FanDuel - WFBC

September 08, 2006

Abolish the NCAA:

posted by yerfatma to other at 07:26 AM - 70 comments

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posted by yerfatma at 07:26 AM on September 08

There are obviously huge problems with the way the NCAA is set up currently, and the story about the kid taking care of his 11 year old brother is tragic. But any effort to alter the system won't change a thing. Corruption and cheating and bending the rules exists in any sport, professional or otherwise, where a big profit can be made. It's kind of strange, but when some people talk about paying college athletes, who make all this money for the universities, yet the universities are the ones getting rich, are the same people who bash the shit out of George Steinbrenner for paying out practically all of his profits to his players, while other wealthy owners choose to sit on their money and pad their own pockets. It's a very similar comparison. The athletes responsible for providing this hugely prosperous entertainment, whether it be in college or the pros, should be the ones who reap the financial rewards. What can't be forgotten, however, is the fact college athletes at big division 1 schools are receiving college tuition, room, board, meals, books, etc. that all amounts to a tremendously hefty sum of money. True, they're used, basically, to make the school's tremendous revenue, and many don't choose to (or can't) take advantage of the opportunity for a paid-for college education, but it is rather substantial. But as long as there is money to be made in NCAA sports, any way you structure it the big, traditional sports schools will continue to find ways to bend rules and restrictions. The playing field will never be even.

posted by dyams at 07:51 AM on September 08

Yikes, am I really about to argue in favor of the NCAA? The organization is a necessary evil because coaches and boosters are so slimy. There are several cases -- like the kid from Clemson -- that make you wonder why they're such buttheads, but then there are the $18,000-a-summer jobs at the local car dealership that make you realize there's a reason for it all. Also he glosses over the point that the "competitive balance" has as much to do with tradition as it does with money. If you could go to Notre Dame and make $100 a month or you could go to Central Florida and make $100 a month, where are you going to go? It isn't all about money. Also the Oklahoma's, Nebraska's, Alabama's, and the other relatively few, massive alumni-supported schools would buy the bulk of the talent. So long competitve balance. It's an unpopular argument, especially when you get tales like this kid from Clemson, but then go read about the diploma mills and wonder what kind of kids would be getting into college without the NCAA guidelines. I'd be all in favor of some sort of assistance program, and I'd love to see a less rigid oversight committee. But let's face it, a lot of coaches are just as crafty as they are slimy, hence the unfortunate, rigid rules.

posted by SummersEve at 08:00 AM on September 08

and resisting change because it won't be perfect isn't a good reason to resist change.

posted by garfield at 08:01 AM on September 08

It's kind of strange, but when some people talk about paying college athletes, who make all this money for the universities, yet the universities are the ones getting rich, are the same people who bash the shit out of George Steinbrenner for paying out practically all of his profits to his players, while other wealthy owners choose to sit on their money and pad their own pockets. It's a very similar comparison. How so? You're begging the question by assuming some schools would act in the same manner as Tampa Bay or Kansas City. Additionally, you don't mention why such a situation would be worse than what we have now. And it seems like you missed this:

". . . over the past fifty years five teams account for a quarter of all top eight finishes, twelve teams account for more than half of all top eight appearances, and twenty-two teams account for three-quarters of all top eight finishes."

posted by yerfatma at 08:37 AM on September 08

From the author: In Division I men's football*, for example, over the past fifty years five teams account for a quarter of all top eight finishes, twelve teams account for more than half of all top eight appearances, and twenty two teams account for three quarter of all top eight finishes.Yet, an excerpt from Jim Peach says: "Would such price competition alter the distribution of playing talent among academic institutions? No one knows for certain, but it is worth noting that the power schools in football were the power schools before the imposition of NCAA regulations." There are "power schools" for basketball, (think Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, Indiana, et al), baseball (think Wichita State, Rice, Arizona, Cal State Fullerton et al), wrestling (think Iowa, Oklahoma State et al), hockey (think Maine, Colorado College, Boston College, South Dakota, et al) and of course, football powers. I suggest that these schools are recognized as powers due in part to tradition, regional influence and popularity of the sport in question, and the willingness and committment, financial and otherwise, of the school in question to field a "winning program." The NCAA needs an overhaul, but surely it is in the best interests of the 99% of college athletes that never turn pro. *I am unaware of any Div I schools fielding womens football.

posted by mjkredliner at 08:48 AM on September 08

Garfield, are you implying that change for the sake of change is a good thing? We have to use common sense. We don't need change unless that translates to an improvement on the status quo. Better, not just different. The NCAA is a long way from perfect, but is anything on earth? Some good changes could certainly be made, but scrapping the whole system? IMO, that would make the situation worse, not better. There are plenty of things that could be done to improve parity between the teams simply by tweaking the NCAA rules. I think the intent of the rule in question here, in general, is a good one. The McElrathbey situation is an example of unintended consequences (I hope, anyway), but it seems like there would be ways to fix the situation. Reading through the link, I saw that one of the posters had the same idea that I did. It seems to me that a trust fund in the younger brother's name, administered by Ramon, would solve the problem. The money would in no way belong to Ramon, but he'd have access to it in order to care for his brother.

posted by ctal1999 at 09:00 AM on September 08

and resisting change because it won't be perfect isn't a good reason to resist change. No, but resisting change because it would make things worse is a good reason. There are certainly adjustments to be made. A fair monthly stipend to athletes, an admission that athletes at most universities are not there for an education, but rather to further their opportunities at some professional level and therefore a relaxation of admissions standards and longer periods to graduate, and guaranteed scholarships are three off the top of my head. But allowing the universities to police themselves would simply create a mini-NFL with players skipping from campus to campus, no one administering eligibility requirements and perhaps 15-25 schools elevating themselves beyond everyone else into an elite league.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:02 AM on September 08

an admission that athletes at most universities are not there for an education Then one of those things has to change. Either split it off into minor league football or educate kids.

posted by yerfatma at 09:23 AM on September 08

I don't think it would be detrimental to strip down the NCAA rules. They are onerous, tedious, and difficult to enforce. I can imagine a simplified NCAA that sets up common rules that all schools agree to live by. In many cases, the micromanaging the NCAA does takes out the joy of sports.

posted by bperk at 09:26 AM on September 08

But all these worst case scenarios you pro-NCAAers are saying already exist. Players do switch campuses ad nauseum in a quasi free agent like atmosphere (and they should - I could, you could). They are forced to become cheaters and criminals if they're put in the same situation as the case described in the article, instead of being treated with a modicum of dignity. This whole trust account in the kids name would be subject to NCAA scrutiny, much in the same way that Clarett's mom got a house. It's half a solution - if McElrathbey so much as bought a candy bar with any of that money (which he would have to oversee as guardian) he'd lose his eligibility - there is no flexibility to these rules. College football does not have competitive balance and, as illustrated, never really did. What contributions has the NCAA actually made, beyond perpetuating this status quo? As far as I can tell, the NCAA doesn't exist to protect student athletes at all, but rather protects the insane profitability of college football for the schools.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:31 AM on September 08

an admission that athletes at most universities are not there for an education Then one of those things has to change. Either split it off into minor league football or educate kids. Schools are having trouble educating all their students, not just their athletes. Students are going to college ill-equipped to succeed. (bug me not)

posted by bperk at 09:35 AM on September 08

What contributions has the NCAA actually made, beyond perpetuating this status quo? You don't think the bosters at several large schools wouldn't be "buying" players if the NCAA weren't enforcing rules? I'll listen to the argument that the NCAA could be stripped down, but to say it does nothing and should be abolished is a bit silly.

posted by SummersEve at 09:37 AM on September 08

You don't think the bosters at several large schools wouldn't be "buying" players if the NCAA weren't enforcing rules? The implication is there would be something wrong with this, but I'm not sure what it is. Plus they already are, unless you think students don't notice brand-new facilities and other booster-funded perks.

posted by yerfatma at 09:57 AM on September 08

You don't think the bosters at several large schools wouldn't be "buying" players if the NCAA weren't enforcing rules? But - they are. And I'm not sure implicitly what is wrong with it.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:57 AM on September 08

But - they are. And I'm not sure implicitly what is wrong with it. There are rules against murder but murders still happen, should we abolish them, and get rid of all the homocide departments? I make an extreme (and admittedly silly) argument, but the point is there are flaws in every system. I see a big problem with boosters paying players. Outside of the ethical "amatuer sports" issues, there would be 10 or 20 schools that would dominate the talent pool and everyone else would either lose their program or just be along for the ride. And there are admissions standards. They may have their flaws, but they've come a long way. And can you imagine what we'd have without them? Let's also remember that we see, for the most part, the two major sports and think they're rolling in the dough. But the money from those two sports keeps many athletic programs afloat. So do we pay everyone? Then how do you explain to the soccer team and the cross country team that their sport is cut because you can't afford to pay them. They insist they don't want to be paid, but you have to because otherwise you'd be "using" them. Is a football player "used" anymore than a swimmer? Who do we pay and who don't we pay? I feel like I'm dominating this, and I apologize if I am. I just enjoy this debate.

posted by SummersEve at 10:08 AM on September 08

Weedy, I have to agree with Eve. Like many regulatory organizations, the NCAA started with a good purpose. It's gotten way out of control, but I still think that the initial concept is sound. Should changes be made? Absolutely, but get it back to basics, not onto the trash heap. As to the idea of paying players, there's an issue nobody seems to have considered. You start doing that, and I give it a week at the outside before other athletes file suit to be paid as well. It can be argued that only profitable programs would be required to pay players, but the Title IX requirements aren't allowed to be based on profitability, so there's a pretty good chance that the courts would find the same way on player payment. If the schools can be required to lose money on some athletic programs in the interest of equitable treatment, why should pay be any different? Are we ready to pay all athletes? Finally, a trust fund arrangement in the McElrathbey case would certainly be scrutinized by the NCAA. It SHOULD! Otherwise, any booster could make arrangements for an athlete to be a "foster parent" to any kid and set up a trust fund (complete with allowances for a full time nanny and a separate residence) and turn the athlete loose. Of course there would have to be some controls in place on something like that, but I can't see how any NCAA official could find the arrangement illegit in the McElrathbey situation. Would he be allowed to spend money willy nilly? Of course not, but he'd be allowed to take care of his family and go to school as a student athlete.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:08 AM on September 08

see a big problem with boosters paying players. Outside of the ethical "amatuer sports" issues, there would be 10 or 20 schools that would dominate the talent pool and everyone else would either lose their program or just be along for the ride. But is this not already the case? And there are admissions standards. They may have their flaws, but they've come a long way. And can you imagine what we'd have without them? Diploma factories in Florida? People cheating on SATs? These things exist with or without the NCAA. And again, the NCAA doesn't seem to be helping much. As for the necessity to pay all athletes in all sports, I don't see why this would need to be the case. Swimmers would be free to collect some booster money. Schools who felt this program to be worthwhile would be free to attract the best swimmers. Much like the way it already is - except it wouldn't be illegal to live better than a hobo. Football players at football schools would get paid better than other athletes in other sports. Those others could choose to go eleswhere. This is not the crumbling of the amateur system. This is exactly what is already going on, minus the duplicity. I'm not advocating a system where everyone gets paid huge dollars. I'm advocating a system where it isn't illegal to get a decent stipend and some flexibility in the regulations. It's relatively clear that you guys think the NCAA exists to make sure these transgressions don't happen for the benefit of the integrity of the system. I'm saying that this is a fantasy. The system has no integrity. And never did. The NCAA has failed it's mandate. It's time for a new one.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:22 AM on September 08

The NCAA takes out all of the perks of not just being an athlete, but of also being a student. You don't know anyone who got super cheap rent because they lived with a friend whose parents had money? That is perfectly legitimate for any other student, but not for an athlete. The rule is that students can't receive any perks at all regardless of whether they are at all tied to athletics. It ends up being way over the top and completely ridiculous like McElrathbey. As an aside, I don't like the idea of paying students in the traditional sense. However, I don't see anything wrong with students getting stipends equivalent to the money they could get from a work-study program.

posted by bperk at 10:24 AM on September 08

Weedy, if you're saying that we should scrap the NCAA and build a new regulatory body from scratch, I could live with that. If you're saying that we should have no regulatory body at all, I think it's a bad idea. There have been a number of bad possible results listed in this thread, and I think that all too many of them are likely to come about without any regulation. You don't seem to think so, but we can't know who's right unless it's tried and we examine the actual results, so we're not going to be able to resolve this debate any time soon.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:40 AM on September 08

I don't think it's possible to do anything cohensive without some kind of regulatory body. I'm sorry if that's the way I came across - not my intention. I just can't stand the fucking football rules the NCAA has established. It's grand fucking larceny. Happy fucking Friday! (Seriously - good talk today guys. See ya out there.)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:04 AM on September 08

I just think that the NCAA should make an exception for McElrathbey. Here's a kid in college that has 11 brothers & sisters, a mother that's a crackhead and a father that's a compulsive gambler that no one even knows where he is and he decides that it's better for him to gain custody of his 11 year old brother in order to make sure he's not a victim. The regulations of the NCAA are garbage considering that the colleges themselves as well as the coaches make a killing. Just take a look at Coach K from Duke. Here's a guy making commercials for Visa and we all know that it's not for free. I know that it's double edged sword, but there really should be an exception made for this kid. He's just trying to make sure that his brother makes it out alive. Good talk, let's do it again sometime

posted by BornIcon at 11:32 AM on September 08

If you could go to Notre Dame and make $100 a month or you could go to Central Florida and make $100 a month, where are you going to go? Golden Knights or Golden Domes? Hmm, thinking out loud.... Notre Dame 30 degrees, Catholic girls. Central Florida, 70 degrees, swimsuit girls. It's all about priorities with me.

posted by Bill Lumbergh at 12:55 PM on September 08

Great discussion. And my tastes tend toward smart Catholic girls over bleached-out bimbos, so for me, Notre Dame vs. Central Florida is a no-brainer, except the other way.

posted by chicobangs at 01:08 PM on September 08

In the class shes taking notes Just how deep deep is my throat Mother mary dont you know Shes got eyes like marylin monroe Lead us into temptation We are pure divine creation Talkin about my generation Injected with the seed of emaculation Catholic school girls rule...

posted by HATER 187 at 01:21 PM on September 08

I see a big problem with boosters paying players. Outside of the ethical "amatuer sports" issues, there would be 10 or 20 schools that would dominate the talent pool and everyone else would either lose their program or just be along for the ride. The problem I see with the argument in this (and some other comments above) is that it doesn't account for the fact that players could be motivated by various things besides money. There is a much larger talent pool of potential football players than out there than there are spots (at least starting spots or playing time spots) at the top ten to twenty schools. Players want playing time and exposure and may not be driven by pure economics when making decisions about where to go. Any proposal that included paying players should also be coupled with a cap the roster size of college teams or, like scholarships now, a cap on the number of players who can receive payment. That could help to ensure a wider distribution of players across a wider variety of schools.

posted by holden at 01:59 PM on September 08

Would he be allowed to spend the money willy nilly? of course not, but he'd be allowed to take care of his family and go to school as a student athlete. If it has come to the point that a student athlete needs to get the blessing of the NCAA to take care of his family, it's time to blow up the NCAA and piss all over the ashes. I made this comment a few weeks ago and I'll say it again, Lincoln freed all the slaves. I don't know how the NCAA justifies having ahything to say about how a man takes care of his family, but it's got to stop right fucking now. Most of the arugments in this thread in favor of the NCAA have to do with keeping money out of the pockets of the athletes. So a player was paid $18,000 dollars for a summer job, so what, it's good work if you can find it. This was a summer job, but still the NCAA feels they have total control over the players during the off season. To me it seems like being an NCAA athlete is more like a four year sentence than a four year program. The only way to the pros is through the NCAA. Why? because the NCAA has an arrangement with the NFL and NBA to keep it that way. It works out good for the NFL because they don't have to set up a farm system like the MLB has. Insted they have the NCAA run their farm system, groom and train the players and weed out those who can't cut it. In return, the NCAA gets to ride a billion dollar a year business and does not have to pay the players anything. Yes I can see where if you were to pay NCAA football and basketball players, the swimmers and cross country runners might have a real complaint. I guess the NCAA needs to get a deal in place with the pro-swimming and pro-track leagues so they have to spend three or four years before turning pro.

posted by CB900 at 02:25 PM on September 08

Holden, interesting points, but counter point... We're assuming all Division One programs are operating in the black. They're not. The smaller ones would completely collapse, which might not be a problem is there weren't so many of them that would disappear. These teams don't exist in a vacuum. A Division I-A school pays 85 scholarships at (conservatively) $25,000 each per year just for football (by the way, $25,000 a year isn't a bad pay day for a 20 year old). Add in room and board, coaches, trainers, travel. All these things cost money. In fact many -- if not most -- athletic departments spend more money than they take in (John S. and James L. Knight Foundation) I'm looking for a recent story I read somewhere about how many AD's are bleeding money trying to keep up. CB I'd love to learn more about that NCAA, NBA and NFL arrangement you talk about. Put up a link if you have one. Also, you assume that playing a college sport is a God-given right. Like it or not, it isn't. Again, there should be some kind of fund for extreme cases like this Clemson kid. Apply for it, jump through the hoops, and put up with the bureaucracy and get some sort of grant. But only in extreme cases. I would totally support that, but as I've said a thousand times, these rules didn't just happen because the NCAA decided they wanted to be dicks.

posted by SummersEve at 03:21 PM on September 08

Lincoln freed all the slaves? Yet, the almight dollar reigns supreme.

posted by ryemonster at 03:39 PM on September 08

I agree with the NCAA's guildlines regarding student-athletes not getting paid outside of scholarship money, for many of the reasons already posted. I do think it's a problem that colleges have been able to benefit financially to the extent that they have. There's no reason to abolish the NCAA - there will always be people who want to engage in athletics while they're pursuing a college diploma, and they should be allowed to do so. What I'd like to see is the development of minor leagues for the NBA and NFL (and eventually other sports if they become profitable enough). If athletes want to forego a college degree for the financial rewards that a minor league can provide so be it. So I agree with what some of CB900 is saying, but I see no need to abolish the NCAA. There are lots of people that translate athletic ability into a free college education, and I don't want to see that encroached upon either.

posted by chmurray at 03:57 PM on September 08

Holden, interesting points, but counter point... We're assuming all Division One programs are operating in the black. They're not. The smaller ones would completely collapse, which might not be a problem is there weren't so many of them that would disappear. Thanks for the response. I don't know that my premise assumes that all D-I schools are operating in the black and I guess I'm not so sure that the smaller ones would completely collapse. If there were a cap on the number of players each team could have on its roster, it seems to me that the supply of players would still leave plenty to meet the demand of the smaller schools, even if they weren't able to offer anything other than the scholarships they currently offer. The fact is, a lot of student athletes would actually play for free, as a look at the number of D-III schools with football programs will show you. The economic landscape of schools and the various athletic departments may change in a world where players could be payed, but I'm not sure I see a compelling reason why programs would have to collapse. Sure, you may end up with a D-I landscape of various tiers of teams (the big money schools, the second choice schools and so on down the line), but that's not really all that different than where we are now.

posted by holden at 04:22 PM on September 08

Eve,go Wikipedia and look up the NFL or NBA draft , eligibility is on of the areas covered. I must admit I was wrong about the NBA, I thought they had the same rule as the NFL, which is that their high school graduating class has to be out of school for three years. The NBA rule is that the player has to be 19 in the calendar year that the draft takes place. I would like to think that in a perfect world all the student athletes go to class and get straight A's, date a nice girl, and hang out at the malt shop after practice, and before going back to the dorm to do home work. That however is not the reality of a college football or basketball player. Football season starts with preatice in the summer, and at a school with a successful program does not end until after the bowl season in January. It's catch 22 for the athlete, he's told hey we're giving you a free college education just for playing football. So you had better give 110% on the football field. How much time does the athlete really get to be a student.

posted by CB900 at 04:50 PM on September 08

Sure, you may end up with a D-I landscape of various tiers of teams (the big money schools, the second choice schools and so on down the line), but that's not really all that different than where we are now. And, of course, the schools get to choose who they wish to play, so schools not paying their players could avoid playing schools that are.

posted by bperk at 04:52 PM on September 08

SummersEve you are right on! Great comments. Thanks.

posted by T$PORT4lawschool at 08:44 PM on September 08

I can't see how holden's idea, as supported by bperk, is worse than the current situation. The idea of capping the number of paid players per team could be brilliant: if you kept the number below what a team needs, each team would be compelled to find true student athletes. I don't think a lack of monetary compensation would stop other kids from showing up.

posted by yerfatma at 09:18 AM on September 09

Just to add to the rediculousness of the Ray Ray McElrathbey story, his little brother may not even recieve rides to and from his school with coaches wives (whose kids attend the same school) because that qualifies as an 'extra benefit' for Ray Ray. The NCAA is a mess.

posted by stofer71 at 10:25 AM on September 09

Stofer, you're dead-on with that one. That's just plain stupid on the NCAA's part. CB, I'm well aware of the age requirements, But which came first the chicken or the egg? That's not much of an argument, it's a causal relationship at best. Brady Quinn has a double major at Notre Dame and he's the star quarterback. To me, that shows that how you choose to use your free education is totally up to you. Obviously, everyone can't do what Quinn's doing, many of us couldn't handle a double major without playing a sport, but there are many examples of athletes who study, too.

posted by SummersEve at 11:44 AM on September 09

Last week it was the football player who took a year off to help with his new child. This week its a player who has taken his brother out of what sounds like a shitty situation. I am going to assume if his little brother can't take rides to and from school from the coaches wives, their not allowed to help with food and clothing. How many football and basket ball players do you think get their girl friend or some one night stand pregnant and just walk away. I don't know the number, but I'm willing to bet it's not a rare event. Just what message is the NCAA trying to send here? I have never heard of a case of a student athlete being in any trouble for not doing whats right. But here they are, going out of their way to make it as tough as they can for this young man. If this is what the NCAA has become, they are not putting the best intrest of the athletes first. A case like this shows me that the NCAA is all about two things, making as much money as possible and making sure the players get none of it. The thing about this that pisses me off the most is that the NCAA is putting their nose where it does not belong. This has nothing to do with football. Where the fuck does the NCAA get off interfering with this man taking care of his family. People, out of the kindness of their hearts, have come forward to try and help, and these assholes want to punish him for this? I'll say it again, it's time to blow up the NCAA and piss on the ashes.

posted by CB900 at 04:33 PM on September 09

CB, your point about what message the NCAA is sending is well taken, but the rule in general isn't bad. It's there for a very good reason. For every athlete in a situation similar to McElrathbey's, there are literally hundreds of boosters out there trying to devise shady ways to get money to athletes. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the NCAA wanting to prevent it. The problem arises because there is apparently no discretion allowed, or at least there wasn't any in this case. Keeping boosters from throwing money at athletes illegitimately isn't a bad thing. However, failing to make allowances for legitimaite situations like McElrathbey's is flat out stupidity. There should be a procedure to review a situation that may be legitimate and, hence, should be allowed a waiver of some sort. That only requires a little thought and a tweaking of the rules, not the complete dismantling of the NCAA.

posted by ctal1999 at 08:18 PM on September 09

I guess I really don"t understand why letting the players have a little money in their pockets is such an evil thing. Why is it so important to make sure that the players enjoy none of the spoils of their labor. I have had this discussion with several people today, and the only reason anyone could give me is, because it's against NCAA rules. In this case however, I just don't see how this is any of the NCAA's business. If you ask me, what this guy is doing is way bigger then the game of football. If he does not intervene in his brothers life now, I would foresee a very dismal future. I guess my biggest question is, what part of a players life is off limits to the NCAA?

posted by CB900 at 01:38 AM on September 10

Footnoting an early post about schools losing money on athletics, I found this trascript of a Title IX press conference. It lists some stats which I'll paste below, you can download a doc file here. Also, the NCAA report can be found here Q. How many NCAA institutions show a profit in their athletics program in Division I-A? A. The number of institutions where revenue exceeds expenses in Division I-A is 40, or 35 percent of institutions in that classification. This calculation does not include institutional support and does include fund-raising done by the athletics department, ticket sales, funds from student fees to support athletics, bowl games, royalties and the NCAA revenue distribution. (Source: 2001 NCAA Revenues and Expenses of Divisions I and II Intercollegiate Athletics Programs) Q. Do other NCAA institutions in other divisions show a profit? A. Yes. Nine institutions in Division I-AA showed revenue exceeding expenses (8 percent); six institutions in Division I-AAA (no football) showed revenue exceeding expenses (7 percent); seven institutions in Division II that do sponsor football showed revenue exceeding expenses (5 percent); and seven institutions in Division II that do not sponsor football showed revenue exceeding expenses (6 percent). Division III institutions are not asked about revenue generation. In other words, 7.7 percent of the total NCAA membership showed a profit in 2001. This calculation does not include institutional support and does include fund-raising done by the athletics department, ticket sales, funds from student fees to support athletics, bowl games, royalties and the NCAA revenue distribution. (Source: 2001 NCAA Revenues and Expenses of Divisions I and II Intercollegiate Athletics Programs)

posted by SummersEve at 02:08 PM on September 10

CB, the rule was supposed to insure that college athletes were amateurs, not pros. That meant no pay to play. Not from the school, and certainly not from outside (but remember my earlier comments about a procedure to make allowances in certain situations like McElrathbey's). The athletes did get some consideration for their services, in addition to the opportunity to sharpen and showcase their skills for possible future pro opportunities. Most of the top players got a free degree and all of the living expenses for a four or five year period. They also got help with finding part time and off season employment, and tutoring and other help with their studies (if needed). In the old days that wasn't a bad deal, but competition being what it is, athletic departments kept trying to sweeten the pot any way they could. Easy classes, or grades for classes you never even attended, ridiculously high paying jobs where you actually had few or no actual duties, "demo" vehicles from local dealers, etc., etc. Without NCAA intervention, college athletes would have ceased being amateurs long ago. The idea is that they are students first. That really can't be said anymore, but saying "Oh, what the hell, we may as well just pay them above the table since we can't stop it", isn't the answer. IMO, it would create a lot more problems than it would solve. Having said that, college athletes face a lot more demands these days (in the arena of their sport anyway), and very often, they do bring in a ton of revenue for the school. In many cases, it's ridiculous to expect them to meet the training demands of their program and work even a part time job. I could see the NCAA setting up a stipend system so the kids would have some cash, but that only takes a rule change, not blowing up the whole organization. College sports can be ugly and seedy, but I don't think that's because there's too much regulation. There IS too much regualtion, but it's a matter of years of accumulated deadwood and legal-speak that could be trimmed and reworked. The corruption is the cause of the regulation, not the other way around. Without any regulating body, I can't see how it could do anything but get worse.

posted by ctal1999 at 07:06 PM on September 10

Cta, thank you for a well thought out explanation, but with all do respect, it does not change my mind. I am not saying the players should make millions for playing their sport. But thease are adults who are part of a very lucrative business. My real problem with the NCAA is the level of control they have over not only the student, but the students family. When they get so petty as to assign a value to a ride to school, its time for some major changes. The community and the families of the coaches have tried to rally to help this man to take care of his younger brother. The NCAA has stepped in and said not only can they not help him in any way, he will be punished if he takes help from anyone. Whats next, if his brother goes to a public school for free will it be considered and extra benefit because the other players don't have anyone to send to grade school? While I do agree that there does need to be oversite of college sports, it should be to make sure the students are not exploited, not to exploit the students. Why should the NCAA be able to go after the families of athletes. The money raised was for his younger brother, as were the rides to school. But here we are the NCAA says he can't take them. He's not and student athlete, he's a young kid who needs as much support as posible. It seems to me that the NCAA can come up with a rule to cover any and all situations. They never back down, they are never wrong and there is never room for compromise. I am not saying the NCAA should look the other way on this one, they should ask what they can do to help.

posted by CB900 at 01:39 PM on September 11

The NCAA is helping - he has a college scholarship. He isn't allowed to recieve extra money from anyone. Having more responsibilites than an average college student doesn't change that.

posted by chmurray at 09:54 PM on September 11

And again I say this has nothing to do with football. The money that was raised had nothing to do with him being paid to play, or for him to go to college. Every day you read about a fund being set up to help pay medical bills for a kid with cancer, or someone who's house burned or what have you. It's called human intrest, an act of kindness to a stranger. People keep saying, well he's getting a college education, yes he is, and in return for that education he is providing a service that also has a value. That aside, just how much control should the NCAA have. He agreed to play football for the school, he didn't sell his sole. There has to be a line that they are not allowed to cross. Having more responsibilites than the average college student doesn't change that. My God, how often do you get to use the word responsibile when talking about student athletes? I have read in many posts on this blog site about how people feel athletes get a slap on the wrist, or get off scott free for doing some really dumb shit. Now in the past week I have read two reports of a student athlete doing something responsibile, only to receive a swift kick in the teeth. Answer me this, if the reason they can do this is because he has a scholarshp, why is a walk on player subject to the same treatment?

posted by CB900 at 05:55 AM on September 12

He probably could sell his shoes, but I don't know that that would help. Seriously, CB, you aren't listening. We hear your argument, but you don't seem to be listening to anyone else's. Plus you're making some assumptions that don't seem to be true. First, you're assuming that every student athlete is a blockhead. It's a very small minority that gets in trouble, but they'll fill the news. The regular kid that does his work and gets the grade doesn't make the news. The ol' "Dog bites man vs Man bites dog". It isn't major news when a dog bites a man, but if a man bites a dog then it's major news. Same thing, it isn't major news when a scholar athlete does well in school and graduates. Second, you're assuming that everyone has the right to be an athlete. Sorry, but it's not true. If you want to play, you have to play by the rules. Like it or not they're there for a reason. And, you assume colleges are making a ton of money on their sports programs. The numbers say otherwise. For an example of why they have all these rules look at the recent limits on text messaging prospects. It's probably a safe assumption that 99% of coaches HATE text messaging, but it's "keeping up with the Jones's". One guy does it, they all have to do it, then they all try to out-do each other and the prospect's phone is blowing up from all the messages. Can you imagine what some of these boosters would do if there were no rules? Yeah, it's silly, but it's the same principle behind a salary cap in pro sports. You could compare this to the regular student who's family is broken. I'm sure there are people out there who are raising a sibling while putting himself or herself through school, and no one is jumping to help them. Why, because they can dunk or throw or ball? Is that fair? No, it isn't and it should explain to you why what college --or amatuer-- athletes can recieve has to be limited. Because people will try to give them everything. We'd have college kids with more money than the college. Bottom line, I think we all agree that there should be some kind of grant program or even a loan program set up for athletes in this kind of situation. But when they agree to play a sport, they agree to certain rules. It's a privilege not a responsibility.

posted by SummersEve at 07:52 AM on September 12

Hey look, good news.

posted by SummersEve at 09:13 AM on September 12

you mean the National Commitee Against Athletes? Hey I admire what Miles is trying to do to increase the school's accountability for academics, but please don't act like some Diety-like commander with all the power holding it over others with only punishment given out. BTW, how many Final 4's has Indy gotten since the new HQ was built? Hmmm...

posted by gt2590 at 09:24 AM on September 12

Oh my! NCAA officials granted a waiver in this case? What ogres!! See? The NCAA ruins everything! Oh, and they cause all the war and hunger in the world, too! BTW, thanks for the update Eve.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:46 AM on September 12

Right, because granting a waiver in the one case that makes the national news makes up for all the little screwings they hand out every day.

posted by yerfatma at 11:13 AM on September 12

Eve, I don't know how you came to the conclusion that I think all student athletes are block heads. Go back and read my comments, you will see that I have been saying just the opposite. I have contended all along that its time for the NCAA to start treating them as adults. I agree 100% that most student athletes are just good american young men and women. The reason I made the comment about it being rare to be able to use the word responsibile, is because all you ever hear about are the assholes. No, I am not assuming that everyone has a right to be an athlete. All I am saying is this is a two way street. Yes the players are getting a scholarship and a chance to spot light their talent. What I am pointing out is that in return the schools get the use of that players talent for four years. If there was no value to that, the NCAA and the schools would not be making the money they are. I at no time made any comment that the schools are making big money off their other sports programs. I mean how could a school make money off of swimming or cross country. What I did say is that NCAA football is a billion dollar business, and that the players should at least be given some consideration for the fact that between football and basketball they are supporting all the other sports. All that aside, the biggest point I have been trying to make is this, there has got to be a line, a limit, a point beyond whitch the NCAA can not pass. It seems to me that at this time there is no part of and athletes life that the NCAA does not control. They should be allowed to put their first. I'm glad they made an exception for this case. But being the cynic I am, I'm sure they did the right thing for the wrong reasons. I'm sure they did it for PR reasons, but what the fuck, it's more important that they did it, then why they did it.

posted by CB900 at 11:52 AM on September 12

Yerfatma, I agree that the NCAA is screwed up. They've piled years and years of rules and regulations up to the point where the U.S. tax code comes to mind. I'm in no way suggesting that the system shouldn't be revamped to a major degree or that NCAA officials always make the right decisions. I'm just saying that I understand the reason for a governing body and that just chucking it rather than reworking it , or at least replacing it with a new organization (which could start from scratch and lose all the NCAA baggage), is irresponsible. You'd think from some of the comments in this thread that the NCAA is staffed solely by escapees from the seventh circle of Hell. IMO, the organization is staffed by generally decent people who are adrift in an insane system. It's not a situation that can't be fixed, and I understand being frustrated that it hasn't been. I just can't stand the idea of unregulated "amateur" sports. Student athletes should be students first. That's a pretty shaky concept even now, but it would be completely gone without a regulating body of some kind.

posted by ctal1999 at 02:00 PM on September 12

I don't understand the NCAA's rationale prohibiting athletes from obtaining gifts, cash or other benefits not provided to the general student population. How many of the general student population by their extra-curricular activities net the school millions of dollars a year? I think it's way past time that the NCAA, the schools, and the NFL admit that college football programs are little more than farm clubs for the NFL and pay the athletes according to their talents and skills.

posted by irunfromclones at 03:20 PM on September 12

Good luck with that one RUN, I have asked that question a few times the only reason anyone can give me is because its against the rules. That if the players took money or gifts they would not be amateurs. Several people have referred to the sleazy way in which alumni give money to the student athletes. When I ask why it's sleazy, the answer is, because it's against the rules. Why is it against the rules? Because the NCAA says so. The other reason people give is because they are getting a scholarship. What does one have to with the other? Under that line of thinking the coach should not be allowed to take the big shoe indorsement money because he is allready being paid a half million or by the school. I asked before and no one gave me an answer, why is it so evil for the players to have some money in their pockets?

posted by CB900 at 04:23 PM on September 12

Good luck with that one RUN, I have asked that question a few times the only reason anyone can give me is because its against the rules. That if the players took money or gifts they would not be amateurs. Because they are STUDENT-athletes. Talking about college universities as nothing more than diploma-mills or "farm clubs" will piss off quite a few people who could care less about a students athletic peformance. Some people go to college to earn a degree. The NCAA is for students. Students are not professionals. They can recieve scholarships (and waivers, which is welcome news) in order to help them get a degree. If you want to pay them beyond that you need to form a league for developmental players. You don't need to abolish the NCAA to do this. I asked before and no one gave me an answer, why is it so evil for the players to have some money in their pockets? They're not players, they're students. They have a scholarship. They don't need anything more.

posted by chmurray at 06:08 PM on September 12

They're not players, they're students. They have a scholarship. They don't need anything more. Students who are required by their scholarship to spend an inordinate amount of school and personal time on extra-curricular activities, while at the same time are also expected to maintain passing grade with less time for study than the rest of the student body. The NCAA is not for students, it's for players, and most schools who graduate these players in majors like basket weaving may not readily admit it, but they know the distinction. Most college stars are unprepared for anything but a professional sports career that only two to three percent of them will ever achieve. From TV rights to its men's basketball tournament, the NCAA averages better than half a billion dollars a year in revenue. That does not include payouts from the 28 football bowls, which exceed $184 million and go to the conferences. Athletes see what's in it for everybody else. They see their jersey numbers on the racks of the campus bookstore, but they don't see any share of the profit. They see their coaches drawing million-dollar salaries and their schools and conferences taking cash from corporate sponsors, but they don't get a whiff of the action.

posted by irunfromclones at 06:48 PM on September 12

CB, the point that you're forgetting is that we're talking about colleges here. Their purpose is to educate students. Sports, even the profitable ones, are secondary. The kids are there, at least ostensibly, to obtain a degree. If they happen to be good enough at their sport to earn a scholarship, they get 4-5 years of free room and board, an opportunity to earn a free degree (which a woeful number actually take advantage of), an extensive education and training program in their sport (how many of you know of a single high school player who could jump straight to the NFL?), and an opportunity to display their potential in a national spotlight. At best, college football is an apprenticeship program. I stipulated before that the intense nature of many of the programs today makes it all but impossible for the kids to earn money elsewhere, so a stipend system makes sense to me. I don't expect a bunch of college kids to survive on campus with zero cash. Still, the majority of their compensation comes in the form of extensive training (which is the only thing that makes it possible for most of the ones who turn pro to do so) and PR which gets the pro teams interested in their services. In return, they make money for the school. The athletes are trainees, and not even trainees who'll be sticking around for awhile making money for the school after their training is complete. As soon as they think they have the skills to be drafted, they're gone. Something else that nobody seems to be considering is that the skill of the athletes is only a small part of what draws crowds to the stadiums. Fans, especially alums, are nuts for their teams, even in mediocre years. Look at the run of bad seasons Penn State had until last year. Sometimes, they were downright putrid, but they still crowded into Happy Valley. The same was true at Notre Dame during their recent struggles. Michigan sucked last year, but sold out every week. The fans will bitch if the athletes and coaches fail to perform, but they still plant their asses in the seats every Saturday. If failure becomes a habit, that can change, but it takes a lot to overcome that kind of loyalty. The point is that fan loyalty is at least as much responsible for the schools making money as the athletes are. If that weren't the case, we'd have dozens of minor league football teams spread from coast to coast, packing in rabid fans just like the colleges do now, and the kids would be getting paid and wouldn't have to even pretend to be interested in higher education. The exact same talent level, playing for the Clarksville Crushers, wouldn't be a blip on anybody's radar. The truth is that the fans LOVE their college football, and the athletes know that playing on a high profile team is their ticket to the big bucks of the NFL. Without the additional training and exposure they get from the colleges, the athletes are screwed, and they know it. As the system is now, the athletes get immeasurable assistance in reaching for a pro career and, if they're not good enough, they were also given the opportunity to obtain a degree which should still make it possible for them to make a fine living (if they took advantage of it), and they got all of this to play a game that they, almost to a man, say they love. Do the football programs make a profit? Sure, most do. Do the athletic departments make a profit? Most don't. Football revenues pay for a ton of expenses for the less successful sports, and that's often the only way those sports programs even stay afloat. What I'm saying is that it's not like the university fat cats are lining their pockets with all that cash. Finally, as to coaches getting endorsement money and players not, you're comparing apples and oranges. Like I said, players are trainees (for what will probably be VERY lucrative careers). The coaches, on the other hand, are employees of the college. The college isn't training the coach, it's demanding that he do an outstanding job of training young people. That IS his profession, and he's already way past the training stages. He's expected to be in it for the long haul, and to take a new crop of punk kids every year and integrate them into an existing unit, and somehow produce a championship caliber team. If he's good enough that companies want his endorsement, all well and good. If the athletes are gaining some level of fame, it's because the school provided the stage for them. That's not true of a coach, unless he's a success. Individual players, on the other hand, can shine on even rotten teams. Oklahoma State was never exactly a powerhouse, but that didn't keep Barry Sanders from lighting up scouts' eyes everywhere. Still, could he have played in the NFL straight out of high school? Somehow, I doubt it.

posted by ctal1999 at 06:50 PM on September 12

Ctal, with all do respect, please go back and read my posts. My major complaint has not been about money so much as it is about the amount of control that the NCAA has over every part of the player/students life. I have at no time pointed a finger at the schools, other then to compare the coaches being able to take endorsment even though they are paid by the school. Quite the opposite, I have lauded the school and the spouse's of the coach's for being willing to help. Twice I have said that I don't expect the students to get rich, just be treated fairly. I will say it again, this young man should be allowed to take care of his family without having to kiss the NCCA's ass for permission. I have been accused of assuming all students are block heads and corrupt. It's the NCAA that has a rule to cover every situation. So I will say this one more time, HOW THIS MAN TAKES CARE OF HIS FAMILY IS NONE OF THE NCAA's FUCKING BUSINESS. As for the contention that the NCAA is not running a farm system for the NFL, that is precisely what they are doing. The reason the NFL has the three year rule for players is to compel them to play college football. True, an athlete comming out of high school is not ready to play pro-ball. So if the players were not comming from college, they would have to come from somewhere. Which would mean setting up their own farm system.

posted by CB900 at 10:22 PM on September 12

CB, seriously, you need to make up your mind... I asked before and no one gave me an answer, why is it so evil for the players to have some money in their pockets? Someone gives you an answer an you respond with: Ctal, with all do respect, please go back and read my posts. My major complaint has not been about money so much as it is about the amount of control that the NCAA has over every part of the player/students life. You've done it several times. I know, "play the ball not the body", but this is like trying to argue with a talk radio host. My final comment: Scholarship athletes are eligible to apply for Pell Grants if they need them. Many schools give money, (typically around $600/month) for housing if they choose to live off campus. I don't know about today, but back in the mid 90's athelets got travel per diems that were way more than they needed especially when they were usually fed by the school. I assume that pocket money is still out there. Also, if a student comes up with some sort of an invention in a chem lab while taking a class, guess who profits? That's right, the school. The student will profit later in life once he/she gets out in the marketplace with that on the ol resume', but the school will own the patent. Here's Northwestern's policy as an example. Sounds a lot like what you guys are arguing is so unfair for athletes, doesn't it? Look, I don't like a lot of what the NCAA does either. But the asshole faction of the coaches created the beast and now they have to deal with it. You have to "kiss ass" to get a waiver. Such is life in the bureaucratic bullshit society we live in. Compare all the "no gifts or assistance" rules to all the doping rules. All kinds of items end up on the prohibied list because people use them as masking agents. Some scumbag figured out Rogaine hides some PED and now an athlete can't use Rogaine. Similarly, some scumbag realized you can give a kid's little sister a teddy bear and he'll go to the school you want him to go to. now you can't give a kid's little sister a teddy bear. It sucks, it sounds stupid and overbearing, but it's a necessary evil. In case of need, as in this case, the rules can be waived. Major college sports would not exist if not for the NCAA. To say the orginization doesn't encourage competitive balance, and then to say "let's pay college athletes" in the same breath is contradictory. And there are rule-breakers out there, but every rule is broken soemwhere and nothing is 100%. At least there's the threat of getting SMU'ed if you go too far. Believe it or not but these rules do have the kids in mind. If boosters start handing out cash and Hummers (ahem) to anyone with any talent, how much do you thinks the odds that that kid stops doing school work will increase? Maurice Clarette times 100. There's a place where athelets get paid, it's called pro sports. Plus, if college sports became hired guns with no academics what so ever, the life would be sucked out of the game, and the boosters of the 10 schools that were still competitve would more than likely fade away, and they'd take their money with them. You say, "oh, it happens anyway," in regards to boosters handing out gifts, and it probably does, but there's a limit because of the threats of getting caught, and the majority of kids still get some kind of education. Bottom line, it's a symbiotic relationship, Notre Dame could find another Brady Quinn. Brady Quinn could have played in a semi-pro league in hopes of catching someone's eye. But he went to Notre Dame and Notre Dame gets his services, in exchange, he has a double major for his post-football days and he's caught the eye of every pro scout in the world. Holy shit this is long, but it had to be to make the point. SummersEve OUT!

posted by SummersEve at 06:24 AM on September 13

Well said.

posted by mjkredliner at 08:36 AM on September 13

Bottom line, it's a symbiotic relationship, Notre Dame could find another Brady Quinn. Brady Quinn could have played in a semi-pro league in hopes of catching someone's eye. But he went to Notre Dame and Notre Dame gets his services, in exchange, he has a double major for his post-football days and he's caught the eye of every pro scout in the world. Agreed, depending on what you meant by symbiotic, because ND certainly derived a much larger benefit from the relationship than Quinn did. So if you meant the school's relationship was parasitic, we're all in agreement.

posted by yerfatma at 09:16 AM on September 13

So, yerfatma, if Brady Quinn played for Grand Rapids Community College (a perennial contender for the national championship among jr. colleges), he'd still be the big deal that all the NFL scouts are slavering over, right? Of course not. He'd still have the same natural talent, but that's only a small part of the picture. So, why's he a big deal now? Because he plays at Notre Dame, where he can build on that natural talent with the finest in coaching, physical development and care, and where the fans will pack the stands, buy the memorablia like crazy, and watch every televised minute if they can't be at the stadium. I know a kid right now who is a great receiver (he set the Michigan high school receiving record), and he was offered a full ride at Wisconsin. For a variety of reasons, he chose to stay closer to home and is playing at Grand Valley State University. It's a good school with multiple championships (albeit, not in Div. I-A), but do you think that he'll get anywhere near as much attention there as he would have at Wisconsin? Not a chance! Brady Quinn is on a track to be a very, very rich man and it's due in large part to the fact that he's at Notre Dame and not Wyoming. Does a student make a ton of money while he's earning his degree in finance? Not likely, but he'll probably make a ton later (if he's actually good at it). Granted, the finance student doesn't make money for the school, but it's also a hell of a lot cheaper to train him (his tuition alone will usually more than cover the expense). The premiere athletes don't pay any tuition, and the cost of running the athletic department (which is the main source of their education in that lucrative field) requires huge sums of money. As has been pointed out, most athletic departments lose money. They may generate a lot of revenue, but their expenses are even higher. What it boils down to is that Quinn, and all the other high profile players bring in quite a bit of cash for the school, but they're basically in a "work-study" program which will make them very wealthy later on (just like that pesky finance student). If the player isn't good enough to go pro, then he damned well better have taken advantage of the free education. So, is Notre Dame bringing in a substantial amount of money because they have Quinn at QB? Yep. Will he be a multimillionaire later because of the training and exposure he got playing there? Again, yep. Sounds like a pretty fair trade to me.

posted by ctal1999 at 11:23 AM on September 13

Will he be a multimillionaire later because of the training and exposure he got playing there? Again, yep. Sounds like a pretty fair trade to me. Looks, we're obviously not going to agree, so I'm going to drop it. If you can't see that Quinn isn't guaranteed those millions you speak of (unless you think there's no injury risk, no risk of getting hit by a bus, etc) while Notre Dame does make millions off the efforts of their football players, we don't have a common ground to work from.

posted by yerfatma at 12:09 PM on September 13

And if you can't see that the risk/reward ratio is HUGELY in his favor, then you're right, we'll never see eye to eye on this one.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:00 PM on September 13

Right, because he's the one person in a million who has a chance of being a good NFL quarterback. Why he should have to spend 4 years in intentured servitude is beyond me. What's stranger than that is folks who would root for the owners and beneficiaries of such a system.

posted by yerfatma at 06:11 AM on September 14

Four years of indentured servitude? Indentured servants worked off debts, usually for passage to America, by doing menial work until their debt was paid (usually at a ridiculously high price). They got no training, per se, had no doors opened for them, and worked themselves to death simply to earn the right to start from scratch. Hardly an apt analogy, but even if I accept the premise, many of the "best of the best" come out after their sophomore and junior years. If he's that damned good, he could be playing pro ball right now. Since he's still at ND, it's by his choice alone.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:57 AM on September 14

He can't play in the NFL until after his high school class has been out of school for three years. Or after his junior year. It's rare for players to make the NFL by comming out of the arena league and unheard of from the minor leagues. So you tell me what choice he has if he wants to play football.

posted by CB900 at 05:51 PM on September 14

If he's talented enough to play right out of high school, why does he need to go to college? Sure, none of the pro teams know about him in that situation, but if he's that great a talent, why wouldn't he be noticed in the arena league or a semi-pro league if he put his three years in there? Maybe because those leagues don't have the infrastructure to get him to his physical peak? Maybe because they don't have the quality of coaching to teach him the game well enough that he can adapt to the NFL? Face it, the vast majority of players wouldn't stand a snowballs' chance in hell of making an NFL roster straight out of high school. The arena and semi-pro leagues can't train them to the level needed either. College programs are what prepare them for the intense world of the NFL (both physically and mentally). You're right that he has no choice if he wants to play in the NFL, but it's not because the school is getting over on him. It's because the school is the only place that he can get the training he needs, and he'd better be thankful that they want to.

posted by ctal1999 at 11:35 PM on September 14

If he's talented enough to play right out of high school, why does he need to go to college? Do you seriously not know? Because the NFL fought in court to prevent such a thing from happening because the current system moves almost all of the risk onto the player's side of the equation. They are forced into the college system where they are barely compensated, then subject to a draft process that reduces their earning potential futher. At this point I have to ask if you seriously are a fan of old white guys who run stuff. Are there card collections of NFL owners and NCAA board members one can collect?

posted by yerfatma at 06:22 AM on September 15

Are you seriously telling me that the NFL owners would turn their collective back on potential superstars just so the big NCAA programs could get rich? That's exactly what you're implying. I'm assuming the court action you refer to has to do with the age restrictions (which the NBA has learned its' lesson from and instituted a version of as well). You think the 3 year rule is there because they don't want a capable player, regardless of age? Hell, half the NFL owners would sell their own mothers for a shot at the next big thing. So why in the world would they turn away an 18 year old prodigy? Maybe because one lesson they've learned from the spectrum of pro sports over the last few years is the concept of "too much, too soon". Regardless of talent, the vast majority of fresh high school grads aren't capable of wrapping their heads around the real world (if you can call it that) of the NFL or NBA. It's too big a step, and all too often, it gets messy. With individual sports like tennis and golf, most kids play a lot at the national amateur level before they go pro, and if they go pro at a very tender age, they usually have a parent attached at the hip and a long term one-on-one coach for guidance. On top of that, they don't see any big money until they start to win (Wie and Woods are the exceptions, not the rule). MLB and the NHL have well established farm systems where their future superstars can get the maturity and seasoning needed. The NBA has the CBA, but most good players come straight from college (and the teams just have to hope that they're ready for it). The NFL has NFL Europe and the AFL (and why in the world would they have officially affiliated with the arena folks if their main interest is propping up the NCAA as the only route into the league?). If the NFL or NBA owners thought that they could take 18 year old phenoms on a regular basis and not have more downside than upside, they'd do it. Right or wrong, it's been decided that in more cases than not, there's more downside to bringing kids in young than there is upside, hence the 3 year policy. I don't believe for one minute that the NFL owners are willing to hurt their own product in order to pad the pockets of university and NCAA big wigs. They just realize that the college game is a better training ground than their minor league systems, which at this point are mostly about developing late bloomers and interest outside the U.S. Can a kid learn enough in the arena league to play NFL ball if he didn't play in college? Probably. Would he be better prepared if he followed the ideal projection of starring in front of 2,000-3,000 fans at his high school to walking the sidelines in front of 80,000-100,000 at a major college, then getting some playing time, and finally starring at that level? A young man who's gone that route is a lot better prepared to enter the NFL environment than a kid straight out of high school or even a kid who's walked on with an arena team and played well. Even at that, we constantly hear about young players who have a very hard time making the transition. MLB players usually go through college first, then the farm system until the team decides they're ready for the bigs. Maybe the NFL should do the same and have their draft picks get their feet wet in Europe first, then call them to the NFL when they're determined to be ready. Still, until the NFL does improve its' farm sytem, the NCAA oversees by far the best NFL training ground. That makes them evil how again? Oh yeah, because athletic departments that lose money for the most part, don't pay players.

posted by ctal1999 at 11:14 AM on September 15

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