continues at North Carolina in the wake of the player-agent storm cloud hovering over Chapel Hill for the last six weeks. Defensive tackle Marvin Austin has been officially dismissed from the team following a joint investigation by North Carolina and the NCAA. The NCAA has ruled wide receiver Greg Little and defensive end Robert Quinn permanently ineligible. All three will be sought-after prospects in next year's NFL draft.

Posted by: Brian Fremeau on 11 Oct 2010

69 comments, Last at 13 Oct 2010, 1:01pm by DeltaWhiskey

Comments

1
by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 2:45pm

It's awful how college football players sometimes seek greater economic benefit from participating in events to which millions of tickets are sold, and television rights are sold to the highest bidder.

3
by JonFrum (not verified) :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 3:12pm

Economic benefit? Tell that to the people who are paying the full load for four years at the University of North Carolina. Players on full scholarship - like these guys - are getting tens of thousands of dollars over four or five years. So you want them to be paid - on top of that? How much? Is it the same at UNC and Texas? Does the backup cornerback get paid the same as the starting QB? Does Maryland have bags of money to throw at football players?

You get the impression from some people that fat, bald white guys are lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills in the Dean's office. Simple truth is, these programs COST money to run, and the bigger the program, the bigger the cost. For schools with financially successful football programs, football pays for the rest of the athletic department. You start paying football players, and you can say goodbye to gymnastics and swimming.

People cheat because they are cheaters, not because their situation makes them cheat. Millions of kids have worked their way through college without a penny to waste. No one gave them money for showing up. Let's not dumb down morality.

4
by Sander :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 3:32pm

I don't necessarily disagree with this, though I doubt all athletic programs are net losers, but why would all this preclude athletes from hanging out with agents? It's not like these players are stealing money from the program, they're using their fame and future earning potential to earn money now. What's the problem there?

7
by drobviousso :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 3:59pm

Economic benefit? Tell that to the people who are paying the full load for four years at the University of North Carolina.
Ok, I would if I knew any and it came up in conversation.

Players on full scholarship - like these guys - are getting tens of thousands of dollars over four or five years. So you want them to be paid - on top of that? How much?
Whatever the market will bear for their services. Just like my job, and assuming you are employed, just like I would hope for your job.

Is it the same at UNC and Texas?
Unlikely

Does the backup cornerback get paid the same as the starting QB?
Unlikely

Does Maryland have bags of money to throw at football players?
I don't know, maybe. Are they making bags of money that would support more than current scholarship values?

You get the impression from some people that fat, bald white guys are lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills in the Dean's office.
I try to avoid attributing to malice that which can be explained by ignorance, stupidity, or path based decision making. I think the NCAA is a product of the third. It's perfectly understandable that good intentioned, intelligent people could make the choices necessary to end up with a bad systems. That doesn't mean that the system isn't bad.

Simple truth is, these programs COST money to run, and the bigger the program, the bigger the cost.
Simple truth is, if it was the case the schools were flushing money down the drain every week, all things considered, they would stop the games.

For schools with financially successful football programs, football pays for the rest of the athletic department. You start paying football players, and you can say goodbye to gymnastics and swimming.
Why are gymnasts and swimmers entitled to revenue made on the backs of football players?

People cheat because they are cheaters, not because their situation makes them cheat. Millions of kids have worked their way through college without a penny to waste. No one gave them money for showing up. Let's not dumb down morality.
Incentives matter. Just because a cartel like agency decrees something immoral, doesn't make it so.

I'm really busy today at work, and apologize in advance if I can't respond to any further comments, but I will try to read them.

8
by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 4:08pm

Butch Davis earns over two million dollars a year, and AD Dick Baddour earns over three hundred thousand dollars a year, because they are allowed to sell their services unimpeded by the cartel which colludes to fix labor compensation at room, tuition, board, and access to training. A football player has no ethical responsibility to pay for gymnastics and swimming, or certainly no more ethical responsibility than Butch Davis. If this a business, then labor should sell their services in the manner that management does, and if it isn't a business, then the cartel should be able to fix compensation for management as well.

Let's not confuse morality with cartels engaging in collusion. The fact that that the collusion may be technically legal (an increasingly dubious proposition, in my opinion), is irrelevant to the ethics of it. Every Saturday in the fall, young men expose themselves to significant risk of injury, while billions in revenue is collected from customers of the young men, while the compensation to the young men has a ceiling placed on it by a cartel, while the managers of the young men are allowed the full benefit of auctioning their services, thus accessing those billions in revenues sufficiently to pay themsleves six and seven figure incomes. Morality, indeed.

10
by QCIC (not verified) :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 4:15pm

My thoughts exactly...

Down with cartels and monopolies! The only way we can keep our system of economics from eventually being overthrown is to stay very vigilant on these issues.

15
by RichC (not verified) :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 5:40pm

" A football player has no ethical responsibility to pay for gymnastics and swimming, or certainly no more ethical responsibility than Butch Davis"

As long as football teams are being run out of tax-exempt educational institutions, they sure do.

23
by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 7:40pm

Nope, a college football player's ethical responsibility is to do his best, for whatever he can obtain from others on a voluntary basis. That's what Butch Davis does. For some unfathomable reason, a lot of people think that Butch Davis' quarterback has an added responsibility. Think about that; people put more ethical responsibility on the 18 to 22 year olds, than they do the fully mature adult with several decades of professional experience.

50
by crack (not verified) :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 2:38pm

Thanks for saying this Will. This is the travesty of Reggie Bush giving back his Heisman. If a talented pianist got a deal s/he could still attend USC as a pianist.

52
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 3:10pm

Well, The Heisman Trophy is awarded by a completely private institution. There is no reason for them to not have the power to put whatever conditions they want on the issuance and keeping of the trophy. It's not like they were giving themselves huge salaries while colluding to keep Bush from getting anything. I say this as someone who stopped paying attention to the Heisman Trophy a couple of decades ago, because I thought it was a joke.

I'll give a guy like Paterno a pass, since he has never sought to maximize his income, and he poured so much of his wealth back into the university, but I have a hard time watching the Urban Meyers and Nick Sabans of college football without getting a little nauseous.

58
by crack (not verified) :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 3:40pm

I agree. On all levels. It just reeks of hypocrisy and it's really annoying how much of the media doesn't see it.

53
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 3:11pm

Well, The Heisman Trophy is awarded by a completely private institution. There is no reason for them to not have the power to put whatever conditions they want on the issuance and keeping of the trophy. It's not like they were giving themselves huge salaries while colluding to keep Bush from getting anything. I say this as someone who stopped paying attention to the Heisman Trophy a couple of decades ago, because I thought it was a joke.

I'll give a guy like Paterno a pass, since he has never sought to maximize his income, and he poured so much of his wealth back into the university, but I have a hard time watching the Urban Meyers and Nick Sabans of college football without getting a little nauseous.

54
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 3:18pm

What exactly makes you nauseous about Meyer and Saban? They're just exercising their right to market-rate compensation, which you advocate the players being able to do.

Just because the system screws the players doesn't mean coaches shouldn't make as much as they can. Would it be nice if some altruistic coach starting pushing for players to be paid? That would a refreshing surprise. But they shouldn't have to turn down the money being thrown at them.

Executive summary: be nauseous at the system, school presidents, NCAA officals, fine. But the coaches are just capitalizing on their value.

57
by crack (not verified) :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 3:38pm

It's a rate that can be paid because the players aren't paid. That is why it's offensive. If the players were able to compete on the market then, correct me if I'm wrong here Will, Will would be fine with what they make. He isn't offended by how much they make, but that they make it because they don't have to pay the talent they exploit on the field.

60
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 3:57pm

No, they are getting above market rate compensation due to the labor getting below rate compensation. As I noted below, top flight NFL coaches get a substantially lower percentage of revenues than top flight college coaches, and that is at least partially due to labor having it's compensation supressed by a cartel.

Hearing a guy complain about "pimps", while he earns millions coaching players who attract billions, while the players get a cartel-limited 25K get a year, is nauseating to me.

14
by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 5:28pm

"You start paying football players, and you can say goodbye to gymnastics and swimming."
Too late--they've been cutting sports like that for years to comply with Title IX. But, given they already treat players in the "money sports" significantly differently, I don't see how paying a stipend would be that much of a departure from the current system. (Or do you think the gymnasts and swimmers are enjoying charter flights like the big-time football and basketball programs are? And they certainly don't build a new pool everytime the football stadium and practice facilities get a million-dollar makeover.)

17
by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 5:42pm

"Millions of kids have worked their way through college without a penny to waste. No one gave them money for showing up. Let's not dumb down morality."

And millions of other kids get need-based grants, academic scholarships, etc. Are they morally inferior to the kid paying every penny himself? Your argument would be much, much stronger if the schools weren't making a killing off these kids without sharing a dime. Paying them directly would be tricky, no doubt. But that doesn't explain why a designated percentage doesn't go into a fund to cover tuition after players' eligibility has been exhausted or something like that. They bend the rules to get these kids onto campus in the first place (thus, the kids are frequently completely unprepared for college level courses) then they say bye-bye the second the eligibility is gone and pat themselves on the back for "providing an opportunity to somebody who wouldn't have gotten one otherwise." If you want to talk morals, start there.

27
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 12:41am

Here's the real problem though. They were getting paid and it wasn't hurting anyone. It didn't take a scholarship away from anyone else. They weren't taking equipment or facilities from other sports.

Also, what exactly were they cheating at? They weren't cheating at football. They weren't cheating academically. Someone wanted to give them money for services rendered and they took it.

29
by Whatev :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 2:43am

Because, you know, people who have to spend half their week practicing football and being shuttled to and from games get the same benefit from classes as all those people whose parents are footing the bill.

49
by crack (not verified) :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 2:36pm

So, how about we separate the program from the University and have it run as a business? Make it an option for work study or set up the minor league players with tuition reimbursement. Why continue the facade of noble unpaid student athletes? The Universities could still run them at some level, but would be forbidden from putting money into them. It would all have to come from donors or revenues.

61
by Sander :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 5:00pm

The problem is that that would essentially screw an extremely high percentage of recipients of sports scholarships. These discussions all focus on the top 1% or so of players: the ones who go on to have any kind of professional career. But I'd argue that removing the top 1% from the college system would be a major problem for those players who are using the scholarship to actually get an education. Even if they learn nothing, the piece of paper will help them get more out of life.

In other words: while this would undoubtedly result in the top talent getting paid a lot more money, it would also result in the 2nd-tier talent being deprived of an education. And from what I know these scholarships are paid for with sports revenue, so you couldn't just remove the top talent without hurting the rest of the team.

The solution? Start allowing the benefits players receive.

6
by Dean :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 3:40pm

I think the horse is dead, Will.

9
by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 4:11pm

If the horse was dead, comment number three would not exist.

66
by Subrata Sircar :: Wed, 10/13/2010 - 5:00am

The horse can be dead without the voice crying in the wilderness noticing it bleeding at his feet.

2
by Sander :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 2:46pm

Wow, that's huge. You have to wonder how this will affect their draft status, too. Will it scare away teams like it did with Dez Bryant, or will teams see it more like a year lost to injury as they did with Bradford?

5
by Mr Derp (not verified) :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 3:35pm

Ask Mike Williams of USC fame whent he NCAA screwed him and he had to sit a year. He still went top 10 but he got out of shape in the meantime.

11
by Illmatic74 :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 4:38pm

I always found it funny that during the MLB draft kids have guys like Scott Boras as an "advisor" and still go back to school if they don't sign but, college football or basketball players even have a conversation with an agent there is an NCAA investigation.

12
by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 4:56pm

I tend to think MLB and that union have come to the best arrangement; an eighteen year old can get drafted out of high school, and start earning money immediately, or he can go to college, and not become draft eligible for, I think, three years. Of course, you don't have coaches earning millions in college baseball, because billions in revenues are being collected, nor are the players exposing themselves to anything like the injury risk that football players are exposed to.

13
by jimbohead :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 5:09pm

that's an interesting situation, because in some sense the MLB and NCAA are bidding for the services of these kids, and the low compensation of a minor league goes head to head with the still-low compensation of being a student athlete.

16
by RichC (not verified) :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 5:42pm

" nor are the players exposing themselves to anything like the injury risk that football players are exposed to."

Got some stats for that, or are you just making shit up?

19
by John (not verified) :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 6:22pm

How many thousands of repetitive head impacts is your typical swimmer going to suffer in a year?

20
by John (not verified) :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 6:25pm

Missed the context by a country mile, but replace swimmer with baseball player and the point still stands.

Yes, baseball players can be injured or killed, but on average, football players are subject to far more head impacts in practice than a baseball player will ever see in his/her career.

21
by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 6:29pm

It doesn't really matter. That was a throwaway line at the end of a much larger point. If that's the only thing RichC has to argue with, I'm not sure why he bothered posting.

30
by The Don (not verified) :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 9:11am

depends ... does the swimmer have 20/20 vision?

24
by Will Allen :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 7:49pm

No, Rich I'm not one to make things up, like you do when you convert 18 yards into 10 feet. If you aren't bright enough to understand the difference between repeatedly slamming your head, even if helmeted, into other people, while moving at considerable velocity, and not doing so, I can't help you.

26
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 10:40pm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1941297/

If someone states that the sky is blue, do you need them to attach a jpeg image as proof? It is pretty well understood that contact sports are more prone to injury than non-contact sports, and that football is the most injurious of those. But please, refer to the website I noted if for some reason you have trouble believing the painfully obvious.

In other words - don't be a punctilious arse just for the sake of being a punctilious arse.

18
by roguerouge :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 6:21pm

As someone with $30K+ debt teaching students paying 35K for a single year, the idea that NCAA football players aren't getting paid is pretty dumb. They're getting an education that will give them opportunities for the rest of their lives and start life without the burden of debt. Basically, their peers also work for free to receive professional training: it's called an internship. I have absolutely no sympathy for the NCAA players should get paid crowd.

22
by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 6:48pm

I do see your argument but I suspect your opinion would be different if your likeness was in video games that you weren't seeing a dime from while the school was cleaning up. Unfortunately, in many cases comparing regular students to top athletes is apples to oranges. You and your students all made the grade to get into college, whereas a large portion of the football players would have zero chance getting in except for the fact they play football. That puts them in a terible position in terms of actually getting anything out of college academically. But, your administrators love the idea of "giving them an opportunity"...well, at least as long as they can score touchdowns. (Which explains why random inner city kids aren't getting scholarships--just the ones who can throw, catch and tackle.)

28
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 12:49am

Fine, then let there be a cartel which fixes a compensation ceiling for coaches, athlectic directors, and college presidents.

I have no sympathy for those who collude to prevent people from selling their talent.

32
by mediator12 :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 10:10am

Let the college players start a developmental league to compete with college football. Then, they can sell their services all they want and let the market set the wage.

This is just too much of a one sided argument. Colleges have alumni who are die hard supporters of their teams no matter where they end up geographically. Who is going to pay the developmental league players salary? Who is going to watch poor football with no allegiances? Who is going to eat the expense of running a new league? How did the XFL, UFL, etc do and pay their players. How long did that last?

College athletics has gauranteed revenue streams based on decades of alumni supporting their teams. However, a lot football programs LOSE money despite the depiction of all this money being available. Especially, if they fail to qualify for a bowl game. Yes, that means the teams who make money on college football would have another tremendous advantage over the colleges that do not make money. And then, they would have to pay their players money going further into debt as an institution. That makes total sense right?

The players get a ton of benefits along with the privilege, no not the right, to attend a college and further their education beyond what they would normally have the opportunity to get. And, if they are good enough they just might Actually get paid for playing a sport.

33
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 10:20am

Your "ton of benefits" pales in comparison to the 2 million dollars paid annually to Butch Davis. Butch Davis has no "right" to earn that much money coaching football players. He has the right to sell his talent to the highest bidder. Somehow, you have come to conclusion that Butch Davis is more equal than the players he coaches. Tell ya' what; let's send Butch and his staff out on the field by themselves, and we'll see how may people buy tickets, and how many t.v. sets get tuned to see Butch and his coaches talking to each other.

34
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 11:25am

I don't have strong feelings either way, Will, but I think the Butch Davis argument you're making isn't that convincing. Coaches have a much longer shelf life than players. I imagine, even if players were paid, coaches' salaries would still dwarf the players.

Think of how many highly-ranked recruits have pedestrian college careers. I can't imagine schools would shell out million-dollar salaries for very many players.

If anything, paying players could hurt low-level players. Sure, your Julio Joneses and Denard Robinsons, who are top recruits, will get paid, but what about the starting guards on the team? They're much more available, and I would have to guess that the current system, where they get free room, board, and education, is a better setup than if they were making something like $30k a year. And I can't imagine the salaries for the vast majority of players would eclipse that level of pay.

35
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 11:36am

What you and I might imagine is irrelevent. What matters is that labor be given the same rights as management. In any case, the current situation is like an NFL team devoting 75% of it's annual player and coach payroll to coaches, and 25% to players, despite the fact that players greatly outnumber coaches.

37
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 12:04pm

Where are you getting the 75/25 figures? What is the cost to the school of the scholarships?

My larger point is that whatever group eventually gets behind the players in this situation better carefully weigh the pros and cons. A system where players get paid, but not scholarship money (which would almost certainly be how it shook down) could wind up hurting many more players than it helps.

39
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 12:30pm

I did a quick mental calculation of 85 players at Florida getting an estimated 25k a year in tuition, room, board, and access to training, compared to a guess of what they pay in coaches salary. I likely have overstated what the players receive.

I think anyone who claims to know how "it almost certainly it shook down" is hugely overestimating their ability to peer into the future.

41
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 12:44pm

Fair enough on the second paragraph. Though do you really believe that the NCAA agreeing to let players be paid will result in the keeping of scholarships as well? There will have to be some kind of trade-off, won't there?

Onto the 75/25 breakdown. I'm assuming your figures are correct with regards to Florida. This is Meyer's sixth year at Florida. No single player has been there more than 2/3 that time. Elite coaches are certainly more valuable than any single player, likely more valuable than an entire team combined. The Alabama football program is Nick Saban. The USC program was Pete Carroll. Ditto for Penn State, Florida State (past), Ohio State, etc.

Are they three times as valuable as the rest of the team? Probably not.

I do agree that it's silly to assume too much. Players getting paid is a huge, huge, huge paradigm shift. Maybe coaches will matter less, as schools can "recruit" with money instead of a coach that sets you up for a championship and/or pro career. In that case, coaches salaries would drop.

But at the moment, coaches aren't being overpaid too much, in my opinion, since they *are* the program.

43
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 12:58pm

When a cartel is fixing compensation ceiling, it is pointless to speculate what anyone is worth, or to talk about people not subject to the cartel's price fixing not being overpaid too much. Again, if people think a cartel fixing compensation ceilings in college football is necessary, fine. Let's do it for everyone involved. If Nick Saban finds it distasteful, let him go back to the NFL, and get his brains beat in there. I'm sure some primate could be found to coach Alabama's football team, and every other college football team, for 150k a year, and the money saved on coaches salary can go towards tuition funding for the entire school body.

38
by DeltaWhiskey :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 12:16pm

Will there be a salary cap?

Can schools pay as much as they want?

What happens to the schools who can't afford to pay as much?

40
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 12:39pm

There's a pretty good chance that fewer schools would play big-budget football, which would not be a bad thing; do taxpayers really need to be subsidizing the playing of football?

Look, if this is distasteful, fine, let's go the other route. Have the cartel set a compensation ceiling on college coaches and ADs at, say, 150 thousand. I'm sure some poor, downtrodden. fella in Tuscaloosa, Alabama can get by on that.

42
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 12:47pm

In the case of your first paragraph, isn't college football no longer "college football"? It would essentially just be a lesser NFL. There would be no need for eligibility rules (beyond some basic stuff, like a minimum age). Would the NFL still need to have a college draft? Fewer players would be out there if fewer schools had a football program - maybe the NFL would just start pulling kids out of high school, like MLB.

Paying players is a slippery slope for the game overall. It's good for some players, that's for sure, but it might kill college football as we know it.

46
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 1:19pm

It already is just a lesser NFL; except with the management getting a comparatively much larger slice of the revenues. If Bill Belichick was getting the same percentage of revenues as Mack Brown does, he'd be earning 12 million a year, instead of 7.5 million.

You are speaking of killing the corruption, that is college football as we know it, like it would be a bad thing.

51
by crack (not verified) :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 2:49pm

I agree. I said the same thing when they wanted to start paying all those negroes to pick our cotton. "The Cotton Industry as we know it will be killed!" I said. I was right. I'm glad you and I agree on this Eddo, can we start the repeal of the 13th amendment off while the teaparty is going strong.

55
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 3:21pm

Wow, that is totally not my point.

My overall points are:

1) Be careful wishing for players to get paid until we understand what would happen to the "average" player. Sure, big-name recruits will get their money, but would a typical starting guard or backup WR get as much monetary value as their current scholarships?

2) College football will no longer be college football. I never said this was a bad thing; if the players truly would be better off getting paid or in another system, then by all means, let's end the NCAA involvement and move to a minor league. I'm just skeptical that players will be better off, especially ones who don't have any real hope of making an NFL roster.

EDIT: Clarification: by moving to a pay-for-play system, and, as Will predicts, losing a bunch of programs, we'd essentially be getting rid of "jobs" for much of the "workforce". A good deal of players use their football skill to gain admission to a university, where they then study something worthwhile an get a degree that leads them to a successful non-football career. All I'm saying is we need to consider those players (which is a higher percentage than ones who will be paid as much as the coaches will).

59
by crack (not verified) :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 3:46pm

Scholarships and payment wouldn't have to be either or. They could pay and still require scholarships. Heck, one of the tenets of the pseudo college league could be that anyone who plays for them gets free tuition for their first college bachelors degree, or all degrees.

As to the last part, it could well expand employment. Freed from the artificial 4 year cap on minor league football eligibility teams could let players play longer,
making the better one more able to get into the NFL.

The other thing is we are pretty much talking about D1 football. As a D2 scholarship swimmer (who became academically ineligible) I can tell you none of the concerns carry over to d2. And you can still get a scholarship to a D2 school rather than walk on or play 3rd gunner on a D1 school

62
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 5:27pm

Those are all really good points.

I honestly don't know why I even jumped in here; I don't like the current system. I suppose I'm just fed up with Will jumping into every remotely relevant thread with his "cartel cartel cartel" rhetoric.

I will bow out now.

63
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 6:58pm

If it make you feel better, I'll be fed up with you too, Eddo. Sorry if you thought a story about players getting declared permenently ineligible, for obtaining compensation, was too remote for a discussion of how college football players are compensated.

65
by Eddo :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 8:16pm

Fair enough, Will. This article was an appropriate place, I'll give you that.

25
by SackSEER :: Mon, 10/11/2010 - 8:30pm

And thus, it was written that Robert Quinn accrued 12 missed games for his SackSEER projection and wee quarterbacks across the land rejoiced.

-----------
Yes, SackSEER has become self-aware.

31
by Jimmy :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 10:06am

Does Sackseer have an opinion on Cameron Heyward?

36
by James-London :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 11:37am

Ahh, the myth of the student athlete...

Begs the question though, if college players should have the right to be compensated at the prevailing market rate, (and I'm with Will Allen here), then how do you justify the draft? Surely that's just another cartel preventing the athlete from maximising his market compensation?

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

45
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 1:17pm

Well, it at least is a cartel that the labor has agreed to, via a collective bargaining process. If all the college football players were to vote, and most of them said, "Golly, I think it is just swell that my coach earns 4 miilion, while I get 25 thousand", I'd view the whole institution of college football more charitably.

44
by Theo_103 :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 1:01pm

Some changes I would like to see before we worry about how much to pay the players:

I would like to see them guarantee the scholarships and medical expenses against injuries received while playing. As I understand it, if the player suffers a career ending injury, they not only lose the scholarship but also can end up liable for the medical expense as well.

To address the issue of players not being prepared to be educated I see a couple possibilities. You could put something to continue the scholarship to graduation or early withdrawal to NFL, instead of just till eligibility is exhausted, and tie part of the coaches salary to graduation rates. If the universities and coaches know that they are financially responsible until the kid graduates, there will be incentive to make sure the kid gets help if he needs it. As another option if the student isn't academically ready when he comes in, force the university to require and provide a redshirt year of academic prep.

*******************************************************
Winners never quit and quitters never win. But if you never win and never quit then you are an idiot. (Still like the Lions though.)
*******************************************************

47
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 1:23pm

Compensation can take many forms other than in the form of a paycheck. My point is that the compensation to the players is wholly inadequate, in relation to revenues, or what management is receiving.

56
by DeltaWhiskey :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 3:30pm

You raise good points.

This link has some interesting data re: coaches salaries, albeit, 2009 numbers:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/2009-coaches-contracts-d...

A thought I had is that we're talking about the myth of the student athlete, but how big of a myth is it. For a certain percentage on any given roster I would agree, but I wonder how many players truly are "student athletes," and I wonder what proportion of the lower ends of the depth chart are indeed more student than athlete? Also, if the system were changed to a pay the player format and "college football as we know it" were to die out, how many of these actual student athletes would be harmed. I suspect there are some schools where the proportion is much higher, especially the perenial losers or those schools that make a bowl appearance once every 3-4 years.

48
by @nonymous (not verified) :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 1:23pm

I hate this whole notion that college athletics has about athletes maintaining amateur status. I understand that you dont want pros competing in college, but shouldnt that be because the talent level of a pro is higher than an amateur and not because one gets paid and one doesnt?

But the current system has failed in my opinion to keep pros out of college. Was there really a difference between Mark Sanchez last year, and Mark Sanchez at USC?

My real problem is the punishment handed out by the ncaa. These kids wont be able to receive an education because they have been ruled permanently ineligible. Are you serious? For receiving travel accommodations? What real life situation do you know of where a kid or anyone for that matter is going to turn down travel accommodations simply for doing what you do? It's crazy.

Even the AJ Green thing is Georgia is crazy. They werent mad because of the fact that he sold his jersey, but it's who he sold his jersey to that they had a problem with. It's stupid.

64
by Key19 :: Tue, 10/12/2010 - 7:27pm

College players should be able to make whatever amount of money anyone is willing to pay them, period. If kids were able to get drafted into the NFL right out of high school then maybe I'd feel differently, but the fact that elite college football players are essentially FORCED to play for free when in a free market they'd be making millions is ridiculous. Most of these guys don't give a rat's ass about getting an education, so arguing that they're "technically getting paid tens of thousands of dollars" is horse shit. Agents should be able to pay players any amount of money and schools should be able to recruit with real $$$. Bottom line. This is the USA for Christ's sake, not the USSR.

67
by DeltaWhiskey :: Wed, 10/13/2010 - 8:50am

- Are there really a significant number of H.S. players who are ready for the pro-game?
- Where is the evidence that "most of these guys don't give a rat's ass about getting an education?"
- As has been pointed out, having that degree, whether desired or not, can for many be a nice perk if the NFL doesn't pan out.
- As Sander pointed out, much more eloquently than I, the 2nd tier athlestes seem to be the greatest beneficiaries of the system.

My estimate is that 2-3% of college players will be drafted and an even lesser percentage will make the team, and an even smaller percent will have a long and extremely profitable career. For the rest, the return on investment that a college degree provides seems well worth it.

68
by zdneal@yahoo.com :: Wed, 10/13/2010 - 11:54am

Apply that same math to baseball. How many players get paid to play MLB vs. minors? Why should Ncaaf get the free labor of all minor league football players.

69
by DeltaWhiskey :: Wed, 10/13/2010 - 1:01pm

I know even less about baseball than I do about the details of this topic, such as how many Minor League advance to the Majors and of those that don't, how many players make a successful living playing only Minor League ball - do long-term minor league players make enough salary and earn a pension/retirement when they're done. In other words, how good of a deal is minor league play, and is it a better deal than playing four years of college ball first? I guess if nothing else, it's a choice.

They're not getting free labor. Athletes are compensated with an opportunity to receive an education and the commensurate degree (which has significant value) - now there may be problems with how this pay is delivered and/or received/used by the players, but they are not uncompensated.

I'm willing to acknowledge the compensatory mechanism for NCAA football may be completely jacked, I just haven't seen/heard enough to convince me, and saying that the players are not compensated is a falsehood. What the players do with that compensation and whether they ever earn it, and what efforts a program makes or must make to ensure they earn it is debatable. Also whether or not the compensation is fair or not is debatable as well.