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Author Topic: Should we rethink what college sports are for?  (Read 917 times)
Dave Gray
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« on: July 15, 2020, 12:36:33 pm »

The COVID discussion about college sports highlights what sports are for, in my opinion:  money.

I mean, it was obvious anyway, but the backlash about having to miss a season is telling.  Nobody would bat an eye that they're cutting out rowing -- or chess club -- or any other non-essential school activity.  But college football specifically is a big money maker for the school.

I just think that we need to be honest with ourselves that college sports are not at all about students.  It's a business that makes money for the school.  The coaches are paid like pro coaches (moreso, in many cases).   They're not paid like educators.  The students don't get (or need) an education in traditional fields.  The concept of scholarships being the payment for athletes that bring millions in revenue is a joke.

The whole system is built on a world we don't live in any more.

But it's very different than high school wrestling or something, where that really is about student enrichment.

How do you differentiate those things and still be fair to students, schools, etc?
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Phishfan
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2020, 01:12:10 pm »

I think your subject is too broad. You really are proposing just a rethinking major college football which is a small subset of college sports overall. You even bounce back and forth against yourself saying no one would care about rowing  but then labeling sports overall as a money maker. This is really only about one sport, at the top end of that sport even, and a sprinkling of major men's basketball. The entire rest of college sports is about the student athlete.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2020, 01:18:48 pm by Phishfan » Logged
Fau Teixeira
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2020, 01:21:51 pm »

I think your subject is too broad. You really are proposing just a rethinking major college football which is a small subset of college sports overall. You even bounce back and forth against yourself saying no one would care about rowing  but then labeling sports overall as a money maker. This is really only about one sport, at the top end of that sport even, and a sprinkling of major men's basketball. The entire rest of college sports is about the student athlete.

not by revenue it isn't and that's what matters to ADs
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2020, 01:43:51 pm »

I think your subject is too broad. You really are proposing just a rethinking major college football which is a small subset of college sports overall. You even bounce back and forth against yourself saying no one would care about rowing  but then labeling sports overall as a money maker. This is really only about one sport, at the top end of that sport even, and a sprinkling of major men's basketball. The entire rest of college sports is about the student athlete.
Not to mention that one sport typically covers the cost for the rest of the sports for that college.
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MyGodWearsAHoodie
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2020, 02:08:44 pm »

Only at a very small minority of schools does even a single sport generate revenue.  Most cost money.

Second issue, if a school decides that it is safe to only play mens sports but not women’s sports they should lose NCAA eligibility as a title XI violation.
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Dave Gray
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2020, 02:15:20 pm »

You really are proposing just a rethinking major college football which is a small subset of college sports overall. You even bounce back and forth against yourself saying no one would care about rowing  but then labeling sports overall as a money maker.

I'm not really proposing anything. ...I'm just asking a question.

Football (and basketball...maybe baseball?) at big schools isn't doing the same thing as wrestling or rowing.  That was really the statement.  Yet we sorta treat those things similarly in a lot of ways.


I think my main beef is really the salaries of the coaches and ADs -- this is treating the stuff as a business.  But the other parts, like making kids take certain classes or not get paid or pretend that it's important that the kids take their exams -- this treats them as students.
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Phishfan
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2020, 09:13:07 pm »

not by revenue it isn't and that's what matters to ADs

I'm not even sure your point of responding this way. You are basically helping my position. ADs exist in schools of all sizes. Only the top level experience money making programs. Thousands of schools have sports programs that don't make money yet again the position is taken that a very small subset represents college sports as a whole.
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Phishfan
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2020, 09:13:57 pm »

Not to mention that one sport typically covers the cost for the rest of the sports for that college.

Only in a  very small subset.
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Phishfan
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2020, 09:20:25 pm »

I'm not really proposing anything. ...I'm just asking a question.

Football (and basketball...maybe baseball?) at big schools isn't doing the same thing as wrestling or rowing.  That was really the statement.  Yet we sorta treat those things similarly in a lot of ways.


I think my main beef is really the salaries of the coaches and ADs -- this is treating the stuff as a business.  But the other parts, like making kids take certain classes or not get paid or pretend that it's important that the kids take their exams -- this treats them as students.

Ok, I think I have a better understanding. I'm fine with the relaxation of how student athletes make money but schools should not be paying them directly. The school is there to provide an education. No matter what anyone thinks the NCAA is not a minor league system. Even the majority of guys on a program like Alabama or Clemson are not going to be pros.
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Brian Fein
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2020, 11:07:11 am »

It sounds like you're advocating potentially disassociating college football with actual college, and instead turning NCAA into some sort of NFL minor league program... 

Which it really already is  Only difference is you'd remove the guise that the players are actually college students trying to be "students."
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Dave Gray
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2020, 03:10:32 pm »

It sounds like you're advocating potentially disassociating college football with actual college, and instead turning NCAA into some sort of NFL minor league program... 

Which it really already is  Only difference is you'd remove the guise that the players are actually college students trying to be "students."

I don't really have a solution. 

I just recognize that the Ohio State football program is a money-making and marketing venture for the school.  They pay crazy money to head coaches for this reason.   

And that's fine, but then treat the athletes of employees of that business, I guess is the point.  Either that or teach the coaches as teachers.  Pick a side.  It kinda burns my ass Dabo Swinney has a 93 million dollar contract, but is simultaneously considered a teacher so that you can avoid having to compensate the students.  It's just a bullshit system.

I don't know.  It's more than just the students vs. coaches.  It's just like "we know this isn't a student enrichment program...stop with the bullshit and let's deal with this like the marketing machine that it is."
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2020, 10:07:11 pm »

I don't really have a solution. 

I just recognize that the Ohio State football program is a money-making and marketing venture for the school.  They pay crazy money to head coaches for this reason.   

And that's fine, but then treat the athletes of employees of that business, I guess is the point.  Either that or teach the coaches as teachers.  Pick a side.  It kinda burns my ass Dabo Swinney has a 93 million dollar contract, but is simultaneously considered a teacher so that you can avoid having to compensate the students.  It's just a bullshit system.

I don't know.  It's more than just the students vs. coaches.  It's just like "we know this isn't a student enrichment program...stop with the bullshit and let's deal with this like the marketing machine that it is."

This may apply to schools like Ohio State and Clemson but keep in mind that most power 5 teams have football or basketball revenue basically covering the budgets for all sports at the school.  And for the smaller schools, this is not the case at all.   I had a buddy who played at Union College in Barbourville, KY.  That's a small NAIA school.   They are far from the glitz and glamor you see at Division 1 power 5 schools.   I asked him how the team was taken care of in terms of training, nutrition, etc....  he told me that the weight room had ancient equipment that had been around forever and as for food, some of the players mothers would make sandwiches for the entire team. 
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MyGodWearsAHoodie
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« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2020, 03:50:28 pm »

It's just like "we know this isn't a student enrichment program...stop with the bullshit and let's deal with this like the marketing machine that it is."

For over  99% of all student athletes it is.  For a tiny fraction they are providing a benefit to the school that exceeds the scholarship.  And in all but underclass football the athlete can choose to go pro rather than play for a scholarship.
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