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Thread: Paying College Athletes

  1. #61
    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: Paying College Athletes

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    Who are you to say what's right and wrong? Don't be so elitest as to say "it's right" like it's a fact or something. What's right is highly debatable.

    I say it's right for the professional leagues to set age standards. I think they ought to demand a certain amount of maturity from its athletes. Do you think the NBA should have been allowed to sign LeBron James out of 10th grade? That's nuts.
    I have just as much a right to say what is right or wrong as you do. Right or wrong is a very subjective thing. I love it when the "elitist" tag is busted out. What is this, cincinnati.com? I'm an elitist for stating my opinion but you are somehow above such designations?

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  3. #62
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    Re: Paying College Athletes

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    There are a few problems with your logic.

    1. You fail to include the value of the education itself. Studies show that a person with a college education stands to make far more money over their career over someone with only a high school diploma. Starting salaries alone are almost double and many fields requiire a degree as necessary for a job. Many will make millions over what they would have made without a degree.

    2. Aside from the few elite players, most of these student athletes will never play pro ball. That makes their free education all the more valuable.

    3. Outside the big programs, few D1 football and basketball programs make money. At best its a break even proposition. If schools had to pay their football and basketball players, you'd see a lot fewer programs than there are now. That would mean a lot fewer opportunities to get a college degree for kids from poor backgrounds.
    Lots of valid points in this thread. I don't think there are any easy answers here. Pay them and don't pay them are too simplistic. One thing that we need to remember is that while the scholarship athletes are getting free room, board and tuition (and in some casesd, a small stipend) they are (for the most part) attending classes and practices for their extra curricular activity. You hear of athletes getting up before sunrise to lift weights or run. Then there is the practice and - in some cases - film study. And that's not only during the season either.

    It's not easy money for most schools either. Programs around the country are cutting non-revenue sports. The big schools make money hand over fist thanks to football and basketball but they are the exception rather than the rule. It has gotten so bad that the state of Iowa has told Iowa State University and (my alma mater) the University of Northern Iowa that they can't take any more money from the state general fund for athletics (The University of Iowa has been self-sufficient for a few years thanks to the Big Ten Network). UNI's president has said that they may have to drop out of Division I if not drop athletics period. What do you say to the track and field coach when you drop his program so the football and basketball teams get paid?

    More and more I seem to think that college athletics have got too complicated. How big do the football stadiums have to be? How much money do the coaches have to be paid? How many athletes who can't read at a 6th grade level do you admit because they are elite athletes? How much of your soul do you have to sell to get these players and keep the alumni and the athletic department happy? How many rules do you have to skirt - much less break - to keep these kids eligible?
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  4. #63
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Paying College Athletes

    Quote Originally Posted by reds1869 View Post
    I have just as much a right to say what is right or wrong as you do. Right or wrong is a very subjective thing. I love it when the "elitist" tag is busted out. What is this, cincinnati.com? I'm an elitist for stating my opinion but you are somehow above such designations?
    You make my point beautifully. Neither of us can say what's right or wrong, so why did you do it? Only an elitest would flatly say "this is the right thing to do".

    As for my being above such designations if I say flatly this is right or this is wrong then I'm being an elitest. No one cares what I say is right.

    Just preface it with "in my opinion" because as you correctly say, it is very subjective.

  5. #64
    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: Paying College Athletes

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    Just preface it with "in my opinion" because as you correctly say, it is very subjective.
    I assumed that went without saying in a discussion like this. Internet message boards are full of opinion; unless someone on RZ states something as a hard fact I will always assume it is their opinion. In essence, we come here to trade our ideas.

    We agree that the matter is subjective. But I don't see how stating my belief that something is right or wrong makes me an "elitist." Of course I'm used to that tag as a veteran of many political campaigns. Both sides always use the label for the other.

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    Re: Paying College Athletes

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    12 kids
    $50,000 tuition, room, and board (generous)

    $600,000

    UK's basketball team made how much money last year?

    Who wouldn't make that deal?

    (Of course, Kentucky could always kick 12 kids off campus, claiming they have a housing shortage. Not that that ever happens. Then, they could make both the hundreds of thousands and the hundreds of millions. But no university would ever stoop so low as to do that, would they?)
    Sure, it's a good deal for the university. But it really does cost them $600k. So the 12 kids really are given a scholarship worth $50k per year. It's not essentially free for the university as you suggested.

  7. #66
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    Re: Paying College Athletes

    Here's the fundamental problem, as I alluded in an earlier post:

    1. The NCAA is an amateur sports organization.

    2. The kids playing college athletics are supposed to be amateurs. Professionals are excluded.

    3. Kids do get "paid" in the form of scholarships, but scholarships -- be they academic or athletic -- have always been a means of attracting students to the school, and a method of helping cover the expenses of the education. The scholarship has never been viewed (by the NCAA or the colleges themselves) as compensation for work.

    4. Start paying players wages for playing sports, and they are no longer amateurs, they are professionals.

    5. See points 1 and 2.

    So I'm not sure what can be done about it, short of a core group of schools breaking away from the NCAA and making their own rules. I occasionally see suggestions about suing the NCAA to allow athletes to be paid, but I have a hard time seeing how that could succeed, because it's essentially based on the argument that an amateur sports organization has no right to enforce amateurism.
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  8. #67
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    Re: Paying College Athletes

    Quote Originally Posted by reds1869 View Post
    I assumed that went without saying in a discussion like this. Internet message boards are full of opinion; unless someone on RZ states something as a hard fact I will always assume it is their opinion. In essence, we come here to trade our ideas.

    We agree that the matter is subjective. But I don't see how stating my belief that something is right or wrong makes me an "elitist." Of course I'm used to that tag as a veteran of many political campaigns. Both sides always use the label for the other.
    I'll give you an example of a popular media guy who's guilty of this.

    Harken back to the Augusta Country Club controversy about whether they should admit female members. This comes up from time to time when the Masters Golf event comes around. Jim Rome said on his radio show that "they ought to admit females because it's the right thing to do."

    Well who's he to tell that club what's the right thing to do? He is an elitist that thinks that he knows better than a bunch of hicks from South Carolina.

  9. #68
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    Re: Paying College Athletes

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandRed View Post
    Here's the fundamental problem, as I alluded in an earlier post:

    1. The NCAA is an amateur sports organization.

    2. The kids playing college athletics are supposed to be amateurs. Professionals are excluded.

    3. Kids do get "paid" in the form of scholarships, but scholarships -- be they academic or athletic -- have always been a means of attracting students to the school, and a method of helping cover the expenses of the education. The scholarship has never been viewed (by the NCAA or the colleges themselves) as compensation for work.

    4. Start paying players wages for playing sports, and they are no longer amateurs, they are professionals.



    5. See points 1 and 2.

    So I'm not sure what can be done about it, short of a core group of schools breaking away from the NCAA and making their own rules. I occasionally see suggestions about suing the NCAA to allow athletes to be paid, but I have a hard time seeing how that could succeed, because it's essentially based on the argument that an amateur sports organization has no right to enforce amateurism.
    People who support paying college athlete have no concept of the value of the education they receive. I suppose if you just did away with athletic scholarships, paid the players, then made them pay tuition, room and board like the rest of the kids on campus, they might learn to appreciate it more. Or maybe if you just divorced the teams from the schools and took them full professional, where there wasn't even a requirement to go to school, maybe they'd wish for that scholarship when they're out of the game without making the NFL or NBA and they're struggling to make minimum wage.

    I bet if you asked most college athletes ten years after they graduate whether they would prefer free college or getting paid to play, the vast majority would say take the scholarship because the free education was worth way more than what they would have been paid.
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    Re: Paying College Athletes

    Personally, I think you undervalue how much NCAA programs make on basketball and football.

    Sure, a scholarship can be a good deal, but, really, is it that good a deal when we're talking billions?

    It's similar, IMO, to the MLB, in that the salaries are out of whack because the money is out of whack. Does Albert Pujols deserve $20 million a year? Of course not. But if the Cardinals make $500 million, he should make at least that much.

    Now, I'm sure you're saying that would destroy amateur athletics. My reponse is that it's professional in all but name only right now. So blow it up. Blow it up real good.

    Paying those players a salary for their work, especially considering the amount of money they bring in to the school, is only right. Sure, it would make amateur athletics a thing of the past. (It already is.) Sure, it would be a nightmare to check.

    But it's the right thing to do.

    And you should always try to do the right thing, no matter the cost.
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    Re: Paying College Athletes

    Except that if you blow up college athletics, you also probably blow up these kids' opportunity to profit anyway. If the best college basketball players represented some AAA clubs for NBA teams, how many people would watch? People are so passionate about it because of their allegiances to the colleges and universities.

  12. #71
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Paying College Athletes

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Personally, I think you undervalue how much NCAA programs make on basketball and football.

    Sure, a scholarship can be a good deal, but, really, is it that good a deal when we're talking billions?
    Yeah, I've worked for companies that make billions and I've never gotten paid at the level of a professional athlete. Many people have gotten rich by the proverbial sweat of my brow. I sure as heck haven't.

    A scholarship worth $30k-$60k a year plus special focused training is decent compensation for 18-22 yr, old entry-level budding pro players.

    How much do single A and AA minor league baseball players make on average?

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  13. #72
    I hate the Cubs LoganBuck's Avatar
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    Re: Paying College Athletes

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Personally, I think you undervalue how much NCAA programs make on basketball and football.

    Sure, a scholarship can be a good deal, but, really, is it that good a deal when we're talking billions?

    It's similar, IMO, to the MLB, in that the salaries are out of whack because the money is out of whack. Does Albert Pujols deserve $20 million a year? Of course not. But if the Cardinals make $500 million, he should make at least that much.

    Now, I'm sure you're saying that would destroy amateur athletics. My reponse is that it's professional in all but name only right now. So blow it up. Blow it up real good.

    Paying those players a salary for their work, especially considering the amount of money they bring in to the school, is only right. Sure, it would make amateur athletics a thing of the past. (It already is.) Sure, it would be a nightmare to check.

    But it's the right thing to do.

    And you should always try to do the right thing, no matter the cost.
    When I was in school at Ohio State, 10 years ago, an organization that promotes a commodity produced in the state of Ohio, came to our marketing class. We had a class assignment to come up with a product based on that product, and then a marketing plan. The winning team would be receiving $2000 in scholarships. Most people came up with a some replacement product for existing products, like a substitution for petroleum. I came up with the idea to produce a version of Playdough. Working as part of a group of 4 students we actually were able to produce a working product with actual real world ingredients purchased at Kroger. People snickered during our presentation about how silly it was to make a product like this for children. We got an A on the project, and won the competition.

    This company gives away our product as a promotional item at trade shows, and promotional events to this day.

    Was $2000 a fair price to pay for my work? Probably not.
    Did I appreciate the value of $500 in scholarship money. Definitely.
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  14. #73
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Paying College Athletes

    Having said all this, I think NCAA Div. 1 sports are totally out of whack. Entirely too much money flows through all this. It borders on the obscene.

    I'd be perfectly happy with a Div. 3 set-up with no scholarships playing because you love the game. Those games can be very enjoyable to watch.

    But I think that's how college sports started and the money just escalated it all. And I don't see the escalation stopping.

    SI had a couple good stories on this...
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...nts/index.html
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...nts/index.html

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  15. #74
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    Re: Paying College Athletes

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Personally, I think you undervalue how much NCAA programs make on basketball and football.

    Sure, a scholarship can be a good deal, but, really, is it that good a deal when we're talking billions?

    It's similar, IMO, to the MLB, in that the salaries are out of whack because the money is out of whack. Does Albert Pujols deserve $20 million a year? Of course not. But if the Cardinals make $500 million, he should make at least that much.

    Now, I'm sure you're saying that would destroy amateur athletics. My reponse is that it's professional in all but name only right now. So blow it up. Blow it up real good.

    Paying those players a salary for their work, especially considering the amount of money they bring in to the school, is only right. Sure, it would make amateur athletics a thing of the past. (It already is.) Sure, it would be a nightmare to check.

    But it's the right thing to do.

    And you should always try to do the right thing, no matter the cost.
    You overestimate the money brought in by these schools. Sure Ohio State rakes in the money, but do you think Kent State or Akron or Bowling Green makes huge piles of cash getting 15,000 a game @ $5 to $20 a pop and many getting in for free on a student ID? Season ticket holders at Akron pay something like $60 for the whole season.

    If D1 schools had to pay players for football and basketball, because those are the sports that people think should pay players, I would bet you'd see a lot more schools either dropping to D3 with pure amatuers and no scholarships or moving scholarships to sports like soccer so they wouldn't have to pay players. The end result would be fewer scholarships for kids from poor backgrounds, who reap the benefits of athletic scholarships way beyond their proportion of the general population, or more kids choosing soccer or other sports over football and basketball for the chance to go to college. Because other than major conference schools and a few well-situated mid-majors, I don't think most of these schools could afford to support a fully professional sports teams. Even some that could might drop those sports when their boards of trustees decide that running an openly professional sports team does not fit within the school's mission (think Stanford or Cal).
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