Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Don't Pay NCAA Players

The media is really pushing the pay NCAA players idea. It is not just the lame sports media that is pulling the cart. Time magazine is in on the action. The chatter is not new but has grown in volume in recent years. It's time to pay players! Why? It's sharing revenue made by schools on the backs of players! Why do they have to and what isn't sharing about what they do now? No one is asking Apple to share more revenue with workers. It's a farce! Yes, but so is the compensation structure at most large businesses. Coaches get paid exorbitant salaries! Yes, and they scheme and plan their teams to bowl games that have huge payouts for the school (ex: Iowa + Kirk Ferentz). It'll make things more fair! How and for who? It will stop booster benefits! No it won't. The farce is the idea of paying athletes for any of the proponents reasons. Paying NCAA players will not solve any problems and only create new ones.

Paying Players Would Be Easy + Get Rid of the Sleaze Factor!

Let us grant your wish: colleges can pay players. What sports? Where does the money come from? Is there a salary cap? Does each college have a specific cap if their ticket sales raise much more revenue? Is there an auction for recruits? How does this fix the problem of third party payments? Football and men's basketball programs float the rest of the NCAA programs. If money coems from their revenues, then other sports will get cut. Do we just pay men's basketball and football players? Isn't that sexist? No salary cap means mega-programs will buy up all the blue chip talent. Merchandising, advertisement whoring and naming rights auctions to boost revenue will further invade the college game as it does the NFL. This still does not fix the third party, sleazeball issue. Third parties like boosters and fans of the program can still offer Johnny Manziel thousands of dollars for anything even if he gets $500,000 from Texas A&M. Wealthy Ole Miss grads living in Tennessee may start adopting kids deliberately to send them to Ole Miss. That does not change.

Beyond not changing, the opposite of naive expectations would occur. Third party interference would become worse. Without a cap but to maximize resources, wouldn't boosters funnel more money to the program's coffers for a roster edge rather than any other avenue to alleviate the problems of the world? With a cap on player payments, there would be an incentive for schools to coordinate with third parties to pay top notch recruits under the table to hold down their cap number. The creative leased cars and tattoos issue would be emphasized, meaning that the NCAA would still have to police teams as they do now. To combat creative compensation, the NCAA would have to institute the death penalty on programs. Anyone caught gets a five to ten year scholarship and television penalty. There is no way that the NCAA will do this with the television revenue on the line for conference deals, which is the source of so much of the NCAA money that covers everyone's costs. There is a reason Notre Dame said goodbye to Michigan but kept USC in their new ACC friendly schedule; they need the USC game for their NBC television deal.

The System is a Joke and Unfair Towards Players!

I'll fight a cliche with another cliche. Name me any large institution worldwide today that is not a joke. Unfair is how much plyers get in relation to regular students. Don't knock the value of scholarships and other goods for players. Scholarships that cover all or half of tuition are coveted by average Americans for their smart yet not as athletically gifted children. A lot of mid-level athletes get scholarships to mid-level programs compared to the mid-level scholars who get squat from mid-level schools. That has value. Per diems for food when traveling, grad students write your papers one on one tutoring, access to special fitness facilities, diet advisers and other fringe benefits all add up. Let us not forget the legal benefits they get in having their crimes often washed away or cleaned up compared to the average 16-25 year old American male. How many women are raped per year on campus by athletes? No one knows for sure. Lemarcus the slow, black and fat 18 year old is in jail for feeling up 14 and 15 year olds against their will, not rewarded with a scholarship to play at Ohio State.

A fringe benefit might be status for simply playing for the team. I'm sure the jock chasing groupie benefit is a tremendous benefit. Many young women do not understand the rarity of players being drafted and making it in the pros, therefore they get knocked up to create their revenue stream. I work with one right now. She fell for the "I'm going pro" line. He played at Indiana State University (big, white farmboy lineman). I can't name anyone from that college who made the NFL (few in NFL history). No way is she screwing Cletus in her physical prime without him wearing a helmet on Saturdays.

What do the schools owe these players beyond the previously mentioned great benefits? Nothing. The NBA draft is two rounds, and the NFL draft is seven rounds. That means less than 300 players get drafted between the two revenue generating sports. A majority of those drafted will play professionally for less than five years, meaning they have a lifetime ahead of them. A majority of those who play end up broke within five years of retirement. The payment a majority of players receive is a degree paid for by the school for the rest of their lives. That is their stamp of approval for employers and a decent life if they want one. Even at bowl division schools, players realize the small probability they will make big money in the pros (incentive to 'roid up).

Arggh! I'm angry at the system. It's modern day slavery >avoids mentioning voluntary status + all player benefits< because a majority of the NCAA organization is white while blacks make up a significant percentage of players in the revenue generating sports! Give me my pound of flesh!!!

Whoa, slow down. Looks like the PC sports journalism media has been mainlining social justice crack. Please go back to caring about Russia and gays or the Washington Redskins. No? If it is just to pay players for effort, then nothing gets fixed and once again, the problem remains of who to pay and how much. Here's something for the wolves. Here is a real solution that will help many players that the schools exploit because the kids don't use the school (eye roll):

All merchandise sold with a player's likeness shall have a sliver of revenue set aside in an escrow account to sit for years in the player's name (similar to the NFL). This would include shirts, jerseys, video games, DVDs etc. that specifically use a player's likeness. Michigan sold many #16 jerseys and t-shirts with Denard Robinson's face or image on them. We know who is #16 even if his name is not on the jersey, so he should get a cut. This money would sit in a money market or T-bill account until the player leaves school and/or reaches age 25. This does give a slight advantage to schools with larger fan bases, but they usually compete against each other for the same recruits. This program would also compensate players for the school directly using them to generate revenue. Seeing how fast fans take to a quarterback, it is hard to argue that ticket paying or even television fans watch for one specific player compared to prior players of the same position at that school (example: USC quarterbacks).

This is not perfect but no system is. Not every player would get paid, but please see above, who deserves to get paid in the money losing sports or crappy programs? Who deserves to get paid when they are a no name in the program? Who assigns value to whom? None of these guys should be paid. Is any large company kicking extra money to the cogs of the machine? No. This entire debate is a joke because our nation is so screwed up that it overvalues sports in a time of decline. These young men are paid in free education, glory undeserved, attention unearned and fame from way too many who wouldn't be caught alone with them in an elevator. It is one of the circus attractions to our bread and circus society, and the semi-educated agitators that hold the megaphone want the gladiators to be paid.

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