Sports

Agent Pays Broke, Starving College Football Players. The Horror!

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This week's Sports Illustrated has a chilling expose on a cancer that threatens the sanctity of student athletics, and perhaps even the very moral fibre of society at large. In an article entitled "Confessions of an Agent," former NFL agent Josh Luchs explains how he paid over 30 college players over a period of ten years in violation of NCAA policies. This wasn't only typical, the article says. It also served a mutually beneficial purpose: Money could help an agent add a potentially-lucrative athlete to his slate of clients. For the athlete, money could do what money normally does, i.e. feed you or save your mother from eviction. For shame!

Look, the argument for paying people to play what's just a mindbogglingly dangerous yet richly entertaining and highly profitable sport is simply too straightforward to make here (and it's being made elsewhere anyway). Just a couple observations:

Firstly, how much less sleazy are Luchs' "dirty" years compared to his supposedly clean ones? When he was paying college players, Luchs was behaving as all investors do, sinking money into a commodity which may or may not be profitable, and allocating scarce resources in the interest of some maximal future return. This is more or less how a lot of labor markets work: Every year on college campuses across America, banks and consulting firms pour millions of dollars into recruiting potential employees who may or may not choose to work for them, taking them out for expensive dinners and dangling huge signing bonuses in front of them. Such enticements are only illegal in college sports, since the NCAA is deeply afraid of a labor market driven by rational economic decision-making.

This leads to a classic unintended consequence, created both by the NCAA and state governments willing to sue or prosecute allegedly unscrupulous sports agents. Paying prospective clients is discouraged and even illegal. The solution: Use respected ESPN draft analyst and probable shut-in Mel Kiper, Jr. to mess with their heads!:

Gary also used his contacts in the media to help him recruit. In 2000, before a meeting with Stanford defensive lineman Willie Howard, Gary arranged for ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper to call. Gary and I were talking to Willie in Gary's office when Gary's phone rang, and he put it on speakerphone.

"Viper, how are you?" Gary said. That's what he called Mel, Viper or Vipe. "Viper, I'm sitting here with the best defensive lineman in college football. Do you know who that is?"

"You must be with Willie Howard," Mel said.

Gary used Mel like that all the time. In the agent business, people know Gary and Mel are close, and some people suspect that Mel ranks players more favorably if they are Gary's clients.

See, the legal way of getting at broke and impressionable student athletes is arguably sleazier than various illegal alternatives. Money doesn't lie, but Mel Kiper, Jr. certainly can.

Second, it seems that five of the 30 players mentioned in this article are dead. Is this some kind of crazy statistical fluke? Maybe, but consider the story of first-round draft pick Chris Mims, who played eight seasons in the NFL:

On October 15, 2008, Mims was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment by police officers conducting a welfare check.[1] Cause of death was an enlarged heart. Mims was 456 pounds at the time of his death.

Football can have tragic consequences for the people who play it. It doesn't seem unreasonable to allow college kids to get paid for playing it well. And nobody—agent or player—should be stigmatized or punished for behaving like employers, employees, and investors do in virtually every other industry. 

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  1. SPARTA, a federal law passed by Congress in 2004, prohibits agents from giving false information to a student-athlete and from providing anything of value to the player or anyone associated with the player before entering into a contract.

    Sometimes you hear about a law you didn’t know existed, and you say to yourself, “If anyone tried to enforce this law against me, I’d basically be forced to finally employ violence against representatives of the state.”

    Fuck you. I can give a monetary gift to whoever I fucking want. Come and fucking get me.

  2. I think college athletes should be paid for the huge income they help deliver, but anything that makes Mel Kiper suffer can’t be all bad.

    1. You can hurt Mel Kiper, but his helmet of hair is indestructible.

      1. Not like the helmet is protecting anything. Could the guy be more wrong about football talent?

        1. If he actually knew what he was doing, some team would have hired him by now.

        2. And if Kiper’s that stupid (which he is), what does that say about the GM’s who actually listen to his effluvia?

        3. In his defense, he is no dumber than most of the people running NFL teams. The truth is that success at that level depends on so many intangible factors that it is virtually impossible to tell who will and will not succeed with any accuracy. A lot of smart people have thought some pretty awful players were going to be stars.

          1. Production. That–and making sure the kid isn’t poison–is all that matters. There are some nuances, like what sort of system the production occurred in and what sort of competition the player faced, but that’s the key, ultimately.

            1. That is true except when it isn’t. Tyrell Davis was a second string knuckelhead at Georgia who couldn’t get along with his coach. He later became one of the great power backs in NFL history and helped win the Broncos two Super Bowls. There are a million examples of guys like that. And there are also a million examples of guys like Dave Remington, one of the greatest college lineman in history and a total hardworking great guy who became pedestrian NFL players.

              Generally, I agree with you. But you still have to get lucky.

              1. I’m not saying never pick up a player for potential. Just don’t do it in the early rounds unless you’ve got picks to burn. And few teams do.

              2. John,

                There is certainly a system to picking good players, otherwise teams like Indianapolis and Pittsburgh wouldn’t be at the top of their divisions every year. You will never be 100%, but you definitely stack the odds in your favor if you stay out of the top of the first round, look for productivity in difficult situations, and stay away from any character issues.

                And Terrell Davis had only three good years. Much more of a flash-in-the-pan kind of guy.

                1. Terell Davis got hurt. And he had four good years and they were spectacular.

                  Indianapolis is on top because they have the best regular season quarterback in history. Take Manning away from them and they would be at best an 8-8 team. In fact, I would say that Bill Polian is the most overrated GM in history. How is it that you can have a quarterback that good yet constantly surround him with flawed teams and only win one title?

                  Pittsburgh is consistently good. So is New England. But even they have gotten lucky. If New England had any idea that Tom Brady was that good, they wouldn’t have waited until the sixth round to take him.

                  But I didn’t say Kiper was as good as everyone running a team, just most of them. Yeah, there are a few really good GMS. But most aren’t any smarter than the average fan.

                  1. Drafting based on production works. But dumbasses who think they can psychically spot bargain talent or that actually swallow “conventional wisdom” reign supreme in the NFL.

                    Another example of a gamble that paid off was Brad Johnson, who sat on the bench for most of his time at FSU.

                    1. Indianapolis is on top because they have the best regular season quarterback in history.

                      Wow, that’s definitely damning with faint praise. Something you have to keep in mind is that over a guy like Manning’s career, there will be a lot of turnover on the team. It’s not like he is handing off to Edgerrin James or throwing to Marvin Harrison any more. Those players have to be replaced if the team wants to compete. Even a “great” quarterback like Manning can’t do it alone.

                      Drafting based on production works.

                      With caveats, of course. Danny Wuerffel had a great college career, but I’ll never forget that noodle arm of his.

                      Yeah, there are a few really good GMS. But most aren’t any smarter than the average fan.

                      I think any Browns or Rams fan could agree with that.

                    2. Manning is what he is. Statistically he is just unbelievable in the regular season. But he is also a .500 quarterback in the playoffs. His statistics drop like crazy in the playoffs. For whatever reason, he never seems to rise to the occasion. Even the year he won, he benefited from playing an utterly incompetent Bears team in a monsoon in the Super Bowl.

                      And no he can’t do it alone. And that tells me Bill Polian, the only GM ever to build five Super Bowl losing teams, isn’t near what they make him out to be. How many Super Bowls would Manning had won if he had played for Bill Bellicheck? I bet at least four.

                    3. Though I’m not the biggest Polian fan, I do have to defend him on this point. First, remember that Tennessee didn’t win the NCAA title until after Manning left. And it certainly wasn’t Polian that forced Manning to throw an interception in the Super Bowl. You have to let the quarterback own his own performance. And Manning is very good at doing a Dan Marino impression. (I see ProL made this point already)

                      And second, do you remember how terrible the Bills were before he arrived? How about the Colts? I mean, these are entire franchises that were turned around when he was there. It ain’t luck that they got better after he arrived.

                    4. Bill Polian, the only GM ever to build five Super Bowl losing teams

                      AKA, a GM who built six conference champions…far more success than most GMs will ever even come close to.

                    5. Sure, there are exceptions. Talking about playing the odds and not missing opportunities.

                      Wuerffel is an interesting case. I tend to think with his accuracy that he could’ve fit into some NFL team systems. But whether that might’ve been true or not is a moot point today.

                      Manning is a great quarterback (though I must note that he’s 0-4 against Wuerffel–college and pros), and he is definitely the best playing today. It annoys me that he gets blamed for not winning fifty rings. Like Marino. Can’t do it by yourself!

                    6. I remember watching Wuerffel when he was on the Saints, and he was pretty terrible. Defenses kept within 10 yards of the line because they knew he couldn’t get the ball much further than that.

                      That’s why I think you have to throw in the level of difficulty with production. Wuerffel looked great because Spurrier had a great system. It’s similar to Lawrence Phillips at Nebraska. He looked like a good running back, but that’s because the O-line was dominating people. The Rams got dazzled and picked him up, and they paid a price for it.

          2. Matt Millen is no longer running an NFL team.

    2. Jesus. Is there such a thing as forehead reduction surgery? That guy needs its. Bad.

  3. “Firstly”? Where’d this Armin Rosen bitch learn to write?

    1. Be nice to the intern.

      1. Is he the guy who played Quark?

      2. Be nice to the intern Dave Weigal in training.

        FTFY

    2. Not that I use “firstly”, but is it actually error to use it? I seem to recall that the issue was in making sure that you were consistent in your usage–that is, if you say firstly, next comes secondly. Not second.

      1. Who says “secondly”??

        1. Those who say firstly and thirdly?

  4. Since it seems that illegal relationships between players and agents have been more rampant than previously imagined, is the NCAA still seriously considering vacating wins as a serious mode of punishment? Can ‘Bama have their ’93 victories back? Please?

    1. If everything the agent says is confirmed, there could potentially be an incredible change in the win/loss records of many schools.

      1. Nope, NCAA has a 4 year statute of limitations and he discussed no players that played college within that time frame.

        1. But, even so, this points to the fact that in any 10 year period, there are >30 players taking payment for sports agents. If these are the elite college players, I think it’s fair to assume they almost always come from the elite (read, winningest) schools in the country. Is it really a possibility that, should the NCAA ever stumble upon these matters, at some point these schools are ALL going to be forced to vacate wins, accepts probations, and be forced to sit out during the post-season?

          1. Actually, I’m rather inclined to accept vacations over post-season bans. It seems that the vacations only hurt the schools and the players involved at the time. All a post-season ban does is hurt a new generation of players that had nothing to do with the inappropriate activity.

            1. ala the Reggie Bush/USC fiasco. That was a circus act, and the push to take away his Heismann was absurd. He was still the best player in college football that year, whether he took money or not.

              1. Well, I guess you got to man up and accept the fact that you broke the rules, and the Heisman Trust was well within its rights to strip him of the trophy. But can we be all too sure Vince Young didn’t contact agents throughout his career at Texas.

                It reminds of the hysteria parents have about their kids having sex. They all want to believe their kids are the purest, moral being alive, but truth be told, if they haven’t had it, they sure wished they had.

              2. Well, I guess you got to man up and accept the fact that you broke the rules, and the Heisman Trust was well within its rights to strip him of the trophy. But can we be all too sure Vince Young didn’t contact agents throughout his career at Texas.

                It reminds of the hysteria parents have about their kids having sex. They all want to believe their kids are the purest, moral being alive, but truth be told, if they haven’t had it, they sure wished they had.

                1. damn, I was talking to generic

              3. He was still the best player in college football that year, whether he took money or not.

                Based on what? Not being in the top 100 in kick return average? Having a mediocre punt return average? Getting a lot of yards against Fresno State? Pushing Leinart into the end zone?

  5. You still miss the point: this is supposed to be AMATEUR sports. If you want to get paid, turn PROFESSIONAL. This should not, however, be an issue for the criminal justice system.

    1. You miss the point. Unlike the NBA, the NFL has rules against drafting kids right out of high school.

      http://www.ehow.com/facts_4815208_nfl-age-limit-rules.html

      1. No shit.

      2. Then maybe we should be asking the NFL to change those rules? Or maybe, if a high school kid wants to get paid to play right away, they should play in some other professional league?

        The number of college athletes who go on to play pro sports in quite small, so I don’t think changing the rules away from amateurs is a good idea.

    2. Right, amateur sports. I guess Big Education wants that story told because they wouldn’t want anyone else to get a slice of the action.

      The NCAA is the most pompous group of blue bloods outside of the political ruling class.

      1. No, the NCAA is a holder of slaves, reaping millions and millions off of the backs of free laborers.

        1. Horse Shit. Not only do they get a free education (it is their fault if they don’t take advantage of it) but they also get all the booze and pussy they want around campus. They all choose to do this. If they don’t want to be in this system they can quit playing.

          1. Tim Tebow would’ve been worth ten million bucks just as a college player in endorsements if he’d been allowed to do so. Why shouldn’t he be able to do that?

            1. There was a player at Colorado a few years ago who was an Olympic snowboarder. The fuckers wouldn’t let him take endorsement money for that even though he didn’t even participate in that sport in college.

              1. Worst NCAA decision ever. Baseball players can play professional in summer then return and play football in the fall as millionaires.

                But, because skiing pays based on endorsements instead of straight salary, a player cant be a skier in the offseason.

                They also banned someone from modeling in the offseason (may have been same guy).

              2. John- I think you’re thinking of Jeremy Bloom (and he was a skier, not snowboarder). I found it hard to be outraged about his situation, but that was only because I knew people that went to high school with him and said he was a total douche (and plus, as a CSU grad student at the time, I was contractually obliged to hate anybody who played for CU).

          2. Uhh, what makes you think every student gets a full-ride scholarship to play at the school? There are many student athletes that are walk-ons or receive only partial–if any–scholarships. Not to mention the unaffiliated sports clubs that still put in a lot of effort and compete nationally to bring back recognition, money, and trophies for the school.

        2. Young men, often black, doing intense physical labor in fields, for no pay? No, that doesn’t sound sketchy at all, NCAA.

    3. The NCAA schools rake in billions every year from football and basketball. It seems it’s only “amateur” athletics when it comes to the athletes getting paid.

      Mack Brown, the head football coach at Texas, makes $5 million a year in salary.

      1. Tuition+room/board runs about $50k per year at Stanford. While Texas is much lower, the Stanford athletes are getting paid pretty decent money.

        1. But they’re not getting “paid.” The money for their scholarships go straight to their tuition and boarding fees. Then, if there is anything left over after that (which there usually isn’t if their school scholarship was the only one they got) it goes into their personal bank account.

          The players hear “free ride” and assume that includes things that other college students enjoy like money for the movies, dinner out, even beer. Yes they deserve some blame for not reading the fine print, but considering the effort that scholarship athletes (or any really) put in above and beyond schoolwork, they are taken advantage of.

    4. Then the coaches should be amateur too, of course. The schools can offer them room and board in return for their part-time coaching services, and the coaches can make a living at a professional job somewhere else. And everybody’s happy, because amateur sports are all about the love of the game, right?

  6. the NCAA is deeply afraid of a labor market driven by rational economic decision-making.

    No kidding.

    I, as a division III defensive end, would have been quite happy if some thoughtful alum had slipped me a twenty for every sack I made. I might even have made a couple more.

    1. I walked on to my school’s jazz band (starting pianist) and all I got was a free gin and tonic at the sponsors’ reception after senior year Jazz Fest. Beggars can’t be choosers!

      1. Ohhh the humanity! Jazz Hands!!!

      2. Hey, Johns Hopkins recruited me hard for the track team. I said fuck you, even though they offered me money (in the form of “scholarship”). Because I fucking hate running. So my 4 years of cross country and track are confusing.

      3. Did you get to play with your pianist?

    2. If the NCAA starts paying football and mens basketball players (as they would, if there was any justice in the world), title IX enforcers would require them to pay the womens field hockey players the same stipend.

  7. Some people like to cling to the myth that money has nothing to do with college sports.

  8. Look, the argument for paying people to play what’s just a mindbogglingly dangerous yet richly entertaining and highly profitable sport is simply too straightforward to make here[.]

    Paying athletes to play sports is icky… they should do that as a matter of vocation and not for money, you know, like doctors and nurses – in the era of Obamacare, that is.

  9. They didn’t really call the idiotic law SPARTA did they? Oh, wait, that’s because all the congress-creatures are all so buff, they make the 300 Spartans look like couch potatoes. I’m vacillating between laughing hysterically and throwing up.

    1. They called it that so that they could build a giant pit and kick agents down it, shouting “This. . .is. . .SPARTA!!!”

      1. I was hoping that at least a few of them were fans of the band.

    2. I’m vacillating between laughing hysterically and throwing up.

      There’s a word for that. Its called the “Pelosi.”

      As in “SugarFree’s last Congressional slashfic made me Pelosi a little.”

  10. I have never gotten why the NFL players union doesn’t form a negotiating coop to provide representation for players. Agents are the worst sorts of parasites. They take upwards of three percent of every contract to provide nothing but negotiation skills. The players association could easily hire tough negotiators at a flat rate and save players millions. There is simply no rational reason why creatures like Drew Rosenhouse are multimillionaires.

    1. upwards of three percent

      NFLPA caps agents fees at 3 percent, so upwards isnt the word you meant.

      1. No. It is exactly what I mean. The NFL caps it at three percent but I don’t believe the other sports leagues do. So agents do get upwards of three percent because they get more than that in other sports.

        1. Ah, okay, I thought we were just talking NFL.

          I think NBA is where the agents screw the players. You dont need to hire one right away, initial contracts are entirely determined by draft position.

          1. That’s part of the problem as well though. There is a sense of entitlement in the drafts, especially for first-rounders.

            In the NFL more so than other leagues, teams will draft based on the position they need (or think they need), otherwise they’ll trade the pick away. So the worst team in the league with the first overall pick may not necessarily be picking the best player in the draft, just the player that suits the position they need the most. And then it goes on from there. So while Jamarcus Russell may have been good at LSU, and the Raiders needed a QB, he was by no means the best player in the draft, and therefore should not have been able to hold out for that long (Al Davis is such a douche). Thank goodness he washed out.

  11. Since most athletic departments in the country are already running in the red, where exactly is the money going to come from to pay football and basketball players beyond the $20,000+/year full ride scholarship they are already receiving?

    1. I’m not saying I’m against players getting paid, btw. I’m just mentioning this point because no one seems to touch on it.

      1. By allowing them to get endorsement money and pre-NFL money. And alumni money.

        It’s going on now, and it happens everywhere. Just depends on the agent and the athlete. The schools are completely powerless.

    2. Most football and men’s basketball programs make money. That money goes to two places, the ridiculous facilities arms race and to subsidize women’s sports that no one cares about and few women want to play.

    3. I’m from Connecticut. The two highest earning state employees in CT are Jim Calhoun (the UConn men’s basketball coach) and Randy Edsall (the UConn football coach). They both make ~10 times the governor’s salary. I’m pretty sure that the money is there.

    4. That’s not really the issue.

      These agents are walking up and VOLUNTEERING to give poor kids money to make college easier and/or more pleasant for them on the OFF CHANCE one of them turns out to be a bona fide pro prospect.

      The kids can only benefit from it. They can take all the free money and gifts, and then turn around and tell the agent to go fuck themselves and pick another agent when they turn pro. The agent has no recourse and absolutely no power other than the goodwill he generates by his actions.

      They are basically trying to make it illegal for college athletes to have friends who spot them money now in the hope they’ll return the favor later. And that’s INFINITELY SHITTY and really an application of the law that deserves utter contempt, deliberate violation, nullification, the full 9 yards.

  12. I met a guy (through my girlfriend at the time) who was a close friend of that fucking sleazeball agent, Slusher (was his first name Howard? anyway…).

    He didn’t like it much when I said I thought that guy had probably ruined more careers than he made.

    1. I don’t see how they are anything but scum suckers. What do they give the player that justifies more than a few thousand dollars for their time?

  13. Individual colleges are making up to $20 million a year pure profit on their football programs (Notre Dame, according to Forbes, makes that much). I think they can afford to throw a little tuition and beer money at their shakin’ moneymakers.

    Oh, but I guess they’re supposed to want to play for “the love and nobility of the game.” *kaff* Right. Well, I remember a managing partner at this one law firm I worked at telling me that I should want to work 60-hour weeks for $25K because working for lawyers is so f#%kin’ “noble.” I found a job in tech the day after he fed me that BS.

    Screw “noble.” You want people to wreck their bodies and practically print money for your enterprise? Pay up. These kids are over 18, they can handle a little math.

  14. How about we just let the pro teams start minor leagues with teams based at
    whatever colleges they can make a deal with. Draft like in baseball, assign their draftees to the college team at the minor league level most appropriate. Let the pro team pay tuition for those draftees who want to go to school too. And those students who go to, say, Notre Dame, want to play but aren’t good enough, can play in intramural squads which may or may not challenge squads at nearby colleges.

  15. On the counterpoint side:

    College athletes do get some compensations: free tuition, room & board, medical coverage. Depending on the college, that’s a $50K/year value tax-free for five years for part-time work.

    And if the players want to earn extra money on the side, they shouldn’t enter into a contractual arrangement promising not to do so.

    1. The problem with that is that the government pretty much makes tuition/room and board the defacto salary cap. When you want to recruit the best, but every other recruiter is limited to offering the same top offer, you’re begging for corruption.

      Because there’s no real competing league (again thanks to government interference), players can’t freely contract. The NFL has the market sewn up, and to get there, you have to go through the NCAA, which also has the market sewn up.

  16. A good first step would be to allow kids to sign endorser deals and get paid for things like the video games that use their likenesses. Or at the very least, allow them to sell their own property (game-used jerseys, etc.)

  17. the Stanford athletes are getting paid pretty decent money.

    The actual marginal cost of admitting those athletes is a whole lot less than the sticker price.

    1. Not to mention the actual value of the “education” they receive in between football games.

    2. The marginal cost of many services is less than the sticker price. That doesnt mean the recipient isnt receiving the sticker price in value.

      1. In exchange for playing football, it is. Many of them would qualify for need- or merit-based aid, which at Stanford is usually around half of the tuition. Private universities deliberately employ price discrimination, and they don’t expect all students to pay the same amount.

        1. But virtually none of them would get into Stanford if they had to compete as a regular student for admission.

  18. You mention the sad case of Chris Mimms.

    Check out the tragic story of Chris Brymer, which so far has been under the radar:

    http://www.sfweekly.com/2010-09-29/news/head-case/

  19. You mention the sade case of Chris Mims.

    Check out the tragic story of Chris Brymer

    http://www.sfweekly.com/2010-09-29/news/head-case/

  20. Wow. You guys are all missing the bigger point here.

    If the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA didn’t prohibit people from entering the professional workforce at the age of 18, there would be no issue here at all. The fact that they (illegally IMO) keep people out until they are out of high school for 2 years should be what gets libertarians riled up. The fact that a private organization (albeit a huge one) establishes rules it’s athletes must abide by to be eligible isn’t really relevant to me. These kids have other options: The CFL, Arena league, UFL, or form your own pro league which allows people to play at 18.

    The NCAA has no monopoly. They are simply the most attractive option for high school kids. It’s odd to me that everyone on here is railing against the NCAA and nobody has mentioned that the NFL refuses people the right to work, which they are legally bound to do in any right to work state, until they are out of school for 2 years. And it was the players that demanded that be in the CBA. The same players that were probably bitching in college about how unfair it was that they couldn’t get paid for their services are the ones preventing the current college kids from entering the NFL. Hypocrisy!

  21. The rule keeping players out until 3 years after high school is not illegal because its collectively bargained between the union and the employers. End of story. I agree that paying players would be nice, in theory, but where do we start and stop? Do all the players get paid? What about non-revenue sports?

    The one thing that strikes me as glaring are that the players whose numbers (if not names) are on the jerseys don’t get paid any royalties. In fact, they have to go buy the replica jerseys for the same price as the rest of us. THAT seems like somewhere decent to start. At least give em some free replicas.

    I think the NCAA needs to back off on outside jobs, but not back off on agent contact. And that includes paying players. The idea of amateur sports, college sports, is that there is somewhat of a level playing field. Paying the best players is a fast track to a horribly unbalanced, and ultimately less successfull, NCAA landscape.

  22. The rule keeping players out until 3 years after high school is not illegal because its collectively bargained between the union and the employers. End of story. I agree that paying players would be nice, in theory, but where do we start and stop? Do all the players get paid? What about non-revenue sports?

    The one thing that strikes me as glaring are that the players whose numbers (if not names) are on the jerseys don’t get paid any royalties. In fact, they have to go buy the replica jerseys for the same price as the rest of us. THAT seems like somewhere decent to start. At least give em some free replicas.

    I think the NCAA needs to back off on outside jobs, but not back off on agent contact. And that includes paying players. The idea of amateur sports, college sports, is that there is somewhat of a level playing field. Paying the best players is a fast track to a horribly unbalanced, and ultimately less successfull, NCAA landscape.

  23. The rule keeping players out until 3 years after high school is not illegal because its collectively bargained between the union and the employers. End of story. I agree that paying players would be nice, in theory, but where do we start and stop? Do all the players get paid? What about non-revenue sports?

    The one thing that strikes me as glaring are that the players whose numbers (if not names) are on the jerseys don’t get paid any royalties. In fact, they have to go buy the replica jerseys for the same price as the rest of us. THAT seems like somewhere decent to start. At least give em some free replicas.

    I think the NCAA needs to back off on outside jobs, but not back off on agent contact. And that includes paying players. The idea of amateur sports, college sports, is that there is somewhat of a level playing field. Paying the best players is a fast track to a horribly unbalanced, and ultimately less successfull, NCAA landscape.

  24. And also, like everyone said, these kids get to go to four years of college for free, many of whom wouldn’t go to college in the first place. That’s a pretty good deal to me, and its one that is equitable for all students across most sports (although certainly some sports have much higher %ages of their roster on scholarship than others).

  25. And also, like everyone said, these kids get to go to four years of college for free, many of whom wouldn’t go to college in the first place. That’s a pretty good deal to me, and its one that is equitable for all students across most sports (although certainly some sports have much higher %ages of their roster on scholarship than others).

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