How To Reform College Sports: Best-Selling Author John U. Bacon Makes His Case

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by cutchemist42, Oct 10, 2013.

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  1. cutchemist42

    cutchemist42 Registered User

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  2. Fugu

    Fugu Administrator

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    I know this is related to the O'Bannon case against the NCAA, but the topic probably deserves its own thread.
    -------------
    I think this frames the root problem quite well:

    The NCAA is a gatekeeper, in essence, to entry to the pro leagues. Individuals who require further development out of high school-- as most would have no other leagues to which they can turn, in terms of coaching, facilities, and competition level -- cannot compete.

    The NCAA is in a very powerful position, benefiting from the work of these kids, but they on the other hand have no other viable/realistic options.
     
  3. Fourier

    Fourier Registered User

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    Having been both a professor and a football coach this line caught my attention...

    That said if I multiplied the amount I made for coaching football by 7.5 I'd still be better off with my day job since 7.5 x 0 =..... :D

    This has always been a very complex problem in my eyes with virtually no workable solution that I can see. It is certainly compounded by Title IX but I cannot believe there is no creative work around to this. I can't help but think though that paying players could well prove to be a disaster. But to be honest I think we will see it in some form down the road.
     
  4. cutchemist42

    cutchemist42 Registered User

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    I do like the article's idea of the first year being straight schooling with no sports. It would possibly get rid of the one-n-dones everyone hates out of good schools in the ACC and Kansas.
     
  5. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    I really hate being the only one who's railing against a popular media opinion here, but the popular media opinion only sees the tip of the iceberg.

    #1 - 412 out of 170,000 Division I college athletes can be drafted by the NFL, NBA or D-League. Show me another institution that needs total reform because of a flaw that affects only 0.2% of those involved**

    #2 - The entire premise is drastically flawed: "But when we require a gifted athlete with little or no interest in higher education to enroll in a four-year college to get to the NFL or NBA…"

    "We" do not. Still no response on the subject of Brandon Jennings. Jennings (like everyone else on the planet) was not required to go to college before going to the NBA. He said screw the NCAA, I'm getting paid out of high school. A route that is available to those "gifted athletes" out of high school in basketball, as it is in baseball, hockey, soccer, and other less popular sports.


    Again, I'm not claiming the NCAA is gloriously just and not in need of changes. I'm merely arguing against misinformed, ignorant statements based on limited statistical samples.



    **Here's an example. Let's say that the NHL had two draft picks (KevFu and Fugu) taken #1 and #2 in the draft. Both were so good they made Gretzky look like an AHL player. Each racked up 400 points as rookies and made their franchises millions of dollars… but only earned a maximum of $2,850,000 total after bonuses because they were on Entry Level Contracts.

    That's not "fair market value" to Fugu and Kev. As free agents, we'd get the max -- which also wouldn't be "fair market value" because other guys on the max are hitting 135 points, and Kev and Fugu are tripling that.

    Would there be a media outrage that Fugu and Kev are getting max ELC money and not their full worth?

    0.2% of NHL 23-man rosters is 1.38 players. So, the issue facing Kev and Fugu is affecting the NHL more than the issue of future NBA/NFL players (lots of which get drafted and don't actually MAKE the pro league) stuck in the "unfair" NCAA.

    But I guarantee you, everyone in the media would simply tell Kev and Fugu to shut up, pay your dues, and in 2-3 years, you'll get what's coming to you.
     
  6. Branden

    Branden Registered User

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    This is interesting. Hockey players in the states usually have to go thru the NCAA to make it to the pros, which is different than their counterparts up north. Alot of kids in my area (New England) end up playing at Boston College and other Hockey East schools.
     
  7. cutchemist42

    cutchemist42 Registered User

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    I think alot of people just hate seeing the kids there for sports development sit there making a mockery of the kids that earned their way to school, and having good schools have to bring themselves down to certain levels in the name of football/basketball.

    And just because a certain percentage can be drafted, does not mean a bigger percentage is not in D1 to try to make a football career as first priority.

    The one sport where you don't include the option of another route is football I see.

    I myself have experienced entire insitutions get ruined too because of a few bad examples, so if kids had to skip football for 1 year of free education to prove they fit academically, I wouldn't even feel bad for them.
     
  8. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    I'd be all for freshmen being ineligible as they used to be. (I think one of the main reasons they did away with that was the cost associated with running the freshmen/JV teams).

    But I also think that opens up all kinds of academic issues, though.

    People complain NOW about padding course schedules with bogus classes to help kids be eligible. How would freshmen ineligibilty solve that? Isn't it MORE LIKELY bogus classes are used so those kids can be eligible?

    It also welcomes "gray shirting" because the football factories will expect academic attrition.


    All of these "solutions" are things that help the BCS schools horde all the talent.


    If there's ONE aspect of professional sports' CBAs that college athletics desperately needs to make things better, it's not the compensation of players; it's revenue sharing.

    If more football teams were competitive, the big boys could get away with less of the things used to cite "exploitation." When the 10 of 14 SEC teams are in the Top 25, the kids will do anything to get an SEC scholarship.
     
  9. Fugu

    Fugu Administrator

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    I cannot figure out if you just don't get the other side's opinion, or if you're here promoting the status quo, because your defense is so full of holes, obfuscatory, full of red herrings.... To wit:

    Who cares what the percentages might be? Completely irrelevant to the point that the NCAA is the professional leagues' development arm-- and that nothing that offers players the same level of coaching, access, competition exists. Seriously, if you want to make it to the NFL as a pro, what are your odds outside the NCAA route? Where do you get developed?

    Please don't come back with something that insults our intelligence like "he can just go pro out of high school". NO. HE. CANNOT. The kid who is mature enough at 18, physically and developed enough to play hockey, football, baseball or football is an ANOMALY. Those leagues are for MEN--- the fully grown, full-strength, variety.

    See my comments above. Yes, "we" do require these kids to jump through the NCAA hoops (ha ha) in order to increase the probability-- already fairly low -- that they will get there. There is no flaw in the premise.

    Riiight.

    We don't need statistics, but since you brought it up.... how many 18 year olds make the jump from high school to the NBA and NFL?

    Let's be clear. I was selected #1 overall. ;)


    They'd be right, but KevFu and Fugu know that the players negotiated a CBA with the league and that's how that particular cookie crumbles.

    Who represents the NCAA athletes?


    What was that?
     
  10. Fourier

    Fourier Registered User

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    Fugu, a question on logistics... Aside from payment for direct marketing of an individual how would one really decide how much a player might get? What is the monetary value of the back-side defensive end to a Division 1 Football team? The NFL seems to recognize how much impact that player can have if left unchecked and as such rewards the left tackle accordingly. Yet I wonder how many people care one bit about who is playing LT for their college team just so long as the star QB does not end up on the sideline with a nasty injury. As a result, how much of the pot should he get relative to the star point guard on the women's bball team. I honestly have no idea how to answer such a question.

    BTW I just looked at the projected budget for the U of M's athletic department for 2012/2013.

    http://annarborchronicle.com/wp-con...FY2013-Budget-Presentation-6-21-final-v.2.pdf

    There are some interesting numbers here. I was struck by the fact that the operating profit is only about $5M and that combined financial aid to students is about $18M on about $130M in revenue. So on the surface there is not a lot of extra money to distribute, especially given some of the rules that are in place via Title IX, which I must confess I do not really understand.

    It would seem to me that the part of the answer has to lie in relaxed rules regarding self promotion. If student athletes could market themselves independently of the University, would this work? Unfortunately, I don't think this helps out that LT I mentioned above but it might be a great thing for the star QB or RB.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  11. DaveG

    DaveG Global Moderator

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    Not that I disagree with the point of the article, but in their point about the free education they need to do some deeper analysis into the majors that most college football and basketball players are pushed to. It can be a mixed bag and there are many that end up majoring in business, but there are more that end up majoring in something like Sociology, Communications, General Studies, Liberal Arts, Sports Management, Sports and Exercise, and majors along those lines. And unfortunately this is by design as many college institutions push student athletes towards majors with a lighter work load in order to have them more able to focus their time on practice, game film, strength and conditioning, etc. The Andrew Lucks of the world that are able to use their scholarship to major in Engineering while simultaneously being able to play NCAA football and basketball are few and far between.

    A degree in some of those majors I listed won't get a former athlete very far if they underachieve in college or wash out in the pros should they get there.
     
  12. Hoser

    Hoser Registered User

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    I found that very hard to believe, so I did some digging. This is what he majored in: http://cee.stanford.edu/programs/archdesign/index.html

    Relevant quote: This engineering major is not an ABET accredited engineering degree, nor is it designed to lead directly to professional licensure in architecture. In order to become a professional architect or engineer, additional graduate training is required.

    Which means it's about as useful as an associate degree from a community college. And in fact if you look at the course sequence for the program you'll see that the freshman year is only three intro calculus courses, and the rest is CAD courses, a basic "engineering economics" course, and a bunch of fluff electives like "art history". So... the course sequence itself is a lot like you'd find at a community college too.
     
  13. Fugu

    Fugu Administrator

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    See, I don't see that as the correct question. Like the rest of the real word, the price would be determined by the market. As these "schools' in the entertainment business would discover, in order to compete, they will have to make offers to players based on supply/demand and what they're trying to achieve. They already scout high school players. Instead of choosing a school based on personal preference and how much they may think of the coach, the athlete would pick a team based on the money they'd get, plus other factors important to them like location and the development program's strength.

    If we removed this nonsense from the colleges that they had to offer athletic programs to everyone (e.g., the U of Chicago model), we wouldn't have to worry about it. If schools wanted to be honest, they'd drop the pretense of the not-for-profit status and get back to running academic programs in the university setting. As a side hobby, they could set up a legitimate sports entertainment business that has nothing to do with the university programs. Drop the BS basically.




    I think if the schools weren't saddled with forced spending on equalizing things for other sports just because they get a ton of money from some of the sports, the profits would look much more obscene. I'm against the entire model of sports-based scholarships in the university setting. That just goes against the entire premise of the mission of universities. Why are athletes somehow more valuable than a nerdy math genius who can't play wide receiver-- to a research and academic institution??

    If we got rid of the model, the athletes would gain greater individual rights (like in other sports businesses) and the best of the best would have some self-promotion options (with their agents protecting THEIR interests).
     
  14. Fugu

    Fugu Administrator

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    And how embarrassing is that-- Stanford offering watered down degrees designed for athletes? They get 20-30K applications per year (forget the exact number), have an acceptance rate of 6-7%, where 80% of the applicants have perfect scores on their SATs and ACTs. :shakehead

    They cannot begin to accommodate the number of academically qualified applicants they have, yet a statistically significant portion of the entry class is reserved for "student athletes".
     
  15. DaveG

    DaveG Global Moderator

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    Jeez, even worse, and even further reflects my point. These NCAA programs do whatever possible to push the student athlete towards a major that makes their actual class workload as light as possible, especially when it comes to their major money sports (mens basketball and football). Such a huge part of the spin around Andrew Luck was that he was an Engineering major, and further research shows that it was an extremely basic level program. Honestly have to wonder what other programs are out there that these schools are selling to further the illusion of the major student athlete.
     
  16. Iron Duke

    Iron Duke Registered User

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    Love a lot of the ideas in the article. Don't ever see them happening, either on the part of the pro leagues or the big money Div I schools, but I think it is one of the few clean, long-term solutions to the growing problem college sports is facing. Instead, greed is going to eventually bring the whole thing crashing down. :shakehead

    I'm probably in the minority, but would have no problem watching real student athletes at the expense of the NFL/NBA-lite experience we currently have. I think, for a lot of college fans, it's all about the "name on the front of the jersey" more than that on the back anyway...regardless of how much ESPN wants to shove the likes of Manziell down our throats.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  17. chasespace

    chasespace Registered User

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    Another thing to keep in mind: Larger universities(the powerhouses) use a good portion of the income from their big name sports to help fund the smaller sports(swimming, track, golf, etc) and that in turn allows more kids a pathway to get a college education. It's not like all of the schools are hoarding the money from the football/basketball teams and sitting on it.
     
  18. Fourier

    Fourier Registered User

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    I don't see this as workable at all especially in football. All of the money would go to a very small number of kids. With the exception of a few QB's and perhaps some running backs my guess is that no school would be willing to really make much of an offer beyond what they already do to many football players.

    Ultimately there is not enough excess money to justify a radical reworking of this system I don't think. Despite the fact that the big sports bring in big dollars they are also very expensive to run.

    I'll be honest, I don't see the advantage to anyone other than a few extremely elite athletes in what you are proposing, and I still think that by allowing them the right to market themselves outside of the university that even they might be better off.
     
  19. Fourier

    Fourier Registered User

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    There are "fluff" electives like art history precisely because this is the type of student this program is aimed at. Someone who may in the past have gone into a traditional Fine Arts program can now use their creative skills to find a niche that might lead to employment in a specific industry. But to do so they also have to take a bunch of courses that most fine arts students would not be able to pass. (Please find me a community college program that would require this level of mathematics.) So if you look at it that way is this really a watered down degree. The reality is that with the evidence you have presented I doubt either of us could tell.
     
  20. hockey diva

    hockey diva Registered User Sponsor

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    Regarding non-revenue producing sports, several of them help create the talent pool that the USOC uses for our Olympic teams.

    Title 9 basically says you have to offer women the same opportunities as men in sports. However it is based on money spent not number of participants. When women's rowing became a sanctioned women's sport, several football schools like Tennessee started varsity women's rowing programs to offset what was spent on football. A brand new elite 8 rowing shell can cost 20-30k.

    The Ivy League says it doesn't give athletic scholarships but they find money to help athletes attend their schools and the admission standards are somewhat relaxed.

    I think that the NFL and NBA need to fund their own development leagues at this point. Get those kids out of the college environment all together. Offer them some schooling/life skills training but get them off the campus.
     
  21. PCSPounder

    PCSPounder Stadium Groupie

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    Thing is, none of these sports are "equity" sports. The athletic department, with much grousing from the football coach, chooses how many actual scholarships are awarded. These are not full-ride scholarships (the definition of an "equity sport" is that such sport must award full-ride scholarships), so there's an element of "pay-to-play" here... from the athletes to the university. If you add everything up, I question how much football truly contributes. There MIGHT be the issue of what the athletic department contributes vs the students paying tuition to the university's general fund... and it's hard to find two schools that account for revenues and expenses the same way, BTW.

    In any event, I'm coming to the mindset that you have to kill the beast to save it.
     
  22. Fourier

    Fourier Registered User

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    If I had to guess I'd say that for many schools the biggest plus of high profile athletics teams is just brand recognition. I doubt that there is much tangible net monetary gain that comes directly from the revenues these sports generate since the costs are also huge.
     
  23. Fugu

    Fugu Administrator

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    There's already a working model available-- the other development leagues. I think you may not be understanding what I'm proposing. The athletes are just that-- athletes, employed by the school's side business. This would have no integration with the academic departments.


    My question to you is why we as a society put a higher value on athletes insofar as entry and support into university settings than we do on academically inclined students? Why create a separate system to create opportunities for those with elite athletic skills-- and not academic ability? Sure, the athletic programs may be able to pay for themselves for some schools, but the abuses are great. Football coaches with six and seven figure salaries? Really? The kids are taken advantage of as well, with no protection or voice in the process. It's just so wrong fundamentally that even saying other athletes might benefit shouldn't be sufficient to excuse the system.
     
  24. Fugu

    Fugu Administrator

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    This also seems backwards. Students should (and for the most part do) select the best school into which they can gain acceptance. Certainly money becomes an issue for some, say paying for U of Michigan in-state at $12-14K vs out-of-state at $42K. Are kids picking Michigan because of their football program or the academics?


    Now-- there is the element of alumni support, etc. Even if the schools ran the side businesses in the sports entertainment sector, the alums would still support their "brand" imo. The fallacy that the system must be contained within the academic missions of these schools is a fallacy. Consider that some of the elite private schools have built sound support and endowments based on the rigor of their academic offerings.
     
  25. DoyleG

    DoyleG Mr. Reality

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    Much of the world wouldn't hire a BEng straight out of school as they still have to have the graduate training that is required. The undergraduate degree is known for having a very high rate of attrition, so it wouldn't be good for any student, regardless of them being an athlete, taking up such a program.
     

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