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Are you a member of the Round Table? The fate of the World depends on it!

Originally posted to Comics on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 02:50 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  valid point, but this is a bad fight to pursue (8+ / 0-)

    ... since football players perform no service of any use whatsoever to society in general, and we'd probably be far better off if every penny spent on football was spent on something else.

    •  Not true. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      roadbear, mungley, QuiteDragon, Caj

      It's flippant to say things like that but football and other entertainment can have value. There is, like it or not, something to be said for the cultural aspect of "team spirit", etc. And how different is it from, "paying some folks to dig holes and others to fill them"? Our economy functions when money moves around. Entertainment is one way, but certainly not the only way, to make money circulate. But we should fairly compensate the folks digging the holes.

      GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

      by ontheleftcoast on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:32:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If it CIRCULATED it would be fine. Trouble is, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tealirish, enufenuf, aratinga

        "Entertainment" is almost all owned by the same five monster corporations that hold the airwaves hostage, as well as cable and satellite television/radio.  What they don't own is in the pockets of millionaires and billionaires and a few OTHER huge corporations.  (As a for-instance, can you believe the chutzpah, the "NFL" being classed as a "non-PROFIT" for Pete's sake??)

        The money goes into their "bottom line" black holes and never comes out again.  Just like all the other obscenely-large corporate profits from everything else.

        Money checks in, but it never checks back out.  And it certainly doesn't circulate in MY town anyway.  (We're almost to ZERO job-creating businesses in the entire south end of the state.)

      •  Football is essential to American culture because (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kirnerpilstime, aratinga

        it's the closest thing we have in times of peace that looks like war.  People hitting each other SAFELY - so they can get up and hit each other again - and again and again and again.  Then, after earning a few million dollars as a football player, the men get to sue the NCAA or their team for all the concussions they endured, which scrambled their brain matter and made it impossible for them to profit by the education the university says it gave them.  

        And those who don't get concussed can go on to fight again in the NFL and keep on hitting someone, over and over and over again.  Of course, they get hit, too, and unlike our honorable veterans, who come home from war and live under cardboard boxes on the city's steam vents, the players can rest easy in their million dollar homes while they wait for social security to roll in.

        "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives." - John Stuart Mill, 1806 - 1873

        by Terry S on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 07:28:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Football makes sense... (0+ / 0-)

        when one starts to look at it as the "Christians vs. the lions," or the "slaves vs. the other slaves."  It's all about "us vs. them," and black-and-white thinking.

        The word "fan" comes from the word "fanatic," and that should tell you something right there.

        The people who run the networks don't care who wins, because they make money either way.  The stronger the rivalry, the larger the grudge, the more they hype the conflict, and the more the networks and the advertisers "win."

        It also provides the not-so-secret vicarious thrill of seeing people act violently towards "the other guy."  In that sense, it may be a steam release valve for a lot of repressed negative emotions.

        To me, it is, most of all, a symptom of a culture that thinks that violence is a good way to resolve conflicts, never realizing that the seeds of the next conflict have been sowed through the use of violence in the current conflict.

    •  Do we hold other students to the same standard? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mungley, TacoPie, pinhighin2

      No college for you if you provide "no service of any use whatsoever to society in general"?

      I went to a state school that with tuition heavily subsidized by the state government.  Do I have to give that money back if I don't provide a service of sufficient use or value to society?

      How about people who go to college for personal enrichment, people who stay in school to learn rather with no intention of becoming a doctor or engineer---no scholarships for them if they just did it for their own benefit?  

      And what about people who get a PhD but end up stuck working at a Starbucks?  Do they have to give their stipends back because a Starbucks job isn't sufficiently important or significant?

      Let me instead suggest an alternate point of view:  there is no condition placed upon college students requiring them to be sufficiently useful to society in order to justify being in school.  

      Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

      by Caj on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 04:34:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Funny thing is, Drexel has no football team. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kayak58, mungley
    •  +10,000 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kayak58

      Absolutely, Michi.

    •  So ice cream sellers shouldn't be paid either? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      QuiteDragon, Caj, penelope pnortney

      Or musicians?

      Fair pay for workers. It's pretty simple.

      •  NO! Ice Cream Sellers are not paid. (0+ / 0-)

        Ice Cream Sellers, like Cab and FedEx drivers are contractors who rent their vehicle and their route from the company. Minimum wage doesn't apply, and they are "management" so they can't unionize. Musicians contract to get a cut of the "House" (well, my friends play in taverns) so not employees (perhaps you're thinkin' of the rare musician hired by a symphony). Funny, Radio Shack started hiring every employee as "Manager Trainee" (probationary management so no retail union). I suppose in that respect "Student Athletes" are in reality "Athlete Trainees." Nice Mr Obama never replaced Bush's NLRB, so we'll let them decide.  

    •  It depends on where the money comes from (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tealirish, kirnerpilstime

      I just read an article listing head coaches as the highest paid public employees in many states. However, it also noted that most of those positions are directly funded by the sports programs. Still, it would be great if our society were less focused on competitive win-at-all-costs sports.

      While I do not think college athletics functioning as a professional league is a good idea, it has essentially happened. With all the money changing hands, it's totally appropriate for the players to expect compensation for their roles in the business.

      •  or, from an economic perspective . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kirnerpilstime

        forcing colleges to pay the athletes salary will get them out of the business of providing enteretainment by forcing them to shoulder the unrealized costs of what they are doing, rather than conning high school age boys (most of whom will never have a career in the NFL) into accepting grossly inadequate compensation for the disruption to their studies and risk of permanent injury.  

        Let the NFL pay for its own farm league.

        •  Because baseball farm teams pay SO well (0+ / 0-)

          And it's a 'con' to provide an opportunity for high school kids to go to college without paying the thousands or tens of thousands that everyone else has to pay? And the degree that you choose to describe as "grossly inadequate compensation" can, in fact, be worth millions over a lifetime. Especially because, as you note, most of these guys will never get a dime of pay as professional athletes.

          Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

          by ohiolibrarian on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 10:03:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Funny that you only think of colleges ... (0+ / 0-)

        In many areas of the country (Texas, Pennsylvania, So Cal, etc), High School games have a bigger turnout than most colleges. (Not just special treatment by teachers and inflated grades in classes. We've seen High School athletes skate on rape charges because they deserve a special kind of justice.) Here in Washington State, the Bellevue High School team is usually in the US top 20. The coach of the football team gets teachers' salary plus $5000/yr to coach from the School District, plus over $50,000 from school boosters (only 50K is acknowledged).

    •  I agree whole heartedly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tealirish, kirnerpilstime

      I always felt that team sports like football not only preform no real service, but actually make us more warlike.  We need less macho and more culture in the USA.  American football has often been compared to gladiatorial combat and that should tell us something...but it doesn't.
      I wish young men were given more exposure to dance and track and field sport and less (or no time) to football and other militant sports.
      Big team sports in the USA (and perhaps other countries too) do nothing but exploit the bodies of young men for big profits.  Profits they do not share with those who actually put their bodies at risk and create the profits.  Even if I liked football, which I don't, I would never watch a professional game.    Corporate American Football illustrates precisely everything that is wrong with the USA.    

    •  HOW ABOUT SCHOLARSHIPS FOR POETS (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kirnerpilstime

      instead?

    •  This is a bad fight to pursue because most of the (0+ / 0-)

      USA loves college football. Fine to use political pressure to help players form Union - god - we NEED more unions.
      Maybe if we just focus on the need for more unions....

    •  Football Industry (0+ / 0-)

      is worth billions in gambling revenue alone  My University was discovered to have spent over $100,000 on liquor for "football boosters" for the 5 or so home games. After that they did a better job of hiding the expenditure. And being a current/recent event, I would note that even our President was in a March Madness betting pool.

  •  As someone who has spent his entire career in (14+ / 0-)

    higher education, I'm appalled at how exploitation (athletes, adjuncts, grad students, tuition, textbooks, student debt, presidental salaries, etc., etc.) has come to characterize many of our endeavors.

    I want to believe in higher education.  It becomes steadily harder.

    Maybe we are just reflecting the predatory society and economy in which we exist.  

    Think about the baby Jesus. Up in that tower, letting His hair down so that the three wise men could climb up and spin the dreidle and see if there's six more weeks of winter. -- Will and Grace

    by Rikon Snow on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:09:44 PM PDT

    •  Things really started to change... (5+ / 0-)

      When states started slashing budgets to give people tax breaks and then Colleges started treating students like 'customers'.

      I'm not so sure that paying athletes will have a positive effect.  But I do think that collective representation may raise enough questions that maybe we will start looking at higher education and what it is really supposed to be about.

      “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

      by RichM on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:21:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  BTW... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rikon Snow

      Is your handle some sort of combination of Jon Snow and Rickon Stark?

      “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

      by RichM on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:22:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ding, ding! I'm a "bastard" named after a "dick". (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RichM

        :-). That's the actual derivation of my handle, and I did indeed utilize GOT naming conventions to arrive at it.

        Think about the baby Jesus. Up in that tower, letting His hair down so that the three wise men could climb up and spin the dreidle and see if there's six more weeks of winter. -- Will and Grace

        by Rikon Snow on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:29:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What's wrong is calling them 'scholarships' (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rikon Snow, penelope pnortney

      Scholars deserve scholarships. These fellows aren't there to become scholars. Call what they are provided with something other than scholarships, which used to be for the kids who were not athletes, but simply wanted to dedicate their lives to learning.

      I think that the sight of so much money that universities could make and spend freely on their administrators and coaches (always put the incoming money directly onto an upward trajectory, to the guys at the top of the administrative hierarchy) has truly corrupted the whole idea of the university.

       

      •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TacoPie
        Scholars deserve scholarships. These fellows aren't there to become scholars.
        Universities include a lot of people who are not "scholars" in some classical sense.  People get degrees in marketing; are they in college to become "scholars?"  Do they not belong?

        Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

        by Caj on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 04:37:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you missed MyMy's point. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kirnerpilstime

          Whether those students are "scholars" in some classical sense or just there getting a degree, their objective is more clearly academic.  The suggestion was merely that the financial assistance athletes DO receive be called something other than a scholarship because in such cases getting a degree may be a by-product rather than the objective.

    •  explotation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rikon Snow

      In some ways I was exploited as an undergraduate.  On the other hand, I made it my goal to learn everything I could, on the job training, which resulted in a good job after college.  My degree alone would have never gotten me the job.  This was not work-study.  It was productive work.

      This is the model we should use for college football.  We should hire them.  If they can get an academic scholarship, then let it be.  If they fail out of college because they can't handle introductory macramé, so be it.  I imagine that community colleges can handle the excess enrollment and winning football teams, while other universities can do what they are funded to do, which is educate.

  •  tradition versus sensibility (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim Beard, roadbear, pista, graceadams830

    Competitive team sports have a tradition on universities which probably goes back to 11th century Italy.   So the tradition and the history is unquestionable.   But it really makes no sense, particularly in the modern commercial world, that an institution of learning and research should be fettered to big money sports.   The solution (which never never will happen) is to separate the two.  A public university shouldn't be connected with sports teams with a national standing.  

    There should become sports colleges which do nothing but host a players' unions as a farm teams for the professional leagues.  These sports colleges should be connected to the alumni organizations for ticket and swag deals, and should be given names certain to drum up all the bread-and-circuses local rivalries.  Obviously, players should be compensated sanely, and given scholarships toward GEDs or bachelors degrees.

    This steps would resolve the whole silly issue; therefore, we may be certain it cannot occur.  selah.

    •  the connection between schools and sports teams (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NearlyNormal, Jim Beard

      ... is peculiarly American.

      In England, nobody gives a damn whether Oxford or Cambridge have good soccer or basketball teams. Students at those institutions may participate in sports but it is not done under the auspices of the school itself.

      Same is true for elementary and high school levels.

      •  Lol (0+ / 0-)

        Because all things in Brittany are the best. I guess all those students at Oxford and Cambridge don't study dentistry.  

        You best believe it does

        by HangsLeft on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 04:15:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What about the Oxford-Cambridge rowing race? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kayak58, midnight lurker

        That's apparently a big enough deal that I heard about it on the radio here in the middle of NY state.

        Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

        by Caj on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 04:47:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, It Is a Very Big Deal (0+ / 0-)

          The American son of a colleague was captain of the Oxford crew in the early nineties. I got to ride in the coaches' power boat during a training run on the Thames. Those rowers were fast.

          "A famous person once said, 'You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.' But as I once said, "If you don't teach them to read, you can fool them whenever you like." – Max Headroom

          by midnight lurker on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:27:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think they have a lengthy rowing season... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tealirish

            ... with televised matches against other colleges every week, etc etc.

            I doubt very much rowers are admitted to school if they are academically unqualified (see about 80% of US football and baskeball players), given scholarship money for rowing or slipped money under the table.

            I doubt the rowing coaches are among the highest-paid staff members at Cambridge and Oxford, as football and basketball coaches are at many US schools.

            I think basically English university sports (including rowing) actually are run the way US college sports are supposed to be in THEORY -- that a group of students, who really ARE students, who are attending college for the actual purpose of learning, decide to participate in a sport simply by their own choice and match up against students from other schools.

            •  80%? (0+ / 0-)

              Got a citation for that 80% number, or did you just pull it out of your ass?

              Keep in mind that NCAA Division I schools are only a fraction of the total number of post-secondary institutions fielding basketball and football teams.

              •  In D1 football and b-ball it has to be OVER 80% (0+ / 0-)

                ... as in, students FULLY qualfied to be admitted and enrolled in the university.

                Remember, ONCE ADMITTED, D-1 FB and BB players get cotton-candy academic schedules, assignment and test schedules virtually at their pleasure, tutors wiping their asses 24/7, luxurious academic support centers unavailable to normal students (in fact, if 'normal students' walk into the athletic department academic support centers, they are usually asked to immediately explain their presence -- and then they are thrown out).

                The percentage of D1 football and basketball players LEGITIMATELY ACADEMICALLY QUALIFIED to be enrolled in classes at the universities is probably in the single digits.

                Pay no attention to the PR crapola pumped out by the NCAA -- most of those people should not be there.

                I know a lot of them have decent GPAs in high school (3.0 maybe) and do OK on the entrance tests (60th percentile or so) and would seem like decently smart people if you met them on the street.

                That shouldn't get them within miles of admission to the top Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC universities. At most of those schools, "ordinary mortals" need 3.8 GPAs and test scores in the 80s to even sniff admittance.

    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
      There should become sports colleges which do nothing but host a players' unions as a farm teams for the professional leagues.
      But then, if we create such sports colleges, why shouldn't they be part of a university?  

      Universities are customarily agglomerations of colleges and schools.  My university, for example, has a school of nursing, a school of engineering, a school of arts and sciences, a school of education, and a school of business.  If you created an explicit school or college of athletics, why wouldn't that be one more unit in a university?  

      Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

      by Caj on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 04:45:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I like that idea of separate sports colleges to (0+ / 0-)

      serve as farm teams for professional sports, and leave universities to concentrate on liberal arts and professional education for jobs that need professional education.

      •  Teaching people to play sports well, an ability... (0+ / 0-)

        ... they will, by sheer physical inevitablility lose by their early-mid 30s, is not an objective beneficial enough to society at large that any major institution, especially any publicly-supported one, should spend any money on it.

  •  178K sounds very high to me. Then again, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frankzappatista

    There are some 85 scholarship players at the Division 1 Football Championship Division (BCS) level.  The above in the picture says the average value is 178K, so multiply by 85 and we get just over 15 million dollars in value for the whole team's worth.  Considering this covers from the rich and powerful SEC teams all the way down to the few independents left, I guess it might all even out that way if you claim that all the revenue is due to just the efforts of the players.  The TV contracts pay a lot, and they can be 15-18 million per team in conferences like the Big 12 and ACC.  They don't pay anywhere near that for teams like the Mountain West conference which may earn as much as 2 million in a year depending upon how many televised games every team plays.

    However, 178K probably doesn't account for all the costs of putting on those football programs.  Salaries for the known (as opposed to player) employees, rent and upkeep of the facilities for practice and for games, transportation costs, marketing and promotion (which, for the successful schools helps boost the bottom line), and the costs of the scholarships and food/housing of all the players.  I do believe that many football programs don't break even, but the ones that do then have to fund other athletic teams to meet Title IX requirements of providing equal opportunities for women to be in athletics; 85 men for a football team would be offset by multiple women's teams like volleyball, softball, soccer, volleyball, etc that may not have a men's program equivalent.

    I still think college athletes should receive more than they do.  I just don't think they should be valued at 178K.  Think of the taxes, btw, since they don't get actual income out of the current deal.  I'm sure putting in place IRS tax forms for their "free" tuition and housing would precede the players actually getting any cash - at least for schools in blue states.  No way would Alabama or similar state risk running off players by instituting an income tax on fictional earnings.

    •  It's bogus high (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim

      I'd always thought that "fair market value" was the bottom line salary workers are willing to earn to perform a particular job, not an arbitrary number based on company profits. In this case, fair market value for NCAA football players really is the education they receive since they are obviously willing to work for this amount. If the players themselves determined the FMV to be 178K, well, that would obviously be the end of college football...

      Title IX will probably have the last word on the issue if it comes to it. Football players aren't going to get paid until they find a way to pay all college athletes equally.

      There are two types of republicans, the rich and the stupid. The rich ones strive to keep the stupid ones stupid and the stupid ones strive to keep the rich ones rich.

      by frankzappatista on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:56:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The actual value of a college athlete... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kayak58, mungley, ColoTim

      ...is very, very difficult to estimate, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was much higher than most people expect.

      The primary benefit to the university from athletic programs is name recognition, that leads to increased application rates for the school.  Increased application rates allow the school to be more selective in admissions, resulting in higher incoming SAT scores, a higher graduation rate, basically the sort of things that raise your US News rankings.

      The very fact that athletics are a source of periodic scandals, and that strict NCAA rules exist in the first place, are due to university administrations desperately wanting better sports teams.  Why on Earth do university administrations risk scandal in the name of better sports teams?  Because a better sports team is worth a lot to a university.

      Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

      by Caj on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:16:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's very true and largely because of two things (0+ / 0-)

        1. Lack of funding from the state means that schools have to beg for money and a winning football/basketball team helps to grease the skids with big money donors.

        2. Incessant hype of college football and basketball. Who says we have to have a "national championship" with a big ol' tournament or playoffs? Some sports writers have been push push pushing this for 30 years. It becomes ever a bigger deal and ever more lucrative. And ever more dangerous for the players.

        Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

        by ohiolibrarian on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 10:33:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If pro football wants to have a transition (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NearlyNormal, kayak58, Jim Beard

    Between high school sports and pro football . . . Fine.  Let them recruit players and build teams and sell tv contracts and specialize an education program that works with being a full time athlete.  Athletics are a distraction from the educational endeavor

    I attended University of Nebraska.  College football had nothing to do with educating college athletes.  That's my experience.  YMMV.

    Think about the baby Jesus. Up in that tower, letting His hair down so that the three wise men could climb up and spin the dreidle and see if there's six more weeks of winter. -- Will and Grace

    by Rikon Snow on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 03:41:35 PM PDT

    •  HS football will be gone soon enough (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rikon Snow, tealirish

      ... especially in public high schools, when teabaggers screaming to cut budgets storm the gates.

      The cost of football on a per-participant basis is a preposterous waste of money. If I had a kid in a public high school I would be at every single school board meeting screaming at the top of my lungs demanding that they drop football.

    •  Why does "college athletes" = "football" to you? (0+ / 0-)

      There are 420,000 college athletes. The vast majority of them do not play football or basketball. Thousands of college athletes combine sports and school just fine, but they are not in revenue generating sports so they don't seem to count.

      Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

      by ohiolibrarian on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 10:37:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well the notion that the value is based on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roadbear

    the players seems false to me.  People don't root for Notre Dame because Joe Montana is the quarterback, it helps, but they fill the stadium whether its Joe Montana or Ron Powlus so you can't really claim that they cause the value.  I can't see the reason for paying athletes but I don't see the reason for having business athletics in a college setting in the first place.

    I suspect this will become a case of killing the goose that lays the golden egg and I'm fine with that.  You can still have college sports on an intermural basis and the pros can finance feeder teams that they can determine value for.

    "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man..." Robbie Robertson

    by NearlyNormal on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 04:05:13 PM PDT

    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
      People don't root for Notre Dame because Joe Montana is the quarterback, it helps, but they fill the stadium whether its Joe Montana or Ron Powlus so you can't really claim that they cause the value.
      But, you needed a long history of exceptional athletes to fill that stadium in the first place.  People root for Notre Dame, but they don't root for the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople.  Likewise, if the caliber of athletes at Notre Dame were to fall dramatically for a long time, you'd be filling a stadium somewhere else.

      Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

      by Caj on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 05:56:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe (0+ / 0-)

        but it doesn't show that the current qb has any particular value.  And it certainly doesn't show that a college should be paying for that employment.

        "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man..." Robbie Robertson

        by NearlyNormal on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 07:30:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  By that logic, we shouldn't pay faculty at MIT (0+ / 0-)

          MIT will have its reputation whether a specific professor works there or not.  By the same logic, you can't claim that any specific professor provides value, "and it certainly doesn't show that a college should be paying for that employment."

          I would argue that this isn't what "value" means.  I provide value if I do my job well---you can't argue that I don't have value simply because someone else could do the job, and you can't argue that I don't have value because my employer will survive just fine without me.  If you use that line of reasoning, it leads to the invalid conclusion that an employer doesn't really have to pay any specific person.

          Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

          by Caj on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 08:10:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, MIT is a school (0+ / 0-)

            and it needs professors.  They provide the essence of what the school is there to do.

            "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man..." Robbie Robertson

            by NearlyNormal on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 09:45:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Isn't that a non-sequitur? (0+ / 0-)

              Sure MIT needs professors; but you can look up any single professor in MIT's directory, and MIT doesn't need that specific person.  Lots of people can (and would like to) take that professor's place, and if that professor were to run off and join the circus, it would not diminish MIT's reputation.

              To use your own words, it shows that "the current professor doesn't have particular value."  This is the logic you are using to call into question whether athletes should be compensated, and it applies just as well to professors---regardless of whether we need professors or athletes in the aggregate.

              I'm saying, this isn't how we define value (and it isn't how the economy defines value either.)  You deserve a paycheck for doing a good job; and if you can be easily replaced, or if the company will survive without you, you still deserve a paycheck, because you're still doing the job.

              Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

              by Caj on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 04:50:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So, do all the other non-football athletes (0+ / 0-)

                deserve a paycheck? They're "doing the job", right? They work out. Maybe more than the football players do. They compete. They get injured. Ever see a gymnast that doesn't have a joint wrapped?

                Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

                by ohiolibrarian on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 10:41:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If they benefit the university, yes. (0+ / 0-)

                  Universities go nuts over football and basketball teams---and we have NCAA rules to keep universities under control---because those teams are a huge benefit for the university in name recognition and advertising.  

                  If any other athletic program brings that kind of recognition, to the point that universities are courting the athletes for the benefit of the university, then they're probably deserving of compensation.

                  This isn't a new idea at all:  universities give scholarships and subsidies to students, and some students also receive stipend checks for being course assistants, research assistants, or otherwise doing work that benefits the university.  It also isn't a new idea for the people receiving those stipends to unionize.

                  Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

                  by Caj on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 08:09:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  A lot of athletes in those other sports (0+ / 0-)

                    end up in the Olympics. Does that count?

                    Good to know that we can dump the point made in the cartoon that the amount of work put into training and such matters in any way. Because lots of athletes put in that work. But, it doesn't count unless lots of money comes in.

                    And do you imagine that the recognition only goes one way? The athletes get a lot of recognition because of being on a team. Should they be reimbursing the university for the benefits to them of being known and making connections with people who can do them some good later on?

                    Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

                    by ohiolibrarian on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 09:14:42 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Sure. (0+ / 0-)
                      Good to know that we can dump the point made in the cartoon that the amount of work put into training and such matters in any way. Because lots of athletes put in that work. But, it doesn't count unless lots of money comes in.
                      That's essentially correct.  We pay students to be TAs or work in the cafeteria, but we don't pay students for all the work they do studying for their own classes.  I get a paycheck for throwing bags of dirt into a truck, but I don't get a paycheck for working out at a gym, or working in my garden.  

                      That is to say, work alone isn't enough to justify getting a paycheck; you get a paycheck if you're doing work for someone else's benefit.  As you say, it doesn't count (for a paycheck) unless the university is gaining from it.

                      And do you imagine that the recognition only goes one way? The athletes get a lot of recognition because of being on a team.  Should they be reimbursing the university for the benefits to them of being known and making connections with people who can do them some good later on?
                      They already are.  In fact, that's how colleges normally work:  students pay for their education, but they pay more for name-brand schools, they pay more for the name recognition.

                      If you go to school on a scholarship, you are being given money on the one hand, but you are also using that money to pay the university on the other.  If you get accepted into a PhD program with funding, you are paid some $18K/year, but you are also being given another hunk of money that is paid to the university for your tuition.  You may not see it from your end, but you are reimbursing the university.

                      Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

                      by Caj on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 11:18:23 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  There is a very simple solution to this dilemma (4+ / 0-)

    But since the NCAA and the Bowls make a zillion dollars they like it and the NFL and NBA have a free farm system so they like it. Do not accept "student athletes" who do not meet normal admission criteria. Period. Then the NBA and NFL would HAVE to start a legit farm system.

    Then they could adopt the same rules as Baseball:

    To be drafted a player must fit the following criteria:

    Be a resident of the United States, Canada, or a U.S. territory such as Puerto Rico. Players from other countries are not subject to the draft, and can be signed by any team (unless they are current members of college teams in the aforementioned countries).

    Have never signed a major or minor league contract.

    High school players are eligible only after graduation, and if they have not attended college.

    Players at four-year colleges are eligible after completing their junior years, or after their 21st birthdays.

    Junior and community college players are eligible to be drafted at any time.

    This would save us all (I am a university professor at a mid major) the total, disgusting, charade of what college basketball and football has become - And I LOVE college sports.

    •  Totally agree! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mungley, Jim Beard

      Free farm systems are a sweet deal for the professional team owners and the NCAA. The players and the fans get generally shafted, as do the universities.

    •  To be fair... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, pinhighin2
      But since the NCAA and the Bowls make a zillion dollars they like it and the NFL and NBA have a free farm system so they like it.
      That's not much different from the rest of academia.  College is also a "free farm system" for computer programmers, nurses, teachers, etc etc.  No industry really pays for the professional training that students get in college.

      Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

      by Caj on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 06:17:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Big difference (0+ / 0-)

        Having a gifted natural jump shot and refining it for a year in a quasi professional league is not an academic enterprise.

        Learning how to become a teacher or programmer or poet is.

        •  Wait, that's not different at all. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, pinhighin2, ohiolibrarian

          A lot of people who go to college already have a "gift" in their area of specialization.  People who major in piano performance are usually already good at playing piano; a lot of CS majors are already gifted programmers long before college.  

          A lot of people do use college to refine a gift they already have.  Do they not belong?  Does that somehow disqualify their pursuit as non-academic?  Was it wrong for me to go to college as a CS major if I already knew how to program computers?

          On top of that, what we call "gifts" are really the result of a lot of time spent.  That jump shot isn't really natural, it's mostly the product of obsessive rehearsal

          Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

          by Caj on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 08:03:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh I agree (0+ / 0-)

            That pianists and even programmers come prepared and experienced. Otherwise they wouldn't get in :-).

            And we all do have gifts, sometimes we rehearse them a lot.

            But playing basketball or football is an athletic pursuit, not an intellectual/academic one and while it may enhance college life (I love sports as much as the next guy) it isn't a core or even tangential mission for any university (at least officially).

            It really has made a mockery of many universities.  I had  a music scholarship as un undergraduate. And while I may have been a pretty decent player, I would not have gotten in with a 2.0 GPA and an ACT sum of 59.

            •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
              But playing basketball or football is an athletic pursuit, not an intellectual/academic one
              What precisely is it, though, that makes a major in piano performance "intellectual/academic" while an athlete is not?

              The music performance major is mostly refining perceptual and motor skills, much like an athlete.  This is the primary reason for being there; both the performance major and the athlete take other courses, but those courses are secondary to the development of those performance skills.  

              You may counter that football is just some entertainment with no intellectual value to society---but a lot of people view musicians as entertainers too.  You may point to the vast intellectual difference between football and Bach, but  performance majors aren't Bach; performance majors  play Bach.

              Suppose I argue that there is no real dichotomy between academic and non-academic pursuits at a university, but rather a continuum, with different points for philosophy and marketing and nursing and dance and theater and accounting and history and industrial engineering.  Some pursuits are barely academic, some don't involve analytic reasoning or learning from books.  And this is at a university, whose role has always been stretched between higher learning and professional training for as far back as we've had them.  It is not easy to neatly divide pursuits between those that belong at a university and those that don't.

              Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

              by Caj on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 09:27:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

                The music major (I was one) each semester takes music theory, music history, conducting, arranging, plays in several ensembles, and depending on their focus several other music courses.

                Besides why do you think there isn't a "basketball" major? Scholly athletes major in something else, that is like, you know a real academic pursuit that supposedly like other students will prepare them for work or enlighten their minds, body, and spirit.

                •  But as I said, that stuff is secondary. (0+ / 0-)

                  I roomed with a tuba major in college.  When this guy auditioned for a symphony orchestra, did it matter at all whether he took music history classes?  No:  what mattered was how he sounded in a blind audition.  What mattered were the performance skills he spent his college years honing.

                  And student athletes also take courses in mathematics, literature, history, etc etc.  Student athletes declare a major and take courses in that major.   So you can't point to those history and theory classes and say, "this is why I belong in a university and this other person doesn't."  The other person also took history and theory classes.

                  Like it or not, an opera singer or trumpet player is not that far removed from an athlete.  You both spend a lot of time honing physical abilities, and much of your learning is the development of perceptual and motor skills.  You both need to spend a lot of hours in rehearsal, and you have to take better care of your body than a math major.  You have to take proper classes with lectures and textbooks, but you can't become a better tennis player or develop a higher range by sitting around reading about it.

                  Nevermind that "academic" merit is only one standard for inclusion in a university.  The other is post-secondary professional preparation.  We have a marketing major not because marketing is somehow academic, but because it prepares people for a specific career.   By that standard, both music performance majors and student athletes belong in a university.

                  Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

                  by Caj on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 07:57:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So why pay (0+ / 0-)

                    certain athletes on top of their scholarship (which includes meals, room and board, access to ANY and ALL educational services you can imagine) to come to school ? I'll stop trying to understand your stance on how playing basketball is a noble academic pursuit.

                    •  The same reason we pay other students. (0+ / 0-)

                      The same reason we pay stipends to TAs and RAs and work-study students:  if you are working for the benefit of the school, then you get paid.

                      If you are instead working for your own benefit, for example if you are simply studying hard every night for your degree in computer science, then it doesn't make sense to give you a paycheck for your effort; but if you are working for me, then I pay you.

                      Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

                      by Caj on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 12:39:48 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Playing basketball (0+ / 0-)

                        is not for the benefit of the school. It is for the benefit of the quasi professional athletic department for exactly two sports. TA and GAs perform duties that are necessary for the operation of the university (assisting with instruction, research, clerical work, etc.). If the UT football team were eliminated tomorrow it would not impact the university outside of the athletic department. Let eh athletes do TA and GA work. And get paid.

                        I don't mean to sound churlish as text only can sound that way sometimes, but I'll assume you are not at a university? It really is a sham. Example: Major recruits come to Kentucky because they HAVE to wait one year before they can declare for the NBA. Coach Squid (a fine coach by the way- although he has a legacy of "vacated wins" wherever he has been) coaches them to be the best lottery picks they can be. Makes no bones about his plan for them to be one and done (and the "one" is really on staying academically eligible through the fall semester so they can qualify for Spring). But you think the kids should also get PAID? They are getting paid in  tuition (out of sate ) room, board, basic expenses, and every conceivable academic resource known to man, Assistants literally wake them up and take them to class. Take them to study halls, and private tutoring. And They still have to get phantom classes and ghost writers. And they are sucking up a year's worth of these resources from someone who might want to stay four years and earn a degree. There is no desire or pretense that the kids will earn their degree. Yet due to the cozy and fraudulent relationship between the NBA/NFL and NCAA this is the system. It is being gamed constantly.

                        If they followed the MLB model this would be curtailed dramatically. You rarely hear of cheating and recruiting scandals in baseball.

                        •  If it doesn't benefit the school... (0+ / 0-)

                          ...then why do university administrations try so hard to get better athletic teams?  Why do we have a tome of NCAA rules to prevent all manner of recruiting misbehavior by universities?  Why do colleges give those athletes all those benefits you mention?  Why the obsession and the commitment of scarce resources?

                          Surely you've dealt enough with the upper level administration to know that the only possible answer to that question is "money."

                          Of course they're in it for the money, and of course those sports programs benefit the school.  The visibility of a football or basketball team does a lot to put a school on the map, directly impacting their application rate.  A higher application rate means a lower acceptance rate, higher incoming SAT scores, a higher graduation rate, and ultimately a higher ranking.  That's on top of increase alumni donations that result from athletic success.

                          Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

                          by Caj on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 04:31:03 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Of course it is money (0+ / 0-)

                            That accrues back to the Athletic dept. and pockets of others. And power and trappings of importance, and a lot of admins & boosters are frustrated jock sniffers. But it doesn't typically benefit the "school". I realize there is SOME occasional increase in donations and applications, but there's no stat significance in that. See here, in fact it is quite the opposite. The Hundred Yard Lie is also a dated but excellent read on how even the uber successful college athletic powerhouses lose money after all the exorbitant expenses are accounted for.  

                            So no, it doesn't benefit the school to have a fews farm system for the NBA or NFL. Nor to treat players as employees. Paying players would open up so many lawsuits (Title IV?) and avenues for corruption. The goals should be to decrease the money in college athletics (and the corruption that chases it will leave alit with it) bot increase it.

                            I went to  Appalachian State (the little school that beat mighty Michigan a few years ago), UNC, and Virginia Tech. I loved the sports teams and still do. But I also recognize the complete insanity at play and making universities de facto professional for profit sports franchises is simply ridiculous.

                          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                            I realize there is SOME occasional increase in donations and applications, but there's no stat significance in that.
                            Here's a recent study from an economist in Berkeley.  The last sentence of the abstract:
                            We find that winning reduces acceptance rates and increases donations, applications, academic reputation, in-state enrollment, and incoming SAT scores.
                            Not that this is in any way surprising.  If a college has a fixed enrollment with a 40% acceptance rate, then every 1% increase in applications amounts to a roughly 0.4% drop in acceptance rate, with a corresponding percentile increase in incoming SAT scores.  A little name recognition translates into a macroscopic change in academic statistics.

                            Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

                            by Caj on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 07:32:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yay (0+ / 0-)

                            lets become incorporated as an NBA farm team. Great. Pay corporate taxes, be open and subjected to all the regs and taxes for business. Forget about state funding- screw the poor kids. just don't call yourself a university. We'll just be for profit private sports schools for the highest bidder. Yay.

                          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                            Yes, let's "screw the poor kids" with a form of marketing that increases the academic reputation, incoming SAT scores and graduation rate of their college.  I'm sure they'll hate us for sacrificing their academic environment like that.

                            Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

                            by Caj on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 09:15:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  You never heard of "Mens sana in corpore sano"? (0+ / 0-)

              A sound mind in a sound body was a founding principle for lots of sports clubs AND educational institutions.

              Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

              by ohiolibrarian on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 10:48:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OF course (0+ / 0-)

                but it isn't THE mission. "Here at NBA U our mission os to make sure the finest athletes are prepared to be first round selections after one year. And if some other kids get an education that's good too".

                •  My point is that a balance is the EDUCATIONAL (0+ / 0-)

                  ideal. Historically, many universities felt that health of body (and therefore sport) was a necessary and central aspect of university life.

                  I was peripherally involved with athletics in a big football school and largely because of NCAA rules there were/are tremendous efforts to make sure that athletes make academic progress. OK, most of that is to maintain eligibility, but those rules push the schools to provide many academic supports that force the slightly delusional athletes who will never be professionals in their sport to get at least part way to an education. Why would you be opposed to that?

                  This whole argument seems predicated on a vision of 'college athletics' based entirely on the stars (not the whole team) in just two sports. So, maybe a dozen people per school of the thousands of athletes that participate.

                  Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

                  by ohiolibrarian on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 09:37:02 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I am not at all opposed to (0+ / 0-)

                    "force the slightly delusional athletes who will never be professionals in their sport to get at least part way to an education. "

                    Not at all. I am opposed to the charade that nearly all big time B ball and football schools carryon in the name of "student athlete". Paying them on top of what they already receive will just make the charade blatant. Kids who are unprepared or uninterested in receiving and education (as you say the focus is on maintaining eligibility- not receiving an education) should not have to pretend to go to college and suck all those resources just so that can ply their skills in the profession of their choice. The original point of this was the idea that certain athletes are employees and deserve union representation and payment. Now that might a more honest description of the current status of say SEC football or ACC basketball but it would gut the purpose of having a university in the first place. I agree that most athletes on campus are they're for an education and the volleyball or track or golf athlete get a great return on their playing. So does the future lottery pick- for one semester. It;'s just s sham system that nets a lot of money for the NCAA and the major leagues.

                    is to maintain eligibility

                    •  Well, a whole lot of students at any university (0+ / 0-)

                      are there to just get a job and are uninterested in their education. They major in parties and hanging out with their friends and minor in passing their classes. And a lot of athletes, including in football and basketball, do care about academics.

                      Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

                      by ohiolibrarian on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 04:40:13 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  Average from what population? (0+ / 0-)

    Average value of all college football players?  Or just Division I?  Or just Football Bowl Subdivision players?

  •  Cheerleaders (0+ / 0-)

    I would like to see the ridiculously underpaid cheerleaders get a big raise.  I have always wondered why so many jocks have so little respect for women.  I'd rather watch the cheerleaders than the football game itself.

  •  There are 420,000 college athletes according to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayfrenchstudios

    the NCAA. It would cost $74,760,000,000 to pay all of them $178,000 a year.

    Oh, of course. All the Lacrosse players and gymnasts don't matter. No matter how hard they work.

    Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

    by ohiolibrarian on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 09:26:07 PM PDT

  •  Scholarships for scholarship (0+ / 0-)

    take the sports programs out of the schools- if people want to pay to see it, that's fine, but we don't need it overshadowing the education process-
    Ever wonder why our schools aren't even close to world class anymore?

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