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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Southern Pines, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by toooskies View Post
    I think the fundamental flaw is that the players are treated as pawns instead of people. It's about the NCAA and the NBA, not the players who we all want to watch. Who cares if college is rewarding to them in and of itself, or they have more to learn? Who cares if the organization is making millions or billions of dollars which it uses for its own betterment? At least Steve Kerr tries to answer the question of whether it's better for the player to stay in college, from a professional legacy standpoint. Yeah, sure, the level of play in college might increase. But that just means the NCAA is improving its product at the expense of legal adults, because those adults don't have a better choice (but deserve one). Regular students aren't tied into three-year contracts-- why should student-athletes be?
    Yeah, right. Regular students aren't tied into three-year contracts, but their goals are the four year degree. This is an apple and orange comparison. Even with regular students there is a quantity of disappointments. How many people have graduated without finding a job in their chosen profession. What about that pre-med student that ends up as a pharmaceutical sales person. Why should athletes have total control in how they get to their goals? If one's goal is to be a point guard in the NBA, college is not necessarily the road to success, but if that is the way an athlete chooses to go, the college to which he goes has some requirements for him in exchange for the free ride he gets.

  2. #82
    Quote Originally Posted by Jarhead View Post
    Yeah, right. Regular students aren't tied into three-year contracts, but their goals are the four year degree. This is an apple and orange comparison. Even with regular students there is a quantity of disappointments. How many people have graduated without finding a job in their chosen profession. What about that pre-med student that ends up as a pharmaceutical sales person. Why should athletes have total control in how they get to their goals? If one's goal is to be a point guard in the NBA, college is not necessarily the road to success, but if that is the way an athlete chooses to go, the college to which he goes has some requirements for him in exchange for the free ride he gets.
    You make a false analogy; you're claiming that students don't get to choose post-collegiate employers, so student athletes shouldn't have any control over how long they stay in college. Unless, of course, you're willing to call the NCAA or a college a student-athlete's employer, which is something that the NCAA has emphatically declared they are not.

    College is the only real road to success. For an American kid to go to Europe and play for a year instead of college, there's one example of that-- Brandon Jennings. Counting 1st and 2nd round draft picks, that makes it a 200-1 chance for an American to go to Europe and also be drafted? 500-1? I'm not going to look it up, but it's way less than 1%. I don't know of anyone who has gone the D-League route. The options are hypotheticals; college is the only realistic choice for high school basketball players to develop skills for the NBA.

    The difference between student-athletes and other students is that schools actively take advantage of the athletes for the school's gain. The school isn't making money off the pre-med other than tuition, which the student agrees to as price of admission. Duke makes millions off of the basketball program, and that's before you factor in the non-fiscal benefits of the program.

    Athletes shouldn't be punished for having talents which schools want to make money off of; they should be rewarded.

    I'm very much on the side of justice rather than the side of power in this argument.

  3. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by toooskies View Post
    You make a false analogy; you're claiming that students don't get to choose post-collegiate employers, so student athletes shouldn't have any control over how long they stay in college. Unless, of course, you're willing to call the NCAA or a college a student-athlete's employer, which is something that the NCAA has emphatically declared they are not.

    College is the only real road to success. For an American kid to go to Europe and play for a year instead of college, there's one example of that-- Brandon Jennings. Counting 1st and 2nd round draft picks, that makes it a 200-1 chance for an American to go to Europe and also be drafted? 500-1? I'm not going to look it up, but it's way less than 1%. I don't know of anyone who has gone the D-League route. The options are hypotheticals; college is the only realistic choice for high school basketball players to develop skills for the NBA.

    The difference between student-athletes and other students is that schools actively take advantage of the athletes for the school's gain. The school isn't making money off the pre-med other than tuition, which the student agrees to as price of admission. Duke makes millions off of the basketball program, and that's before you factor in the non-fiscal benefits of the program.

    Athletes shouldn't be punished for having talents which schools want to make money off of; they should be rewarded.

    I'm very much on the side of justice rather than the side of power in this argument.
    How about presenting a definition of "justice" that we can all agree upon - or not - and then discuss the issue?

  4. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by toooskies View Post
    .

    College is the only real road to success. For an American kid to go to Europe and play for a year instead of college, there's one example of that-- Brandon Jennings. Counting 1st and 2nd round draft picks, that makes it a 200-1 chance for an American to go to Europe and also be drafted? 500-1? I'm not going to look it up, but it's way less than 1%. I don't know of anyone who has gone the D-League route. The options are hypotheticals; college is the only realistic choice for high school basketball players to develop skills for the NBA.
    This may be true but it is not fault or the responsibility of the NCAA or their member institutions. It is not their mission to provide a "fair" path to the NBA. They are institutions of higher learning and to the extent that they "profit" from sports the revenue is filtered back into the institutions which I believe are, almost exclusively, not for profit. So you may accept or decline a scholarship offer but I see nothing wrong with adding "strings" that stipulate that, should you accept the scholarship, you must commit to 3 years of progress toward a degree (again this is the mission and the point of the scholarship). If you don't fulfill your commitment, you must refund the scholarship. I see nothing wrong with a kid "cashing in" early but why not pay your scholarship back into the institution of higher learning?

    It's not like he didn't get the educational opportunity he's required to refund because he failed to fulfill his commitment. In exchange for his commitment he gets the best facilities, coaching and marketing in the amateur world. Let's not forget that these kids have almost zero market value outside of their college affiliation. As I've said before, if you put the same kids on the floor and call them the Durham Bluedevils, no one will care if or when they play. Heck they wouldn't even have scouts and college alumni at their HS and AAU games except for the potential that they might attend a particular school. I'm all for College taking back control. Let the NBA worry about how to develop players who aren't fit for college and let's put to bed the absurd idea that the "players" are the primary driving force behind the money in college football and basketball.

    If Duke kicks Carolina's butt and has a great year I really don't care whether or not there are any future pros on the roster.

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by lotusland View Post
    This may be true but it is not fault or the responsibility of the NCAA or their member institutions. It is not their mission to provide a "fair" path to the NBA.
    This argument gets a lot of airtime, but, although it is possibly a mitigating factor, I do not think it wholly exonerates the NCAA. Here's why:

    While I do think the current state of affairs is unfair to players, I would actually agree that the NCAA gets branded as a purely evil party far too often. If the NCAA wants to provide college students with the opportunity to play amateur sports, then it is entirely within their rights as an organization to create and enforce regulations for such an amateur league. Personally, I have no problem with this concept in theory.

    But the idea of amateur NCAA sports becomes problematic when considered in light of this country's lack of viable minor leagues in football and basketball. Without any development leagues as a better option, professional-caliber athletes must use college sports as their best (and only) avenue to the pros. Again, it is perfectly fair for the NCAA to allow athletes this option and say, "Okay, you may use our league, but you must respect our rules and traditions." After all, It is not the NCAA's fault that there is a void of minor leagues. (It's the NBA/NFL's)

    However, such a position is no longer legitimate when the NCAA (and its member schools) stops prioritizing it's own rules of amateurism while still requiring its members to abide by those rules. Which is exactly what the NCAA has done by making the active decision to fill the minor league void -- signing major television contracts, selling merchandise, paying coaches and ADs millions of dollars. If the NCAA had remained purely amateur, there would have been no internal contradiction. But they didn't. They signed up for the big money and violated their own tradition of amateurism, all while telling the players that they couldn't have a piece of the pie -- specifically through the pretext of those same traditions being violated.

    At least, that's my take. Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by lotusland View Post
    They are institutions of higher learning and to the extent that they "profit" from sports the revenue is filtered back into the institutions which I believe are, almost exclusively, not for profit.
    This point, too, I find to be misleading. True, these universities as a whole are not-for-profit institutions. However, universities have athletic departments, and athletic departments consist of employees, and employees receive salaries, and these salaries can go up or down depending on how much revenue the department pulls in. So while, yes, some of the money generated does go to paying for the non-revenue sports and funding university programs, a lot of it also goes to paying the salaries of the people who run the program. It goes to the million-dollar salaries of the head coaches and the athletic director, as well as to numerous hundred-thousand dollar salaries of assistant coaches, trainers, medical professionals, and many others.

    Those people are definitely working "for profit," and in a very real sense. Think about it: between the cumulative salaries of all Duke's coaches (football & basketball), how many programs and clubs and events do you think the university could fund?

    Look, I don't pretend to know how to fix the problem or have a simple solution. I don't even think there is a simple solution. There is always going to be some group that is unhappy with the situation. However, to pretend that there isn't a problem at all, or that there isn't a fundamental unfairness inherent in the current system -- that is equivalent to putting your hands over your ears and shouting, IMO. I don't mean that in an offensive way at all, as many people have made sophisticated arguments here. It's just that I ultimately don't think they hold up.

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by lotusland View Post
    Let's not forget that these kids have almost zero market value outside of their college affiliation. As I've said before, if you put the same kids on the floor and call them the Durham Bluedevils, no one will care if or when they play.
    This is another one I like to think of as a bit of a red herring. It's sort of a chicken-and-egg type situation. Yes it is true that, if it weren't for the Duke and the NCAA, I would not care all that much about most of the recent high school graduates who choose to pursue basketball. However, what was the NCAA before it became what it is today? It wasn't always broadcasted around the country. The NCAA was nothing before Phi Slama Jama and Jordan, or before Magic and Larry. The players were what made NCAA basketball exciting to watch. They are what made it a national phenomenon. They are the product that the NCAA is selling.
    Last edited by Jderf; 05-10-2012 at 05:37 PM.

  7. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by Jderf View Post
    This is another one I like to think of as a bit of a red herring. It's sort of a chicken-and-egg type situation. Yes it is true that, if it weren't for the Duke and the NCAA, I would not care all that much about most of the recent high school graduates who choose to pursue basketball. However, what was the NCAA before it became what it is today? It wasn't always broadcasted around the country. The NCAA was nothing before Phi Slama Jama and Jordan, or before Magic and Larry. The players were what made NCAA basketball exciting to watch. They are what made it a national phenomenon. They are the product that the NCAA is selling.
    I grew up on ACC basketball. It's not better now than it was 30-40 years ago. I think it has more of a national appeal and it makes more money but it isn't better. At my Middle School and High School we didn't even have classroom instruction during the ACC Tournament. We watched the tournament games instead. I can't speak for the rest of the country but I'm guessing it was always pretty big in KY and KS. I would say it is the other way around - the NBA was practically nothing before Larry and Magic.

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by lotusland View Post
    I grew up on ACC basketball. It's not better now than it was 30-40 years ago. I think it has more of a national appeal and it makes more money but it isn't better. At my Middle School and High School we didn't even have classroom instruction during the ACC Tournament. We watched the tournament games instead. I can't speak for the rest of the country but I'm guessing it was always pretty big in KY and KS. I would say it is the other way around - the NBA was practically nothing before Larry and Magic.
    Whether or not you think "going national" made college ball better, it still made it more profitable. And that was a direct result of the players putting something on the court that people wanted to see -- and would pay to see. That is when the NCAA stopped being a fully legitimate institution of amateur sport: when they realized that their product was marketable, and began profiting from it, all while telling the athletes (who actually, physically generated the product) that they could have no part of it.

    I'm not saying th evil or that there is a conspiracy to deprive athletes of their earnings or anything like that. But the NCAA does play a role in all of this and they're not exactly innocent.

  9. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by Jderf View Post
    Whether or not you think "going national" made college ball better, it still made it more profitable. And that was a direct result of the players putting something on the court that people wanted to see -- and would pay to see. That is when the NCAA stopped being a fully legitimate institution of amateur sport: when they realized that their product was marketable, and began profiting from it, all while telling the athletes (who actually, physically generated the product) that they could have no part of it.

    I'm not saying th evil or that there is a conspiracy to deprive athletes of their earnings or anything like that. But the NCAA does play a role in all of this and they're not exactly innocent.
    The school is offering a free education as a reward for your skill on the court. If that is not enough then go pro. If you want to play college ball for 1 year using the valuable coaching, training and facilities to get prepared for the NBA then pay back the education scholarship that you didn't use. You still got free coaching, training and marketing. The first point I made was that it is not the responsibility of the NCAA or their member institutions to provide a "fair" path to the NBA. If your point is that the 3-year commitment is not "fair" then you are right. I'm in favor of kids going to the NBA straight out of HS if they are good enough but the NBA is in charge of that rule. If the NCAA implemented the 3-yr commitment rule then maybe the NBA would compromise about players like Shabazz coming straight out of HS so that they wouldn't have to wait 3-yrs. With the NBA's cooperation we could have a baseball type arrangement where you can either go straight out of HS or play 3-years of college ball and, if you're smart, get an education while you are there.

  10. #90
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by lotusland View Post
    If your point is that the 3-year commitment is not "fair" then you are right.
    Well, first off, I'm not arguing for or against any particular solution. I'm not even sure if there is one. I'm only responding to earlier comments which seemed to imply that there isn't even a real problem -- or that the NCAA has no obligation whatsoever to conduct its business legitimately.

    Quote Originally Posted by lotusland View Post
    The school is offering a free education as a reward for your skill on the court. If that is not enough then go pro. If you want to play college ball for 1 year using the valuable coaching, training and facilities to get prepared for the NBA then pay back the education scholarship that you didn't use. You still got free coaching, training and marketing. The first point I made was that it is not the responsibility of the NCAA or their member institutions to provide a "fair" path to the NBA.
    And my point is that I agree with you... sort of. As an educational institution, the NCAA has no responsibility to provide a fair path to the NBA. That would be the minor league's responsibility. However, I would argue that the NCAA is not an educational institution. At least, in part. With the way NCAA basketball and football are currently structured, they actually are minor leagues: they sign big-time television contracts and shoe deals, build professional-quality facilities, weild incredible resources, have nationally diverse fanbases, and of course, pay (some of) their employees multi-million dollar salaries. They make the NBDL look like a rec league.

    These are not the activities of an academic institution that wants nothing more than to provide it's students with the option of modest inter-collegiate sports. No, this is the behavior of a sports organization looking to profit from its product. They maintain their extremely tenous link with the universities they represent for two (inordinately profitable) legal reasons: no taxes, plus free labor. Like I said above, not an illegal or purely evil thing to do, but you still have to recognize it for what it is, a charade.

    Looking at this from a standpoint of pure rhetoric (and not from financial gain or general realism), the only justifiable move the NCAA and its member schools could make, according to their own "principles," would be to burn it all down and take us back to the stone ages. They would have to reneg on all their TV contracts, give up the shoe deals, discontinue athletic "scholarships" and recruiting, and start paying themselves salaries that actually reflect their positions (i.e. somewhat above highschool coaches). Full disclosure, I would be really upset if the NCAA did this, but unless they do they will continue to be hyprocrites every time they claim to "uphold the dignity of the student-athlete." The fact that they never, ever would do this shows you exactly what their real priorities are.

    Like I said before, I don't know what the solution is. Certainly, anything as simplistic as "pay the players" is never going to work. The 3-year contract is interesting and I haven't seen it proposed before, but I ultimately think that any lottery pick would just sneeze at a $60,000 fine for going pro. To them, that is just one empty parking space in their 8-car garage.

    In any case, however, what I cannot stand for is pretending that there is not a problem to begin with, as if the NCAA's position is completely and perfectly justified. It isn't. Again, they aren't evil, but they also certainly are not the last defenders of amatuer athletics. Recognizing that fundamental inconcsistency is the first step to finding a solution, whatever it may be.

    (Can you tell how busy I am at work right now? )
    "With seven national titles and 20 Final Fours in the 64-team NCAA Tournament era, Duke and UNC have had more playoff success than any other CONFERENCE." - Al Featherston

  11. #91
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    With the three your contract idea, what happens to players who stop progress for reasons other than the NBA? I think we might be focusing on the more visible problem, the 20-30 underclassmen who are able to leave for the NBA and afford to pay for three years of college immediately, but what about the hundreds of transfers or people who leave school for academic issues? It seems like requiring three year commitments might actually create more inequity between student athletes than less.

  12. #92
    Quote Originally Posted by dcdevil2009 View Post
    With the three your contract idea, what happens to players who stop progress for reasons other than the NBA? I think we might be focusing on the more visible problem, the 20-30 underclassmen who are able to leave for the NBA and afford to pay for three years of college immediately, but what about the hundreds of transfers or people who leave school for academic issues? It seems like requiring three year commitments might actually create more inequity between student athletes than less.
    It seems there may be some uninended consequences - as their usually are when trying to address only one aspect of a complex problem.

  13. #93
    You can't say that schools are nonprofits and then claim that the schools don't owe the students anything. The students are supposed to be the beneficiaries of the nonprofit, after all!

    But yeah-- I definitely can't see how a coach of the people I watch on TV is worth millions in salary to hat nonprofit, but the players themselves are worth what goes for a market rate of about $50,000 a year. I don't know what define justice, but that's clearly not justice.

  14. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by toooskies View Post
    You can't say that schools are nonprofits and then claim that the schools don't owe the students anything. The students are supposed to be the beneficiaries of the nonprofit, after all!

    But yeah-- I definitely can't see how a coach of the people I watch on TV is worth millions in salary to hat nonprofit, but the players themselves are worth what goes for a market rate of about $50,000 a year. I don't know what define justice, but that's clearly not justice.
    Paying players is a different argument. I will say that I have a hard time thinking of big time NCAA hoops players as victims of anything. It's a pretty enviable position for most of us and, of course, it's voluntary.

    Also I see no reason the 3-yr scholarship commitment cannot make exception for transfers. The point would be to steer non-student athletes toward international ball instead of college.

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