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Is March Madness...Truly Mad?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by The Village Idiot, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. The Village Idiot

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    Obviously, this was from the John Oliver show the other night.

    Focus: Should college athletes be paid? Why or why not?

    Alt. Focus: Are college sports beneficial to a school? If not, why not.
     
    #1 The Village Idiot, Mar 17, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  2. The Village Idiot

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  3. downndirty

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    Ah, the NCAA, FIFA for the US...you corrupt bunch of fuckers.

    The issue isn't should athletes be paid, with billions of dollars being made off their labor and their only compensation a laughable sham of an education (basket weaving 101 comes to mind). The issue is WHICH athletes get paid, because for every football or basketball star worth millions, there are dozens of wrestlers, lacrosse players or swimmers that will never benefit the university one red cent. I can't think of a single women's athletic program that makes as much money as a single NCAA men's program that made it to a bowl game or the tournament. You can't really do for one and not the ten others, right?

    I do think it's ludicrous that in most states, the highest paid public official is a football or basketball coach.
    http://deadspin.com/infographic-is-your ... -489635228

    I would be interested to see if the schools with great athletics programs across the board (Texas and Stanford come to mind) do attract students or donor money that results in improved...education? Is that what these things are for? Or are the athletics programs separated from the education component, like a billion dollar sideshow (Looking at you Alabama)? I didn't go to one of these schools, and if I did I would be LIVID every time I paid student loans knowing that a chunk of it went to support a football/basketball program. It would seem to me that with all of the tv money, video games, and merchandising that the schools could participate in athletics with a minimal cost. However, every year when Bama or OSU plays Bucketfucker State, one of the schools forks out thousands for a game. That part of it doesn't make sense to me.

    It also seems that the athletics programs are money pits by design. There are always newer facilities, stadiums, equipment and a bidding war for desirable coaches and staff that drive the price up. When these revenues are shared, the result is more parity (one of the secrets to the success of the SEC, supposedly). But, there doesn't seem to be a push for the NCAA to pay out a revenue share to the hundreds of universities, because by the time it got distributed out, the funds would be watered down to a paltry amount.
     
  4. gamecocks

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    Will paying them help us win games? Because I'd be for that.
     
  5. fleafly

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    I don't think College athletes should get paid. Mainly because, like downndirty said, how are you going to determine who gets paid and how much they get paid. In my mind the free education should be sufficient.

    That being said, I think it's complete bullshit that the NCAA makes all this money off of these athletes, yet they have the balls to say that you can't take money from a sponsor for living expenses, along with saying you can't profit off your likeness, ie. signed jerseys, etc.

    I honestly don't think anyone would have any problem at all if they said "Hey athletes, you're helping us out, help yourself out by selling some of the signed jerseys." But the NCAA is a corporate leech looking for as much money as they can so who knows how this will play out.
     
  6. Kampf Trinker

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    They already are getting paid. Believing college athletes (at least the stars) aren't getting paid under the table by these schools is like believing none of them are on steroids.

    I'm not going to pretend I know how the ins and outs of the collegiate financial institution, but a lot of what I've read suggests it isn't generating the immense profits to pay all these students anyway.

    http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/M ... -Cow2.aspx

    http://www.politifact.com/virginia/stat ... it-sports/

    The profits disappear as soon as you pay for the sports that nobody watches.

    I would be ok with giving players a modest stipend, like $500 a month, but that would be about it. A very small percentage of those athletes are going to move on to play their sport professionally after they graduate, and I would rather see efforts made at cracking down on forcing athletes to actually perform in their classes to stay in school rather than cutting paychecks for a selective few.
     
  7. downndirty

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    That is kind of another bullshit argument, as well. The lucrative programs are subsidizing the boring programs? Fine, that sounds fair. So why did the NCAA itself draw down hundreds of millions in profit each year? How are the schools bleeding money, but the NCAA is awash in cash? They make $770 million a year on a tv contract for basketball alone, but the schools are losing an average of $11 million annually? I'm starting to see the issue here....

    Also, the "profits" are creative accounting, because Alabama has THAT for player facilities, but barely turns a profit? Not buying it. They turn a "profit" when they run out of things to lavish on their players, coaches and AD's.

    http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/fat-profits ... tes-play-f

    Part of the problem is that a few people benefit tremendously, while the students are interchangeable and have no basis for negotiating a better deal. The Northwestern decision was huge and I think the NCAA will start caving to pressure (No more BCS horseshit? YAY!) out of a fear of being rendered completely powerless later. I think the crux is...what purpose does the NCAA serve and why does that organization reap benefits from the schools and the TV contracts? Is that really the best use of these resources?

    I'm like Mein Kampf (sorry/not sorry), in that these top-tier programs rely on the boosters to pay the athletes secretly which results in even worse outcomes like lower graduation rates, lower parity between teams and general shady dealings with high school students. Like, what other enterprise in 2015 has a "bag man"?

    http://www.sbnation.com/college-footbal ... -interview
     
  8. Kampf Trinker

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    I'm sure there's some NCAA fat cats hoarding at the top, but just to be clear a lot of that money already does go back to the schools. You can't just look at big numbers without considering where it's going and what the expenses are.

    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story ... ncaa-money

    How is paying them openly going to get them to study harder and improve graduation rates? How is it going to improve parity when presumably the schools with larger revenues are going to pay players more?
     
  9. downndirty

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    I'm not advocating openly paying them, but I could see setting up a trust for the athletes that shares revenues from video games or merchandising after graduation. I think that's the best solution, because it's revenue from outside the core stream (TV deals) and they use real data like names, faces, etc. that traditionally people get paid for. That would share revenue across all players, provide an extra incentive to graduate and give the athletes another reason to organize, which might end their exploitation.

    I think by eliminating the shady dealings, you do increase parity between the up-and-coming or small schools that can't lavish millions on a program and the powerhouse schools. Also, it opens up the possibility for investigating schools more closely for cheating if you know there is a better, non-shady way of dealing with this. Right now, it's politically unpopular to investigate how much money a school funnels to players, even if it's egregious (Reggie Bush and Cam Newton, for example). But, if they are promised a revenue share as part of a trust, then it's more fair to ask for financial information to make sure they weren't getting paid to play before AND after their graduation.

    I think you do it that way because the NCAA is about to be found liable for player's medical expenses. If the NFL is getting sued for busted craniums, you can bet your sweet ass the NCAA is next. This way, they can throw their hands up and say, "Hey, we're paying you, use that for medical bills."

    To summarize: the NCAA sets up a fund to compensate players for their likeness in video games and merchandise to be distributed evenly across all players upon graduation. If you get caught accepting funds from a booster, no access to those funds and your school gets in trouble. That would help graduation rates and parity, as well as reducing the invisible booster money.
     
  10. toytoy88

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    In the late 80's I worked for a company that supported UNLV basketball. We had 3 of the starters "Working" with us. They came in 2 days a week for an hour or 2 each day. They drove a brand new 'Vette, a 300ZX Turbo, and an RX7 Turbo and all parked in the executive parking lot.

    Nothing shady going on there.

    EDIT: I just did a quick search of the owners name and the first link was this: http://articles.latimes.com/1990-02-18/ ... ny-jones/3
     
  11. JWags

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    Some of those programs are self sufficient. You're correct in the university's not sitting on piles of cash because of the other sports that get funded, but those big programs often make more than enough to cover their costs. Add in booster funding and you get another chunk. I always find it hilariously when people complain about "my tax dollars" when it relates to a large public university's athletic programs, when in reality, as I mentioned above, excess tax dollars aren't funding any of that. As for the state's highest paid employee being a football/basketball coach? I have no problem with it because its simple capitalism/business. No other state employee is usually in a position to generate millions of dollars of incremental cash flow. A professor of education or other public official has an important job to be sure, but nobody is paying hundreds/thousands of dollars to see them do their job.

    As for the benefit to the school, it depends. I think the merchandise and brand name of the schools that are featured every week on college football broadcasts or during the NCAA tournament is very valueable to the universities from an equity standpoint. From an actual admissions standpoint? There is a direct correlation. The year after Marquette went to the Final Four with Dwyane Wade in 2003, applications rose 80%. Sure there was some pullback, but enrollment has remained at an elevated level since.
     
  12. Kampf Trinker

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    I don't see a problem with students getting a cut out of doing advertisements and the like in side deals as long as they aren't on a salary, but that's not going to eliminate the shady deals. Hell, even if you were paying them directly for the sport it's still not going to eliminate the under the table stuff, especially if in a scenario like downndirty mentioned when they get nothing until after graduation. Recruiters are still going to lure them with cash and shiny cars during/prior to enrollment.

    With regards to the medical bills, I don't really see how the NCAA should be responsible for the bills of the thousand or so member institutions. The costs currently are, and should be burdened by the individual universities. The fact that some students aren't getting full coverage is more indicative of a larger problem in how our country treats health care, but it's the university that has to offer coverage and write the policies. It makes no sense to dump all that on the NCAA.

    Whenever the NCAA revenue stream comes up it seems people start allocating massive chunks like it's a magical inexhaustible supply sitting a vault somewhere. For all the gripes I have about how the NCAA does things I don't think it's fair to compare them to organizations like FIFA.
     
  13. JWags

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    ...so you mean like the NBADL? The number of talented kids choosing not to go to college and instead going to Europe or China is incredibly small. Basically Brandon Jennings and Mundiay (who couldnt get into SMU and is now in China), plus a couple of failed cases like Jeremy Tyler. If the NBA decides to make it a 2 year rule, then I think there can be a realistic balance between college and pro basketball instead of the 1 and done situation currently.

    There is also no way in hell that the NFL allows that to happen.
     
  14. downndirty

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    Athletes will get preferential treatment, pretty much no matter what and that will be damned near impossible to stop. But, giving them a reason to hesitate to accept "bag money" and traceable assets would diminish the shady practices. Reduce, not eliminate.

    The NCAA has the cash, and is the juiciest target for lawsuits based on "profiting from unsafe conditions". They would likely settle out of court to maintain the status quo, whereas the universities wouldn't have as much to bargain with. I think if a student athlete develops medical conditions like a bum knee, someone will get wise to suing the NCAA because they are an easy target with tons of cash.

    Again, what is this organization DOING with millions of dollars? Why does so much of that money seem to come at the expense of unpaid students and overburdened universities?
     
  15. TJMax

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    Change is only going to happen when a lot of the top high school players decide not to play NCAA football and basketball. That's going to be difficult for the same reasons people supporting kids in high cost of living areas, making $150K a year but having 52% of that taxed, have never gone on a Randoid-type strike. (said reasons are things I've only begun to start to figure out, and I'll save for another "sober thread".)

    Ideally I'd like to see a professional development league start, paying college students to play sports, and for that league to start attracting top players who otherwise would have signed letters of intent with big schools. Collegiate Basketball (Football) Association of America? Getting the momentum going to make something like that successful would be beyond Herculean, but if it were pulled off it maybe we could move on to FIFA next...
     
  16. MoreCowbell

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    Technically, that has happened in a few isolated examples. Emmanuel Mudiay, who was probably the third best high school senior in the country last year (but maybe 1 or 2), spent this year playing for the Beijing Ducks for $1.2 million. Brandon Jennings did the same in Italy when he was the #4 player in the country.

    The problem, though, is only a handful of players could individually pull any kind of serious money. Outside of the top ten or so high school players in the country, few are realistically good enough to crack a pro lineup abroad. A non-NCAA system could really only exist if they NFL and NBA funded it, and as of right now, they have no incentive to do so when they can piggyback off the NCAA instead.

    These numbers should be eyed with a little bit of suspicion, for what it's worth. Many of these schools don't "turn a profit" because they have no incentive to, and they depend on internal budgets that aren't always clear. For example, they often include costs like athletic departments "renting" office space from the university, which doesn't cost the university any actual money. This is a good article on the sort of fishy stuff that can go on with those "operating losses". And does the Wisconsin athletic department really need to be spending $147 million? Could they really not get by with $141 million in pre-subsidy revenue, considering that nearby Indiana gets by with $73 million. Why did Nebraska take no subsidies last year, while Washington did despite having similar revenue and lower costs? Often they find ways to spend it because they have it, and they take subsidies because they can.
     
  17. Parker

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    The whole "What about the small schools?" question is stupid. It's pretty easy. Base it off a percentage of what's coming in, or as someone said before, based off the high paid coaches salary.
     
  18. LongVin

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    I agree with a lot of the posters here that the students shouldn't get paid directly(you're getting a free education) but that they should get some sort of compensation for the use of their likeness and jersey sales. That's only fair.

    And the NCAA has lots of shady rules and practices that need to be gotten rid of. I read stories of coaches and players being punished because a coach paid for a players lunch. Or, players who had to donate to charity because they ate too much free food at an event and took advantage of what was offered. That is complete bullshit and needs to be stopped. You can treat people to things without it being bribing them. Buying the team pizza after the game isn't going to destroy the credibility of the game.

    All that being said, it is still important to remember that the players are supposed to be there for an education. Not for a free ride of 4 more years of high school. And, for many of these players this is there only shot at a college education. They should definitely enforce the same rules for players that they do for other students and not make special exceptions, which is something lots of schools do. A friend of mine is the asst. Principal at a a high school that currently has the best football team in NYC. He says that they have lots of guys on the football team get scholarships to play, but in the past 5 years they only had 1 guy go to a school where he has any shot of going pro. So he tells everyone that gets these scholarships that there is no guarantee they'll go pro and that they probably won't so they should make sure they don't squander the opportunity to apply themselves for actual jobs and not buy into the bullshit that they can coast by.
     
  19. The Village Idiot

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    There are two fundamental flaws to the idea of paying college athletes. Those in favor of doing so are assuming two things:

    1. Sports are a necessary and integral part of a higher educational institution.

    2. Participants in these programs should devote their energies to being athletes more than being students.

    I like John Olliver, a lot, actually, but he's way off base. The Richard Sherman bit is a great example. If what he says is true, and I have no reason to doubt him, then what the fuck does that say about sports' programs? We all know that these 'student/athletes' don't get the education that normal students get. So why the fuck do it? Is a college having a sports team so important that the whole purpose behind being there in the first place is nullified?

    BIAS ALERT: I think pro and college sports in general are way out of proportion to what they give to a community or society in general.

    Throwing more money at an issue like this isn't going to 'solve' the problem. The actual problem is educational institutions acting like Sports Franchises. The whole 'workers comp' argument is also a red herring. Most schools would happily pay premiums to get rid of the money so they don't show a profit. Remember, boys and girls, these institutions are tax exempt/not for profits. Why are they? Because we have decided that education is a thing worthy of subsidizing. And let's be clear, that's what you're doing when you pay taxes but an institution does not. You are funding them, indirectly yes, but funding them all the same. This is primarily why schools don't want to pay the athletes, because then you're suddenly no longer an educational institution and will have to pay taxes.

    The purpose of college is to educate, that's why they're exempt. If the NBA and NFL (as someone noted above) need to create minor league franchises, then let them do so at their expense, not ours.
     
  20. Kampf Trinker

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    That's the sticking point for me. The vast majority of these athletes are going to have to pursue regular jobs after school. I just can't get behind a system where they receive a meager salary with their scholarship and are encouraged to prioritize sports over their schooling. That already happens, and giving them a salary is going to make worse. Pressuring the universities to offer better medical packages to the students they sign on is a good idea (except all of our doctors will move to Australia!!!) but moving universities further towards being sports franchises only exacerbates the problem.