banner
Joe Ovies

Resistance to player pay shows lack of imagination

Posted July 18, 2014

"If you want to be a professional, be a professional," UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said during a discussion of whether student-athletes should be compensated.

Athletic directors from North Carolina, Duke, NC State and NC Central participated in Capitol Broadcasting's inaugural "Fan Town Hall" on Thursday. The discussions ranged from academic compliance, Title IX, "Power Five" conference autonomy and financial compensation for student-athletes. It was the rhetoric over that last issue that truly peaked my interest.

Dr. Kevin White, athletic director for the Blue Devils, made it clear that straight up payment for student-athletes was not on his priority list. In White's view, incoming players are getting a great deal considering the financial commitment already in place thanks to the scholarship and support staff.

"$62,000 plus strength coach, academic advisement, travel, per unit, who knows what it is – a half a million dollars per student-athlete at a private [institution]," said White. "I mean it's a pretty sizable investment."

Bubba Cunningham, athletic director of the Tar Heels, was a little more blunt on why paying student-athletes was a non-starter issue.

"If you want to be a professional, be a professional," said Cunningham. "The option here? Room, board, books, tuition and fees. The cost of attendance, the opportunity fund. We have Pell Grants. and you're going to get a great education. That's what we offer and if there's something better then I would love to have you do it."

However, the options for those interested in succeeding in the revenue sports of football and basketball don't have legitimate alternatives to playing at the collegiate level. There is no minor league football system for players to join and work on their skills as they wait for the NFL entry limit to expire. And do we really expect 18 year olds to go head-to-head against adults in Arena League Football or the CFL? Same goes for expecting high schoolers to head overseas to play basketball before they're eligible for the NBA.

Debbie Yow, athletics director for the Wolfpack, at least acknowledged schools are making money off the likeness of players.

"We're making money off the jersey, and they're not getting any of the money," said Yow. "I would be okay about the option of their having an escrow account. Maybe it's something small – 2 or 3  percent of the net or gross costs of that jersey goes into that escrow account, and once they either leave school to go pro or graduate he gets that money."

Dr. Ingrid Wicker-McCree, athletics director for the Eagles, echoed those sentiments. However, she was concerned about fairness.

"I wouldn't want to see that student-athlete not be able to capitalize off of their talent but at the same time keeping in mind it's much larger than that," said Wicker-McCree. "It's a fairness and equity issue for me."

White took it a little further.

"If Johnny (Manziel) gets to make a lot of money off of his celebrity, does he give a little to the offensive line? Where does it stop?" asked White. "What is Johnny without the offensive line? I'm not sure."

Actually, we can be sure how this plays out. We see it every day in the real world. Peyton Manning gets more than his offensive line. So does Cam Newton. This is how capitalism works, and there's no reason why student-athletes can't be exposed to it.

"How do you think this is for team morale," pondered Yow. "So you going to be passing the ball to me the next game or not because you were counting on that money from your jersey sale. The retailers didn't pick you, in fact you're pretty certain in your mind that your coach was the difference maker. You knew he didn't like you, you knew he liked me better, that's what you thought."

Except these issues already exist within a team dynamic without the involvement of money. Coaches overcome internal team politics by building trust and setting up concrete consequences for those whose grudges adversely effect the room. Coaches already manage assistant coaches and coordinators, how would this be any different? Especially when you consider all these issues are sustainable in the pros.

At best, the cautionary tales posed by White and Yow come off as either distractions from the real issue or a sign they haven't come up with workable solutions. At worst, it shows the athletic departments simply want to preserve the bottom line.

32 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • dbretz Jul 20, 2014

    I think the word you were looking for is piqued.

  • dmccall Jul 20, 2014

    Actually, support of player pay show "lack of imagination". Some people just don't understand the financial end of things.

  • jjackflash1966 Jul 18, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Otis, YOUR's is simply the dumbest, most ignorant post I've ever seen. Hate on, bro. It won't help you, one iota, which is why I want you to keep on hatin'.

  • huxter72 Jul 18, 2014

    The 4 baboons.

  • Hammerhead Jul 18, 2014

    View quoted thread



    They are compensated with what would be considered full time pay or more for their efforts.

  • uBnice Jul 18, 2014

    View quoted thread



    It is not free. Steve Logan even admits it is a full-time job. But you well know there is nothing free.

    Not everyone can be a D1 athlete. If they could they probably would. As much as we may think of the athletes as plentiful, they are not for this level of play.

  • vt94hokies Jul 18, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Solid one.

  • Objective Scientist Jul 18, 2014

    View quoted thread



    Michael McAdoo - most likely - could NOT have succeeded in any major on his own. He should never have been admitted as a student! All this talk about "opportunity"? The opportunity is focused 100% on ATHLETICS... not academics. Admit the kid - even if he is not even close to being academically equipped to succeed in the classroom - so that he can have the opportunity to play and partake of the "riches" of the NBA/NFL! The focus is NOT on the opportunity to obtain a degree or "get an education" - it is the opportunity to play ball at the next level!

  • roberttherugguy Jul 18, 2014

    500,000 per student, maybe at Duke Dr. White? And then there Is Ms. Yow "he" gets the money, so the women do not get paid? That will go over well.

  • otis4411 Jul 18, 2014

    Bubba has some nerve claiming they will get a great education at eweNc. Let's just state the facts here. Michael McAdoo lost his eligibility and also lost in court submitting plagiarized papers. (uncovered by packpride) eweNc released a statement saying they would still honor his scholarship so he could continue his education. When they said "continue" they meant it. They then stuck him back in those fake no show classes where he got no education. That is the Carolina Way and they have no shame talking about a great education.

More...

 

 

  • ACC: Wake Forest at Duke

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at Clemson

    Tonight at 9:00 on WRAL-FM

  • ACC: Duke vs. Wake Forest

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 620am

  • Big Ten: Wisconsin at Minnesota

    Thursday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Dallas at Portland

    Thursday at 9:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHI 5
CAR 2
Final
SAV 49
NCCU 62
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
GT
UNC
 
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
 
Final
MIA 7
FIU 2
 
Final
DET 12
FLASO 2
 
1:05pm Today
DET
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
MIAFLA
 
1:05pm Today
PHI
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
NEASTERN
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
PIT
 
3:05pm Today
CIN
CLE
 
3:05pm Today
OAK
SFG
 
4:05pm Today
BOS
BOSTONCOLL
 
5:10pm Tonight
ARI
ASU
 
Final
PHI 103
TOR 114
Final
BRK 110
GSW 108
Final
MIA 115
PHO 98
Final
MIN 105
LAC 110
Final
DAL 102
NOP 93
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYK
SAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
MIL
 
Final
TEX 61
BAY 59
Final
SYR 47
UVA 59
Final
SHSU 76
CARK 49
 
Final
NWST 92
SELA 79
 
Final
NCAT 67
COOK 50
 
Final
HOW 61
NORST 59
 
Final
DELST 85
HAMP 75
 
Final
STEPH 83
INCWORD 62
 
Final
MCNST 70
LAM 69
 
Final
NO 79
NICST 89
 
Final
SAV 49
NCCU 62
 
Final
ALAAM 75
TXSOU 77
 
Final
VT 59
BC 66
Final
MVSU 66
GRAM 62
 
Final
ISU 77
OKLA 70
Final
ALAST 65
PVU 67
 
Final
ARKPB 64
JST 62
 
7:00pm Tonight
UMO
AKR
 
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
ARMY
 
7:00pm Tonight
BST
EMICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUT
GEOR
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
IOWA
 
7:00pm Tonight
FLGC
JVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
USCU
KNST
 
7:00pm Tonight
BGU
KSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
NKENTUCKY
LIP
 
7:00pm Tonight
HC
GHND
 
7:00pm Tonight
RUTG
MD
 
7:00pm Tonight
GT
UNC
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
OHIO
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALA
MISS
 
7:00pm Tonight
DAY
RIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
TOL
 
7:00pm Tonight
DET
YOUNG
 
7:30pm Tonight
UNF
STET
 
8:00pm Tonight
ABCHRIST
HOUB
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
NEOM
 
8:00pm Tonight
NILL
WMICH
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILLCH
WRST
 
9:00pm Tonight
MIZZ
AUB
 
9:00pm Tonight
UGA
KENT
 
9:00pm Tonight
NW
MICH
 
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
 
9:00pm Tonight
UF
TEXAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
KU
WVU
 
9:15pm Tonight
CREI
VILL
 
Final
NYR 4
NAS 1
Final
CHI 5
CAR 2
Final
SJS 4
MON 0
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
NAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
BUF
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
OTT
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYI
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
ANA
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
LOS
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
SJS