Skip to comments.College Football and Capitalism
Posted on 03/27/2014 7:43:27 AM PDT by A'elian' nation
College football players should not be paid. Plain and simple. But there is no reason why any player should not be given carte blanche to capitalize on his chosen sport.
Capitalism 101 rides to the rescue once again. In addition to the free education players get, any player, on scholarship or not, should be allowed to sell and hawk his personal merchandise from t-shirt to jockstrap. He or she should be allowed to put his name and school name/logo on his jersey or helmet or whatever - just like the pros do. A player could sell and trade cards with his name and stats - anything he can come up with that is marketable.
Paying athletes to play and unionizing the sport is a terrible idea. It's just another desperate grab by the dying unions. Not only would the athlete earn limitless compensation, but these young college students would quickly learn all about Economics 101 and Conservatism 101 instead of just pocketing a paycheck and paying union dues.
Pro - big programs
Semi-pro - wage limits.
Amateur - only scholarships like now.
The current system is b.s. where colleges make hundreds of millions of dollars for sports programs while paying a pittance to atheletes and forbidding them to earn more.
So, how does a college player, like a star QB, share his jersey revenues with the following people who were provided for him free of charge:
A: his offensive linemen
B: his receivers
C: the coaches who made him better.
D: the trainers who made him better.
E: the university, that filled the stadium with fans long before he got there, and will long after he leaves.
F: the citizens of the state, who built the stadium
G: the journalists who give him tens of millions of dollars of free press
.etc etc etc .see where this is going? The notion that a current crop of players “generate the revenue” is just fallacious.
Ok, since you seem to think you’re the expert and since colleges “make hundreds of millions of dollars” on sports, how many college sports programs are self-sufficient?
I am saying big-dollar programs such as football and basketball should be able pay their players in those programs. Now they milk those kids for millions while paying a pittance. The current system has evolved over time to the point of aburdity. Baseball, for example, maintains a farm league. A player can choose college or the farm system. Pro football and pro basketball use large programs for their farm systems.
A free college education is not chump change anymore. How many kids 18-22 yrs old are making $50,000 a year or more?
Apart from the unions getting their greedy hands in the sport, and most of the ‘pay for play’ money going to the “big programs” you mention; the lesser sports from college lacrosse to wrestling would be severely impacted if not discontinued.
Funny, the NFL has no problem working all that out.
That is the same mindset that says the rich should pay a lot more in taxes than they already do because the poor cannot pay their way.
The same way an NFL player does... he won’t. But notice most everybody on that list you made already gets paid.
So I guess a star college quarterback should face wage limits of $50K a year when the NFL demands he at least go to college for a year or two before entering the draft.
If the NFL maintained a farm system like MLB, I might have more sympathy for that argument. I have a early-twenties cousin who is in AA baseball right now and he has made far already than he would have earned in scholarship money. He can go back to school after he is done with baseball with some good money in the bank.
Decades ago, when I was in college, my stipend was $100/month.
Another solution: remove all age requirements for professional leagues. If a kid applies for the draft, and isn't selected, then he can go play in Europe. Quit horsing around with the "one and done" charade.
Do you share your salary with your employer for your office space, or the human resources department looking out for you or the co-workers who give you ideas, etc. etc. ?
I’m just proposing giving an athlete the right to merchandise himself. If he wants to share his jersey revenues with his linemen, I’m sure he would suddenly find himself better protected in the pocket. The Pro quarterbacks are smart enough to do it.
Coaches and trainers are already paid, and coaches have no problems merchandising themselves.
The NFL doesn’t say they have to go to college, it says they have to be out of high school 3 years, what they do in that out of high school time is up to them. Skill position guys will generally wind up in college, but there’s always a handful of “trench” guys that did other routes usually involving semi-pro leagues.
And, of your cousin ever makes the major leagues, even for a few seasons, he will make some big money.
You touch on something which doesn’t get talked about too much, that these players have a limited career in pro sports, if they play professionally.Then, they have to decide what to do with the rest of their lives, once their playing days are over.
We all limit ourselves in the occupational choices we make. If your ‘Star Quarterback’ is not happy earning $50,000 a year then maybe he should drop out of college and design an app or get a better paying job.
With my Capitalism 101 plan the ‘Star Quarterback’ gets his $50,000 (in free tuition ) plus any monies he can market with his name and skills.
You didn’t answer my question.
Age requirements are a good thing. Players need seasoning before hitting the pros, the seasons are longer, the games are harder, and 18 year olds still have 7 more years physical growth and their body just isn’t ready. The NBA had a serious drop in play when they started getting obsessed with getting players straight out of high school, really the only 2 that succeeded were Kobe and LeBron, the NBA should increase their requirement. It would be better if they could self police, but really only the NHL pulls that off generally making young players they draft hang out in the minor for a couple of years.
I don’t care about your question. Using your logic, an engineer in a profitable company should give up wages in much higher taxes to generate better pay for a journalism major working in a mail room in a poorly-run company.
The NHL and MBA maintain farm systems. The NBA and NFL do not. That is part of the problem. The NBA and NFL don’t want the cost of farm systems. Colleges want to pay their superstar athletes a pittance. So they feed off each other’s sanctimony.
Are you suggesting that the athlete is free to use the school's copyrighted name and logo in order to profit from selling his merchandise?
Colleges have rights, too.
NFL players do not use their team logos without permission.
The ideal of paying college football players is nonsense. First, only about 25 major programs make a profit as it is now. (One article says 22 in 2010, and I’ve heard 26 during some recent discussion on sports radio).
And does anyone seriously think, in today’s legal environment, that any school could get away with paying only football players?
There might be some basis for giving players a cut of profits made from merchandising, autographs and other profitable activities in which players might participate.
But the idea of paying players is complete nonsense. But, hey, what about those huge high school programs in football crazy states that make a profit? Should those HS boys be cut in on the profits? They don’t receive anything for their efforts but personal satisfaction and recognition. (And HS basketball players in some areas.)
The NFL requires him to go to college for at least a year instead of maintaining a farm system like MLB and the NHL. Big difference. I have a relative in MLB's farm system and he already has some good money in the bank.
Of course colleges have rights and naturally there would be restrictions, but I would think it would be better for the college ( in behalf of all of its sports - major and minor) to negotiate those rights instead of start paying athletes.
Guess it comes down to a cost analysis basis for the college.
It works real well in baseball. I've encountered students with the dilemma...do they risk injury playing college baseball or do they go into the minor leagues with a franchise working with them while they combine baseball and education?
With football, less thuggish egotists on campus pretending to get an education might benefit everyone.....including them.
There already is such a system in place.
Division 1 - which consists of the big league schools like the big ten who recruit the top-notch players and offer full-ride scholarships.
Division 2 - which offers scholarships.
Division 3 - which does not offer scholarships.
A player needs to prove himself in college because professional football is a whole nuther animal. A college student should remain in amateur status until he makes it to the pros. An athlete in college is not a low-wage worker, not when he is getting a full-ride scholarship worth a $100,000 or more.
I dealt personally with a top-tier basketball/baseball player at a major college. The guy had no interest in education and the system coddled him throughout.
Allowing standout college athletes to make money off of likenesses, jerseys, etc is the answer to this.
NCAA played themselves into this, and they were warned every step of the way.
The NCAA is a cartel. Pure and simple. It needs to go away, just like the BCS did. It too was a cartel.
More proof that a fool and his money was lucky to find each other in the first place.
In medieval times they had something called an apprentice system. Young adults would accept a pittance for the benefit of learning a trade from the master. This is not the same as indentured servitude.
Apprentice mercantilism is not a bad idea even in these times. An athlete is getting more than just compensation or free tuition. He is gaining invaluable learning from coaches and trainers so he can become Pro material.
I have more compassion or concern for the trainer and water bucket boy enabling the “Star Player” than the athletes in question.
Funny, MLB and the NHL offer farm systems as an alternative. The NFL and NBA don't.
I have a cousin in AA minor league ball. Already has a nice sum in the bank while he learns his trade while striving to make The Show. That isn't an option in the NFL and NBA.
Actually the NBA does have a farm system, the D-league. They just don’t tend to use if very much (few players promote from the D-league to the NBA). The NFL tried having a farm system with NFL-Europe but it failed as a league, they do pull players out of the arena league, they could tighten their ties to that.
Do you guys really think the Div I premier athletes are getting an education? They might be getting a diploma but many of these guys graduate barely able to read and write.
For example USC got caught creating special classes just for their athletes which turned out to be fake, on paper only, classes.
There are thousands of stories out there where even at honest colleges the athletes, coaches and parents would pay “tutors” to do all the athletes assignments and take the exams for them.
College Athletes absolutely be on a stipend. It isn’t like they have time to hold a part-time job while they play or train. Personally I think they should be given $2k a month plus free tuition, housing, books and food.
That is nowhere near as robust as MLB’s farm system. I think they would develop better players if they set one up. Heck, that is why they bring in so many foreign players, they come through programs that emphasize skill development over time.
He could've gone minor leagues but he got that scholarship to the school he wanted. He went with the scholarship, which is a tough choice. He risked injury while the college over-used his arm. He got his diploma. He got his injury....no pro career. He would've been better off going with the pro career, and using his salary and bonuses to get the education later in life, when entering the real job market.
What's my point? If these athletes aspire to be pro atheletes, it's probably better for everyone if they are playing for the pros in farm systems. I'm surprised basketball doesn't do that.
The MLB and the NHL do not already have a system set up like the NFL and the NBA so they have to use farms teams.
“That isn’t an option in the NFL and NBA.”
Does make one wonder how those colleges keep getting all those football and basketball players, and why they are not all running to the baseball sandlots ?
I’m not defending the NFL or NBA in the least. They aren’t the issue in this thread I started. I just want to give any athlete more of an economic opportunity.
Your idea might work as well as it has in baseball. It would be a whole systemic change requiring much more politics and upheaval than simply liberating the individual player.
“Do you guys really think the Div I premier athletes are getting an education?”
I agree, all too many are not, and it’s a sad situation.
I mentioned medieval apprenticeship earlier, and the colleges are becoming more of an apprentice avenue to the Big Leagues than a place of learning.
All the more reason that athletes should not be paid if their only reason being there is not to learn but to become pro material.
Same applies for professional soccer in Europe. European colleges do not have sport programs. Colleges are not where farm material is bred.
Hmm, now where do all those star professional soccer players come from?
I don’t share my salary, but as business owner, I damned sure do share the revenues with all of that .true capitalism means you have to pay for everything ..
I’ve written about this for 20 years .analyzed it every way from Sunday - you’re way outta your league. For every question you got, I have ten thousand words of logic.
A scholarship is worth $200,000 or more for four years. There’s the players salary.
The NFL is not a valid analogy for two or three foundational reasons.
It is for your list of questions. Both forms of the game have all the same job titles doing all the same work. The difference is NFL players get paid and college football players are specifically barred from payment by an oversight body that’s corrupt and inept.
If they are employees, don’t they have to declare their free tuition, books, fees and tutors as income and pay taxes on it?
No need to negotiate rights. This is our school’s policy. You are on scholarship. We are paying for you to be here. Do you want to be here? Yes or No?
End of discussion.
The problem is to get a farm system as robust as the MLB or NHL you need fan buy in. Minor league baseball and hockey work to develop players because they work as leagues with enough fan support that they can function on their own (as shown during various work stoppages in the major leagues). The failure of NFL Europe, the XFL, the “suspended” Arena season, and the fact almost nobody even remembers the NBA even HAS a d-league show that there isn’t that kind of fan support for minor leagues in those sports.
I wonder how much the success of the college sports feeds into the inability to have minor leagues for these. College hockey and baseball aren’t very popular, and are often considered dumping grounds for bad players that will never make it in the pros even the minor leagues. They’re addendums to the sport. Meanwhile college football and basketball are HUGE, rivaling in popularity their pro leagues. I don’t think there’s enough oxygen in their rooms for minor league football or basketball unless they’re HEAVILY funded by their majors.
OK, here is my 2 cents, as if anyone really cares.
College sports is a multibillion dollar enterprise that has allowed the university system to get filthy rich from sea to shining sea in America.
There is not a medium sized city in this country that does not have some sort of higher education entity in its area. Whether it be a community, state University.
These education entities are raking in big bucks off the talent of athletes. Usually basketball, football, and baseball, are the sports that rake in the big bucks.
These big bucks allow the higher education system to buy up properties at a rate far higher than the civilian sector in the areas. In Chico, where I live, Chico State University is the largest property holder in the are, just above Enloe Hospital.
These university systems use their tax free money to influence the politics in every city and town they reside in. Ever wonder why all these college towns are so liberal when the surrounding areas are conservative? Well it all goes back to the money.
We all bitch and complain about the way these so called higher education entities do more to propagandize our children to get them to vote against their parents then they do teaching them anything worth using. After all, a good 85% of college graduates never ever get a job in the field they studied in college.
So, back to the athletes. I think each and every kid who is playing any type of sports that the higher education entity is making money off, should get paid. Then, if the kid wants to go to class, let them pay for it out of their salary.
Then, we can eliminate the charade that is played and accept the fact that college Basketball, Football, and baseball, are nothing more than a minor league training system for professional sports.
This will reduce the money the university systems are making and maybe just maybe reduce the amount of money these tax exempt entities use to influence politics in cities and towns across America. Along with maybe just maybe they will discontinue teaching students propaganda and get back to educating them on how to actually get a job from what they are learning.
Your third paragraph is poorly written. You jump from thesis to thesis with no bridge.
Might want an editor.
There are two big gains with a minor league system. The first is the teams’ ability to have players taught the way they want them taught without taking up roster spots on the main team. You don’t worry if trying to season the player is dragging the team down because they’re on the farm team any winning the farm team does is just icing.
The second is it presents an opportunity to experiment with the game without risking annoying your main audience. The NHL does this all the time, most rules changes have been tried out for at least part of a season in the minors, and a lot of the things they try out there they don’t like the results and back them out. Sometimes even mid season which is something you just can’t get away with in the big money league.
I don’t know if these benefits make a need, but they could make a lot of things go smoother. Look at the recent debate in the NFL on extra points, all of the solutions presented are major changes that Goodell has basically admitted they’re afraid to adopt because they don’t want to commit a whole season to a new rule that might actually be worse. If they had a real minor league that’s a solvable problem. Also look at draft busts, a lot of the discussion around Tebow is people saying he should have gotten more chances, but his completion percentage shows there was a definite cost to giving him more chances, with a farm team he could have gotten a couple of seasons to be taught the NFL game without anybody worrying he was costing the team any games. There’s a constant discussion in the QB position on how different the college and pro games are and how few star college QBs have been given any of the training pro coaches want their QBs to have.
But somebody’s gotta pay for it. And I don’t see the NFL as ever deciding to foot the entire bill for a league they know nobody will watch. If they were willing to do that NFLE would still exist.
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