April 1, 2021

"But it may have been Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who coaches his daughter’s basketball team and who tried out unsuccessfully for the basketball team at Yale..."

"... when he was an undergraduate there, whose questions and comments were most hostile to the NCAA. Kavanaugh told [NCAA lawyer Seth] Waxman that he was starting from the premise that U.S. antitrust laws 'should not be a cover for exploitation of the student-athletes.' Kavanaugh then summarized the case as one in which the schools were conspiring with their competitors 'to pay no salaries to the workers who are making the schools billions of dollars on the theory that consumers want the schools to pay their workers nothing.' Such a scenario, Kavanaugh concluded, 'seems entirely circular and even somewhat disturbing.'"

From "Justices employ full-court press in dispute over college athlete compensation" (SCOTUSblog).

120 comments:

R C Belaire said...

If/when college athletes are paid, the end of those activities will be foreordained. Unionization will follow, then job actions for higher pay, enhanced benefits, safety rules and regulations, and on and on. Lovely.

Nonapod said...

the “distinct character” of college sports is that it has been played by students who are amateurs, which means that “they are not paid for their play.”

Could it not be argued that a full "free ride" scholarship qualifies as a sort of payment?

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I like his comment but what stands out to me in that exerpt is the identification of him as having tried out for the Yale basketball team and failed. How silly it is to put in that descriptor. As if that would make a person more qualified to opine on the issue. Obviously, that is just a cheap shot at Kavanaugh. I'm so sick of that bullshit.

Big Mike said...

Every athlete on the UW-Madison basketball team receives free benefits that include tuition plus room and board and other fees. For out f state athletes this has a value in excess of $55K.

MadisonMan said...

I agree that when students are paid to be athletes, income-generating college athletics will end. Because Unions.

Ironclad said...

When they start paying students for competing - the students need to be paying for tuition and lodging. But more to the point the “athletes” need to be PASSING real courses at the schools too like the other students do. How the sports departments get away with admitting a large number of academically unqualified but physically gifted people boggles the mind. But money talks.

If you open the can of worms - clean out ALL the filth when you do.

Mr Wibble said...

Could it not be argued that a full "free ride" scholarship qualifies as a sort of payment?

Hush, you, with that silly "logic" and "reason" and "common sense."

Dave Begley said...

The thing is that Brett was good enough to be allowed to try out for D1 Yale.

I agree with Justice Kavanaugh on this. March Madness is the single most valuable sports property. CBS paid something like $1b for the rights over a 10 year period.

The NCAA, coaches, staff and administrators are all very well paid. All the big college basketball teams have a staff of at least 20. UNL has a giant staff for football. The NCAA gets all the revenue from the College World Series in Omaha. A top college basketball or football coach makes at least $1m per year.

There needs to be some equity. Details to come later.

BTW, Justice Thomas is a big Creighton basketball and Nebraska football fan. He asked a question in oral argument and mentioned UNL in his question. Eighth Circuit judge Steve Grasz and I were talking about it just last night. Sen. Ben Sasse said the Huskers would be 8-4. He even conceded that Creighton is the superior basketball school.

Lyle said...

Trump is going to get black kids paid! Abe Lincoln, who ended slavery, smiles down from upon Mt. Rushmore. White supremacy may be about to defeat the administrative deep state of the exploitative NCAA too.

Anne-I-Am said...

I think the argument is not that the schools should pay the players, but rather that the players should be able to financially benefit from their names. Schools make money on the reputations and name recognition of players; the players want to be able to profit endorsements and the sale of merchandise with their names.

Browndog said...

SCOTUSblog
@SCOTUSblog

The Supreme Court will issue opinions at 10:00 a.m. EDT. Could include opinions on the Affordable Care Act, Google v. Oracle, and LGBT/religious rights in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia.

We’ll start live blogging in 15 minutes. Grab your
Hot beverage
and join us!

9:32 AM · Apr 1, 2021


I can't wait-

The Court will, once again, resolve absolutely nothing once and for all!

JAORE said...

Could it not be argued that a full "free ride" scholarship qualifies as a sort of payment?

The impetus for pay isn't the general athletes. The focus is on the stars. A great number of these kids have aspirations to play pro sports. Even if not in actual top tier leagues, then places like Europe, or as coaches, etc.

So they don't just get a scholarship, they often get:
Plus world class trainers, strength coaches, medical staff.
Tutors,
Insurance paying for career ending injury
Room (lots better than general dorms) and board.
A stipend (CASH!)
Swag from playoff and tournaments,
Plus TV and other media exposure leading to their (hoped for) pro careers.

It is a lot.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Mid-Life Lawyer said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Obviously, that is just a cheap shot at Kavanaugh. I'm so sick of that bullshit.

Hear, hear!

robother said...

Down this anti-trust road lies open bidding wars for McDonalds All American high school prospects. Maybe NBA teams and power conference universities cut deals to formally establish a minor league farm relationship, to fund the bidding war. At some point, what alum cares about the winning record of his Knick minor league University squad?

In the era of "one and done" (or none and done in the case of Duke's star recruit this year) who are we kidding with this "student-athlete" idyll?

iowan2 said...

Understand that facilities, and all sports, even intramural, are funded by Football and Mens Basketball.
Thru the NCAA, money is granted downstream to lower division schools, to subsidize their athletics.

To pay student athletes, is going to syphon money away from from millions of students, and concentrate all that money in the hands of? 1000 MALE students?
I am surprised woke athletes would be in favor of such blatant capitalistic theft. What about the masses? From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Just get rid of college athletics. Let the NBA and the NFL start a farm team system like MLB has.

rehajm said...

I don't have skin in the game when it comes to D1 college sports. Women's sports are already dead anyways. Anything causing disruption to the institutions and digging into their own endowments seems like a good thing...

Freder Frederson said...

Understand that facilities, and all sports, even intramural, are funded by Football and Mens Basketball.
Thru the NCAA, money is granted downstream to lower division schools, to subsidize their athletics.


Except for the very top tier conferences (e.g., SEC, Big Ten, Pac Ten, ACC, etc.) This is bullshit. If you are in a lower tier conference (I went to a MAC school), football costs the school money, and basketball is break even at best.

rehajm said...

My favorite Kavanaugh opinion is and will always be Yes, we drank beer. My friends and I. Boys and girls. Yes, we drank beer. I liked beer. Still like beer. We drank beer.

That his words are not commemorated on hats and t-shirts and fraternity walls across the nation demonstrates how far the nation has fallen.

Barry Dauphin said...

I wonder what the pay process would look like. Will the big schools get to pay more than the small schools? Will everyone make the same wage or do the stars get paid more? Men's and women's athletes are paid the same? Do all the teams (football, tennis, gymnastics, etc) get paid the same? Are sports (in total) revenue positive in every university?

Browndog said...

Paid athletes will finish off collegiate athletic programs.

Title IX will make sure of it.

wendybar said...

Ironclad said...
When they start paying students for competing - the students need to be paying for tuition and lodging. But more to the point the “athletes” need to be PASSING real courses at the schools too like the other students do. How the sports departments get away with admitting a large number of academically unqualified but physically gifted people boggles the mind. But money talks.

If you open the can of worms - clean out ALL the filth when you do.

THIS!!!

JLScott said...

Mid-Life Lawyer says:

How silly it is to put in that descriptor. As if that would make a person more qualified to opine on the issue.

Maybe it’s the opposite and they are insinuating he is less qualified. He’s biased, harboring a bitter grudge.

Freder Frederson said...

Could it not be argued that a full "free ride" scholarship qualifies as a sort of payment?

It could be, but then the NCAA would have to admit they were paying players. And if it is pay, then for a star quarterback at Alabama or Ohio State, they are being paid shit (and probably well below minimum wage since during football season, they are pretty much working more than full time, the 20 hour per week limit is routinely ignored).

Browndog said...

Voluntary, "intra-mural" type programs will take it's place. Players pay all expenses.

When someone notices that only elites can afford to participate, and the actual disparate impact, corporations will step in as sponsors, giving them even more control over American society.

Francisco D said...

Nonapod said...Could it not be argued that a full "free ride" scholarship qualifies as a sort of payment?

I suppose you have a point, but the real payment is that college athletes (especially football) get training as their payment. That is quite a bit less true with basketball and baseball athletes. They have minor leagues for training.

I think it is absurd to have freshman basketball players ("Diaper dandies" as Dick Vitale called them) play for a single year and then go to the pros. Are these kids getting any meaningful educational experience?

The current rules greatly favor colleges who make a lot more money from the efforts of their scholarship athletes than the athletes get.

Joe Smith said...

Pay them.

I once played golf with a guy who played quarterback for a large Texas college in the '70s.

The issue of paying players came up and I asked him how things were when he played.

He said that when they practiced, the big donors would be there to watch.

When they left the field, they tucked their helmets under their arms and walked down a 'tunnel' formed by the donors.

As they passed by, 20s, 50s, and 100s would be dropped into their helmets.

: )

Nonapod said...

I think athletes should be paid what their market value. A 4 year degree costs anywhere from $120 - $200. Based on the revenue the college generates from sports, many athletes will be worth more than that. In some cases a lot more. How much money did Trever Lawrence earn for Clemson? Can that be easily quantified? I don't know. But we'll soon know how much the Jaguars will be paying him, and it's a safe bet it won't be anywhere near $200k.

Wince said...

Beside tuition, given the vagaries of athletic careers, I think a responsible plan to compensate student athletes could begin within a framework of an annuity/disability insurance program.

That would blunt any concerns about creating a super elite athletic class within the student body.

Chuck said...

R C Belaire said...
If/when college athletes are paid, the end of those activities will be foreordained. Unionization will follow, then job actions for higher pay, enhanced benefits, safety rules and regulations, and on and on. Lovely.


I agree with your sentiment, but not exactly with your conclusion. It will be "the end of college athletics as we know it." But not the end entirely. It will become unrecognizable.

Let's be clear about one thing, and that is that all of the money in college sports is "revenue." Not "profit." If colleges are generating huge sums (tv contracts, ticket sales, etc.), they are also spending huge sums. It's okay if someone wants to argue that it is both odd and wrong, when a college football coach makes $3m per year, and his star athletes make $0. But the other thing that is going on is that women's lacrosse, and gymnastics, et cetera, is being funded by the same revenue source (football and men's basketball).

And yes, hundreds of schools run athletic departments that are on the verge of financial collapse but for the socialist revenue sharing of the NCAA. They have no profit margin whatsoever upon which they can pay players.

This will not end well. I don't know what exactly to expect, but one thing I do know is that I'm typical of a certain kind of core college football fan; a Michigan alumnus, paying mid-four figures every year in seat license "donations" and ticket prices, interested in the program and student athletes but most of all enjoying beautiful fall weekends outdoors. And if they fully professionalize college football, with Name-Image-Likeness marketing, a players' union, collective bargaining and all the rest, I am out. They can find someone else to buy my tickets, make my donations, and I'll go play more fall golf.

hawkeyedjb said...

R C Belaire said...
"If/when college athletes are paid, the end of those activities will be foreordained"

Browndog said...
"Paid athletes will finish off collegiate athletic programs."
"Voluntary, "intra-mural" type programs will take it's place."

Best possible outcome!

iowan2 said...

Wince I went and scanned the link.
I was surprised to learn that some schools have taken out a $10million insurance policy on high value recruits. To keep them in college, and not go pro. If they get injured, the student collects. Much better deal than going pro early and getting hurt, with no insurance,

Harsh Pencil said...

The NCAA has been, for a long time, a business conspiracy to hold down the wages of mostly black young men (the star football and basketball players) to help enrich mostly middle aged white men (their seven figure a year coaches).

hawkeyedjb said...

Nonapod said...
"Could it not be argued that a full "free ride" scholarship qualifies as a sort of payment?"

Well, if the "students" were there to be educated, then yes. But how many basketball stars complete any kind of education? The percentage who achieve degrees is dismal. They are there to play sports, they know it, the college knows it. If this system were to come to a complete end, it would be good for education, and the professional leagues would be forced to pay for their own minor leagues. A win for all.

Spiros said...

Paying these losers will destroy the illusion of the student-athlete. Without the pageantry (home coming, Rose bowl parades, etc.) and pride in your school, there is ABSOLUTELY NO reason to watch or attend college football/basketball games. College athletics will become a crappy minor league system for the NFL and NBA. How many people really care about fat, super-entitled, mostly Black kids playing basketball and football (poorly)? The NCAA knows this, Brett Kavanaugh (alleged rapist) doesn't.

Amadeus 48 said...

Obama couldn't make the team after high school either. Have you seen the videos of him throwing up bricks?

iowan2 said...

many athletes will be worth more than that. In some cases a lot more

Not quite. A few are worth much more. I rub up against dozens of ex ISU and UI football players good enough for division I but not a hint at the pros.
Iowa will move, maybe 6 men a year to the pros. Even Schools like Alabama dont graduate half of the seniors to the pros.

Nonapod said...

People seem to think I was arguing against paying athletes. I was just pointing out that the athletes are already getting "paid", so the argument against paying them because of some silly notion of a "distinct character" of college sports was pretty silly to me.

Douglas B. Levene said...

Most college athletes at D-1 schools never make it to the pros. They need the education they are supposedly getting at the university. So I worry that paying athletes will undermine whatever educational value there is for recruited D-1 athletes. On the other hand, Justices Karan and Kavanaugh are correct in their antitrust analysis.

This is one of those rare legal issues where I don’t know what the right answer is.

Darkisland said...

At my school, Southern New Hampshire University where I taught for nearly 30 years and earned an MSBE the school teams are called "The Penmen"

I think the name shows what the school thinks is important.

Although, it occurs to me writing this that it is sexist. Shouldn't it be the "Penpeople"?

Screw all these college sports. Other than recreational sports.

John Henry

Mark O said...

As high school is for college, the NCAA has created a life support system for professional sports. The supporting cast should be paid something.

Nonapod said...

Not quite. A few are worth much more. I rub up against dozens of ex ISU and UI football players good enough for division I but not a hint at the pros.

So in other words their market value is at or lower than the cost of their scholarship. Some small number of players will go pro. They're obviously worth quite a bit more than the cost of their scholarships, so they should be paid over and above that amount in my opinion.

Gahrie said...

Just to be pedantic, the NCAA schools do pay their athletes something, they give them a full ride to college. That used to be enough. Now that there's big money involved, the lawyers have stepped in.

I believe if I was a college president today, I would be advocating that we get rid of competitive sports and replace them with more student leagues and activities.

Big Mike said...

Obama couldn't make the team after high school either. Have you seen the videos of him throwing up bricks?

And not intelligent enough to play point guard.

Gahrie said...

So in other words their market value is at or lower than the cost of their scholarship. Some small number of players will go pro. They're obviously worth quite a bit more than the cost of their scholarships, so they should be paid over and above that amount in my opinion.

Should really good debaters get paid for being on the Forensics team? How about awesome cheerleaders...should they get paid? I was an awesome reporter for my school newspaper....

Michael K said...

How the sports departments get away with admitting a large number of academically unqualified but physically gifted people boggles the mind. But money talks.
There was a Cal football player, who may have graduated (It was 30 years ago) who played pro ball at San Diego and who wore glasses, of all things. He was a good running back and had a good career. Late in his career it came out that he was functionally illiterate. UC, Berkeley. Can't remember his name. I do remember his race.

Michael K said...

I believe if I was a college president today, I would be advocating that we get rid of competitive sports and replace them with more student leagues and activities.

The trouble with that is that sports are the only part of college today that is not 100% left wing. With the Black Lives Matter stuff and kneeling for the Anthem, even that is slipping away. Alumni are barely tolerating this crap now.

Nonapod said...

Should really good debaters get paid for being on the Forensics team? How about awesome cheerleaders...should they get paid? I was an awesome reporter for my school newspaper....

If they're generating a great deal of revenue for the school, why not? Although, I'm unaware if there's a huge TV audience for collegiate debate events that's generating anywhere near the revenue for their schools that division 1 college football or basketball team does. I'm picturing the merch for the top model UN debaters like a jersey with "Henry Chang USC 2021 Debate team" or something.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Gahrie said...

Just to be pedantic, the NCAA schools do pay their athletes something, they give them a full ride to college. That used to be enough.

Yeah, they should be happy with a BA in Grievance Studies for Dummies from UNC. It's a real door opener!

Leland said...

The issue isn't simply whether or not the NCAA schools pay student athletes. It is whether it is sufficient to only provide a college education in exchange to having full rights to the players likeness and marketing of that likeness. It is one thing to say, "we will use your likeness to advertise games and sale stuff in the school bookstore". It starts to get muddy when it is "we will sale your likeness to Nike, Reebok, or UnderArmor for millions and free uniforms for other student athletes". It gets ridiculous when "we will demand you attend donor functions, have you sign merchandise, and sale your likeness for millions, yet if someone there gives you any money, we will threaten to ruin your college career forever".

That's before we look at how the NCAA shows favoritism to certain University programs.

Sebastian said...

One problem is that the athletic achievements of most college athletes have no value outside of the NCAA system. NCAA college-based men's football and basketball competition, packaged for TV consumption, is the draw, not the quality of performance as such.

Plus many programs are already losing money. If they have to operate like a business with "student" employees, that may well destroy the business.

Not Sure said...

... the school teams are called "The Penmen"

I think the name shows what the school thinks is important.


Penmanship?

Readering said...

Michael K, you are describing Bears great Chuck Muncie, but I think you mean his teammate, Tigers great James Brooks. Muncie's problem was substance abuse.

Andrew said...

The college presidents and the NCAA are the real whores in this system. Like all money in sports it's about television contracts and indorsements, mostly TV. It's the reason women professionals don't get paid what men do, their real jobs aren't about perfomance, it's about viewership and indorsements.

Do college atheletes think universities are not going to get their nut for letting the atheletes sell their likeness wearing a university jersey. What's the value of a top tier player's image in a jersey that just sorta looks like a team jersey.

Having played college ball I never thought I should bet paid, but the NCAA rules were rediculous. I did have teamates from very poor backgrounds who couldn't afford to do their laundry

bleh said...

Good for him. Fuck the NCAA and fuck athletic "scholarships." These athletes are employees and most should not be enrolled in the universities they represent. Let's just be honest about it. The schools have pro teams, and the teams and the athletes have very little to do with the schools or campus life, especially at highly ranked universities.

The whole thing is a farce. If you went to a good university that also had competitive sports programs, you know this to be true. You saw the athletes in your classes making a mockery of the education you were paying for. I don't mean they were purposely mocking it, although some do. I just mean having them in the classroom with you when they can barely do the coursework without a ridiculous amount of "help" tends to make you feel less good about the quality of the education you're receiving. It also makes you wonder who was kept out of the university to make room for those particular students. What contributions could those hypothetical classmates have made to the classroom experience?

The sports programs should be separated completely from the actual primary business of the university, which is supposedly to educate the students. Sports programs are just one way that universities have strayed from their core mission, though. But it's a very conspicuous example.

Calypso Facto said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Narr said...

The whole system sucks and should be burnt to the ground.

Here's the obligatory ref to Vonnegut's "Player Piano."

Narr
Who wears his Pimpleton State "Pimps" hat proudly

Calypso Facto said...

Related? Barry Alverez to retire. Alvarez presided over the golden age for an athletic director, and getting out while the getting is good too.

mikee said...

Much like Hollywood accounting where even blockbuster hits have little to no net revenue after expenses, the NCAA is perfectly capable of running athletic programs - or at least the accounting for their costs - such that there is no money left for the student athletes. And if the students get paid from the gross gate receipts and broadcast contracts, rather than after other expenses, look for a rush to fairness and equity, so female shot putt competitors get paid the same as the football quarterback.

tim maguire said...

Given what big business college sports has become, I can see how it would seem unfair and even abusive to not pay the athletes who make it all possible. But how many programs are actually profitable? How many programs would have to dissolve if they had to pay the athletes? How much more dominant would the few dominant teams be if this additional expense were added?

Maybe instead of requiring athletes to become employees, how about rewriting the rules on what constitutes "amateur"? After all, how many of these programs, which are supposedly part of student life, actually focus on the students (rather than wealthy philanthropic alumni)?

David53 said...

A current rule allowing colleges and universities to pay up to $50,000 to obtain a $10 million insurance policy to protect the future earnings of college athletes in case they are injured before they can become professionals. That, Roberts told Waxman, sounds like “pay for play”; the school is buying the policy for college athletes so that they will remain in school rather than going pro.

It does sound like pay to play.

I wonder how these policies are worded. Assume a six star high school receiver, who runs a 4.4 forty, is hyped as a can't miss 1st round NFL pick. He signs with a high profile school and has an All-American freshman year but blows out his knee at the beginning of his sophomore season. He rehabs and then has a solid college career but can no longer run faster than a 4.6 forty. Come NFL draft day that .2 of a second difference can make a huge difference on where he may be drafted. First round draft picks get paid millions more than 3rd round picks.

Andrew said...

Fuck all those acedemic "sholarships". shouldn't those scholors being doing it for the sake of learning? What whores!
Shouldn't the student body, facalty and alums be doing something more productive at noon on fall Saturdays? Seems to me most large universities core mission is to produce a country club away from home.

Joe Smith said...

"Late in his career it came out that he was functionally illiterate."

I have read that OJ couldn't write his name when he attended USC.

Maybe an urban myth, but I don't see it being far from the truth.

As for scholarships, on a D1 football team, roughly 70% have scholarships, so not all are getting a full ride...

Yancey Ward said...

I have been, until maybe recently, a huge college basketball fan. I have always viewed with contempt the NCAA's rules against the players taking money and other benefits from boosters. First, the rules really don't work. Not a season ever goes by where there isn't some high profile college basketball or football star who gets involved in an accident or gets arrested for a DUI while driving some new sports car or SUV- and these are almost always players who came from poor families. Invariably, the car ends up being owned by the poor single mother or a poor uncle, or is leased to some anonymous fan of the school.

Eliminate all those rules, and you will find that the colleges don't actually have to pay the players anything- the fans will take care of it. It also has the beneficial effect of reducing cynicism. The Olympic's eventually understood this as have most of the foreign sporting associations. It is high time for the NCAA to learn the same thing and implement it.

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gahrie said...

Yeah, they should be happy with a BA in Grievance Studies for Dummies from UNC. It's a real door opener!

I was lucky. I got to major in what I wanted to.

gilbar said...

rehajm said...
My favorite Kavanaugh opinion is and will always be Yes, we drank beer. My friends and I. Boys and girls. Yes, we drank beer. I liked beer. Still like beer. We drank beer.

That his words are not commemorated on hats and t-shirts and fraternity walls across the nation demonstrates how far the nation has fallen.


GOD is Great
Beer is Good
People are crazy

Leland said...

I did have teamates from very poor backgrounds who couldn't afford to do their laundry

In 1994, NCAA penalized Texas A&M because a "booster" gave summer jobs to athletes. I had a friend in the band that worked for the same employer doing the same jobs. It was a way to make money during the summer to help pay for things the school doesn't pay for when school isn't in session.

Personally, I think the real issue in 1994 is A&M out-recruited Texas, and the Longhorns were pissed. So the NCAA slapped down A&M. It was one reason a few years later, most Aggies supported the move to SEC.

Laslo Spatula said...

I support anything that the colleges don't want.

I am Laslo.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Here we are,108 years after the disqualification of Jim Thorpe and 89 years after Horse Feathers.

johns said...

I agree with the point that athletes are not paid, used up, don't graduate, and most have nothing to show for it. They should be paid something. But this probably won't change the rest of the situation, i.e. that they will be recruited for athletic ability regardless of their academic ability, used up, and have nothing to show for it after not graduating.

Michael K said...

Blogger Readering said...
Michael K, you are describing Bears great Chuck Muncie, but I think you mean his teammate, Tigers great James Brooks. Muncie's problem was substance abuse.


Yes, that's who it was and it was Muncie who was illiterate, among his other problems.

Whoever mentioned OJ, I agree that it was possible. The big issue with college football that is going to come to a head soon, is chronic head trauma. It is a serious issue and, I believe, related to the enormous size of college (and pro) football players these days. When I was in college in the 50s, SC had a great team with normal sized players. The starting center, Laird Willot, was about 195 pounds and had the #1 grade point average in the U. The "Order of the Palm" was an award for that and Willet got it his senior year. I don't recall his major.

That team with his weight at 205.

The issue is that most of these giant players are black. This is going to show up as an issue soon.

Jupiter said...

The argument seems to be that people will not pay good money to watch professional athletes play. This makes excellent sense to me, since I certainly would not do so, but there is some evidence to the contrary.

The colleges and universities may well be the most sickeningly corrupt institutions in America.

Kai Akker said...

I have only limited interest in scholastic sports if I have no family interest in it in some way. I only watch college basketball on TV very occasionally and rarely last the full game. These are the caveats to my comment -- which is that, if college athletes are paid, why would I watch them ever? They will be merely lower-quality pro teams. I go to minor league baseball games occasionally, but that is for the fun of the small-town atmosphere and proximity to everything from food to players to field. I would never care about a college pro team for any reason at all. And I suspect those feelings are not rare among the average sports fan.

Tom T. said...

Dexter Manley of the Redskins revealed after his retirement from pro football that he was illiterate. Graduated from Oklahoma State. Couldn't read a prepared statement when appearing before Congress.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

Mid-Life Lawyer says:

"How silly it is to put in that descriptor. As if that would make a person more qualified to opine on the issue."

JLScott

"Maybe it’s the opposite and they are insinuating he is less qualified. He’s biased, harboring a bitter grudge."

Good point. I failed to recognize that the bullshit could have come from another direction.

jaydub said...

Paying college players is a complicated proposition. Consider: there are about 110 football players on the average D1 college team and, across all conferences and leagues, an estimated 7% of D1 college players (around 250/year) will get drafted or have the opportunity to walk on, i.e., 93% don't. Those who are going to be competitive on NFL draft day need almost all of those other players who are not going to be competitive in order to play the game and impress the scouts. So, around 103 players on each team are actually supporting actors for 7 or so teammates who have a chance to reach the pros. Those players are only worth a fraction of what the star QB is worth, so what do you pay them, how much more do you pay the star QB and what kind of rivalries does unequal pay create among unequal teammates? A strong case could be made that a four year athletic grant-in-aid is pretty good money for the bottom 93%. A strong case could also be made that the star athlete is very much under compensated if he only gets a grant-in-aid and nothing else; hence should get some of the gate receipts and part of the TV money. Trying to sort that all out and get to an equitable distribution is probably impossible. No matter what, the average NFL pro lasts three years in the league and earns less than $1 million for those three years, i.e., making the pros is not a great financial boon to the majority of college pros who do make it to the NFL. If one looks at the expected value of a college degree vs the expected value of the average pro career, the college degree is much, much more valuable so the free ride is probably well worth the effort and likely more valuable than even making the pros. The real problem with high level college athletics is that the people are stellar athletes are usually not the same people as the ones who can earn a meaningful degree; so many of the "dumb jocks" end up with no degree and no pro contract. I don't know if that is fair or not to the ones who cannot cut the academic mustard because if it weren't for their athletic ability they wouldn't have made it to college anyway. Whether colleges are "exploiting" their "student" athletes probably depends on how low the standard is for athletes and how much extra effort the school puts into tutoring and remedial education to get the "dumb jock" a meaningful college degree. Some schools make that effort but most do not. Bottom line is simply "paying the athletes" is not necessarily going to be more equitable and may in fact do more harm. As the King of Siam would say: "is a puzzlement.!"

Kai Akker said...

Ivy League schools don't have athletic scholarships -- not permitted. I'm sure there are a few ways to get around that, at least to a degree; but student athletes I knew worked hard at school. They wanted that degree.

Temple recently announced they hit a 90% graduation rate for all their student-athletes. Basketball was at 100%. Article lists other schools with great stats.

https://owlsports.com/news/2020/11/17/general-temple-tops-90-percent-in-graduation-success-rate-six-sports-record-perfect-100-gsr.aspx

Sneer if you want. I knew a Temple junior faculty member one part of whose job was tutoring the star halfback. She kind of enjoyed the tutoring, hated the system in which she knew he would get passed one way or another. But when the great, complicated coach John Chaney ran that basketball program, one of his greatest recruiting assets came when he sat in the boy's living room and told his mother, or mother and father, that Your son is going to go to class and he is going to be a college graduate. A charming, knowledgeable, complicated man -- John Chaney just passed away earlier this year at 89. A Philadelphia guard himself.

Readering said...

Ivy schools do bend rules for star athletes. I had classmate, Walter Camp All American. Well known that his running yardage for 9 game season exceeded his V/M SAT total.

Static Ping said...

The NCAA are bad people. They were bad people a decade ago and they have only gotten worse. I find it difficult to produce any sympathy for them.

As for the legal argument, I have no idea. Who knows what the law is anymore.

Michael K said...

I knew a Temple junior faculty member one part of whose job was tutoring the star halfback.

The problem with this is that junior faculty can get too involved with star athletes. They did this at SC back when John Robinson was coach and the team was in the top 10. They decided that coaches could not be trusted to monitor team academics. They put some junior faculty in charge of academic progress. Then the team all took a speech class in Arizona to improve their GPA and, when word got out, the faculty all blamed the coaches. Robinson was fired as head coach and SC football went into a decline for a decade.

Colonel Mustard said...

"I believe if I was a college president today, I would be advocating that we get rid of competitive sports and replace them with more student leagues and activities."

I suspect that college president would be looking for a new gig - perhaps at K-12 level.
Alumni donations and applications for admission tend to soar when a team is successful or even competitive. Some esteemed journal once ran a sort of case study on the financial windfall enjoyed by Boston College during the Doug Flutie Years.

That said, in my perfect world, scholarships would not be awarded until prospects were enrolled under standard admission requirements. Team rosters would be limited in number and ALL members would be "scholarship" athletes. Even the practice-fodder that rarely got in the game pays a price in time and effort to enable a team to work.

No athlete would be "paid" by the university, ever but all would be able to leverage their notoriety as athletes to make a buck while in school (a valuable business lesson in itself).

I was a 'Dumb Jock' in college and most of my male friends were 'Dumb Jocks'. I don't know what our graduation rate was other than 'high'. Plenty of doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists and successful businessmen among us. We were a second tier athletic program at best but one that fared very well among the best (not really surprising to be a top 20 football team when Bob Devaney is coaching or a force in wrestling when Ev Lance - a full time faculty member in College of Agriculture - is running the show).

IMO, if you want to 'fix' college athletics, the place to start is the NCAA, itself.

Earnest Prole said...

Justice Brett Kavanaugh . . . who tried out unsuccessfully for the basketball team at Yale . . .

The Yale basketball team is so white that a majority of its players still employ the two-handed set shot.

Kai Akker said...

---Well known that his running yardage for 9 game season exceeded his V/M SAT total.

Maybe. These "facts" are always so well known, though, aren't they? Especially among people who couldn't carry your classmate's jock strap.

So did he go to class? Did he do the work? Did he graduate? Is he now making a lot of money somewhere? Does he reflect well on the school, or poorly? You still jealous?

Jim at said...

Obama couldn't make the team after high school either.

He rode the pine at Punahou and bitched about it. That the media propped him up as some sort of Athlete-in-Chief was one of the bigger jokes of his eight years of bullshit.

285exp said...

Who gets paid, how much, and who pays them? Are all student athletes getting paid, even if their sport generates no profit? Only 20 of the 123 FBS athletic departments turn a profit, and only because of the money brought in by the men’s revenue sports, football and basketball. If the schools have to pay them, then the non revenue producing sports are going to have to go. I suspect that Title IX lawsuits would soon be forthcoming. Some schools will just have to drop football too, because they won’t be able to pay their players, so some more kids will lose an opportunity to go to college so some others can make some money.

The players receive full tuition, meals, a stipend, training, medical care, coaching, academic tutoring, and a stage to audition for a job in professional sports. If they want to get paid as employees, then they need to net it out of what they are already making.

The most valuable thing that the vast majority of them will get is a degree, one that other people pay up to several hundred thousand dollars for, and many of them would have had no chance of going to college without the scholarship. Some choose poorly when selecting a degree, but that’s on them, lots of parents shelled out the money for their kids to choose useless degrees too, and lots of kids who took out student loans are paying for their useless degrees for years after they graduate.

As for the name, image, and likeness issue, that’s just going to be a way for teams with rich and rabid boosters to buy all the best players. Nick Saban has a Mercedes dealership, and I’m sure he would love to have some 5 star athletes driving around in S Classes and G-Wagens plastered with the dealership name instead of used Dodge Chargers. Anybody who could make any money selling their likeness would be making it because of where they are playing.

iowan2 said...

I believe if I was a college president today, I would be advocating that we get rid of competitive sports and replace them with more student leagues and activities.

That's how it all started. "friendly" competition between colleges. But lots of students showed up to cheer on the right team. Admission was charged, concessions appeared. The rest, as they say, is history
Horse Feathers was a documentary.

From memory the first intercollegiate football game was between University of Iowa and Grinnell college. Grinnell won. Which is why today, Grinnell college has the 5th largest endowment fund in the nation.

Curious George said...

"iowan2 said...
From memory the first intercollegiate football game was between University of Iowa and Grinnell college. Grinnell won. Which is why today, Grinnell college has the 5th largest endowment fund in the nation."

No. Rutgers and Princeton. Iowa barely plays football today. ;-)

iowan2 said...

The Yale basketball team is so white that a majority of its players still employ the two-handed set shot.

They can't be any whiter than Iowa's this year.

iowan2 said...

No. Rutgers and Princeton. Iowa barely plays football today. ;-)
I forgot the qualifier, First intercollegiate football game west of the Mississippi River.

GingerBeer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GingerBeer said...

As a former D1 athlete, (compiling a 1st,2nd,3rd,& 7th in my sport's National Championships) I demand reparations!

Colonel Mustard said...

"No. Rutgers and Princeton. Iowa barely plays football today. ;-)"

Follow college football much do you, George? Final Poll last season ranked Iowa State 9 and Iowa 15.

Scotty, beam me up... said...

With schools such as Alabama and Ohio State (sorry, THEE Ohio State ) consistently making it to the Div. 1 (or whatever the Hell the NCAA is calling that for football these days), one has to wonder what their players are actually getting for grades in whatever classes they are taking. Also, how much money are these players are being paid under the table. Something has to be drawing these stud football players to these esteemed institutions of higher learning as it sure isn’t academics or earning a useful college degree. If they did get paid above board, these “student-athletes are going to find out really quick that the IRS wants their pound of flesh. And being young & foolish, they will probably piss away most of what they get paid. And if scholarships aren’t taxed as income, they should be if SCOTUS rules in favor of the athletes. My oldest could run circles academically around most of these athletes. He paid for college by giving 6 years of his life to the US Army in exchange for his “free ride” via the GI Bill and he still had to pay for his room and board. But he graduated with two B. of Science degrees in 3 1/2 years and learned how to be self sufficient in the real world versus these jocks, some, if not many, who are functionally illiterate after they finish with school and don’t last too long in the pros if they even make it that far.

D.D. Driver said...

"Could it not be argued that a full "free ride" scholarship qualifies as a sort of payment?"

If this is an anti-trust issue, how does that even matter? If every drycleaner in the country conspired to pay their employees exactly $10 an hour, I think they'd have the same problem.

There are also pro league who use the NCAA as a partially taxpayer funded farm system. And lo and behold they all have rules that prohibit athletes from being draft until they play for free in the NCAA for a season or two.

Amadeus 48 said...

I had a friend who as graduate student was Jim Mandich's assigned tutor at Michigan (Mandich was an All-American tight end in the 1960s who later played for Miami). He said Mandich was as smart as a typical UM undergrad, but football took so much time that he needed a crammer, like most other scholarship players. He said Mandich took all his own tests and wrote all his own papers, but the tutor boiled things down and made sure that Mandich understood the material.

Colonel Mustard said...

Scotty says, "With schools such as Alabama and Ohio State (sorry, THEE Ohio State ) consistently making it to the Div. 1 (or whatever the Hell the NCAA is calling that for football these days), one has to wonder what their players are actually getting for grades in whatever classes they are taking. Also, how much money are these players are being paid under the table. Something has to be drawing these stud football players to these esteemed institutions of higher learning as it sure isn’t academics or earning a useful college degree."


First of all, most students in college today are not getting "a useful college degree".


Alabama's first national championship team under The Bear was quarterbacked by Pat Trammell. He said no to the Packers and went to Med School instead. Pat's cross-state rival All-American at Auburn was Ed Dyas, a fullback. Ed also told the NFL to not bother and went on to become an orthopedic surgeon.

One of the main guys who brought the GPS system to life was an All-American football player and Rhodes Scholar. The stories are endless. One caveat, perhaps - The guys I competed with and against were in college before the influx of Blacks on many campuses. My school's first African American football player showed up in the fall of 1960 and the second a year later. They were welcomed from the start but there was a change. Part of the change was the civil rights movement, itself. Then, the growing interest of television, Budweiser, Miller, Nike and the 800 lb gorilla we know as ESPN.

The NCAA (at least back in the day) had severe restrictions on scholarship athletes even having legit part-time jobs. As for money "under the table" my ill-gotten gains came from a local beer distributer who paid a pal and I $1 an hour in cash and case of beer a few times a week for unloading freight cars and putting the beer on trucks.

What a deal, huh? You know what? We were having the time of our lives and felt damn lucky to be in college instead of working some dead-end crap job in our hometowns.

Bates said...

It's a modern slave system grifted right off the economics of rich upper caste elites(Amateurs).

A college sports program is not much different than a plantation system. The players get whipped by NCAA fines.

Let the markets work. Guarantee a UBI. Require classes. Support the athletes family. Let a percentage of players come from a pool of players not enrolled in the college. Make the market work for the regional community.

The Godfather said...

Back in 1961 when I graduated from prep school (about 45 students in that class), two of us went to [please erase this admission] Harvard. My classmate was higher than middle of the class, but below those who were stuck going to second-tier U's like Princeton, Dartmouth, and Columbia. But he was the place-kicker on our football team, and he was really good -- the team was not good, but if we could get close enough, he could put us on the score board. When he showed up at H. for his first practice with the Freashman Team, the coach told him to run some laps and then scrimmage. He said, I don't do that stuff; I kick. The coach said, if you want to be on the team, you do laps and scrimmage. My friend said good-bye. He was deprived of NOTHING, because the U wasn't giving him anything except admission. He made the most of an Ivy League education. That's a good system, it seems to me. Turning "amateur" athletes into big-money pros for the benefit of their "employers" isn't.

Narr said...

The man who was our campus doctor for about ten years had played football for Bryant in the 60s--before the cushy job he had been an ER doctor, one of the best.

One of my boyhood friends was a top football player here, All-State, recruited to UT in 1971; he came back here after a year, and in a very accidental conversation explained that he was dropping out-- he had seen too much of the corruption and dishonesty even then. Straight arrow--became a cop.

Narr
Extirpate it, root and branch

gilbar said...

as i understood it (from a Clemson fan),
Clemson football gives it's players free tuition, for life.
Don't know that's true; but it Should be true for All

Most players are NOT working on 'real' graduation paths while playing.
If they could come back, when they're done playing and pick up a degree; it would help them
And, truth be told; it wouldn't cost the university much
If they made course enrollment Space Available; it wouldn't cost them ANYTHING

Michael K said...

That's a good system, it seems to me. Turning "amateur" athletes into big-money pros for the benefit of their "employers" isn't.

Do you know that all pro linebacker Clay Matthews was a skinny walk-on at SC? No scholarship. Just wanted to play. Did pretty well.

Lots of family in football, but he was a skinny kid.

Michael K said...

IMO, if you want to 'fix' college athletics, the place to start is the NCAA, itself.

Todd McNair has been going after the dishonest NCAA for years

This is a secondary case arising from the Reggie Bush fiasco at SC that drove Pete Carroll to the NFL and left SC football in the doldrums.

An appellate court gave Todd McNair a major victory in his long-running legal fight with the NCAA on Friday, affirming a lower court’s decision to order a new trial in the former USC assistant football coach’s defamation lawsuit against the organization.

The three-justice panel in California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal found that Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Frederick Shaller didn’t abuse his discretion when he granted McNair’s motion for a new trial.

“The trial court abuses its discretion in ruling on a new trial motion only if there is no reasonable basis for its ruling or the court committed legal error,” the 26-page opinion said. “The NCAA has failed to demonstrate an abuse of discretion.”

In an emailed statement, Bruce Broillet, McNair’s lead attorney, said they are “tremendously pleased” with the decision and their client is “looking forward to holding the NCAA accountable for its actions and to clearing his name.” The NCAA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.


This has gone on for years. Reggie Bush has retired from the NFL.

After the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions ruled in June 2010 that McNair engaged in unethical conduct in connection with star running back Reggie Bush receiving benefits from sports marketers while playing for the Trojans, the coach was saddled with a one-year show-cause penalty.

This case has dragged on 11 years with the NCAA fighting all the way. McNair has some devastating emails among NCAA officials that they are fighting to hide.

11 years !

Unknown said...

I took a class at Georgia one time, reputed to be an "easy" class because all the jocks took it. And they were never there.

I think I ended up with a C or a D. I was like, "how the fuck was that an easy class?"

Years later, it occurred to me that it was an easy class for the jocks. Hard for everybody else, because they had to make the grades look right.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Kavanaugh then summarized the case as one in which the schools were conspiring with their competitors 'to pay no salaries to the workers who are making the schools billions of dollars on the theory that consumers want the schools to pay their workers nothing.' Such a scenario, Kavanaugh concluded, 'seems entirely circular and even somewhat disturbing.'"


Bingo. After reading the imbecility of the NCAA's arguments, I was so pleased that Kavanaugh took a shotgun to them

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Could it not be argued that a full "free ride" scholarship qualifies as a sort of payment?

Sure

It could also "be argued" the Unicorns poop Skittles.

Both "arguments" are equally vacuous.

The ones who would and should get paid are not there to get a college education. They're there to work a full time job playing football or basketball. In the hopes that they can go pro and make some real money.

When you're working 40+ hours a week parcticing, working out, studying film, studying the teams plays, etc., you don't have time to actually go to class and get an education.

The colleges are ripping off these kids. It's abusive, and it's wrong.

And the pay limit shouldn't be $5k, either.

"Oh, but this will just lead to further inequality among the schools!"

Bullshit.

The rich schools have the nice campus, nice workout facilities, nice support networks, etc. The current system favors them. At worst, a system where the kids get paid continues to favor the "have" schools. So?

It will also start to favor the kids who are currently getting screwed by the schools.

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285exp said...

Just imagine how dumb these jocks are, each year thousands of them compete for a chance to toil away on these modern plantations, eager to be abused by the sadistic overseers, just so they can get a college degree, that many of them would never be able to afford otherwise, and for some of them to make millions of dollars as professional athletes after college. We really don’t need to have those kind of people, a majority of them minorities, polluting our temples of higher learning, places that should be reserved for the pure academics. It is time to eliminate athletic scholarships, and go back to the days of real amateur sports, played by the right kind of people.

I’m sure most of those dummies would relish the chance to play in a minor league instead, where they could get paid a pittance to play in front of a few hundred fans at minor league stadiums and be coached by minor league coaches and work out at minor league facilities instead of at these garish college stadiums in front of a hundred thousand fans and be coached by elite coaches and working out at elite facilities. Yep, let’s burn this whole thing down so we can go back to watching some frat boys (and trans boys too!) play intramural sports, admired by their sorority girlfriends (and trans girlfriends).

Narr said...

Just to be clear, when I say burn it down, I don't exclude intramurals, and for that matter a serious educational establishment can do without frats and sororities too.

As to well-off schools, my adult life was spent on the campus of a second-tier southern state u, and take it from me the jocks got and get the royal treatment--especially the big two. I heard many a lecture about how the most expensive sports team is the one that loses--which is as circular an argument for expensive athletics if I've ever heard.

Until recently I could hear the teams in the morning, practicing on the secluded and quite posh training complex just a short walk west of my house. I say until recently because they've upgraded to a huge indoor facility completed last year. No more exciting pornographic rap blasting from the speakers--

"Bitches on they knees,
Ready to please."

Yeah, education. Where assistant weight coaches and student activities coordinators make more than most humanities profs.

Let the talented athletes succeed in their spheres. The ones that were never going to go pro AND never going to get the degree--that is, most of them--can work like everybody else.

Narr
As if America's top athletes would go unrewarded without the higher-ed farce

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Narr said...
Yeah, education. Where assistant weight coaches and student activities coordinators make more than most humanities profs.

Which makes sense, although I doubt it's true.

Assistant weight coaches actually provide something of value, most humanities profs just provide left wing drivel

Curious George said...

"Michael K said...
Do you know that all pro linebacker Clay Matthews was a skinny walk-on at SC? No scholarship. Just wanted to play. Did pretty well."

Geez I wonder how he got so big so fast?

285exp said...

Narr, it’s great that we have people like you to tell us what activities true institutions of higher learning should provide, maybe we can make them like monasteries, where true students can devote themselves to their studies, undistracted by all those trivial pleasures like social organizations or icky things like sports. And if the only way that some kid could possibly afford to attend such places of pure learning is due to their athletic prowess? Tough, let them work at something that they’re more suited to do, like manual labor or fast food.

And all those people in college towns, whose businesses depend on the revenue brought in by people who come to view those barbaric sporting rituals? Screw them too, the purity of the academy is at stake.

Narr said...

Why is it that deserving students should have to demonstrate some other and orthogonal talent in the first place? A student who can only qualify because of a talent for playing ball doesn't sound like a good investment in the future.

And I'm sorry, but the very idea that American athletes couldn't attract crowds and money without some farcical association with higher education is just risible. There's BILLIONS to be made in sports, and athletes all over the world are well rewarded without the same sort of weird cultural-business mutation.

Narr
I partied hearty myself (on my own time and my own dime)

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Narr said...

Must have been the fall of '70; senior year of high school; I recall old man Hewlitt, who had been a coach when my oldest uncle had been in high school back in the 30's, propped on his tall stool against the wall in the lunch room, looking for long hair and wispy mustaches as we filed past for the daily swill.

One afternoon, disappointed with game attendance I suppose, he got on the intercom and ranted for a few minutes about school spirit and how important it was to support the teams, "Who play their hearts out for YOU!"

Then and there I realized that some people occupy complete fantasy worlds.

Narr
I always chose the study hall option

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Poor Narr.

He was always uncoordinated and pathetic, with 0 social skills.

Now he can lash out at all those people who were, and still are, better than him.

Why he needs to do this, I don't know. I guess he's just really pathetic

Narr said...

What a trite and shallow response, Greg. But no better than I would expect.

Just to simplify, we have the rich and powerful cynically exploiting the hopes of thousands, distracting people from real issues with bread, circuses, and rah-rah . . . while the core values of the Western university are turned on their heads and mocked as if locker-room wit was the highest value.

Wait. It IS the highest value! Thanks, I never quite understood it so clearly.

I could write volumes on the stupidity and incompetence of academic eggheads outside their narrow fields, and unless I'm much mistaken universities as institutions are not in the best odor around here anyway. So I find it strange that people rush to defend them--corrupt, bloated, full of lefty cranks (a surprising number of whom are sports fans)-- on the basis of athletainment value.

Narr
How 'bout a cafe', Prof?

Greg The Class Traitor said...

It must suck to be so stupid, Narr

Demanding that the Universities stop taking advantage of the athletes, and start paying them , isn't "defending the Universities."

The "academics" at US Universities and Colleges is utterly worthless left wing shit. The best thing they're producing right now is the sports, and even that has little value.

Burn them down. Burn them all down.

And that starts by taking away their special privileges. Such as their antitrust protection, which is what's at stake here.

So, are you an idiot, who doesn't realize you're fighting for the Universities here?

Or are you a liar?

Narr said...

I'm fighting for the U's? Why would I do that?

What is it with the lying accusation? I could care less what the law says--it's not a matter to be corrected by law, since law and politics are downstream from culture.

The culture of corporate athletics sucks, and it's especially sucky in regard to higher-ed.

Narr
I've wanted to burn it down since I became aware of it

Narr said...

In the sense of fighting for the U's to return to their core mission, then yes of course I'm fighting for them. To the extent they just create and disseminate crap, and whore themselves to the PC corporations, I'm fighting against them.

Narr
It's called principles