College basketball corruption charges


#445

I guess I value a college education and the doors that it opens up that so many of the athletes wouldn’t have been able to have more than some other people. I think a college scholarship is worth far more than just the money saved from not having to pay for it.


#446

The scholarship is definitely worth something, but if you don’t think that high-level hoops players would make A LOT more on the open market than what they do now, I don’t know what to tell you.

I personally think the high-level players are getting screwed a bit, although it’s not the biggest injustice in the world like some people act like it is (the players have other options to make money if they want and the scholarship is still worth a solid chunk of change). I’m worried about how changes to the system would destroy the weirdness of college sports that we all love. IMO, Olympic model (plus compensation for apparel sales) is probably the best way to be more fair to the players while maintaining what is fun about the sport as much as possible.


#447

I don’t think anyone disputes the value of college. There’s a reason millions of kids will go to college and pay for it. I don’t think anyone has said there’s no value to a college scholarship. College cost is different than college value.


#448

Another thought, if kids were allowed to make money off their own brand in college is that you might see kids stick around a bit longer. I can imagine Moe definitely staying next year if he were to be able to bank on who he is. Even think about the Ball brothers with BBB or Anthony Davis as “the Brow”. It would a to a much richer landscape for sports and could potentially retain some talent


#449

College is worth a lot. But it’s worth remembering that football and basketball players - yes even at Michigan - are routinely funneled to degrees of little value with less rigor, often not given the academic support they need to succeed (many need more support than the typical student), and cut off if they can’t finish their degree in four years while spending half the academic year working a full time job as condition of their scholarship.

Basically - college has value, but these kids aren’t getting the college most of us do.


#450

I mean… basically the entire dispute is predicated how much you value a scholarship to a University. That’s absolutely the debate and is clearly being questioned if people think that athletes should be paid more. That’s the argument against paying them, that they’re already being paid enough through that and can go to Europe if they want immediate cash in their hand at a larger rate than the stipends they already receive (or hopefully straight to the NBA soon).


#451

Basic economic law would say the very fact that these kids are paid so regularly under the table is ironclad proof that their value to the University exceeds the cost of a scholarship.


#452

Exactly. If they weren’t providing value they wouldn’t be paid under the table and college coaches wouldn’t be making seven figures. It has to be pointed out that there’s a big difference between cost and value. The value of a college degree greatly out weighs the cost (it’s why people go). It can also be said that playing high level college athletics at schools like Michigan has a value that likely outweighs that of a typical college degree (networking). I honestly don’t hear people saying that a scholarship has no value. It does, a tremendous amount. But these schools are benefiting greatly as well. If they weren’t college athletics would have died long ago.


#453

Although I also tend to think that the players are exploited I ALSO feel that they should be a part of student life, live and share the life of other students. Just commercializing everything is not, to me, the answer, in a world where we’re complaining bitterly about the crapification/commercialization of everything else. In fact, it’s important to PROTECT some spheres from monetization. But schools make millions off of football and basketball players in THEIR OWN endless push for money while the students get much less back. To compound matters this is hardly an even landscape, with a small handful of schools really making money and a small handful of players generating the excitement.

My solution would be of a two-fold character. First, let the NFL and NBA create/expand B leagues, and if kids need money badly, let them go. Second, create some kind of serious fund where the money comes back to all the players who participate in an even-handed way–maybe to long-term life insurance (because we know many of them are going to be hurting as older people) and also to REALLY (not just in a bogus way) getting them through college down the road.

I’m sure there are other creative solutions of this kind, but those who participated would need to accept that they were playing not just for themselves but were part of, helping build, something that will benefit players to come. With ideas like this we would a) honestly address the fact that a certain kind of exploitation is taking place, and address it and b) retain a little bit of the kind of virtue that amateur athleticism, at its best, has been about.

The above aren’t hard and fast solutions, obs, but the kind of conversation that needs to be generated.


#454

The current issue being investigated is players being paid by agents and/or apparel companies who get players to go to a certain University in return for that coach steering his players towards that agent or company. I’m not sure how that has anything to do with the worth to a University rather than the agent or shoe company.

If players were allowed to profit off their likeness would you think they should still get paid more? It seems like that would allow profiting that correlates directly to what they provide image-wise.

I also think it’s incorrect to say “they provide X amount of value so this is proof that they should be paid more than a scholarship and the additional stipends they get.” Golf courses wouldn’t be able to do anything without groundskeepers, one could say they provide almost the entire value of a course by keeping it playable. That doesn’t mean they should get hundreds of thousands of dollars if that course is extremely profitable despite being responsible for everything that makes a golf course a golf course.

Again, if they don’t like the system and think it’s “evil” and “slave-like” (Nigel Hayes’ words, not mine) and they’re truly as valuable as they think they are there will be numerous paid opportunities overseas. Everyone who has played in the NCAA made a conscience choice to do so and had every chance to do research to decide if it was the best situation for them and if the drawbacks were worth the benefits.


#455

I find every argument against allowing players to make money off themselves to be disingenuous. NCAA athletes need a union and legitimate representation when rules and regulations are discussed.

NCAA is going to hurt themselves significantly if they don’t change.


#456

Northwestern football tried unionizing and it was a massive and embarrassing failure. They don’t need unions, they don’t need to be paid by the universities, they just need to be able to profit off of their likeness.


#457

Eh, I don’t know. How many people really use the specific skills they learned in college in their jobs later on? Most of the time, what matters is just having the degree itself. Having a BA/BS in anything makes you qualified for a ton more jobs.

Also, being an ex-athlete can be pretty good from an alumni networking standpoint.


#458

This. It’s incredible what resources the athletes have for networking.


#459

Having said this, I have no fundamental objection to giving athletes an increased stipend or allowing them to make money on their own, but I’m not sure how you make it workable, either for the schools themselves (a lot of them don’t make money on athletics as is) or from a competitive standpoint - can a rich booster just “employ” a bunch of recruits in fake jobs, for instance?


#460

A few issues I have with this.

  1. NCAA sports is not a profession. NBA basketball is a profession.
  2. How would basketball players make money off their “brand”. Don’t know what that would look like. Would it be getting paid to play BB in the off season and getting paid for it? Where would they play and who would be paying them. It would have to be separated from the school and school interest. Jodi Foster could make movies in the summer regardless of where she went to college. There was little to no benefit to Yale, so no need to illegally induce her to attend Yale.
  3. Many seem to imply that if players are some how getting compensated that it will take the cheating and corruption out of the game and it will not.

#461

Which is one reason why this is a bad idea. Unfair advantage.


#462

You seem to imply that it’s a level playing field right now. Do you think it is? Even if players were not compensated (legally or illegally) do you think it’s a level playing field? Michigan can provide a tremendous amount of additional benefit than say Western Michigan University case. That is the case in terms of education, networking and maybe even more importantly in terms of coaching. Short of the NCAA starting an investigative branch (which they can’t without subpoena power), and short of the NCAA redistributing wealth to allow small schools the chance to pay coaches equally it’ll never be a level playing field.


#463

The NCAA and NBA are organizations not professions. Basketball is the profession. They’re playing basketball. Anyone who thinks they aren’t in a profession are ignoring the billions the organization makes off of them.

Olympic athletes can make money off of say doing a commercial for Visa or a local car dealership. If someone is willing to pay you to say buy my cars, shouldn’t you be able to.

I agree it won’t end cheating. But paying vs not paying athletes creates a far greater advantage/disadvantage than the other types of cheating that would still occur. I don’t think this fixes everything, but I think it improves a huge problem.


#464

The simplest solution is to not restrict players from going straight to the pros or development leagues. Let them go right out of high school or even before, and get paid right away. They can also earn money off of their “brand” while they are at it.
But, if a player doesn’t want to do that, for what ever reason, and chooses to accept a scholarship to attend a university, then they agree to the NCAA rules.