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Boiling down the problem
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MICHAELSPAPPY Offline
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Post: #1
Boiling down the problem
How long have we been hearing the term "student-athletes"? As I understand it, that is what the NCAA was set up to govern, i.e., young folks who were in college to get an education and who just happened to be athletes. I was a "student-musician" - a student who happened to be a musician - and if I had been a whole lot better at it, I might have made a ton of money out of music.

The problem is that in a narrow stratum of amateur sports that is not the situation and never will be the situation. For the most part, I think the NCAA has done a pretty fair job of regulating college sports; but it was never meant to deal with anything other than student-athletes, and therefore is not equipped to deal with those other situations.

Most of college sports below the D1 level, and for the most part anything below the Power Conference level, or the non-revenue sports, still fits the model and perhaps can be made to work. But those players in whose plans college plays no part other than a component of their professional exposure throw the system all out of kilter. One-and-done players are not in college to go to school. They do not fit the model, and having to deal with them has blotted the model beyond all recognition.

Baseball comes the closest to how college athletics could be made to work. Players who think they can make it frequently will go directly into the minor league system from high school and never become college students. Thus the NCAA never has to deal with them. Others drop out at different spots in the process and turn pro, because MLB is drafting them every year. The process works, because it is (for the most part) within the model that the NCAA was designed to govern. Baseball has its own minor league developmental system, and so does not lean nearly as heavily on college to do it for them as do football and basketball.

It is when the players are not truly student-athletes that the model breaks down. Unless and until a system is devised so that those players do not progress through the scholastic system, the NCAA model is going to have problems. There is nothing wrong with not being a student-athlete; it is just that those are what the NCAA was designed to regulate.

Players who are wanting to get paid for their college playing obviously are not in college for the education, but for the pay and the boost that they hope they can get for their professionalism. (Is anyone likely to pay money for the likeness of any player below the very top tier?) They are professionals who happen to be in college, whom the system has forced to go to college when they have no genuine interest in an education. Why are those players even in college? They do not expect to make their livings from their education, but from their athletics. A system that deals with "student-athletes" manifestly was not designed to deal with them, because they are not primarily students, but primarily professionals.
(This post was last modified: 04-17-2021 09:47 AM by MICHAELSPAPPY.)
04-17-2021 09:44 AM
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mjs Online
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Post: #2
RE: Boiling down the problem
(04-17-2021 09:44 AM)MICHAELSPAPPY Wrote:  How long have we been hearing the term "student-athletes"? As I understand it, that is what the NCAA was set up to govern, i.e., young folks who were in college to get an education and who just happened to be athletes. I was a "student-musician" - a student who happened to be a musician - and if I had been a whole lot better at it, I might have made a ton of money out of music.

The problem is that in a narrow stratum of amateur sports that is not the situation and never will be the situation. For the most part, I think the NCAA has done a pretty fair job of regulating college sports; but it was never meant to deal with anything other than student-athletes, and therefore is not equipped to deal with those other situations.

Most of college sports below the D1 level, and for the most part anything below the Power Conference level, or the non-revenue sports, still fits the model and perhaps can be made to work. But those players in whose plans college plays no part other than a component of their professional exposure throw the system all out of kilter. One-and-done players are not in college to go to school. They do not fit the model, and having to deal with them has blotted the model beyond all recognition.

Baseball comes the closest to how college athletics could be made to work. Players who think they can make it frequently will go directly into the minor league system from high school and never become college students. Thus the NCAA never has to deal with them. Others drop out at different spots in the process and turn pro, because MLB is drafting them every year. The process works, because it is (for the most part) within the model that the NCAA was designed to govern.

It is when the players are not truly student-athletes that the model breaks down. Unless and until a system is devised so that those players do not progress through the scholastic system, the NCAA model is going to have problems. There is nothing wrong with not being a student-athlete; it is just that those are what the NCAA was designed to regulate.

Players who are wanting to get paid for their college playing obviously are not in college for the education, but for the pay and the boost that they hope they can get for their professionalism. (Is anyone likely to pay money for the likeness of any player below the very top tier?) They are professionals who happen to be in college, whom the system has forced to go to college when they have no genuine interest in an education. Why are those players even in college? They do not expect to make their livings from their education, but from their athletics. A system that deals with "student-athletes" manifestly was not designed to deal with them, because they are not primarily students, but primarily professionals.

You make some great points. Then NFL and NBA have used the college system to their benefit. They will continue to do so as long as they are allowed to do so. I wouldn't have a problem with all the top players going from high school to the G-League and getting paid. The rest (the vast majority) could go to college and be "student athletes". How that happens, I don't know.
04-17-2021 09:51 AM
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MICHAELSPAPPY Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Boiling down the problem
(04-17-2021 09:51 AM)mjs Wrote:  How that happens, I don't know.

The system will have to crash and burn first, and I think that calamity is in the process of happening.
04-17-2021 10:13 AM
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MICHAELSPAPPY Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Boiling down the problem
The bottom line is that the top tier of football and basketball in college sports is blatantly professional, and professional sports do not belong in college. Coaches are employees - however grossly overcompensated they may be; the schools are paying them to provide a service. Students are NOT employees; they are paying the schools to provide them an education. There is a very fundamental difference in their status and their relationship to the schools.

Players who are good enough to be in the professional leagues ought to be in the professional leagues so they can be paid: I have no argument whatsoever with that assumption. They are good enough at what they do to deserve to be employees in the Sports Industry. The current system prevents them from being there - and therein lies the problem. We are trying to fit professionalism into a situation where it has no business being.
04-21-2021 07:30 AM
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