Paying College Athletes… Do You Care? Why?

    Pay College Athletes
    BobLee
    September23/ 2019

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    Paying College Athletes… Do You Really Care?  Why?

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    The Great Debate over “Paying College Athletes” lumbers on … like an aging pachyderm trudging across The Serengeti towards the mythical Elephant Graveyard.  Will it (the aging pachyderm) ever reach it’s final destination… or is it all about The Journey … not The Destination?

    NOTE:  I do NOT have strong feelings about The Issue.  While not as “long in the tooth” as Bre’r Kennel or “Coach” or even Prince Albert… I have lived long Fruit Cakeenough to know that nothing stays the same…

    … except a Claxton Fruit Cake.

    Big Time College Sports (BTCS) – as we Baby Boomers have known it –  has been evolving within our lifetime and will continue to do so…  “We” (at least most of us) have evolved.  Why can’t BTCS?

    The California legislature recently decreed that it IS OK to defecate in the streets of San Francisco – preferably not on historic Lombard Street – … it is not OK not to “pay college athletes”.  Then a New York state legislator – while not sure if a football is inflated or stuffed – proposed a similar edict.  It is only a matter of minutes before Beto O’Rourke, Alyssa Milano and “AOC” will weigh in… and then Hang On Sloopy!

    No one knows the exact moment that The Great Debate began.  I proffer that it was about the time that former NFLer Dexter Manley – a graduate (?) of Oklahoma State Univ – AKA “Boone Pickens U” – was, at age 35, discovered to have the reading comprehension of an average pre-kindergartener.  OUCH!  That was give/take 20-25 years ago.

    Dexter’s functional illiteracy exploded the comfortable myth that college athletes were bartering their blood, sweat and tears in exchange for “a legitimate college education”.  Leaving America’s hard-core sports fans with only the one myth that “all (any) Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders are virgins”.

    The “Play in exchange for a College Education” Barter worked remarkably well for all concerned.  “All concerned” defined as The NCAA – College Admins – College coaches – Fat Cat Boosters – and leather-lunged board monkeys far more concerned with why their idiot coach doesn’t throw more to the Tight End.

    ASIDE:  An annual poll of “leather-lunged board monkey fans” has, for the past 25 years, revealed that The Most Troublesome Issues in BTCS are … #1 – Throw more to the Tight End … #2 – Teach the Defensive Backs to “look back for the ball” … #3 – Drop the Death Penalty Hammer on our Hated Rival for their blatant cheating … and #4 – Why does ESPN (and every referee) Hate “Our School”?

    “Pay the student-athletes” never breaks into the Fans’ Top Ten Issues… and never will.

    The “… in exchange for a legitimate college education” myth was “a myth” long before colleges with 99.4% Caucasian student bodies began importing 100 or so Af Am “student-athletes” for the sole purpose of Just Win Baby.   Sure, that exaggerated the “myth” but “Jocks” making a mockery of academic rigor was an established reality long before there were face masks, Jumbotrons… and 85% AfAm two-deep depth charts.

    Yes… Millennials, there WAS a Pre-Jumbotron Era.  Find a copy of that infamous photo Steve Spurrier took of a certain scoreboard in Kenan Stadium.

    Now its 2019 and every Social Justice Warrior (SJW) worth his/her bleeding heart is DEMANDING that college athletes be paid.  Again… I’m fine with “paying them”… or not.

    I could debate any angle of this issue if called upon but – as a Lover of Chaos – I’d prefer to watch the endless ALLCAPS bandwidth expended on the subject.

    No one has yet addressed WHO gets paid / WHO does NOT get paid / HOW MUCH does WHO get paid / … and “if we pay them, will my school still have to play all noon games in September when it is really hot?”

    Does a 5-star QB get paid “X” … and a walk-on Field Hockey goalie (does Field Hockey HAVE goalies?) get paid “Y”.

    Does a QB get paid more than a Deep Snapper?  They DO in The NFL.  UNC had a former QB switch to Linebacker… would his $$$ be effected?

    Does “paying athletes” only apply to Big Time Athletic Programs?  Define “Big Time”?

    If the athlete is only getting paid for the use of his “likeness” in promotional advertising… if colleges use generic figures in their advertising can they avoid paying altogether. … except, of course, for the “$1,000 handshakes” from Fat Cats after “a good game”.   NO ONE is suggesting THAT be eliminated.  Certain “traditions” are sacred.

    To The Above Rhetorical Question:

    Do YOU care whether “college athletes get paid” or not?  … WHY do you care?

    So long as the gladiators on the playing field / court that are wearing your school’s “colors” whup the gladiators wearing your hated rivals’ “colors”… isn’t Bragging Rights all that really matters.

    Whether your gladiators or their gladiators “go to class” … or “get paid” … or “beat up their girlfriends” … or … or … doesn’t really matter, does it?  So long as the playing field is level… and even then “your hated rival” is still going to cheat… right?

    Sure… every school’s fan base contains a few “traditionalists” who still bristle that there is commercial advertising in Our Sacred Stadium.  Unless those “traditionalists” are Very Very Fat Cats who threaten to revise their wills relative to “… and to my Alma Mater I bequeath the ungodly sum of …” nobody much cares.

    I PREDICT… There Will Be some form of “payment system” within 5 years … certainly within 7-8.

    Where will the $$$ come from?  Not to worry… the $$$ will come from Secret Foundations (?) and/or from the same bottomless Fat Cat deep pockets that pay for those silly Indoor Practice Facilities and palatial locker rooms with oodles of “charging stations”.   Joe Fan with his foam finger and D-Fence sign will be spared.

    It will NOT effect “tailgating” or halftime pass-outs … or your right to bitch about “not throwing more to the Tight End”.

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    Theres More

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    Bet you didn’t know that …. UNC’s Legendary Women’s Soccer Coach – Anson Dorrancespoke to the Chapel Hill Sports Club last week.  I was not present but was informed by a reliable source who was. … What was expected to be a typical “How’s the team gonna do this season, Coach?” talk kinda went off the rails.

    In a choked-up, almost tearful admission… Coach Dorrance went all-guns-ablazing into the issue of Lesbians Playing Soccer.

    I’m paraphrasing here… he acknowledged that his multi-decades of umpteen National Champion teams have included “many lesbians” and they are all very fine people.  He got specific that he has known America’s Most InFamous Lesbian Soccer Player – Megan Rapinoe – for many years and she, likewise, is a very fine person.

    I’d have paid cash money to see… the facial reactions of the assembled Chapel Hill Sports Club members.  96.8% of CHSC members are quite comfortable believing… (1) Dean Smith was “born of a virgin and was resurrected on the 3rd day” … and, of course, that (2) all State and Duke fans are “pure evil on a soda cracker”.

    Was Coach Dorrance asked “Why are Lebanese(?) girls such good soccer players?”  My source did not say.  I would not be surprised.

    UNC’s new WBB Coach was not in attendance…

    BTW… seating on that Mack2.0 Bandwagon is now readily available … sigh.  No reservations required.

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    Theres More

     

    I PLEDGE TO YOU… Henceforth, I WILL post a new BLSays column EVERY MONDAY AM.  I promise!

    My laxity in posting has been 100% due to Lack of Self-Discipline.   I am NOT “burned-out” or devoid of Incredible Insights AT ALL.   This world is more chaotically YeeeHaa than ever. Reminding you of that fact is still my personal raison d’etre.

    I start each day with a brisk 3-5 mile walk with a rip-roarin’ audible book.  Getting close to 3,000 miles total!  I get back home… rehydrate … overflowing with all good intentions.  Then somehow it’s time for “the Cardinals’ game” and the day is done.  Where’d It Go?

    In 20+ years, I have never had a posting deadline or an editor barking in my ear.  I simply churned out 2200 commentaries one at a time.  I figure I have AT LEAST another 1,500+ in me.

    I might post MORE than One Every Monday… but, for sure, you will start your new week with A New BobLeeSays … or the occasional re-post of an Old Favorite.  In the past month, three different folks have told me how much PDEW – Pretty Down East Women changed their lives… YIKES!

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    A Lot More BobLeeSays Columns … LINK

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    BobLee
    • Doug Reply
      3 weeks ago

      One can only assume the honorable members -the old guard DES faction- of the CHSC might not share the same world view as some of the current members of the UNC student body, but then again I often caution myself and others about making assumptions.

      • BobLee Reply
        3 weeks ago

        I can assure you THAT is correct. My source is of the “old guard” persuasion. He found the discussion of the Soccer Sisters of Sappho to be somewhat disconcerting.

    • Wolfdon Reply
      3 weeks ago

      On a far more important note, C J Box has written a new book “Bitterroots” and once again the main character references a past assignment which required a visit to Wilson NC.with the police. Hope you read it.

      • BobLee Reply
        3 weeks ago

        I have indeed read Bitterroots. But have not read the earlier ones re: the serial killer and Cassie. I thought Cassie could have used “Nate” on several occasions.

    • Concerned Reader Reply
      3 weeks ago

      I officially release you from your honorable pledge to post a new commentary every Monday….I implore my fellow readers to do the same.
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      So much of the allure of your website has been the quality of the content, not the quantity…I like to take a week of more week to ruminate and digest your writing, as well as the insights of your readers.
      .
      Please don’t let the pressure of a self-imposed and arbitrary deadline effect insight and intuition.
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      I’d be happy if you only posted when the spirit moved you.
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      Until then, I’ll anxiously wait.
      .
      P.S. – Please don’t take my comments as “preachy” or “bossy” or “pushy”….I just really enjoy reading your writings and your banter with your readers…Maybe it’s a case of “You’re the smartest guy that I know because you think just like I do.” 🙂

      • BobLee Reply
        3 weeks ago

        WOW! I do appreciate your concern. Really! But…
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        I DO have a number of “deep thoughts” I want to share… and get a real personal pleasure doing so. So, my renewed commitment to at least a weekly BLSays column has a selfish motive. Very rarely over the past 20 years have I ever thought … I’m not really inspired to write anything today but I can always come up with some “filler” about _____”.
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        I get the sense with some “successful” novelists that they often “mail in” an uninspired effort knowing their name on the cover guarantees X #s of sales regardless. I don’t have a publisher/editor deadline so I am totally self-motivated.
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        The #1 issue I wrestle with is The Two Worlds I live in – SocioPolitical and NOT-Political – It is really difficult to keep them separate. I am not always successful in doing so.
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        I REALLY appreciate your comments. I am printing them out and will keep them at hand as a daily reminder. 🙂

    • Doug Reply
      3 weeks ago

      When/if player compensation begins, there is a simple and proven model for it. Payroll. Some “employees” contribute more to organizational success and are compensated at a higher rate than those contributing less. Capitalism. No problem. I’ll get out of the way and let them figure it out, or not.

      In football, if Mr Kennel’s suggestion comes to fruition, the Big Four can continue with decades of friendly mediocrity with so little at stake other than the typical meathead BM’s banter.

      • BobLee Reply
        3 weeks ago

        Several decades ago I proposed a Southern Ivies Conference of “The NC Big Four” – Vanderbilt – UVA – Navy – Army – etc. Where there was a true commitment to a proper blending of Academics & Athletics. Needless to say the Bombastic Bloviations of Bragging Rights-Obsessed Boosters would not hear of such a sacrilege. … sigh!
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        A “payroll concept” with varying levels of compensation – LIKE IN THE REAL WORLD – would prepare post-adolescents for THE REAL WORLD! ….. What A Concept!

    • James Gaster Reply
      3 weeks ago

      Big fan of Claxton Fruitcake, college & pro sports not so much. Actually a slice of fruit cake and a cup of strong black coffee would be pretty good right mow. Wonder if the cakes have hit the store yet. I don’t really care if the athletes are officially paid or not, I think we may both outlast the NCAA.

      • BobLee Reply
        3 weeks ago

        I have never understood the Anti-FruitCake mindset and Claxton has become The Generic fruit cake. I agree that a slice of fruit cake – Claxton or otherwise – is a fine complement to one’s morning coffee.

    • Queen City Reply
      3 weeks ago

      I’m really confused what is going on with certain states legislating paying college athletes. The good news is this will continue to further expose the college tuition scam that University Presidents conveniently ignore. Tuitions continue to rise to unaffordable levels yet their is not enough money for “actual” students in academic scholarships or grants. However, locker rooms, practice facilities and classroom buildings to house the center for poverty and inequality continues to be funded.

      • BobLee Reply
        3 weeks ago

        The politicians behind the various state legislations are knee-jerking to appease what they see as “the voters want”. They are clueless of the consequences.

    • Former96heel Reply
      3 weeks ago

      I’m with you, I really don’t care…but it will end up costing us in unintended consequences. Most schools can’t afford the $1m a year to pay 100 kids 10k. That means higher fees and more subsidies to universities. Which pocket the money comes from is irrelevant, market forces never work against academia. You, I, and a whole lot of people who could care less would end up paying for Bubba’s stipend

      • BobLee Reply
        3 weeks ago

        We know for sure that coaches salaries are NOT going down nor is the frantic drive to WIN driven by boosters. The #1 source of revenues is TV. So, is there a “Thats Enough” point that ESPN et al will pay for broadcast rights?
        .
        Will “small colleges” start eliminating sports at a higher rate that they already do?

    • RaleighJacket Reply
      3 weeks ago

      I used to be opposed to paying player who generate revenue for the same reasons as previously mentioned. I was a student athlete for part of my college career and I did appreciate the college education that was funded. However, I am changing my mind. The money involved and the fact that college FB and BB athletes are not offered the option to immediately pursue a professional career after high school has led me in the opposite direction. This could be solved in model of college baseball where a high school athlete could sign a contract out of high school or commit to being in college for 3 years.
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      To answer the question about how you could fund paying athletes and whether it would unfairly tip the scales in favor of the wealthiest university sports programs, here’s an article from Patrick Hruby that addresses those issues: https://www.patrickhruby.net/2018/03/this-is-how-to-pay-college-athletes.html .

      • BobLee Reply
        3 weeks ago

        NO plan will eliminate “cheating”. Pay every FB/MBB player $50K and the school that promises an extra $20K via some backdoor scheme will get those valuing $$$ above all else.
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        IMO… there has to be a universal pay scale that levels the “tuition” variances. Regardless, Fat Cats will do what Fat Cats always do… “beat the system” because they can.

    • Ted.N.Grifton Reply
      3 weeks ago

      Coach Dorrance’s “Lesbians Are Nice People & Really Good Soccer Players Too” speech must have been A HOOT! The reactions of a roomful of The Old Wellers must have been classic. Can we assume there was no accompanying video of …. well, you know?
      .
      As a veteran BLSays reader, do I even need to add “we probably won’t be reading about THIS anywhere else…”. LOL!

      • BobLee Reply
        3 weeks ago

        Had there been a video of “well, you know” I am certain my Reliable Source would have mentioned it. Multiple cases of “the vapors” would have resulted, I expect.
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        In retrospect it might have been impactful had Anson brought along three of his players… announced that “one of these girls is a Lesbian” and had the club members vote on which one?

    • Bob Kennel Reply
      3 weeks ago

      BL, Good for you for a Monday morning wake-up. It might match the weekly essays written by Dr. Assad Meymandi, by far the smartest (and nicest) person I’ve ever known.
      As for the Claxton, I’d steal it. Love them to a fault and usually buy one around Christmas and keep it here in my office to snack on for a month or more. I’ll need it writing my next extended essay on “21st Century Letters to the Editor” :>))
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      About paying athletes, I am in favor of paying a “fixed amount”, maybe $10K, into an account which they receive only at graduation.
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      I’m a firm believer that a college education is a sufficient recruiting inducement for any athlete that I’d want at NC State. Can’t really speak or change what other Universities do (tried that with “Tale of Two Scandals”) but I can have an input where my heart is.
      .
      Fifteen years ago, I began a program at NC State called BASE (Beyond Academic Support Excellence). It had the buy-in of the Provost, AD, Director of the Academic Support Program, and Coaches. It included former athletes from 23 programs and had four goals:
      Improve graduation rates;
      Provide a continuous networking from day 1 for current athletes with accomplished Varsity Club alumni;
      Improve Sportsmanship by asking every fan to sign the same agreement that every athlete had to sign before they could play (play fair, cheer your team, respect the competition)
      Provide unique recruiting tool primarily for parents/guardians showing NC State cared about their child beyond just the athletic program.
      .
      The BASE Program went well for 5 years until Woodson and Yow came onboard and independently ask me to shut the program down because they just could not take the risk of former athletes (no matter how well vetted) interacting with current athletes. This also at the time that Carolina was starting to smell fishy.
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      Since that time I’ve still been close enough to coaches and some individual athletes to truly believe in the college education for scholarship trade-off, even recognizing there will be a few rotten eggs among the 570 scholarship athletes. Some might call that Pollyannaish, or blind loyalty, but it works for me at NC State, and I speak up on anything that looks fishy here. I’m still pleased with the across-the-board leadership at State from Chancellor through coaches and athletes I’ve met and talked with about the issue.
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      As for this past weekend, Ball State had a good quarterback and App State had a good Coach:>))

      • BobLee Reply
        3 weeks ago

        I’d go for an Interest-accruing Trust Account payable Upon Graduation. Alas, I don’t see any proposal being accepted that emphasizes Academics above “Just Win” Sports. If anything, Academics might be made “optional”… sigh!
        .
        The Cardinals’ 4-Game SWEEP of The CCubs in Wrigley were as exciting 4-games as I’ve ever watched. Multiple 9th Inning Heroics like every boy dreams of playing Wiffle Ball in his backyard. Joe Maddon is “a dead man walking” but will quickly be offered 2-3 other MLB manager gigs.

    • Babs.N.Derm Reply
      3 weeks ago

      Until recently, I felt strongly about not paying student athletes. Reasons: 1) They are not pros. 2) They are on scholarships. Their contribution to the school for a free education is to play the sport. When most don’t go pro, they’ll have a degree in something where they will be more marketable for jobs. 3) Where money is involved, there’s always a problem. Trying to keep them from getting paid from shifty agents or alum is an issue at this point. 4) Athletes get a lot of perks, and it’s not like the need a lot of money to throw around.
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      Present time: I don’t care anymore. I don’t care what they do because I don’t watch nor have any interest in them. I don’t even care if it’s not fair for other students that don’t get scholarships because I don’t care about the universities, at all. If they were to all dissipate tomorrow, it would be okay with me.

      • BobLee Reply
        3 weeks ago

        As I recall, when we first met, you were quite the enthusiastic fan of your Alma Mater’s teams. I fear I have corrupted you over these past 15 or so years. 🙂 ..
        .
        The thought of “What will I do for the 50 years after Football” has not been a concern with highly-recruited athletes for several decades. By the time THAT reality hits… his eligibility has expired and most of his joints are doomed to be replaced.

    • NCSU68Grad Reply
      3 weeks ago

      We wuffies would have been more vocal and/or attended the “votive candle” ceremony on Saturday night at UNC where the “we have a spare effigy of Silent Sam left over….should we dress it up like Coach Brown and do a KKK routine?” folks met. WRAL did not have Sky5 hovering over the masses of stunned fans were still crying on Franklin street. StubHub has suspended trading UNCFB tickets.
      .
      BUT alas and a lack, we sat through an even worse performance (albeit with a W), so there was no wearing of the RED at church Sunday not gloating over the EX OC from Raleigh embarrassing the Senior Citizen HFBC @ UNC.
      .
      PAY ‘EM. Cut all the NCAA employees as well as the ACC staff’s salary. 95% for the top goobers like Swofford then maybe 50% for the lower echelons as they “played the game”.
      .
      BTW, it does not take a PhD in Civil Engineering to know that Lombard Street is the APPROVED SF Defecation Location. Rain and Gravity and the constant barrage of tourista traffic keep it in much better shape than the rest of the place.
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      Welcome back.
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      Comment…coaches do strange things. Attended my HS 50th a few years back. Only 3 or 4 faculty still alive. Our BB coach got up and made kind remarks about our team. He pulled the EPIC and cut all upperclassmen and started our class and had two miserable seasons and then we started to win. Our class, he said was special and he still believed in us.
      .
      OK….nice tribute. Take the MIC away. Then he got tearful and wanted to “set the record straight “. He NEVER had sex with a certain young lady, whom was an upper class woman that he also coached. Rumors were unfounded. However, when he concentrated on the men and we hired two different GIRLS BB, he had to turn a blind eye to certain obvious signs.
      .
      Even those of us that can barely hear heard the proverbial pin drop. Never give a coach a mic and let him tear up…..

      • BobLee Reply
        3 weeks ago

        I did see a Twitter duel between a State galoot and a UNC galoot over their respective opponents this past Saturday. It followed the Descent Into Sheer Idiocy of all previous such duels twixt rival galoots.
        .
        Rumored liaisons between faculty members is pretty much a standard at all high schools of our era. Along with “whats in the meatloaf” and the weird janitor rumored to be a serial killer.

    • Porcophile Reply
      3 weeks ago

      “Nothing stays the same… except a Claxton Fruit Cake.”
      One of your best lines ever, BobLee. I’m going to steal it.

      • BobLee Reply
        3 weeks ago

        Would you believe.. I built the entire column around That Line! Feel free to steal it BUT beware that when you do Someone will say “THAT sounds like something BobLee would say!” …. 🙂

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