1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Explain why college athletes shouldn't/won't ever get paid.

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Azrael, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    Because Joe Nocera of the New York Times does a very good job of explaining why they should and will.

  2. His solution is not much better than the current system:
    1. A salary cap will still induce illicit payments in order to circumvent whatever the cap in place is.

    2. He only includes a "free market" approach for two sports, and if those sports go to the free market, not only should "lacrosse" have to fend for itself, Title IX should no longer apply -- because those sports are paying for all of the other teams (men's and women's) that cannot support themselves. Furthermore, the play-for-pay sports shouldn't legally be considered academic programs, which means schools should be allowed to have football and men's basketball — and nothing else.

    3. Lifetime health insurance would be incredibly expensive, as will worker's compensation and employer taxes. Costs will soar pretty quickly.

    4. His system, with its lower overall roster sizes, will reduce the number of high schoolers who get into college significantly. His proposed reduction from 85 to 65 in football alone will represent 2,400 fewer students each year. The disproportionate toll this will take on minorities at many universities should be considered.

    5. The system will lead to far fewer teams competing. Of the 120 FBS teams, only about 60 break even on football currently. If you increase costs, the number will drop, probably to about 40-45. Some schools will be willing to take the increased losses on football, but probably not too many. At a certain point, the increased costs will push out the MAC, the Sun Belt, Conference USA, most of the Mountain West, and most of the WAC. Once you start eliminating the worse, you create serious problems for the long-term health of the system, which is built upon certain teams having three or four easy out-of-conference games so that they can present a "winning" record at the end of the season, even if they are under .500 in the conference. The downstream effects of such a massive change should not be underestimated and constitute a significant threat to the health of the college football landscape.

    6. If we take his theory that the number of teams will drop from 120 to 72 in football (-48 * 85 = -4,080) and 338 to 100 in basketball (-228 * 12 = 2,856), and that football roster sizes will drop by 20 for the remaining teams (-20 * 72 = -1,440) — then we will see a decrease in student-athletes by about 8,400. This is compounded by the fact that many of those lost scholarships will be low-income students and students who couldn't get into a good college other than through sports.

    The current system isn't perfect, but it's not as offensive as Nocera and Branch pretend. It's basically an insurance policy. If you're really a star, you'll make your money in the NFL and get a college degree in the process.* If you're not, you got a $200,000 scholarship and a degree worth many times that despite the fact that you cannot contribute and earn a career in the sport.

    I fully support a series of systemic changes: 4-year guaranteed scholarships; easier transfers out-of-conference; a $5,000 stipend; the right for Universities to guarantee post-career employment. I also believe that by instituting a 4- or 8-team playoff and getting rid of the middle-man BCS, the NCAA could fund these initiatives through the increased profits.

    I just don't think that paying players, currently, is feasible. Nor do I think the current system is terribly unfair. Some players are under-compensated, but a majority are over-compensated. If you want to visualize just what tremendous percent of players are over-compensated: http://bluegraysky.com/rivals3.png, created by Jay Barry.

    *I think there are good arguments to be made about reforming the academic support requirements on the schools to ensure players actually receive this benefit.
  3. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    This was also posted on the Journalism thread, but I got distracted by Starman's cheerleader pic, so anyhoo:

    Nocera's heart is in the right place, but the system he's fully proposing is unworkable, for many of the numbered reasons Franklin Lincoln articulated above. Having said that my proposals:

    1. Give all D-I athletes a stipend to make up the cost of attendance. A full scholarship should be exactly that. This takes care of Title IX. Pay for it with a 16-team NCAA D-I playoff (Cut back on the regular season by 2 conference games).

    2. Allow any athletes the right to make ancilliary income however they want. Sneaker deals, autograph signings, Playboy posing, free hamburgers at the local McDonald's. Whatever they make over the mandated IRS limit, they have to report. They also should receive a percentage of any profits from licensing (such as jerseys and video games).

    3. Guarantee scholarships for four years unless the athlete becomes academically ineligible or breaks the law.

    4. Allow athletes one free transfer to any school they want for the next season, without sitting out. Coaches switch teams all the time. Why can't players?

    5. Cut back the hours the athletes can be mandated to practice and be in meetings from 20 hours to 10 (not counting travel time), and any pressure from coaches to practice more results in a $100K fine for the first offence, $200K for the second offense, and firing in the third offense. They are in school to go to school first, not play a sport. Time to get priorities changed.

    6. Mandated health insurance paid for by the school during the time they are in school, and catastrophic health insurance for life if a player is proven crippled on the field.
  4. As The Crow Flies

    As The Crow Flies Active Member

    Franklin and Baron have a good handle on things, but I still don't understand all the love for the 4-year scholarship. My academic scholarship was renewed on a yearly basis, depending on my grade point average, and just about everyone I knew had a similar academic scholarship.

    I understand that athletics are more subjective and there's not a neat formula like GPA to make a clean cutoff line, but I don't have a huge problem with athletic scholarships being evaluated on a yearly basis _ especially if there's a rule (as mentioned by Baron) that players can transfer once and be eligible immediately.
  5. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Does the 20-hour limit include game day? I have no problem with 20 hours, if it includes game day, because a lot of on-campus jobs are based on 20 hours per week.
  6. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I think it does, but they only count for 3 hours, or something like that. They don't count the actual game-day preparation, getting taped up and warmed up, early meetings, Gipper speeches, post-game media stuff and things like that that turn a football gameday into an 8-hour day.

    It also only counts for "official" practices and workouts. They also have "voluntary" workouts as well, which, with the threats of taking away scholarships on a whim, aren't really "voluntary.
  7. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Nothing will change. Any meaningful reform will be stymied by the smaller schools since under the current structure the lower tier schools outnumber the big boys.

    It might still be Division I but the difference between, say, Northern Illinois and Alabama is staggering.

    That's what nobody wants to acknowledge. The big boys are another planet, which is why, when the TV contracts come up in a couple of years, the big boys will split off.

    Barnhart wrote it six months ago and it still true now.

    What will be interesting is if some of the more academically minded schools in power conferences or those with religious affiliations go along for the ride. Because if you thought conference realignment was a confusing mess this season, wait for it will be like in a couple of years.
  8. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Here's 20 reasons:

  9. Second Thoughts

    Second Thoughts Active Member

    They do get paid. How much are scholarships worth these days?

    If the majority of them would go to class, they might realize the value.

    And don't they get a lot of free stuff when they go to bowl games?

    That said, I think it's highway robbery that the NCAA allows schools to sell team jerseys with favorite players numbers on them but the players don't get anything.
  10. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Skool is for sucks.
  11. For me, it's two things. First, like I said, I view the scholarship program like an insurance policy, which only works if the scholarship is guaranteed for four years. Second, under the current paradigm, with transfer restrictions, it's absurd to limit the kid as to where he can play in year 2 even if the school need not give him a scholarship for that year.
  12. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    There are tax implications in all of this as well.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page