Wow…Sharrif FLoyd Sues the NCAA and the SEC...

Discussion in 'RayGator's Swamp Gas' started by HotlantaGator, Apr 26, 2014.

  1. brimley
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    brimley Member

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    I don't have the answers, but something needs to change since NCAAF became "BIG" business! A lot of schools do not even allow players to get a job, or if they can it's unreasonable hours that would hurt their performance. Room/Board/Tuition does not equate to needing a new pair of jeans, or being hungry when the "board" part of it is only dinner at 6pm, or needing freaking soap. All I know is they do a full time job, harder than most, at these universities. I was on an academic scholarship when I went to UF, tuition paid for...and room, as long as I stayed on campus. I still had the "approval" to work a full time job, even on scholarship...to pay for the other things that do not fall under Room/Board/Tuition. Much needed, as I do not come from a wealthy family. This is their full time job, and all they see is others loaded in profit from their actions. I'm not saying I know how it should work, but at least minimal change must occur.
  2. cpgator
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    cpgator Active Member

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    The root of the problem is that players is that college athletes receive in-kind compensation that is tax free. This makes sense for non-rev or low rev sports. The cost to the schools is lower since the in-kind compensation is given at cost and it's more valuable for the athlete since it's tax free. Unfortunately, when you apply the same system to big revenue sports like football then the schools, conferences and NCAA effectively represent a cartel in restraint of trade. For reference, a cartel is a combination of independent enterprises designed to limit competition or fix prices. We can demonstrate this cartel fairly easily.

    First, the 'product' in question is talented football players who have graduated from high school. These players are a valuable commodity who, as a group, generate significant profits for their schools. This is especially true of elite players. But even non-starters support profits by participating in practice which, in itself, involves uncommon skill and work. Schools compete ferociously for the services of these players and the economic benefits they generate. This takes the form of facilities, camps, relationships and aggressive marketing

    However, the schools, conferences and NCAA also collude to protect their collective profits.
    • They fix the per-person cost of direct labor at the value of one in-kind scholarship. I
    • If the athlete does not have the interest or aptitude to attend college courses the schools collectively prohibit alternative means of payment.
    • If the athlete chooses to pursue a more valuable offer the cartel penalizes them by prohibiting them from competing for a year. They also give the old school the option of blocking the athlete from receiving compensation for a full year (refusal to release athlete from LOI).
    • The cartel further dilutes the bargaining power of athletes by imposing an arbitrary limit on the number of years they can compete.
    These restraints are always justified in the name of some higher cause with cartel participants pointing the finger at other participants to deflect the blame. "We'd like to do X but the NCAA won't let us." "We'd like to allow X but it would be unfair to small schools." "We'd like to give X to poor football players but then we'd have to give it to non-revenue athletes, too." All these excuses are fig leaves. They claim that profit-generating athletes can't be paid for reasons that have nothing to do with the value they generate.

    If football players had another avenue to develop their skills this wouldn't be as big an issue. However, the NCAA and NFL effectively collude to prevent athletes from pursuing professional football without going through the college system. This may not impact a zero star 190-lb linebacker going to a small FCS school but it does impose a significant burden on 5* guys who create big revenue have a legitimate shot of making football a career. To impose that coercive, significantly under-compensated burden in the name of 'fairness' to the tennis team is patently unjust.

    The answer to this is fairly simple: make 'college' football players employees of the school. Then schools can pay what their budgets can bear. Since they're employees and not students they don't have to go to class or even graduate high school. Schools can recruit who they want, keep their players as long as they like and Title IX ceases to be an issue. Schools can use the profits to underwrite non-rev sports, fund scholarships for needy kids or do whatever they want. Players get the right to earn fair compensation for the difficult job they do, the protections that come from being an employee (insurance, worker's comp) as well as seek better offers for their skills. Heck, if they're good but not good enough for the NFL they can stick around and keep playing college ball. Tell me what Gator fan wouldn't be glad to have Tebow back in O&B instead of sitting at home.
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  3. ufdocco
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    ufdocco Active Member

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    Fewer people in high school are playing football. Part of it is demographics, and some of it is from fear of head injuries.
    Fielding college football teams will become more expensive, much of it driven by liability issues.
    Most schools lose money on football.
    Football is the primary reason that non D-3 schools have difficulty complying with Title IX without engaging in legal gymnastics.

    My predicted results: Many lower level FBS, nearly all FCS and nearly all D-2 schools will either give up football altogether or move to D-3 (non-scholarship) status rather than spending the huge bucks to try to compete with the top tier FBS schools.
  4. cpgator
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    cpgator Active Member

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    ufdocco - I agree. Top-tier football is essentially a for-profit business wrapped in a non-profit wrapper. I've been a fan of big-time football for years but as I've grown older I appreciate the importance of good health, good health insurance and money in the bank for when I can't work any more. If small schools want to field non-profit teams filled by students, great. As long as everyone carries insurance it's all good. But if big schools can turn a profit after paying the coach, the ass't coaches and the ADs millions of dollars then they need to pay their workers (players). If the school can drop the player after a year without penalty then the player can drop the school without penalty. Most importantly, if the player sustains a work-related injury then the school needs to take care of that just like any other employer would.
  5. msa3
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    msa3 Premium Member

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    But again, your argument concludes with fewer kids getting the chance to go to school on scholarship. That's the end result of all of this -- regardless of what plan you come up with, either paying stipends (which will bankrupt athletic programs and make them lose some sports) or getting rid of college spots all together, the end result means that fewer kids have the chance to attend college.

    I don't see how that's a tradeoff anyone sees as positive.

    The other thing about this that people seem to forget is that whenever a program does turn a profit, it's not like the money is distributed to the AD or the boosters or anything -- it goes back to the school's general fund or it goes to improvements for the athletic department in general. AD's and coaches might get a bonus, but it's not as though there's a board or directors or shareholders who are getting rich of any profits that might be turned by a football program. While we talk about all the money -- it's not the NFL, where owners are making money off things. Colleges are, fundamentally, non-profit entities.
  6. cpgator
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    cpgator Active Member

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    msa, what you suggest may or may not come to pass, but I respectfully disagree with you that it is necessarily a bad thing. Major football programs can make large economic profits (revenue in excess of expenses) precisely because they collude to under-compensate the athletes and restrict them from seeking better 'employment.' There is a major case in Silicon Valley right now in which large tech firms colluded to prevent bidding wars for top engineers. The DOJ is handing out big fines in that case. The fact that a cartel uses some of its ill-gotten profits for a nominally worthy cause doesn't undo the harm done to the victims of the collusion.

    If the system depends on that harm to survive then the system needs to go regardless of its entertainment or charity value. If paying football players means a school drops men's lacrosse and track then so be it. This isn't robbing Peter (track and lacrosse) to pay Paul (football). Paul has a right to to payment based on the economic value he generates. If Peter doesn't generate economic value then what right does he have to be paid? Frankly I think the current system pays Peter to make us feel better about denying payment to Paul.

    I'd respectfully suggest you look at some of the examples you raised. ADs and coaches generate economic value for their programs through their work. They have the right to negotiate the amount and form of their compensation. If they prove themselves exceptional (or lucky) they can leave and take a better offer elsewhere. Boosters and fans can negotiate the seats and perks they get in return for the economic value that they contribute to the program. If they're unhappy they can leave without penalty and go patronize another program. However athletes, generate the primary economic value and bear the greatest personal risks but are afforded none of the rights or protections afforded to staff or boosters. In fact they are subjected to even more restrictions in the form of attending classes they may not want to attend and forced 'retirement' when an arbitrary amount of eligibility expires.

    On a personal note, my conclusions give me no pleasure. I've been a die-hard fan for years. However, the money pouring into the system has fundamentally changed and corrupted it beyond recognition.
  7. gatorinmi
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    gatorinmi Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. They should also fight to have their scholarships cover their entire education. Many schools no longer pay for the athletes' education once their eligibility is up, which is crap. The athletes end up trying to pay their own tuition, often out of state tuition, to finish their degrees. Many never do finish.
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