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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Northwestern University Football Players Are Attempting To Unionize

Now you know you’re underpaid but the boss says you ain’t;
He speeds up the work ‘til you’re ‘bout to faint.
You may be down and out, but you ain’t beaten,
You can pass out a leaflet and call a meetin’.
Talk it over, speak your mind,
Decide to do somethin’ about it.—Pete Seeger

Northwestern football players have begun the process of applying to the National Labor Relations Board to form a union, ESPN’s Outside The Lines reports.

The players are receiving support from the United Steelworkers and a group called the National College Players Association, which was founded by former UCLA linebacker Ramogi Huma. Huma says an “overwhelming majority” of the team’s 85 scholarship players signed cards requesting union representation.

eddieot Posted: January 28, 2014 at 04:32 PM | 201 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: college football, football, rip pete seeger, union

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   101. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4648375)

Minor league baseball free agents--a decent estimate of the free market price for minor league athletic talent-- make $12-25,000 per month.


I think you have an extra zero in there.
   102. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 30, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4648751)
Not according to what I read:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/minors/season-preview/2010/269689.html

That's not the prix fixe price forced upon players, but a free market price for the better players in AAA. I'd say that's a fairer representation of true market value of top minor league athletic talent than anything else I've been able to discover.

FWIW, estimates of a college athlete's marginal revenue product, based on Fizel and Fort's work, was approximately for $400,000 in 1995-96 for a player with NFL draft potential. From 2004-2012 college football revenues doubled. Assuming a similar rate of increase, or even a much lower one from the prior ten years, you'd have to estimate that a draftable D1 football player had an MRP of 1 to 1.5 million, which would be what he would be paid in a theoretical free market. Nondraftable players would certainly be much less. If we use the ration between the top salary in the NFL and the league minimum (roughly 30), then the NCAA D1 "minimum" might be $30-50,000.

The average public list price tuition is $8,890 according to The College Board (which is really discounted on average more than 50%). So the typical student athlete is being given a product valued at $3,120. That's not even close--barely 10%--of the minimum compensation for a revenue sport college athlete for their market value. Any idea that it's anything close to what the top 10-15% of players who have a shot at being drafted are worth on a free market is just silly.
   103. GregD Posted: January 30, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4648797)
FWIW, estimates of a college athlete's marginal revenue product, based on Fizel and Fort's work, was approximately for $400,000 in 1995-96 for a player with NFL draft potential. From 2004-2012 college football revenues doubled. Assuming a similar rate of increase, or even a much lower one from the prior ten years, you'd have to estimate that a draftable D1 football player had an MRP of 1 to 1.5 million, which would be what he would be paid in a theoretical free market. Nondraftable players would certainly be much less. If we use the ration between the top salary in the NFL and the league minimum (roughly 30), then the NCAA D1 "minimum" might be $30-50,000.

The average public list price tuition is $8,890 according to The College Board (which is really discounted on average more than 50%). So the typical student athlete is being given a product valued at $3,120. That's not even close--barely 10%--of the minimum compensation for a revenue sport college athlete for their market value. Any idea that it's anything close to what the top 10-15% of players who have a shot at being drafted are worth on a free market is just silly.
I agree with you but would add that you should add the room and board living expenses built into most scholarships.

The only people in most universities getting "charged" the book tuition are scholarship athletes, and they are only getting charged it by the PR releases of the athletic offices. Almost no one pays full tuition.
   104. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 30, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4648799)
That's not the prix fixe price forced upon players, but a free market price for the better players in AAA. I'd say that's a fairer representation of true market value of top minor league athletic talent than anything else I've been able to discover.

Sure, that's what the AAAA near major leaguers get. But those guys are equivalent to college stars who don't make it in the NFL.

Gino Torretta and Charlie Ward should make $10-25 K a month. A mediocre linebacker at Kansas State is probably closer to $2K per month.

The vast bulk of the DIV1 players are far closer to A/AA roster fodder than near major leaguers.
   105. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 30, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4648910)
You're right about room and board. That brings the total today to $12,620, or about $1,000 per month.

High A salary is $1500-$1600 a month
AA salary is $1700 to $1900 a month.

Minor league player salaries are negotiated by major league players, hardly the group likely to insist on fair market value.
The top revenue minor league team is generally around $15-20 million.
The top revenue college football teams top $100 million in revenue.

It's hard for me to believe that a sport that generates 5-7 times the revenue wouldn't have a player salary that is significantly larger, especially when the salary comparison is based on a league with fixed salary negotiated by those who have an interest in keeping salaries low. I'm guessing 2,000 is low. By the way, K-State football revenue was almost $36 million, more than double a top revenue minor league team.
   106. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 30, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4648916)
High A salary is $1500-$1600 a month
AA salary is $1700 to $1900 a month.

Minor league player salaries are negotiated by major league players, hardly the group likely to insist on fair market value.
The top revenue minor league team is generally around $15-20 million.
The top revenue college football teams top $100 million in revenue.

It's hard for me to believe that a sport that generates 5-7 times the revenue wouldn't have a player salary that is significantly larger, especially when the salary comparison is based on a league with fixed salary negotiated by those who have an interest in keeping salaries low. I'm guessing 2,000 is low. By the way, K-State football revenue was almost $36 million, more than double a top revenue minor league team.


Right, but it's 80-90 guys, not 25, so that undoes a lot of the revenue edge. And, the MLB teams are paying those salaries.
   107. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 30, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4648917)
Here's a little Freakonomics info on college basketball--9 out 16 players on the Indiana basketball team are estimated to be worth more than the list value of the scholarship. If you use the net price I provided above, it's 13 out of 16.

http://freakonomics.com/2013/03/22/how-about-a-free-market-for-college-athletes/

I'm a health economist, not a sports economist, but I take an interest in the sports econ articles. I'd say the info I've seen suggests the vast majority--say 67-75%--of college athletes have scholarships that represent half or less of their MRP.
   108. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 30, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4648925)
Gino Torretta and Charlie Ward


Heh, way to stay current there snapper.
   109. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 30, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4648932)
Heh, way to stay current there snapper.

I try :-)
   110. SouthSideRyan Posted: January 30, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4648973)
I'd say the info I've seen suggests the vast majority--say 67-75%--of college athletes have scholarships that represent half or less of their MRP.


If Indiana basketball, one of the top revenue generating NCAA basketball teams doesn't meet the 67% mark, I have no idea how all scholarship athletes could be above that. Half of the players on an elite football team wouldn't hit that mark, then you get to the 50 football teams that nobody cares about and I can't imagine there's more than 3 or 4 guys per team that are "worth" their scholarship.

ETA: And I see in the link that study happened to coincide with Indiana's best team in the last 20 years, so it's far from represenative.
   111. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 30, 2014 at 10:22 PM (#4649082)
Indiana basketball doesn't even make half of what K-State football does, and in that one study 82% of their players had MRP exceeding scholarship. And that include 4 guys who basically were redshirted. People overestimate the actual value of a scholarship and underestimate the revenue big-time sports make.
   112. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 30, 2014 at 10:29 PM (#4649088)
Indiana basketball doesn't even make half of what K-State football does, and in that one study 82% of their players had MRP exceeding scholarship. And that include 4 guys who basically were redshirted. People overestimate the actual value of a scholarship and underestimate the revenue big-time sports make.

But what's the marginal revenue the scholarship players bring?

College football was huge back when everyone was basically a walk-on? The question is how much revenue would the D-I lose if they went full D-III recruiting rules.
   113. SoSH U at work Posted: January 30, 2014 at 10:38 PM (#4649092)
The question is how much revenue would the D-I lose if they went full D-III recruiting rules.


Well, we'd see how little market value the non-NFL types actually have.

   114. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 30, 2014 at 10:42 PM (#4649094)
Indiana basketball doesn't even make half of what K-State football does, and in that one study 82% of their players had MRP exceeding scholarship. And that include 4 guys who basically were redshirted. People overestimate the actual value of a scholarship and underestimate the revenue big-time sports make.


IU basketball also has 13/85 of the scholarship roster KSU football uses.

If KSU football is worth 2x the revenue of IU basketball then the average KSU football player is only worth about 30% of the IU basketball player.
   115. Shibal Posted: January 31, 2014 at 12:22 AM (#4649120)
Here's a little Freakonomics info on college basketball--9 out 16 players on the Indiana basketball team are estimated to be worth more than the list value of the scholarship. If you use the net price I provided above, it's 13 out of 16.


There's so many flaws in that Freakonomics study that it is laughable. A mop-up player (Hanner Mosquera Peara) who's only role is to act like a victory cigar during big wins is worth $28,000? Each Indiana win is worth $100,000, to be split among the players as if they are the ones that generated that revenue and not the Indiana name and fanbase?

Ugh.
   116. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 26, 2014 at 07:00 PM (#4677569)
Kids won round 1
   117. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 26, 2014 at 07:15 PM (#4677577)
Well, maybe. Some lawyers on Twitter are saying that being classified as employees could expose scholarship recipients to tax liabilities.

As I mentioned in the OTP thread, I don't see how a pay-to-play scheme for the NCAA could coexist with Title IX, at least as far as athletics are concerned. The average college probably can't afford to pay even its basketball and football players, let alone its gymnasts and track athletes, and from what I've read, Title IX wouldn't abide men's football and basketball players being paid while everyone else goes unpaid.
   118. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:17 PM (#4677611)
Well, maybe. Some lawyers on Twitter are saying that being classified as employees could expose scholarship recipients to tax liabilities.

As I mentioned in the OTP thread, I don't see how a pay-to-play scheme for the NCAA could coexist with Title IX, at least as far as athletics are concerned. The average college probably can't afford to pay even its basketball and football players, let alone its gymnasts and track athletes, and from what I've read, Title IX wouldn't abide men's football and basketball players being paid while everyone else goes unpaid.


With any luck, this will get colleges and universities out of the "sports for profit" business.

Reduce all sports to D III status, eliminate athletic scholarships and let the NFL and NBA run their own minor leagues.
   119. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:29 PM (#4677613)
Reduce all sports to D III status, eliminate athletic scholarships and let the NFL and NBA run their own minor leagues.

Based on the reasoning of the opinion, the players would still be deemed "employees" of the school even if that was the model. The decider, whatever the hell he's called, made a big deal out of trivia such as the players having to show up at a certain time to catch the plane to the game, or for practice. That supposedly gives the coach so much control over the players' days that they're able to unionize.

The other part of the opinion would also be met -- the schools would still charge admission to the games and would therefore generate revenues from the activity.

This is nothing but a money grab. There are some practices and abuses that should be cured, but anyone with a brain knows that isn't what this is about.
   120. zonk Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:34 PM (#4677614)
With any luck, this will get colleges and universities out of the "sports for profit" business.

Reduce all sports to D III status, eliminate athletic scholarships and let the NFL and NBA run their own minor leagues.


Works for me --

But that money is always gonna go somewhere and I just don't see it going to an NFL/NBA 'minor league'... Again - folks can be cynical if they want, and sure, it's the next logical step - but it's worth noting that the NU group pointedly was not looking for direct compensation at the moment. Their wish list consisted of some manner of protections for scholarships - something everyone seemed to agree was reasonable over the last page+ - and also something the NCAA keeps issuing annual "advisory memos" in favor of... Which is stupid when you consider the NCAA could easily make that happen. Or - if you want to protect schools against the Lawrence Phillips types (or rather, the Lawrence Phillips types who also blow out a knee), simply require institutions to allocate 4 year scholarships so they don't use them like MLB waivers. The other thing they wanted was a representative at NCAA rule change meetings - again, something that seems pretty reasonable.

Look - I'm part of the problem... I've got my share of licensed gear and while I don't donate to the athletic funds any longer, I did once upon a time... I likewise attend most fall games and try to hit a few hoops games, too. I don't spend a ton on it - but that money goes somewhere. If the NCAA and member schools were to allocate that money better, in some more pure form -- that would be one thing... but at this point, my opinion is simply that I DON'T think it should go to pro-level coach and AD contracts (and buyouts) or other feed the beasts schemas.

The NCAA has it entirely in its power to change the culture, change the system, and do it in a way that the 'better angels' come out ahead.... Folks can bash Title IX all they want - but that's one of the few good things member institutions have been forced to do -- trickle a bit of opportunity from the cash cow into areas that then open up the occasional opportunity elsewhere.

I only got a C+ in macroeconomics -- but the one thing I do remember learning was about opportunity cost... and the prof in question used the example of how financial aid schemas are structured -- having just seen my own aid package (particularly in regard to grants) suspiciously slide precipitously from freshman to sophomore to junior (despite my family income actually sliding a bit over the same period) taught me everything I need to know about the 'business' of college.

The beast that is Div I college athletics is the worst spawn -- and don't get me wrong, I still love all parts of my days in it and still do the booster thing -- but at some point, the hypocrisy just gets so enormous I'll side with anyone and any side that chops it down a bit.
   121. Tripon Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:51 PM (#4677615)
Based on the reasoning of the opinion, the players would still be deemed "employees" of the school even if that was the model. The decider, whatever the hell he's called, made a big deal out of trivia such as the players having to show up at a certain time to catch the plane to the game, or for practice. That supposedly gives the coach so much control over the players' days that they're able to unionize.

The other part of the opinion would also be met -- the schools would still charge admission to the games and would therefore generate revenues from the activity.

This is nothing but a money grab. There are some practices and abuses that should be cured, but anyone with a brain knows that isn't what this is about.



Are you saying that coaches *don't* have control over the players schedule?
   122. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 26, 2014 at 09:58 PM (#4677618)
With any luck, this will get colleges and universities out of the "sports for profit" business.

I'd have a lot less problem with "sports for profit" at the college level if the "student-athletes" were actually representative of the schools for which they play. But when we've gotten to the point where people with 990 SATs are being admitted to Stanford because they can catch or throw a ball, the whole system has gotten out of whack.

***
This is nothing but a money grab. There are some practices and abuses that should be cured, but anyone with a brain knows that isn't what this is about.

Yup, as evidenced by CAPA apparently only caring about football and men's basketball players. If they weren't after "pay for play," which they proclaim at every opportunity, then why wouldn't they care equally about women's basketball players and men's soccer players, et al.?

It's also interesting that the NLRB ruling only defines the bargaining unit as the football team. I assume that's because only the football team petitioned, but it seems like they're hurtling toward major Title IX problems.
   123. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:32 PM (#4677625)
Look - I'm part of the problem... I've got my share of licensed gear and while I don't donate to the athletic funds any longer, I did once upon a time... I likewise attend most fall games and try to hit a few hoops games, too. I don't spend a ton on it - but that money goes somewhere. If the NCAA and member schools were to allocate that money better, in some more pure form -- that would be one thing... but at this point, my opinion is simply that I DON'T think it should go to pro-level coach and AD contracts (and buyouts) or other feed the beasts schemas.

Fine. Let them play the games with real students like D III teams do, and let the money go into the general fund.
   124. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:46 PM (#4677632)
Fine. Let them play the games with real students like D III teams do, and let the money go into the general fund.

According to my best research, this was the last college football team with 100% certified "real students".
   125. theboyqueen Posted: March 26, 2014 at 10:51 PM (#4677634)
I'd have a lot less problem with "sports for profit" at the college level if the "student-athletes" were actually representative of the schools for which they play. But when we've gotten to the point where people with 990 SATs are being admitted to Stanford because they can catch or throw a ball, the whole system has gotten out of whack.


Why? They are being admitted to Stanford because they are good at football, and football makes money, and not for any other reason whatsoever. The "system" you bemoan is called capitalism.
   126. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 26, 2014 at 11:07 PM (#4677637)
Why? They are being admitted to Stanford because they are good at football, and football makes money, and not for any other reason whatsoever. The "system" you bemoan is called capitalism.

This is true, but it kind of goes against the grain of those fuzzy-wuzzy halftime blurbs about scholar-athletes and all that.

OTOH this sort of stuff goes back to the end of the 19th century. Big time college football has always been thoroughly corrupt, to the point that by 1929 the Carnegie Commission issued an oversized 383 page report decrying the rampant commercialism of American college athletics. And eight years after the end of WWII, this John Wayne movie glorified a shady football coach whose practices kept his (Catholic) college from going belly up.
   127. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 26, 2014 at 11:21 PM (#4677640)
This is true, but it kind of goes against the grain of those fuzzy-wuzzy halftime blurbs about scholar-athletes and all that.

Right. If they're "student-athletes," they should be representative student-athletes; if they're just hired professional athletes who otherwise couldn't or wouldn't be at the school, then let's dispense with the nonsense and just call them that.
   128. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: March 27, 2014 at 07:20 AM (#4677678)
But sports is a legitimate professional field, no different than the arts or academics. If colleges accept students who are crisply at math because of their prodigious talent in, say, visual arts (and they do), why not admit someone crappy at math because of their prodigious talent in football?

I actually have more problem with the Ivy model of athletics because it fell between two stools. The football players are still out of place academically (with some exceptions) but they also aren't as talented in their fields as the academics kids are in theirs. To me, if you're a top academic school that's going to accept folks for athletics, at least try for the best, like Stanford does.
   129. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 07:43 AM (#4677682)
But sports is a legitimate professional field


Like stripping and porn.
   130. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: March 27, 2014 at 08:33 AM (#4677691)
For what it's worth, if have no problem with a university accepting the best pornographic actress in the world. She probably has a lot more to gain from the experience than the 200th smart kid from Scarsdale.
   131. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 08:39 AM (#4677694)
For what it's worth, if have no problem with a university accepting the best pornographic actress in the world.


I don't either, as long as they aren't giving out a scholarship for porn.

But shame on your sexism, what about male porn actors? Check your phallic privilege you bigot.
   132. zonk Posted: March 27, 2014 at 08:43 AM (#4677695)
Well, FWIW regarding "student athletes" --

Northwestern once again led the nation in graduation rates last year (97%) and without looking it up, pretty sure they've been top 5 - if not outright leading - forever in that metric. I have no doubt that NU is going to give someone that can run a 4.2/40 a bit more room on SAT scores, but I'll just also repeat from a different thread... It's a pretty small undergrad campus - easily the smallest in the B1G10 - and I ran into plenty of players in class, etc. I likewise had a few friends on the team - and again, on a small campus, you tend to run into people at parties, campus events, etc - and I never met a player that I ever left thinking "Wow, this guy sure wouldn't be here without football" (academically -- financially, yeah, that's another story)...

What's more - I lived on campus throughout my undergrad days, 2 years in a dorm then 2 years in a frat and had various players on my floor all 4 years... The hours were certainly brutal - more than one occasion, I know I was getting in as they were heading out to morning practice. It was certainly a much bigger time commitment than the 15 hours or so I spent working in the cafeteria.

It probably should be emphasized the the group's actions here were actually solely involved with NU at this point, not the NCAA at large (obviously, that would change if the full NLRB and courts uphold the initial decision)... and of course, you pick a best test case to move forward with something like this.
   133. zonk Posted: March 27, 2014 at 08:46 AM (#4677698)
I don't either, as long as they aren't giving out a scholarship for porn.


Well, at this rate, I guess I'll never be going back for a masters...
   134. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 10:05 AM (#4677724)

Fine. Let them play the games with real students like D III teams do, and let the money go into the general fund.


How is that better for the students?
   135. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4677759)
With no scholarship incentives students would play sports because they enjoyed playing them. Sporting teams would be more representative of the student body at large.
   136. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4677766)
Why? They are being admitted to Stanford because they are good at football, and football makes money, and not for any other reason whatsoever. The "system" you bemoan is called capitalism.

But Universities are allegedly not-for-profits. They're not supposed to be engaged in capitalism. No one begrudges the ability of a minor league team to charge for admission and pay players, but these are not professional teams (in theory).

But sports is a legitimate professional field, no different than the arts or academics. If colleges accept students who are crisply at math because of their prodigious talent in, say, visual arts (and they do), why not admit someone crappy at math because of their prodigious talent in football?

But the Universities don't run consulting firms and film studios staffed with unpaid student workers that are run for profit.
   137. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4677773)
How is that better for the students?

Because they have to be students, and focus on their studies. It isn't better for the professional athletes masquerading as students, but they don't belong at the college anyway,
   138. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4677774)
Are athletic departments "for-profit" necessarily? I know some makes gobs of money, but they usually plow that money back into lavish facilities and coaching salaries. Its not like there are shareholders make out with dividends. I'm probably splitting hairs here.
   139. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4677782)
Are athletic departments "for-profit" necessarily? I know some makes gobs of money, but they usually plow that money back into lavish facilities and coaching salaries. Its not like there are shareholders make out with dividends. I'm probably splitting hairs here.

They're run for the profit of the coaches and ADs.
   140. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4677794)

Are athletic departments "for-profit" necessarily? I know some makes gobs of money, but they usually plow that money back into lavish facilities and coaching salaries.


More specifically, they plow the money into other, non-revenue sports.


Because they have to be students, and focus on their studies.


Having taught at a Division III school, the student athletes spent plenty of time at practice, as much as NCAA regulations allowed. For a Division I school, with millions at stake, the pressures are that much greater.
   141. The Good Face Posted: March 27, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4677796)
Having taught at a Division III school, the student athletes spent plenty of time at practice, as much as NCAA regulations allowed.


That doesn't sound like a particularly desireable state of affairs.
   142. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: March 27, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4677797)
But the Universities don't run consulting firms and film studios staffed with unpaid student workers that are run for profit.


they would if they could
   143. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4677798)
Having taught at a Division III school, the student athletes spent plenty of time at practice, as much as NCAA regulations allowed. For a Division I school, with millions at stake, the pressures are that much greater.


I played a heap of intramural and pickup basketball all through my undergrad years (and not a small number of hours in grad school), once we remove the perverse scholarship incentives from college sports the students will participate as much as they feel comfortable doing. It shouldn't be anybody's business if someone wants to run full-court until 2AM.
   144. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4677804)
Non-revenue sports existed before football programs became massive cash cows. This idea that you need football and basketball to exploit people because it helps gymnastics out is kind of crazy. The power conferences should just go pro and stop being hypocritical about all of this.
   145. BDC Posted: March 27, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4677827)
Of course, football is a cash cow for some institutions, and far less for others. I often use TCU as an example. Their football program was just breaking even when they joined the Big 12; they have had an increase in revenue because of the conference membership, and might have turned a profit in 2012, but they're also experiencing a downturn in attendance, didn't go to a bowl game in 2013 … I doubt they're securely profitable as a long-term proposition. Conference alignments are written in water nowadays, among other things, and if you're suddenly playing Rice and Tulane instead of Texas and Oklahoma, the revenue hit is enormous.

But the "brand" of TCU locally and regionally is completely bound up with football. The local media devote endless attention to TCU sports, mostly football. There are few other ways a university could so dominate the headlines and the newsfeeds. They'll gladly run a loss for that kind of exposure.
   146. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:13 PM (#4677836)
But the Universities don't run consulting firms and film studios staffed with unpaid student workers that are run for profit.


they would if they could


Sure, but then they'd lose their non-profit status and have to pay taxes. I doubt the the big-time football schools want to pay property tax on all their athletic facilities.
   147. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4677839)
I actually have more problem with the Ivy model of athletics because it fell between two stools. The football players are still out of place academically (with some exceptions) but they also aren't as talented in their fields as the academics kids are in theirs. To me, if you're a top academic school that's going to accept folks for athletics, at least try for the best, like Stanford does.

Well, once you get past Stanford and Duke, what private schools are known both for top flight athletics and academics? And there are only so many grade A Division I athletes who could meet even the somewhat lowered admission standards that those two colleges have for athletic scholarships.

The other way to look at the Ivy jocks is that they're more like foxes than hedgehogs,** better academically but not as talented athletically as their counterparts in most non-Ivy League schools. Since the well-rounded student is supposedly what colleges are looking for, I'm not sure what's particularly wrong with the Ivy model.

**I hate that overused cliche, but it's appropriate here.

   148. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4677841)
The other way to look at the Ivy jocks is that they're more like foxes than hedgehogs,** better academically but not as talented athletically as their counterparts in most non-Ivy League schools. Since the well-rounded student is supposedly what colleges are looking for, I'm not sure what's particularly wrong with the Ivy model.

Agree. Letting a kid with a 1200 SAT instead of a 1400 into Harvard b/c he's decent at football is not the source of the NCAA's corruption.
   149. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4677890)

Non-revenue sports existed before football programs became massive cash cows. This idea that you need football and basketball to exploit people because it helps gymnastics out is kind of crazy.


There weren't that many non-revenue sports, and none for women. Track and field and gymnastics are relatively cheap, but other sports require specialized facilities. Plus training, medical care, travel expenses (the biggie)...



I played a heap of intramural and pickup basketball all through my undergrad years (and not a small number of hours in grad school), once we remove the perverse scholarship incentives from college sports the students will participate as much as they feel comfortable doing.


That's naive. Without scholarships you will have boosters offering to pay a student's way through school if he'll play for the school team, and then the booster will be the one saying exactly how much the student will practice.
   150. TDF, situational idiot Posted: March 27, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4677898)
I disagree with almost everything that's been said in this thread.

***

First, the NCAA isn't "corrupt" or "evil"; they are doing exactly what their members are tellling them what to do. They make no money; the money from football and men's basketball goes to the schools. Further, they're charged with 2 jobs that are nearly impossible and getting more impossible by the day: keep students "amateur", and keep the playing field level for all schools.

Both of those things mean they have to have strict rules, and they have to enforce them aggressively. A kid needs to go home for a family funeral; the NCAA says the school can't pay for it. Heartless, but where is the line between what personal travel can and can't be paid for? By having a rule that is strict and strictly enforced there are no gray areas that schools can manipulate.

***

Second, the drive to give the student-athletes more will directly affect the level playing field. According to USA Today, only 23 schools broke even in 2012 (out of 223 Division 1 schools); of those, only 7 took no money from the college's general fund. Wisconsin, for instance, "profited" over $1.5M during 2012 but it took over $7M from outside the athletic department to get there; Boise State, home of the best non-BCS football team at that time, needed almost $11M in subsidies just to break even.

To further show how concentrated the money is, 17 of the 23 schools are either Big 10 or SEC schools.

So what would happen? The few schools that have no revenue issues - Ohio State, Texas, Michigan, Alabama - will be able to offer recruits more, and be able to further solidify their holds at the top of the performance and revenue pyramids. It would make it less likely that the non-elite schools can compete in the future. The big boys will keep their high paid coaches and ADs, their palace-like facilities, and their outsized national exposure and be able to concentrate more of the talent, money, and attention into fewer schools.

Some will argue that it will force schools to cut the salaries for coaches and ADs. That's true, but only at the non-elite schools; the OSUs and UTs will always have the money they need.

***

The people in this thread that bring up Title IX are right - if football and men's basketball players are given something of value, an (approximately) equal number of female athletes will have to be given the same "something", and those sports aren't revenue-generating, so the money will have to come from somewhere (and remember, the vast majority of athletics departments are already in the red), most likely from increased tuition or fees. I doubt parents of non-athletes would appreciate that.

***

On the other hand, Ohio State would love it. A couple of years ago, when USA Today did their annual college athletics revenue report, they wrote a separate story on OSU. It was noted that they have teams compete in every NCAA championship except 3 (men's and women's skiing were 2; I forget the 3rd). No only that, they fully fund each sport - maximum allowable full-time coaches, maximum allowable scholarships; they have athletics money falling out of their butts. If they can offer an extra benefit that only a handful of their competitors can, and offer it to all of their studen-athletes (not just some of them), that would play right into their recruiting hands.

***

As to following the DIII model, don't kid yourself. There is bending and breaking of rules at every DIII school in the country. Winning schools bring in the most money at DIII too.

***

I do think that forcing the NFL and NBA to create real minor leagues would solve most if not all of the problems people see with college sports; the interest will follow the best talent, and the money will follow the interest. Take the level of play down a couple of notches, and people won't care nearly as much about college football and basketball - ticket prices will plummet, sponsorships will dry up, the best coaches will move on to the pros (or drop a zero or 2 from their paychecks to stay in college), there won't be any of the incentives to cheat.

But that won't be easy, because the courts evidently think the current setup is OK. I couldn't believe Maurice Clarett lost his lawsuit - how can someone be legally barred from earning an honest living? Edward Snowden was a high school dropout, but was given the opportunity to work on some of the most sophisticated computer networks in the world; why should an athlete not be granted the same opportunities in his profession?
   151. TDF, situational idiot Posted: March 27, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4677910)
After all of that, I forgot another point:

To all of those here that think a union is a good way for the athletes to go: How do you think unions for athletes will play in the SEC, especially considering the recent VW/UAW vs. Tennessee dustup? Will the state threaten to withhold money to a school if they allow the players to unionize, which they did to VW?
   152. BDC Posted: March 27, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4677911)
once you get past Stanford and Duke, what private schools are known both for top flight athletics and academics?

Depends on how you define "known" and "top flight," I guess. Going by English and writing programs (my front line for defining top-flight academics, obviously), Syracuse is outstanding. Notre Dame, even better; their football brand is so prominent that people tend to underrate them academically. USC has a first-rate faculty. Georgetown among the basketball powers – in fact, quite a few Jesuit schools are strong in both academics and sports, traditionally and currently (Marquette, St. Louis, Gonzaga, Boston College).

I don't mean to disparage any university I forgot; these are off the top of my head.
   153. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4677918)
the interest will follow the best talent, and the money will follow the interest. Take the level of play down a couple of notches, and people won't care nearly as much about college football and basketball - ticket prices will plummet, sponsorships will dry up, the best coaches will move on to the pros (or drop a zero or 2 from their paychecks to stay in college), there won't be any of the incentives to cheat.


This I disagree with; college fans root for laundry -- their ties to their school and state are what matter. The Arena League never made much money, and if it were possible to make large sums absent ties with universities, then top-flight college players would have done so already by forming an independent league. It's not like there is a shortage of facilities around the country.

A game between 22 random Auburn and Alabama students would fill the stadium at either institution. Heck, it might draw more attention just for the novelty.
   154. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4677923)
I do think that forcing the NFL and NBA to create real minor leagues would solve most if not all of the problems people see with college sports; the interest will follow the best talent, and the money will follow the interest.


I don't see how minor league football is anything but a giant money suck. Too many players and not enough games. Fans won't flock to the minors simply because the talent is better than the level of play at the colleges (for instance, I'm sure the NBA D League teams are superior to virtually every NCAA basketball team, if not all of them. No one cares). And without TV money or free labor, football is too expensive.
   155. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4677924)
Second, the drive to give the student-athletes more will directly affect the level playing field. According to USA Today, only 23 schools broke even in 2012 (out of 223 Division 1 schools); of those, only 7 took no money from the college's general fund. Wisconsin, for instance, "profited" over $1.5M during 2012 but it took over $7M from outside the athletic department to get there; Boise State, home of the best non-BCS football team at that time, needed almost $11M in subsidies just to break even.

This is the biggest argument for the corruption of the NCAA. They're plundering educational funding for the benefit of head coaches, ADs and the NFL/NBA,

WTF should schools be divertiung general fund revenues to sports? If sports are a money loser for colleges on the whole, they should definitely be reduced to D III levels and expenses.
   156. BDC Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4677932)
WTF should schools be divertiung general fund revenues to sports?

See #145 above. Administrators see sports as crucial to their brand. I'm not sure they're entirely wrong. Tons of people who barely knew Dayton was a place, let alone had a university, are aware of it when they study this weekend's bracket.
   157. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4677936)

WTF should schools be divertiung general fund revenues to sports?


The idea, going back to the 19th century, is that a sound mind and a sound body go hand in hand, and that universities ought to promote both.

My views on the NCAA are not that different from TDF. The students ought to be allowed to unionize, since they deserve a say in their working conditions. I think they are employees, or close enough to matter. I don't think there are the limitless sums that some people have in mind. I think that if players are to be paid as employees, then basic fairness (and competitive fairness) means they ought to all be paid the same. I think that something like $2-3k per month would be feasible for most schools, but not the millions that some people think could happen. TDF is quite right that a large payroll would result in most schools dropping football or basketball, to the detriment of the sport (and the athletes). I am in favor of reining in the excesses of high-stakes college athletics, but it's not as simple as simply decreeing Division III rules for everyone. Big-time college sports have been around over a century, well before TV deals and ESPN and athletic scholarships etc.

The easiest way to change the landscape would be to restrict colleges from charging admission to athletic events (and along with that, to restrict media deals), but that would require an act of Congress and won't happen in our lifetimes.
   158. Manny Coon Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:39 PM (#4677950)
I don't see how minor league football is anything but a giant money suck. Too many players and not enough games. Fans won't flock to the minors simply because the talent is better than the level of play at the colleges (for instance, I'm sure the NBA D League teams are superior to virtually every NCAA basketball team, if not all of them. No one cares). And without TV money or free labor, football is too expensive.


Minor league basketball I think is viable at some point if the top recruits go there out of high school; guys like Wiggins or Embiid are seen as potentially the next big star in a league dominated by star players. Even if prospects aren't necessarily as good as veteran journeymen, they are a lot more interesting. Mark Cuban wants the NBA to get into this market I think he's correct on the issue. I also think college basketball could continue to coexist with an NBA minor league that caterers mostly to future high draft picks, as they wouldn't really lose that many players.

I'm surprised more basketball players haven't gone the Brandon Jennings route, he made a lot of money during his season in Italy between his salary and endorsement deals and it hasn't stopped him from having a perfectly good NBA career; I think the possibly of more players doing this, even if it hasn't happened much yet is another incentive for the NBA provide a similar option domestically.

I agree that minor league football is a much harder sell though, for the reasons previously mentioned but also because selling basketball about is selling about stars and personality but in football individual players just much more anonymous and don't singlehandedly impact games nearly as much.
   159. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4677952)
The idea, going back to the 19th century, is that a sound mind and a sound body go hand in hand, and that universities ought to promote both.

Right, and this is good and lovely when Joe College is on the rowing team or trying for a spot in the first 11, but at the modern D1 school there is very little real interest in the soundest bodies also having sound minds.

The easiest way to change the landscape would be to restrict colleges from charging admission to athletic events (and along with that, to restrict media deals), but that would require an act of Congress and won't happen in our lifetimes.

The NCAA could make a rule saying that the big revenue sports are only allowed the same ratio of special admits as the rest of the student body. IOW, if 80% of the student body is there because they passed whatever academic thresholds that the admissions department sets, then 80% of the football team have to pass those same thresholds. Sound minds and sound bodies.
   160. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4677953)

Minor league basketball I think is viable at some point if the top recruits go there out of high school; guys like Wiggins or Embiid are seen as potentially the next big star in a league dominated by star players. Even if prospects aren't necessarily as good as veteran journeymen, they are a lot more interesting. Mark Cuban wants the NBA to get into this market I think he's correct on the issue. I also think college basketball could continue to coexist with an NBA minor league that caterers mostly to future high draft picks, as they wouldn't really lose that many players.


No argument. All of the things that work against football are the opposite with basketball (many games, star-driven teams, few players to pay). And if you maintain the rule that prohibits jumping directly from high school to the NBA, then you'll have some seriously talented players around.

But you still have the laundry problem raised earlier, which will cut into expected revenue.
   161. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4677955)
Also, when considering what the NCAA should do we shouldn't really be worrying if minor league basketball and football are viable or not. That's the problem of the NFL and the NBA, and they can either solve it or go #### themselves, whichever is more convenient.
   162. TDF, situational idiot Posted: March 27, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4677960)
Second, the drive to give the student-athletes more will directly affect the level playing field. According to USA Today, only 23 schools broke even in 2012 (out of 223 Division 1 schools); of those, only 7 took no money from the college's general fund. Wisconsin, for instance, "profited" over $1.5M during 2012 but it took over $7M from outside the athletic department to get there; Boise State, home of the best non-BCS football team at that time, needed almost $11M in subsidies just to break even.
This is the biggest argument for the corruption of the NCAA. They're plundering educational funding for the benefit of head coaches, ADs and the NFL/NBA,
This isn't a corruption by the NCAA; it's a corruption by certain schools.

The NCAA isn't telling schools what to pay coaches or ADs; the schools are the ones paying obscene salaries to these people, often for 2nd-rate coaches or guys who've failed at other stops. Worse, they often pay it to guys like Bruce Pearl despite NCAA sanctions - how is that the NCAA's fault?
   163. TDF, situational idiot Posted: March 27, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4677968)
My views on the NCAA are not that different from TDF. The students ought to be allowed to unionize, since they deserve a say in their working conditions. I think they are employees, or close enough to matter. I don't think there are the limitless sums that some people have in mind. I think that if players are to be paid as employees, then basic fairness (and competitive fairness) means they ought to all be paid the same. I think that something like $2-3k per month would be feasible for most schools, but not the millions that some people think could happen. TDF is quite right that a large payroll would result in most schools dropping football or basketball, to the detriment of the sport (and the athletes). I am in favor of reining in the excesses of high-stakes college athletics, but it's not as simple as simply decreeing Division III rules for everyone. Big-time college sports have been around over a century, well before TV deals and ESPN and athletic scholarships etc.
Uh, no.

1. I'm as big of a supporter of unions as you're likely to find, but I think players unionizing will open a pandora's box of ills while not solving the issues people think it will. Yes, they'll have more voice over working conditions but there's significant pressure from outside the sport already building in that area.

2. The vast majority of schools can't afford to pay athletes a salary; again, only 23 DI programs even broke even in 2012. And even if you only pay football and men's basketball players (100 scholarships), Title IX demands that you also pay the same amount of money to female student-athletes. If you pay them for 5 months @ $2,000 per month, that's an additional $2,000,000 dollars a school will have to cough up. Where's it going to come from?

3. I don't think a large payroll will force schools to drop football and men's basketball; those sports pay for all of the others. They'll drop the Olympic (the cute euphemism for non-revenue) sports.

4. As I said, don't assume DIII is all rainbows and unicorns; I know first hand that it isn't.
   164. Manny Coon Posted: March 27, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4677971)
Also, when considering what the NCAA should do we shouldn't really be worrying if minor league basketball and football are viable or not. That's the problem of the NFL and the NBA, and they can either solve it or go #### themselves, whichever is more convenient.


In the case of basketball at least, if you the remove the severe outliers like Wiggins, then the average market value of the players goes way down to the point that the scholarship is a much more reasonable amount of compensation; you end up something more like college baseball, but with more revenue.

Also by weeding out guys that are the most likely to take school the least seriously, because know they guaranteed millions waiting for them, the remaining fringier players may have more incentive to take their education more seriously (have there been any kinds of studies about this? Whether sure thing prospects do better or worse in their academic performance compared to worse players?).
   165. TDF, situational idiot Posted: March 27, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4677973)
Right, and this is good and lovely when Joe College is on the rowing team or trying for a spot in the first 11, but at the modern D1 school there is very little real interest in the soundest bodies also having sound minds.
I think this is a myth perpetrated by people who like to believe it's true. The reality is that most coaches do understand that the vast majority of their athletes will never play pro ball, so a decent education is their real ticket. How often do you see a player suspended for "violating team rules"? While the cynics believe it's for getting into bar fights, just as often it's for missing classes.

Remember, the NCAA has rules dictating academic eligibility and coaches have a vested interest in keeping their kids eligible. Jim Calhoun, a highly successful coach at a national power, lost his job because he tried to game the eligibility system.
   166. Sunday silence Posted: March 27, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4678012)
What difference does it make what a school's graduation rate is? If the school is willing to graduate students who cant write grammatically correct sentences (see the recent news story about UNC players) then it's not a standard you can apply. This is not to disparage Northwestern, I understand they are an outstanding school/program. My question is: Would standardized testing among college athletes help to improve things?

Also, just because unionizing wont solve the problem, doesnt mean it's not legal or not appropriate. The student athletes at Northwstrn dont have to sing "We shall overcome" and try to change the world. THey merely have to make legal arguments about why the can unionize. I dont see how whatever legal issues there are need to be determined by how it will clean up (for want of better word) the NCAA; that's not the legal standard they need to meet.

If colleges are not making money from big time sports like Football, then WHY THEY HELL ARE THEY DOING IT? Just because they show net losses on whatever tax returns they file doesnt mean they arent benefitting. For one thing we've seen this before in pro sports where teams cook the books. But more importantly these programs are no doubt bringing in more students and more donations from alumni. How are those monies tallied in this expense sheet concept that big programs are losing money?

It just doenst make sense that the big time programs are operating at a less loss. No one does that for long. Until you can analyze all the economic benefits from your alma mater playing in the Rose Bowl or whatever then this argument cannot be completely evaluated.
   167. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 27, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4678013)
Second, the drive to give the student-athletes more will directly affect the level playing field.

You want to level the playing field? Limit football scholarships to something like 22 a year.
   168. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: March 27, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4678025)
but at the modern D1 school there is very little real interest in the soundest bodies also having sound minds.

I think this is a myth perpetrated by people who like to believe it's true.

I don't really know how to put this other than to say that my godmother was an academic advisor for a D1 football program, then for a D1 basketball program, and I have a couple of decades worth of personal communication to fall back on. There was a lot of effort put into eligibility and an absurd focus on keeping within the letter of the law, but not much put into anything that anyone would call a real education. No one cheated and no one gamed the system, but it was education reduced entirely to metrics like minimal GPA and percentage of athletes earning a degree. It had very little to do with sound minds.
   169. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 27, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4678027)
1. I'm as big of a supporter of unions as you're likely to find, but I think players unionizing will open a pandora's box of ills while not solving the issues people think it will.

I hope it leads to the complete destruction of college sports as we know them. So, the bigger the Pandora's box, the better.

Universities in the rest of the world don't have sports franchises attached to them, and they do just fine.
   170. GregD Posted: March 27, 2014 at 11:27 PM (#4678050)
In the case of basketball at least, if you the remove the severe outliers like Wiggins, then the average market value of the players goes way down to the point that the scholarship is a much more reasonable amount of compensation; you end up something more like college baseball, but with more revenue.
While I generally support the players and abhor the NCAA, I'm not sure that Wiggins added much value to Kansas' program. I mean, the school comes close to selling out every ticket for every home game every year.

Wiggins didn't deliver any additional revenue that comes with a deep trip into the NCAA, or the presumed extra goodwill and longterm revenue from fans that comes from that.

He played a part in keeping fans interested in the team, and you could calculate his share in avoiding the collapse of interest. That's worth something, maybe even a lot. But it's hard to pin down.
   171. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 28, 2014 at 12:09 AM (#4678056)
If the school is willing to graduate students who cant write grammatically correct sentences (see the recent news story about UNC players) . . .

In case anyone missed it, this is an A- paper at the University of North Carolina. If you're an athlete.
   172. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 28, 2014 at 06:31 AM (#4678082)
The easiest way to change the landscape would be to restrict colleges from charging admission to athletic events (and along with that, to restrict media deals), but that would require an act of Congress and won't happen in our lifetimes.

Someone should challenge the purported right the schools have to limit television and radio coverage of their games (and therefore sell the "rights" to exhibit the games). I see no reason the games shouldn't be treated as news events for all purposes and no reason the teams involved should have a "property right" in the live exhibition of the event. If every radio and TV network can tell you the score of the game as it progresses, every radio and TV network should be able to show and tell you the action of the game as it progresses. It's news. ESPN can't acquire the sole right to show you a fire in an apartment building at 81st and 3rd and to interview residents and firemen; there's no reason they should be able to acquire the sole right to show you Florida playing Florida State.



   173. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 28, 2014 at 06:38 AM (#4678084)
Administrators see sports as crucial to their brand.

To what end? Students interested in attending Dayton will find it, and there's no reason to care about people with no tie to the school knowing about it.

Colleges wouldn't be "brands" without sports.
   174. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 07:03 AM (#4678085)
Colleges wouldn't be "brands" without sports.


Maybe that holds true for lesser colleges. William Faulkner went to mine.
   175. zonk Posted: March 28, 2014 at 08:35 AM (#4678101)

My views on the NCAA are not that different from TDF. The students ought to be allowed to unionize, since they deserve a say in their working conditions. I think they are employees, or close enough to matter. I don't think there are the limitless sums that some people have in mind. I think that if players are to be paid as employees, then basic fairness (and competitive fairness) means they ought to all be paid the same. I think that something like $2-3k per month would be feasible for most schools, but not the millions that some people think could happen. TDF is quite right that a large payroll would result in most schools dropping football or basketball, to the detriment of the sport (and the athletes). I am in favor of reining in the excesses of high-stakes college athletics, but it's not as simple as simply decreeing Division III rules for everyone. Big-time college sports have been around over a century, well before TV deals and ESPN and athletic scholarships etc.

The easiest way to change the landscape would be to restrict colleges from charging admission to athletic events (and along with that, to restrict media deals), but that would require an act of Congress and won't happen in our lifetimes.


Heh -- my freshman year, tickets to Wildcat games were free with a student ID... and the Cats drew so poorly that finding one out and about with the tailgates was easy.

Like I said, the colleges brought this upon themselves. The immediate things the NU wishes to pursue are things that the NCAA could have enacted without any trouble -- end the whole scholarships-as-waiver claims boondoggle... Allow the players a seat at the table in some form when it comes to things like expanding the length of the season, setting practice limits, etc.

Sure - perhaps then a player group, this one or others, would have cut straight to the chase and just lobbied for pay... but it needs to emphasized again and again - the things this Northwestern group has listed as their goals from this effort are things everyone seems to agree with and they're also things that wouldn't have cost the NCAA or universities anything (OK - maybe revenue, if the players had balked at 12-13+ game seasons).

It's illogical for the NCAA or anyone else to think that they could continue to professionalize college sports in every way but the actual product/players and never have to pay the piper.
   176. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 28, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4678114)
William Faulkner went to mine.

As did Shooty...
   177. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 28, 2014 at 09:29 AM (#4678117)
Sure - perhaps then a player group, this one or others, would have cut straight to the chase and just lobbied for pay... but it needs to emphasized again and again - the things this Northwestern group has listed as their goals from this effort are things everyone seems to agree with and they're also things that wouldn't have cost the NCAA or universities anything (OK - maybe revenue, if the players had balked at 12-13+ game seasons).

The things NU players want doesn't seem so radical. Medical care for life if they get hurt playing football. No loss of scholarship if you get hurt or the coach decides he doesn't like you. A trust fund set up for a share of thee money the school makes on their likenesses (which, granted, won't be much for NU players!) I think what will happen, and what the NCAA knows will happen, is not that the players will start making egregious demands, but that the schools themselves won't be able to stop themselves from competing for the best players by continually offering more. That already happens at the biggest programs under the table, but if the handcuffs come off, those big programs are going to go hog wild especially as the football coach swings a bigger dick at a lot of these schools than the school's president.
   178. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 09:42 AM (#4678127)
William Faulkner went to mine.

As did Shooty...


Well sure, that would influence my decision now.
   179. Traderdave Posted: March 28, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4678133)
I'm as big of a supporter of unions as you're likely to find, but I think players unionizing will open a pandora's box of ills while not solving the issues people think it will. Yes, they'll have more voice over working conditions but there's significant pressure from outside the sport already building in that area.


I'm on record in BTF as strongly anti-union and yet I applaud this action, as it may finally bring about reform (or demise) of the NCAA, an exceedingly hypocritical and avaricious organization.

Strange bedfellows, etc
   180. Traderdave Posted: March 28, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4678135)
William Faulkner went to mine.

As did Shooty...


Shooty went to Ole Miss???
   181. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 28, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4678136)
Colleges wouldn't be "brands" without sports.


That's true for all but a tiny handful of colleges.

Maybe that holds true for lesser colleges. William Faulkner went to mine.

Unfortunately y'alls got re-branded by Ross Barnett and General Edwin A. Walker two years before Faulkner died, and Archie Manning could only get you part of the way back.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Heh -- my freshman year, tickets to Wildcat games were free with a student ID...

Hell, Duke was in the final four 3 times in 4 years when I was there, and with your student ID you could walk up to the Carolina game just before the freshman game tipoff and get a midcourt front row seat. If you showed up in time for the varsity game you could stand 10 or 15 feet behind the baskets. Now these poor fish have to camp out weeks in advance just to get into the ####### gym.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The things NU players want doesn't seem so radical. Medical care for life if they get hurt playing football. No loss of scholarship if you get hurt or the coach decides he doesn't like you. A trust fund set up for a share of the money the school makes on their likenesses.

All of that is totally reasonable, especially the first two.
   182. Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court Posted: March 28, 2014 at 09:59 AM (#4678139)
Since the well-rounded student is supposedly what colleges are looking for, I'm not sure what's particularly wrong with the Ivy model.
This is not exactly so any more. Two years ago at college night at my daughter's high school, an admissions officer from U of Illinois spoke to the parents. He said, and I paraphrase, "We are looking for a well-rounded class, not necessarily well-rounded students." I was surprised to hear that, but as I watched my daughter and her friends go through the process, I found it to be accurate. Specific skills were much more in demand than well-roundedness.
   183. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM (#4678141)
Shooty went to Ole Miss???

Well, for graduate school, but it still counts! I mostly spent those two years at City Grocery, anyway.
   184. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4678145)
Maybe that holds true for lesser colleges. William Faulkner went to mine.

Unfortunately y'alls got re-branded by Ross Barnett and General Edwin A. Walker two years before Faulkner died, and Archie Manning could only get you part of the way back.


Ancient hippie history. Let's talk about what really matters - Ole Miss has the prettiest girls around, and a magnificent and stately campus. There's even a place off campus called "Local Color" where you can hock you old mood rings Andy.
   185. BDC Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4678153)
William Faulkner went to mine

Speaking of people who had trouble maintaining academic eligibility :)

Students interested in attending Dayton will find it, and there's no reason to care about people with no tie to the school knowing about it

I'm not saying that university presidents always make wise decisions when hitching their brand to football or basketball teams. Far from it; they do things as stupid as any other CEOs do at times. But the attitude that a college, particularly a private school but increasingly publics as well, can just sit back and let students and donors and research grants find their way to the door is utterly obsolete.
   186. BDC Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:12 AM (#4678154)
Oxford also features Square Books, long may they thrive.
   187. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4678158)
Two years ago at college night at my daughter's high school, an admissions officer from U of Illinois spoke to the parents. He said, and I paraphrase, "We are looking for a well-rounded class, not necessarily well-rounded students." I was surprised to hear that, but as I watched my daughter and her friends go through the process, I found it to be accurate. Specific skills were much more in demand than well-roundedness.


In the 21st century "well-rounded" is universally viewed to mean "has no skills." Everything is specialized.

This is good for the advancement of society, but poses the unique problem of placing teenagers who are years away from understanding who they are and what they want under enormous pressure to choose their lifelong direction right now. Half or more of the 18-year-olds I know that graduate high school and head off to college would be much better off just getting a couple jobs and waiting until they're 25 and have a much better handle on what they want out of life to go to college. Or joining the military; you'll emerge six years later with some useful skills and your fantastically overpriced undergraduate degree already paid for.
   188. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4678170)
Ancient hippie history. Let's talk about what really matters - Ole Miss has the prettiest girls around, and a magnificent and stately campus.

All that link leads to is some geeky sabermetric study. Let's see some pictures with student photo IDs, massa, and no ringers imported from out of state.
   189. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4678175)
Since the well-rounded student is supposedly what colleges are looking for, I'm not sure what's particularly wrong with the Ivy model.

Two years ago at college night at my daughter's high school, an admissions officer from U of Illinois spoke to the parents. He said, and I paraphrase, "We are looking for a well-rounded class, not necessarily well-rounded students." I was surprised to hear that, but as I watched my daughter and her friends go through the process, I found it to be accurate. Specific skills were much more in demand than well-roundedness.


In the 21st century "well-rounded" is universally viewed to mean "has no skills." Everything is specialized.

This is good for the advancement of society, but poses the unique problem of placing teenagers who are years away from understanding who they are and what they want under enormous pressure to choose their lifelong direction right now. Half or more of the 18-year-olds I know that graduate high school and head off to college would be much better off just getting a couple jobs and waiting until they're 25 and have a much better handle on what they want out of life to go to college. Or joining the military; you'll emerge six years later with some useful skills and your fantastically overpriced undergraduate degree already paid for.


Totally agree, but that would require too much long range thinking and too much resistance to parental and peer pressure. And the rare teenager who's able to ignore both of those irresistible forces is the sort of teenager who might not need that sort of plan in the first place.
   190. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4678176)
My scouting report is consistent with the analytical data.
   191. Traderdave Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4678178)
Ole Miss has the prettiest girls around


From what I've seen in my time in Mississippi, they do not age well. At all.

   192. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 28, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4678182)
From what I've seen in my time in Mississippi, they do not age well. At all.

They ain't for marryin.
   193. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4678185)
I married one. Don't make me fetch my duelin' glove.
   194. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 28, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4678193)
I married one. Don't make me fetch my duelin' glove.

Yours is the exception to the rule, of course!
   195. Rickey!'s people were colonized by wankers Posted: March 28, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4678225)
Ancient hippie history. Let's talk about what really matters - Ole Miss has the prettiest girls around, and a magnificent and stately campus.


Undermined by the fact that you're still in Missi-fuggin-ssippi.
   196. BDC Posted: March 28, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4678230)
For all the grief Southerners take from Yankees, there is nothing like the scorn that people in one Southern state can inflict on people from another. Which of course begins to make sense after you first actually visit Alabama.
   197. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 28, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4678232)
My experience with the former Confederacy is that you can't judge it state by state, you have to go county by county. Lafayette county? Great! Pontotoc? Ehh....
   198. Traderdave Posted: March 28, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4678245)
My experience in the former Confederacy is that a whole lot of folks down there are still pissed that it's "former."


(I'm a Looziana native, FWIW)


   199. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 28, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4678416)
Ancient hippie history. Let's talk about what really matters - Ole Miss has the prettiest girls around, and a magnificent and stately campus.

Undermined by the fact that you're still in Missi-fuggin-ssippi.


I'm originally from Florida, I'm much more embarrassed about that geographic affiliation than I am with anything related to Mississippi. I'm with Bugs.
   200. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 28, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4678428)
If y'alls will flip the page I promise some Mississippi cheesecake on the other side.
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