NFL

Reggie Bush, Libertarian Martyr

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Say that you're a hyper-talented high-school running back. Congratulations! In the near future you could be worshipped by millions, raking in national championships, and cruising through two years of college en route to a lucrative NFL gig. Or you could snap your ACL on your next down and condemn yourself to a life of pumping gas. Someone—an agent, a recruiter, someone connected with the most storied college football program in the country—offers you more money than you've ever seen in your life. Suitcases of money. Money that you've earned through being one of the best in the world at what you do. It's also money that could act as insurance against the whole ACL-tear gas-pumping scenario. You feel you deserve it. After all, the country's best 18-year-old actor of singer gets to cash in. So why not the country's best 18-year-old running back? 

One wonders what moron among us wouldn't do the exact thing that forced former University of Southern California running back Reggie Bush to give up his Heisman trophy yesterday. The NCAA's stringent recruitment rules punishes players for making perfectly logical decisions about their own financial futures, and then punishes completely innocent players by penalizing entire football programs. They are also fundamentally socialistic: after all, not every school can afford to systematically bribe its recruits the way USC can, and the draconian lengths to which the NCAA will go in order to keep money out of the college game helps maintain a certain level of parity (i.e. nine different programs won a national championship this past decade).

But the NCAA shouldn't impugn the integrity of its most talented players—or punish its most successful programs—in the name of artificial competitive purity. The unpleasant truth is that cheating pays in college football. Cheating made millions for USC (for its football program and for its students), as well as for Bush, who now has a Superbowl ring, and for former USC coach Pete Carroll, who now coaches the NFL's Seattle Seahawks. It's completely worth it! In fact, the NCAA's recruitment rules are so absurd that the agent for the most famous football player in America is calling for radical libertarian reform.

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  1. Yawn. Let the NCAA set their own rules (no pay for play). Let the NFL set their own rules (no pay until 3 years after your high school class graduated). The libertarian solution would be to found a pro league for 18-21 year olds. They can enter the NFL draft after 3 years in the junior league.

    I also expect more NBA prospects to do the year in Europe thing going forward.

    1. Just to clarify, probably want to make it 3-5 year league, some guys, like linemen, need 5 years of development. So, more like 18-23 or something.

    2. “The libertarian solution would be to found a pro league for 18-21 year olds.”

      Everyone thinks this is a good idea, has been for decades, and yet no fruition. I think that speaks to the power of monopoly with little “coercive” (in the uber-libertarian sense) power.

    3. The majority of all NHL players come from Canadian Major Junior leagues (WHL, OHL, QMJHL) that are for 16-21 years olds. Only in the last 10 years are European and NCAA players starting to make a dent in the NHL.

      The NCAA is just retarded regarding no stipends for their athletes.

      1. “The majority of all NHL players come from Canadian Major Junior leagues.”

        That’s because sports scholarships are an extreme rarity in Canadian universities, and in the NCAA hockey is an afterthought.

        As a result, few hockey players ever go to college, and most never make it to the big leagues. There are lots of washed-up hockey prospects out there pumping gas, and playing in weeknight beer leagues.

        That said, a couple of kids I went to high school with did make the NHL, and made more money in their relatively short careers than I’ll ever make in mine… even with my two degrees.

        1. That may be changing since all 3 leagues have guaranteed 1 year paid college per 1 year played in the league up to 5 years. This was implemented several years ago to address this and also to lure college minded U.S. kids.

  2. I didn’t realize that giving back a trophy, while keeping the millions of dollars you’ve earned as a result of winning said trophy, qualifies one as a martyr. Where can I sign up for my martyrdom?

    1. Not to mention keeping the money that led to you having to give back the trophy.

  3. Two questions:

    1. Who are you?
    2. In what way does this have fuck-all to do with libertarianism?

    Also:

    Someone?an agent, a recruiter, someone connected with the most storied college football program in the country

    Unless you are talking about Michigan or Notre Dame, please hush, new kid.

    1. Until last saturday, Ga State was the winningest program in college football history (by win percentage). Michigan is back to #1 after being #2 for a week.

      1. Current 1A teams only, please.

        1. Yeah, real teams like Ole Miss and Virginia Tech. None of these pussy FBS teams…

          1. FCS. FBS is Football Bowl Subdivision.

            1. Ugh… This was so much easier when it was D-I and D-II.

              1. You mean D-1A and D-1AA.

                People always called FCS teams D2, but they werent.

                So, no, wasnt any easier.

                1. Okay, I give up. This is what happens when you go to a school that’s D-1AA-non-scholarship in football. (And in hindsight, since I knew my school was 1AA-non-scholarship, I should’ve also known that it was 1A and 1AA rather than I and II. Whatever.)

                  1. As an aside, I went to the D1 championship game last year. That is what the NCAA calls the FCS title game, not D1AA, not FCS, its the Divison One Championship Game.

                    It makes me lol.

                    Oh and Villanova brought like 6 people to Chattanooga, while the entire state of Montana showed up. And they all drove.

        2. I think you missed the joke. GSU is only 2 games old, they were perfect after week 1 but fell to .500 week 2.

      2. Don’t worry, Rodriguez will cure Michigan of that problem. RMFT

    2. Michigan? Notre Dame? What the fuck, TAO. Aren’t you from Columbus?

      1. Yes, and I even attend The Ohio State. I was trying to avoid bias and I was sticking to the traditional definition of “storied”, though OSU might qualify.

        1. I’ve got one son at The OSU, another just started at Ohio University, which plays the Buckeyes in the ‘Shoe Saturday — and tickets to the game for all. I’m secretly hoping that OU makes a game of it so son #2 can shut son #1 up temporarily, at least about football.

          1. OU’s not going to make a game of it.

            Anyway, as soon as I get outta this place, I look forward to darkening the door of The OSU College of Law once again.

            1. Hey, is Peter Swire still at OSU Law?

              1. Sorry — I don’t know anybody at The Law School.

    3. 1. Who are you?

      http://bwog.com/2010/05/13/senior-wisdom-armin-rosen/

      H&R commenters deserve an open thread to criticize interns’ choice of hairstyle, wardrobe, music, and lifestyle choices (give up oral sex over cheese? Really? you must have never dated a chubby chick)

      1. Are you saying chubby chicks will give you blowjobs if you hang cheese over their heads? Wish I had known that in college…

        1. Chubby chix are reputed to compensate for their looks with superior enthusiasm.

    4. Give Saban a decade and we’ll be in unanimous agreement over the answer.

    5. You mean Alabama. And I say that as a Florida alumnus.

  4. “One wonders what moron among us wouldn’t do the exact thing that forced former University of Southern California running back Reggie Bush to give up his Heisman trophy yesterday.”

    One wonders how little you apparently know about college sports to say such a thing. Case in point Des Bryant. Des Bryant had lunch with an agent and then lied about it to the NCAA. He was suspended for an entire year. As a result instead of going in the top five of this year’s draft he went number 24 and cost himself millions.

    When Bush took that money he risked being kicked off the USC team and watching his draft stock fall and losing millions in the NFL. It was a stupid risk for a relatively small amount of money.

    First, these athletes are compensated. They get their college paid for, have private tutors, and live in luxury. Is it the millions you get in the pros? No. But I don’t think taking a job that pays you in great room and board and fours years of free college is exactly roughing it.

    Further, if you want to blame anyone for colleges not paying players, don’t blame the NCAA blame Congress for passing title IX. There is no way colleges could get away with paying just players from revenue producing sports under Title IX. They would have to pay all athletes. And there is not enough money to do that. The money these teams make for universities mostly goes to support non revenue producing sports and to build gold plated facilities. Even if they wanted to pay football players, they couldn’t do it.

    As for Bush, everyone else lives by the rules, why couldn’t he?

    1. “As for Bush, everyone else lives by the rules, why couldn’t he?”

      Ah, the sweet siren song of the true authoritarian…

      1. Oh please… Nobody forced him to play D-1 football.

        1. Just like noone forces someone to work in a field in a union shop state where only union members can be employed, but you people bitch about that.

          1. Peter Noone forces people to work in union shops ? What a prick.

            1. I initially read your comment as “Peter North forces people to work in union shops ? What a prick.” That would’ve been funnier.

              1. Is he your favorite porn star?

      2. Oh shut the fuck up you twat. Saying that a private organization has rules and Bush voluntarily went to USC and agreed to abide by them is not being authoritarian. The NCAA says you can’t take money. No one said Bush had to go to USC. It is not like he was going to go to jail if he didn’t.

        1. If you want to play pro football you have to go through the NCAA. I guess he was “free” to not try to be a pro football player…

          1. The name “Maurice Clarette” suddenly comes to mind…

            1. Or Bush’s classmate at SC, Mike Williams, who tried to go pro before the 2004 season but wasn’t allowed by the NFL, then faded into obscurity. No matter how talented a college player might seem, the pro game is a different matter altogether, and there should be no bar on a Reggie Bush receiving whatever he can get, whether he is a student or not.

              1. Mike Williams faded into obscurity because he didn’t know how to run proper routes, couldn’t block and had a 40 time slower than my deceased mother’s. If you have game, it translates.

                1. He did fine last Sunday. Mike Williams got screwed over by the NCAA. The NCAA’s draconian rules are moronic. When I was in grad school, I tutored a guy on the football team. He had to bring over his own drinks and foot because if I gave him a soda or ordered pizza for a late night study session it was considered a gift and an NCAA violation.

                  1. Well I’m certainly glad you didn’t give him YOUR foot!

                  2. Argh. Foot should be food.

          2. Antonio Gates thinks you’re an idiot.

            1. Kent State isn’t in the NCAA?

              1. It is, but he didn’t play football in college. Gates played basketball. He went undrafted until he got work outs with certain teams.

        2. “Saying that a private organization has rules and Bush voluntarily went to USC and agreed to abide by them is not being authoritarian.”

          Perhaps not, but the attitude of “we have rules and everyone follows them, why not you, I’m so angry you didn’t follow the rules I submit to” is the essence of comformist authoritarianism imo…

          1. Again, it has nothing to do with authoritarianism. Bush voluntarily agreed to abide by the rules. Yes, his alternative was to not play football at all, but too bad. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

  5. The NCAA is a public-private mess, due in part to the many public schools which are a part of it (so it is recognized as a quasi-“state actor” in the law). It also works hard to enact laws that affect people not voluntarily under its province. And of course it’s virtual monopoly status makes the whole idea of voluntariness silly.

    1. It is totally voluntary. Baseball players are free to tell the NCAA to fuck themselves and sign contracts out of high school. So are hockey players and tennis players. The only reason football and basketball players can’t is because the NFL and NBA have what amounts to effective monopolies. That is not the NCAAs fault.

      The NCAA because of its connection with colleges and alumni, have the ability to market like no other minor league sport can. That is an advantage the market gives them not the government. We don’t have 18-21 year old basketball and football leagues in this country because there isn’t a market for it unless it is associated with a college. Yeah that fact sucks for 18-21 year old football and basketball players. But so what? A lot of things in life suck.

      1. “The only reason football and basketball players can’t is because the NFL and NBA have what amounts to effective monopolies. That is not the NCAAs fault.”

        It’s 50% their fault.

        Essentially its the kind of thing anti-trust laws should address. Competition and freedom are hampered by this kind of agreement by two monopolies.

        1. Competition might be, but freedom isn’t.

      2. Did you read the agent’s proposals?

        Anyways, college football does not need the NCAA to thrive. People like you and me would love the sport without an NCAA.

        1. “Anyways, college football does not need the NCAA to thrive. People like you and me would love the sport without an NCAA.”

          We would love it without the NCAA. But we wouldn’t love it without the colleges. The only reason any sport is interesting is because of the rooting interest the fan has in it. The college connection is what makes it interesting. And the colleges decided to form the NCAA. That was their choice and their right. The colleges don’t owe us or anyone else an ideal system.

          1. BTW, the NCAA was basically forced on the football enthusiasts at the colleges as a result of political agitation vs. football. Their self-gov’t was apparently thought to be inadequate.

      3. Wrong. Wally Olson explained it to me. The colleges have a huge tax advantage. They can structure their income as tax-deductible donations, and hide their profits as eleemosynary expenditures. Private for-profit clubs can’t compete with that.

  6. “It’s also money that could act as insurance against the whole ACL-tear gas-pumping scenario.”

    Or he could have done what lots of other blue-chip recruits do: take out an actual fucking insurance policy that pays out if you get injured.

    fail.

    1. And note that the insurance policies in the case of stars tend to have no upfront payments– the premiums are taken out of their income after they’re drafted if they aren’t injured, and out of the payouts if they are.

      1. Heard a guy from one of the insurance companies on the radio once. He said his company had never paid out on one of those contracts, because the studs that get the contracts, never get career ending injuries. They may get an injury that knocks them from Rnd 1 to Rnd 7, “but hey, still in NFL, not our problem”.

        He said he wasnt sure if any of the other companies had ever had to pay out or not, but basically, policies are cheap.

    2. How much does an insurance policy cost that could pay out even close to what a high pick could make in the NFL? I’m wondering if only the already well-off could afford this kind of insurance policy.

      1. They don’t get policies for the $50 million signing bonus Bradford got from the rams, they get a policy worth 1 or 2 million dollars so they aren’t pumping gas in Rosen’s scenario. And besides, if these players get their degrees, they don’t need to pump gas. Rosen’s whole argument is a failure. He wants people to break the rules in a voluntary agreement. I thought libertarians wanted contracts to be enforced.

  7. Sorry, the NCAA’s compliance rules don’t have anything to do with libertarianism.

    Besides, Reggie Bush only got caught because he refused to pay back the guy who loaned him all that money.

    That’s a qualification for martyrdom how?

  8. The libertarian solution would be to stop all funding of high school and college football and let the NFL clubs pay for their own youth development. If soccer clubs in Europe are able to do this I’m sure the NFL will find a way as well.

    1. I completely agree. Unfortunately, schools depend too much on the revenue from college sports so it ain’t gonna change any time soon.

      1. Schools don’t depend on revenue from college sports for shit. All that money from tickets and merchandise goes right back to the athletic department. The only area where big time college sports might help a school in general is greater exposure nationwide which leads to more students applying.

        1. Very few of them break even, so they really dont depend on them.

        2. Interesting. I just assumed that programs like ND and Florida were making bank with their TV contracts, etc. I can definitely tell you that schools see an intrinsic value to having football programs even if they suck. My school’s piece of crap, non-scholarship football program is a joke but the administration doesn’t want to get rid of it because they think it will hurt recruiting.

          1. Notre Dame and Florida are amongst the elite few in the black. The Georgia Tech Athletic Association is supposedly an independent organization and thus has to run in the black, but they have stadium debt weighing them down, and I bet that debt is backed by the state.

    2. What about college football programs that are self-supporting?

      1. Once the football programms that aren’t self-supporting are gone I doubt the ones that are currently self-supporting will have many opponets left to play against. (standard libertarian disclaimer: if all education was private, as it should be, we wouldn’t even have to have this discussion).

      2. There’s less than 20, if my alumni magazine can be believed.

  9. correction: all government funding. If private high schools and colleges want to fund football, that’s fine.

    1. of course, if done right, all high schools and colleges would be private at that point.

  10. One wonders what moron among us wouldn’t do the exact thing that forced former University of Southern California running back Reggie Bush to give up his Heisman trophy yesterday.

    I don’t know anything about college sports, but I suspect that many people would choose differently from Bush. He knew the rules, and had to weigh the costs/risks against the potential benefits. I doubt that everybody would consider the benefits worth the risks.

    In any case, it was his choice to make, so I don’t get how he could be a “libertarian martyr”. Libertarianism promises that you can make your own choices, not that you will be guaranteed that all of your choices will work out the way you want them to.

  11. I don’t even understand why the rules exist, beyond some fantasy notion of the purity of academia.

    But whatever. It’s their rules. He broke ’em. He paid the piper with his silly trophy. And now he’s rich and has a Superbowl ring.

    1. The rules exist because the NCAA wants to maintain some kind of parity between its member schools and keep costs down. If colleges or alumni were able to pay players, bidding wars would develop among schools. It would cost a fortune and ensure that only a few schools got all the best talent. The NCAA wants to avoid that. The “amateurism” rules have nothing to do with amateurism. They are just an enforced salary cap.

      1. Amusingly, this means that private schools have a larger salary cap than public schools (a full ride to Duke has a higher $ value than a full ride to Bama). Yet somehow, Alabama is going to crush Duke this weekend.

        1. That is assuming that the money value of the education is the only thing that matters. Players also value winning, the chance to make the NFL, and the connections and glory associated with playing. If you consider all of those factors, Duke doesn’t have a chance.

          1. Of course, and this has been a change in the last 50 years. As the NFL boomed with TV in the 60s, Duke crashed and burned. Duke was upper echelon in football in the 50s. And the 50s were the golden years for my alma mater, Georgia Tech, for much the same reason (although, pro sports coming to Atlanta in the late 60s was the biggest reason for our fall off).

            1. For 1950-1959, Duke ranked #25 in winning percentage.

              Oklahoma was #1, GT #7, Notre Dame #20, Michigan #39.

              1. In the late 1930s the Alabama football coach left to go to Duke. It was considered an upgrade. No kidding.

            2. Having lived in Atlanta I think what hurts G-Tech is that it is such a big engineering school. It is full of nerdy guys. UGA on the other hand has more women than men. Not that that there are not pretty girls at GT, but UGA just has an ungodly number of beautiful coeds. If I were a high school jock in Georgia wanting to stay close to home, that would make the decision for me. I doubt I am alone.

              1. If you are a jock and you cant find college tail in Atlanta, you are doing something wrong. Most especially if you are black. Spelman College handles that.

                There is no shortage of women for college guys in Atlanta in general, even with Tech being 74% male (improved over my time there!). Now, if you are a nerdy engineering-type, you could be at Florida St and you still arent getting any.

                Agnes Scott College – getting Tech geeks laid since 1889.

                1. LOL. I thought Agnes Scott was full of super rich princesses. Isn’t there something off about any woman that chooses to go to an all women’s college? I think I would go for Emory or Oglethorp before Agnes Scott.

                  And don’t forget Clark Atlanta when it comes to black coed tail.

                  1. That’s my point, lots of options. Morehouse too. And Georgia State.

                    I knew some Emory and Agnes Scott women, and the AS ones were a bit more normal (sample size small in both cases, YMMV). Plus, flirting with some Scotties successfully made the hottest woman I have ever known jealous, so +++s to them for that. Smoothest move my geeky self ever pulled off.

                    1. The other thing that hurts Tech is that I think you actually have to go to study there. There are a lot fewer rocks for jocks types of courses there than there is at UGA.

                    2. Closest thing Tech has to a joke major is Management. Even though engineers make fun of it, it is still a world away from kinesiology or communications.

                2. Hmm. My parents went to GT and Agnes Scott, so I guess I’m living proof of your assertion.

                  1. It’s called Anxious Twat for a reason.

                3. This is bullshit. I went to Florida State. If you aren’t getting any, it’s because you are seriously not trying. Plenty of us nerds not only got some, we got it from several of the beautiful people. The Christian chicks who arrive on campus expecting to graduate as pure as the driven snow don’t make it past the first semester with their virginity intact. The fight song should have a line about everyone getting laid. It’s that easy.

              2. It is not so much the nerdy, it’s that as an engineering school GA-Tech does not have many academic tracks that an athlete can just coast through on. A lot of top football scholar-athletes are not terribly committed to the scholar aspect and you cannot do that in technical disciplines.

            3. You’ve got the best stat of all, man: 222?0.

              Does Cumberland even have a football team anymore?

        2. Duke expects its students to attend class and graduate. Alabama doesn’t.

          A Notre Dame, Northwestern, Duke or Stanford degree is worth more (based on non-sports incomes of grads) than an Auburn, OU or Tennessee degree. However, because the former group expects its athletes to study and graduate (all >90% grad rate), while the latter treats class like a distraction from football (

      2. What’s wrong with bidding wars over college athletes? The argument that it would benefit only a few schools is discredited by the fact that there is parity in pro sports, which have very intense bidding wars over athletes. The colleges have compulsory amateurism as a rule for the same reason baseball had a reserve clause for a century, to keep the athletes in a subordinate role while profiting at their expense.

        1. There is nothing wrong with bidding wars over athletes. If you think you can offer a better deal than the NCAA, go start a minor league of your own. Good luck. But the NCAA doesn’t owe athletes the best deal possible. And they can voluntarily chose to restrain themselves. If you don’t like that, go use your own money and set up a competing league. But stop trying to spend other people’s money to obtain what you think is fair.

  12. HAHAHAHAHAHA

    The Seahawks couldn’t win if Superman played for them as a free agent. Carroll, like every other Seahawks coach, is a loser.

    Honestly, while watching the Mariners play Boston last night, I looked across to Qwest Field and wondered if the Seahawks would win. Ever.

    1. How about Big Papi’s blast last night?

      1. Only Ichiro matters. Seriously, he and Figgis are the only ones who can get a base hit for the Mariners. I hope they’re paying him enough.

    2. I think the Seahawks are pretty good.

      1. Pull up your damn pants, Mike!

    3. And yet, they beat the 49ers this past weekend.

      1. Weird shit happens in the NFL. I agree with Episiarch–Seattle teams are cursed.

  13. I agree with John’s point under the present system, but I’m sure he’d recognized that this system is sub-optimal.

    Why are our intellectual institutions forming the bush leagues for the NBA and NFL? The system is so fucked up that a mediocre coach gets paid more than the university president.

    The NBA and NFL should run their own minor leagues, and leave colleges out of it. Then the kids can choose actual cash over the payments-in-kind currently allowed in colleges.

    1. Why are our intellectual institutions forming the bush leagues for the NBA and NFL?

      Because it developed the other way around. College football/basketball were big first and later pro leagues formed. There is a reason the highest paid player in the NFL chose a law career over a continued football career.

      What current NFL player is most likely to end up on the Supreme Court? Justice Ocho Cinco?

      1. IIRC, big businesses used to run football and baseball teams too, the way they still do in Japan and Korea. but for-profit businesses here eventually out-sourced their athletic programs to concentrate on their primary function–> giving me a big dividend check. (Korea and Japan developed differently since the corporate conglomerates there are quasi-feudal clans).

    2. The NBA and NFL will never form minor leagues because minor leagues cost money. Baseball spends a fortune on minor leagues. But they have to because many of their players are foreign and can’t go to college here and college baseball is a half time sport played with aluminum bats. The NBA and NFL get a free minor league through college sports. They have no incentive to get off of that gravy train.

      As I said above, unless they are associated with a college, minor league and developmental leagues don’t make money. The colleges are the only ones who can run them in a profitable way. And this is how they have chosen to run them. The world doesn’t owe young athletes a living. If they think getting a free college education as payment for training to be a pro is not good enough, then I guess they should try something else.

      1. Damn troll names.

        1. Also, the minor leagues in baseball developed differently. They were independent leagues representing smaller areas (or in the case of PCL, large cities on the west coast, which is why at one time the PCL was sometimes called the third major league).

          MLB teams got tired of paying big money to buy contracts of good players from the guys so started entering partnership deals with the teams to “develop” talent for them. Major leagues no longer had to get in bidding wars for the talent, and the minor league teams got guaranteed income instead of one big check if you happened to luck into a young stud.

          Note: above paragraph isnt exactly historically accurate, lots of detail left out, but functionally close enough.

      2. NBA formed the D-League. I wouldn’t be surprised if they used it more if the court case rules that the age limit is unconstitutional on anti-discrimination laws.

        Either that or the Ed Obannon case will really shake up the NCAA.

        1. The NFL had NFL Europe and some semi-offical arrangements with the CFL and the Arena League for player development, but they have not been fully committed to that concept like baseball and hockey are.

    3. The NBA actually has a developmental league, but having to point this out just underscores how few people care.

  14. Meh. Private organization, no men with guns, no “libertarian martyr.”

    Of course, discussing the failures and shortcomings of purely private organizations is well within the purview of libertarians. But such organizations do not produce martyrs.

    1. State Schools. Government subsidies. Encouraging thousands of blacks to shirk on school work in pursuit of a pipe dream, for no money, while white coaches and administrators make millions.

      Smells wrong to me. It’s not just the Reggie Bushes, it’s the literally thousands of high school students who are told that football is more important than studying. Most of those kids never earn a dime playing football. Hell, most of them never even get a scholarship.

      1. So, let’s say your four year scholarship is valued at $100,000. That’s $25,000/yr. You don’t have to pay it back. You just have to go to class, stay eligible, and practice and play football 20 hours a week for half the year. Your perks include a degree that gives you a chance at a good job, improved by the exposure you got playing sports, hot coeds throwing themselves at you even if you’re the punter, not having to work while in school to pay your expenses, and a chance albeit small at making millions immediately upon graduation. Oh, and that room and board you get is the finest on campus. If you choose not to take advantage of what you are given for playing the game and abide by the rules, you’re an idiot and deserve nothing, especially sympathy.

  15. I’d understand sticking up for an athlete who knowingly broke the rules and got caught if that athlete were sticking up for himself.

    Reggie Bush got caught so he’s in the headlines, there doesn’t seem to be a good reason to use him as an example otherwise. Use the guys who play by the rules and snap their ACL…

    …who make millions for their schools, never get to the NFL and never see a penny of any of that money.

    1. They never see a penny? How about 100% of the value of their scholarship? They graduate without student loans and if they aren’t a complete moron, a degree that will earn them a decent salary.

      1. “They graduate without student loans and if they aren’t a complete moron, a degree that will earn them a decent salary.”

        You keep repeating this throughout the thread, and I’m not sure why. Your average D-1, or whatever-the-fuck the NCAA is calling it this week, football or basketball player is not taking science or engineering courses. With few exceptions, they aren’t taking anything that you or I would call academically rigorous. Or is it your contention that degrees in, e.g., Communications, Parks and Recreation, or Sociology are going to lead to a decent salary?

        And how could they take anything challenging, with the practice regimens they have to follow? Look at this older SI article on U Wisconsin DE Don Davey for the timeload some of these guys have to deal with (he was trying to get a CivEng degree): http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c…../index.htm You have to have a superhuman level of endurance to play football/basketball and work towards earning a marketable degree.

        If, OTOH, the players were given a voucher for a year of room, board, and tuition, for each year of their athletic service, and you allowed them the option to live at the University as employees while they were playing, now they might be able to get a decent degree. Particularly if you tutored them in college prep courses while they were employed as athletes.

        A situation like that wouldn’t violate Title IX, for the reason that most college athletes aren’t in sports that place the demands on their time that D-1 basketball and football do. Your average athlete in something like crew or track and field, or competitive badminton isn’t going to want to waste 4 years as an athlete, then go back to school for another 4. They would use their voucher to go to school at the same time they were playing. They’re probably able to get into college on their own, the athletic scholarship is just a great way to pay for it all. But the football player and basketball player probably aren’t in that situation. Why not allow them the option to come back when they are prepared to take on a college academic regimen?

        The reason, of course, is that the NCAA likes things just fine the way they are. And, judging by this thread, so do many of their fans.

  16. For some people, amateur sports are still interesting precisely because people AREN’T PLAYING FOR MONEY. Paying people to play sports changes the nature of the game and the attitudes of those who play. I enjoy watching professional sports because they are absolutely the best athletes in their respective sports, but I also enjoy watching top-notch amatuers (some of whom go on to play professional sports) because many of them are playing for something other than money.

    This has zero to do with libertaraianism. Besides, the simple fact that cheating pays is not an argument – I could make the same claim about ripping people off through fraud or force, but that doesn’t make it right.

    1. Not playing for money?

      I’m pretty sure the W/L record of Texas has something to do with all the cash they bring in, and something to do with Mack Brown making $5M/year.

  17. I agree with ESPN’s Gregg Easterbrook in regards to the complete lunacy that is the NCAA regulatory body when it comes to monitoring infractions-

    “This Michael Wilbon column on the suspension of Georgia’s A.J. Green perfectly expresses the hypocrisy involved. Football-factory colleges will sell almost anything for revenue; in college, it’s acceptable for boosters to hand cash directly to the coach. But a college kid sells a jersey on eBay — the horror! TMQ doesn’t think NCAA athletes should be paid. My key point is that a small number of star players come out behind by performing as amateurs, but they create the value that allows large numbers of student-athletes who are not stars to get a college education either free or at reduced cost. But though college athletes shouldn’t be paid, the persecution of them for slight misjudgments should stop.

    Between the NCAA and the compliance offices of big schools, there are now several thousand people in the United States who earn secure, comfortable middle-class incomes trying to catch college athletes making slight errors. And as Wilbon notes, the people they are trying to catch and punish are almost always poor and African-American. There’s something disturbing about this that goes beyond simple hypocrisy. NCAA scholarship rules need a fundamental rethinking.

    Let them sell their damn jerseys for some Pizza money for godsakes. You don’t have to put them on a salary, but spending god knows how many millions tracking college athletes spending habits is just asinine.

    1. If Wilbon is that upset about it, tell him to go form a minor league to compete with the NCAA. The world doesn’t owe athletes a living. If they feel they are being exploited, don’t go to college or play a sport like baseball or tennis where you can go pro directly out of high school.

      1. I don’t disagree with that, but I still think that there is a difference between guys selling a jersey for pizza money and Reggie Bush getting a giant bank loan because of his soon-to-be agents.

        There should be like a $1000 limit or something, and anything over that can cause suspension, citation etc.

        I agree that college athletes get paid already in the form of scholarships, but not all of them do and an extra grand can make a big difference in college. Busting kids for selling a jersey is ridiculous.

  18. Bush could have trained himself, a la Ivan Drago, and skipped college altogether. Nothing says he had to take the money.

    1. And nothing says USC owed him a living. It is their college and their money. They don’t have to pay him if they don’t want to. And he doesn’t have to go there.

  19. “Or you could snap your ACL on your next down and condemn yourself to a life of pumping gas.”

    So what are you trying to say that unless they stay healthy and make it to pro ball they are destined to pump gas? Not that I would disagree but really now lol.

  20. If he had dealt honestly with other party he initially contracted with, the whole thing could have been secret, and he’d have gotten away with it, right?

    How is he a libertarian hero?

  21. They are also fundamentally socialistic:

    Oh God, enough with the applying political philosophy to every area of life. It’s bad enough when liberals do it.

    I suppose it’s also socialistic that, when a team scores a touchdown, they have to give the ball back to the other team. Why do the football rules penalize success? Shouldn’t successful offenses be allowed to keep the ball until the other team earns it back?

    1. A liberal acquaintance of mine likes to make the point that the reason why the NFL is so successful is because of its “socialism”, i.e., its revenue sharing and salary caps. He claims that the NFL’s revenue sharing and salary caps are why the game is so exciting and competitive.

      Like others who make that claim, he needs to be reminded (yes, I do remind him) that since 1970, there have been more major league baseball franchises that have won the World Series than NFL franchises that have won Mr. Lombardi’s trophy. As you know, there is no salarry cap in baseball.

      1. They’re competing against each other for dominance within their group but the NFL competes against other leagues and forms of entertainment. It’s like employees in a company that are trying to move up the ladder within their company. You do what you can to stand out, but ultimately everyone’s goal is to make that company better than it’s competitors so everyone who works there can stay employed and make more money.

      2. There was no free agency in baseball until the 1980s, so going back to 1970 is pretty misleading.

        And if your claim is that baseball has a leveler playing field, you’re high on something.

        1. Sorry, I got interrupted by a student and needed to hibernate before they saw my furry porn.

          To continue, the championships in baseball have typically been passed around between the big market teams. 8 of the past 12 have been won by teams from Boston, NY, LA, or Chicago.

          there are also typically longer championship droughts in baseball than in football. You have teams like the Orioles, Blue Jays, Reds, Pirates, Royals, Nationals/Expos and such that have gone 15-20 years without appearing in the playoffs, and several more that have had only one in the past 15-20 years. I don’t think there’s a single NFL franchise that existed in 1995 that hasn’t had a playoff appearance since.

          1. I was also including Philadelphia in the big market champion list that won 8 of 12 recent World Series.

      3. And I should note that your liberal fiend is making the same mistake the writer of the original post is: mingling political philosophy with the rules of games. Competitive games typically have to have lots of rules to keep the play fair because people would choose not to play otherwise. In the case of political “rulemaking”, people have to play whether they like it or not.

  22. The principle topic is you can’t win something if you are not eligiable. Sure there are others that should take some blame. I feel sorry for all those other team mates stripped of there National Championship. The ones that played by the rules. How could you ever face them knowing what you did to them. It sure is funny that old Caroll decided to leave this year He didn’t have any idea right

  23. I see no reason to blame the NCAA here. At it’s core college football is fundamentally an amateur sport and they’re fighting an uphill battle to limit the innevitable loss of that integrity. The amateur nature even if only illusory is a crucial component in the draw of the sport which would be a shadow of its current self without it.

    Blame instead the NFL who uses their government recognized domination of the market to exclude adult players from the market. It is that collusion which puts additional pressure on college sports to be what they aren’t meant to be: a free minor league farm system for the NFL.

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