Sports

Dear NCAA: This Needs To Be Fixed

NO, NOT TODD GURLEY … YOUR ONGOING ECONOMIC CHARADE By FITSNEWS ||  Another year, another ridiculous scandal in college athletics  … that glorified 21st century slave market in which universities rake in hundreds of millions of dollars on the backs of athletes (many of whom come from impoverished backgrounds) while at…

NO, NOT TODD GURLEY … YOUR ONGOING ECONOMIC CHARADE

By FITSNEWS ||  Another year, another ridiculous scandal in college athletics  … that glorified 21st century slave market in which universities rake in hundreds of millions of dollars on the backs of athletes (many of whom come from impoverished backgrounds) while at the same time demonizing them whenever they try to make a little extra money on the side.

It’s a scam … the whole thing.  From top to bottom.

Yes … we know these athletes get a “free” college education (for whatever that’s worth these days).  And yes … we know they affirmatively acknowledge the “rules” of the game when they enter into these programs.

But come on … are we not at the point of ridiculousness here?  Or rather well past it?  And can’t we all acknowledge that a system built on such inequalities would have collapsed a long time ago were it not for a perverse network of politicians, bureaucrats and special interests artificially propping it up?  A network which habitually rewards its own with increasingly large amounts of our money?

Yeah …

The latest scandal involving University of Georgia running back Todd Gurley – who stands accused of the heinous crime of accepting money for his autograph (you know, as opposed to something like THIS) – should be a wake-up call for every single person who participates in, profits from or even casually follows college football.

Again, the whole thing is a scam … one in desperate need of some individual liberty (and free market reform).

According to the most recent data compiled by the U.S. Department of Education, Texas’ football program is worth $139 million.  Notre Dame’s program is worth $117 million.  Alabama’s is worth $110 million.  Add up all 128 Division I football programs (and all 351 Division I basketball schools) and you’re looking at a multi-billion dollar annual industry – one with virtually no labor costs.

We’ve been on the record in support of paying college athletes for years.

“College football – particularly at the major conference level – has become the equivalent of a farm system for the National Football League,” we wrote back in 2011. “Accordingly, it makes sense to pay these athletes – just as it makes sense to have their names on the back of jerseys in video games.”

CAM NEWTON
CAM NEWTON

“Paying athletes would not only be fair, it would stop the charade that currently exists in college athletics – while dramatically reducing the potential for future scandals like the one that surrounded (Cam) Newton.”

Or the scandal currently surrounding Gurley …

But the issue is much bigger than just paying athletes.  The entire system has to be scrapped – and started from scratch.

Most importantly: The ongoing government subsidization of higher education must stop.  The co-mingling of public and private funds – which are funneled in, through and around college programs – leads to chronic incestuous corruption.  More importantly, subsidizing colleges (academically or athletically) is simply not a core function of government.

Cops, courts, roads, bridges, an army … those are all legitimate government expenses.

“Higher education?”  Hell no.

And even if it were a core function, our country simply can’t afford it anymore.

Once America’s colleges and universities have been set completely free to pursue their destinies in the private sector, a lot of the heartburn over who should get paid (and how much) will be removed – because in lieu of distortions and subsidies and regulations and other artificial manipulations, there will be instead the great equalizer (i.e. “what the market can bear”).

Seriously … does anyone think Georgia head coach Mark Richt should make $3.2 million a year while Gurley gets nothing but free room and board?

Next, we believe restrictions that prohibit individuals from participating in professional athletics due to their age are inherently wrong.  Anyone over the age of 18 ought to be able to work for whatever organization they wish – be it the Chicago Bears or the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company.

Again … it’s all about skills, and free markets.

For example, former University of South Carolina All-American Jadeveon Clowney – the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL draft – should probably be a fourth-year professional baller at this point in his career, not a rookie.  Meaning he should be about $20 million richer than he is today.

Within this new privatized structure – in which all of these formerly public colleges and universities would be allowed to retain their existing brick-and-mortar assets (i.e. campuses, stadiums, etc.) – there would be a hard and fast rule prohibiting any future taxpayer subsidization.  For anything.

Again … there may have been a time such expenses were justifiable, but we’re $18 trillion in the hole people.  And things aren’t getting any better anytime soon.

The same no subsidy rule would apply to current professional franchises … unless of course you think taxpayers up in Detroit, a city which recently declared bankruptcy, ought to be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars for a new hockey stadium.

Again … sporting venues are not core functions of government.  They should be funded by the individuals who directly profit from them, not hard-working citizens who are increasingly unable to afford the exorbitantly high ticket prices.

Bottom line?  Everything about American athletics – at every level – needs to be fundamentally reimagined.

Todd Gurley selling autographs isn’t the problem … it’s the subsidized, socialized and patently unfair system that penalizes such free market interactions that’s to blame.

Pics: Travis Bell Photography

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31 comments

Dave Chappelle I'm Rick James October 10, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Will:

While I share many of your sentiments, you completely bastardize logic on one particular point.

“Next, we believe restrictions that prohibit individuals from participating in professional athletics due to their age are inherently wrong.”

Based on your example–The NFL– you are arguing that professional football (as a business) has been forced to create these entry rules? By the government?

No, my friend. I see no constraints on the NFL, other than those that the organization chose to enforce. That is, the NFL balanced whatever risk versus return it would generate by imposing an “age” or “experience” restriction. After carefully performing this balancing test, it felt the compelling interests of allowing an 18yr old to play were outweighed by whatever value it gained by imposing such a restriction.

I don’t think you can have it both ways. The NFL is a business. It is making a choice. The almighty invisible hand will teach it to change its ways if this restriction is not the most market-friendly. Were a federal agency to impose these restrictions, then you have a point. However, the NFL chose to keep the age where it is because it made the most sense for its bottom line (we must assume). For example, having a bunch of immature 18yr olds making enormous money, and physically abusing their bodies, likely would result in bad public relations. Who knows? But that’s the point of the free market, right? We don’t need an explanation.

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Guest October 10, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Don’t you know that the NFL is a not-for-profit organization and has an exemption from antitrust law?

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-19/a-republican-senator-s-lonely-mission-to-make-the-nfl-pay-taxes

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Dave Chappelle I'm Rick James October 10, 2014 at 3:54 pm

I’m fully aware. However, just because it has an exemption doesn’t mean its immune from competition–or public opinion. Albeit, a tougher road. The NFL has done a fantastic job marketing itself–evidenced by all of the negative press, while still selling out stadiums and getting paid on television deals.

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The Colonel October 10, 2014 at 3:48 pm

How about this, we eliminate all college athletics all together. No more problems with NCAA violations, the university returns to its core function of education and everybody is happy – or not. If these poor under-privileged kids have to wait two years to get their payday to bad – many of them, in addition to getting some education, are getting the first real discipline they’ve ever had. If it does the NFL a favor do be it. These prima donnas need to play by the rules or sit out and enter the draft when they’re eligible.

Paying them “something” as Spurrier has suggested won’t work because the little darlings will always feel entitled to more. I once swam at the collegiate level, we got Jack all four it, I was just glad to have a chance to continue competing. Football paid for most of the expense of our program and just about everything else except basketball.

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Jackie Chiles October 10, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Too much money in it now.

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Manray October 10, 2014 at 10:25 pm

This is America and now matter how much we trumpet our “values” it’s always about the money.

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Smirks October 10, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Ehh, it’s more like indentured servitude than slavery. Education and time limits aren’t something slavemasters tend to hand out.

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Tazmaniac October 10, 2014 at 6:05 pm

It certainly seems more shrill and dramatic when you loosely throw around the slavery word, almost to the point of the misuse of the word racist. Of course it only serves to kill the meaning of the word and create an effect of boredom.

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idcydm October 10, 2014 at 3:52 pm

“College football – particularly at the
major conference level – has become the equivalent of a farm system for
the National Football League,”…has become, it’s been that way before you were a twinkle in your daddy’s eye.

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Don't let me down October 10, 2014 at 3:53 pm

There is something innately wrong with a person who is willing to pay money for another person’s signature in the first place. Worship one God. Think of all those little kids who waited in line for OJ Simpson’s signature through the years.

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Smirks October 10, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Paying an athlete for his signature isn’t worship.

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SC Political Digest October 10, 2014 at 4:08 pm

IF SC did it, FITS would be trying to fire Spurrier, and put the Gamecocks on the Death Penalty. FITS when you are so obviously sycophantic for SC’s foes, your whining has NO credibility.

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Squishy123 October 11, 2014 at 9:45 pm

You do realize that your 15 minutes on this blog are over don’t you? You used to stir people up now we just ignore you.

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SC Political Digest October 12, 2014 at 9:22 am

So now you’re admitting I had “15 minutes.” You know, based on your other claims, that (along w/ so much you say) makes you look like a Dumb@$$…. (:

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Squishy123 October 12, 2014 at 4:25 pm

You HAD 15 minutes, people replied to your posts, now everyone is wise to your constant stupidity, you’re about as relevant as your so called blog… that is if it still exists. As much time as you spend here I wouldn’t be surprised if you abandoned it, you can only talk to yourself so much.

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SC Political Digest October 12, 2014 at 4:38 pm

“You HAD 15 minutes, people replied to your posts, now everyone is wise to your constant stupidity, you’re about as relevant as your so called blog”……Oh the irony, the irony…. as you reply to my post…. (: Hahahaha…

Do you EVER get tired of making a Dumb@$$ of yourself??? …Hahahaha…

Squishy123 October 12, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Done working on your blog for the night?

9" October 10, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Go Emory!

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Squishy123 October 10, 2014 at 4:26 pm

So what do you suggest if a rich alumni wants to give every football player $50,000 for their autograph? Don’t you think that recruits will see this and decide based on what gifts they can receive at that school? What if another school alum decides that $50,000 signature is worth $100,000 to him?

The only way to fix it is to remove athletics from the schools and make them farm teams and pay the players what they’re worth to the teams. If they want to go to school they go through the same channels every non-athlete student follows.

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Squishy123 October 10, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Seriously … does anyone think Georgia head coach Mark Richt should make $3.2 million a year while Gurley gets nothing but free room and board?

I’d be interested to know what Will thinks Gurley should be paid. What’s a year’s worth of tuition, room and board, books, tutors, clothing, etc… worth? I’d say Gurley is being paid close to $50,000/year (untaxed) for playing football.

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UGA Alum October 10, 2014 at 9:43 pm

I went to Georgia on a full ride. But I didn’t earn the school millions of dollars. Comparing Gurley to a regular student with a scholarship isn’t really fair. The players should be paid for the time they spend specifically on football. If they made $15 an hour, it seems like it would cut down on some of this crap. Also, they should be free to sell autographs. A guy like Gurley would eventually get tired of signing things once he realizes he has plenty of spending cash to tide him over until he makes his real money in the NFL.

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Squishy123 October 11, 2014 at 8:58 am

If you attended on an academic scholarship, you raised the academic standings of the school which draws in other top academic students who may not be on scholarship. Also it attracted better faculty which bring in grant and research money to the University.

So are you going to pay athletes on the swim, golf, volleyball, women’s basketball, equestrian and cheerleading teams $15/hr too? If not, prepare for EEOP lawsuits.

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Crooner October 13, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Never mind that- how about all that free pussy he’s getting!!!
CROONERS FREE ADVICE TO MALE ATHLETES EVERYWHERE: Step 1) Go to a doctor you trust with your life and have him store a large sample of your sperm. 2) Get a vasectomy. 3) Fuck your brains out, secure in the knowledge that you are not going to have any babies without your doctor’s help. 4) Don’t tell anyone about steps 1 and 2, lest they only be fucking you for the chance to be your baby mama.

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Richard Goznya October 10, 2014 at 5:08 pm

The farm system has worked for baseball for years. Kids in high school have a choice, go to college, get some education and delay a draft entry (maybe cash a big, fat check and play college ball) or go straight from high school into the farm system. How many of the top baseball players are college graduates?

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RHood2 October 10, 2014 at 5:22 pm

All these people graduating from universities with up to hundreds of thousands of dollars of student loan, private loan and credit card debt? The scholarships are worth a bunch, whereever they are at. You can’t poo poo the cost they save.

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RHood2 October 10, 2014 at 5:22 pm

All these people graduating from universities with up to hundreds of thousands of dollars of student loan, private loan and credit card debt? The scholarships are worth a bunch, whereever they are at. You can’t poo poo the cost they save.

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Roberto October 10, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Not only is the relationship between the NCAA and NFL cozy for the fat cats who get paid on the backs of these athletes, I think it is illegal. A kid has no choice but to enter college. He is not allowed to play in the NFL till be has been out of high school 3 years.

I wonder how many people in other firlds would enjoy that restraint of trade if they had to face it.

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Manray October 10, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Why are universities in the business of providing sports entertainment to a mass TV audience? We know the answer. Let’s allow the “fat cat” NFL owners to pay for their own farm system and return to universities as institutions of higher education.

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Thomas October 11, 2014 at 5:15 am

The days of the Stoops’ and the Sumlin’s making 5 million a year are numbered.

Four words to crush college football: Fall Experimental Football League

The FXFL will soon recruit out of highschools and offer paychecks and a road to the NFL. NFL rules state all prospective draftees must be at least three years removed from high school. Walla!

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tada October 11, 2014 at 6:51 am

Again, he should have just rapes someone and the school/NCAA would never even have investigated the matter problem solved, he could have won a he is an gone to NFL whateves.

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VoiceofReason October 11, 2014 at 7:58 am

There is so much more wrong than this in college athletics. The NCAA should start a 10 year plan to have athletes meet the same requirements as regular students. Break out the books boys and girls.

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