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State of the Game 2011 - A Bigger Stipend?
Stanford QB Andrew Luck
Stanford QB Andrew Luck
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 21, 2011


Fixing the scandals, Cam Newton, the Longhorn Network, and more. Along with the CFNers, check out the opinions on key topics going into the season from Matt Hayes from the Sporting News and the Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein.


State of the Game 

Should The Stipend Be Bigger?


2011 CFN State of the Game Topics  
- Should The Death Penalty Be On The Table? 
- What One Thing Can Stop The Cheating? | Bloggers Analysis
- How To Fix The NCAA | Bloggers Analysis
- Is There Institutional Control? | Bloggers Analysis
- The Cam Newton Situation | Bloggers Analysis
Was Stanley McClover Telling The Truth? | Bloggers Analysis
Should Players Get a Bigger Stipend? | Bloggers Analysis
- Should a one-loss SEC team play for it all? | Bloggers Analysis
- Why isn't there a playoff? | Bloggers Analysis
- The Programs About To Blow Up | Bloggers Analysis
- Does The Longhorn Network Matter? | Bloggers Analysis
- What'll Happen In Ten Years? | Bloggers Analysis
- When Should Players Turn Pro? | Bloggers Analysis
- What's Your Beef? The Biggest Complaints | Bloggers Analysis

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E-mail Pete Fiutak

Please, sports world, talking heads, bloggers, and assorted other media types, get this through your heads; the players can't be given an extra stipend. Not logistically, not theoretically, not practically. It can't happen, it won't happen, and the people who are throwing the idea out there, like Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, know this and are spewing this kind of rhetoric to throw you off the track.

By suggesting the players should get a bigger stipend, the powers-that-be know it can be played off like they're addressing the issue without actually dealing with the issue.

Once the NCAA admits that players deserve anything with the word extra in it, then it has to admit that players getting anything extra is okay. If the NCAA thinks the players deserve more money in any way, shape, or form, then it can't say boo if a player wants to take an extra incentive from a sports marketing firm. Making things worse, to think the idea of an extra stipend will stop the cheating or will stop boosters, agents, and other outside forces from doing what they do is 100% wrong, and in fact, the opposite would probably happen.

Admitting that players deserve a larger stipend would almost certainly accelerate the arms race after players get an even greater sense of entitlement. Tell the players they deserve more, and it might take a bigger wad of dough to pay off the players looking for a handout. A $100 handshake might turn into a bag of cash; bag of cash might turn into a car, and so on.

It'll also be a tough sell to the academic side of the schools.

Yes, the players bring in the money, and yes, the football teams make the dough, but in a time of massive budget cuts, good luck convincing the people who care about the integrity of the academics that a backup offensive tackle deserves money while the English department is getting gutted.

If that wasn't enough, then how do you deal with the inequality factor in the athletic department? Suzy Golfer, whose sport is a drain on the university, would have to get paid as much as Joe Heisman thanks to Title IX. And harder yet to figure out would be the payments on the team. One star quarterback could mean the difference between a BCS payday and the Idaho Potato Bowl, and he gets as much of a stipend as the backup punter?

Good luck with that.

And then there's the issue of who provides the extra stipend. Would the NCAA subsidize the programs conferences that can't pay, or would it handle the whole thing? Considering the conferences negotiate the TV deals, would a player get paid more to go Purdue than he would at Eastern Michigan? Would Texas be able to hand out a bigger stipend because it'll make more money from the Longhorn Network? And how would the NCAA have the stones to enforce any sort of normalcy among the payouts?

Okay, SEC team, your players get $10,000 each, but if they get $10,001, you're violating an NCAA rule. Meanwhile, Arkansas State players, you get a $5,000 stipend, but really, you're a part of the FBS and you have just as much of a chance to win the national title as any of the other schools.

Let the players good enough to have agents have agents and let's finally stop the charade. Let the players get the money they can get, but not from the schools. NCAA, conferences, schools, use the money to pay for other things.

By Matt Hayes
Sporting News


No. If they want money, give them their scholarship money and let them pay — out of their own pockets — tuition, books, room, medical insurance, dental insurance, academic tutors, specialized surgery costs (ACL’s; shoulder; hip) and everything else they receive as part of their scholarship. It’s ridiculous to think players aren’t being taken care of — no matter the money being made by the sport through television contracts. Many players wouldn’t even be admitted to their schools without their ability to play the game. Less than five percent of college players make it to the NFL. The others better have something to fall back on. How much is that worth? Ask a kid who couldn’t get into college.

By Teddy Greenstein
Chicago Tribune


I’m neutral. If you can give a stipend to all needy football and men’s basketball players without cutting sports or jacking up ticket prices, I can live with that. But I think stipends would create more problems than they would solve. How could you tell an underprivileged women’s basketball player from UConn that she is not entitled to some cash? In general, I think student-athletes should appreciate what they have – free tuition, room and board, career training and access to NCAA emergency funds. If they deem that unfair, explore how other kids pay for their education. Wait tables or take a work-study job in the library.

By Richard Cirminiello

No. It’s a voluntary activity that brings about countless opportunities and benefits, even to career backups. The scholarship, meals, apparel, exposure and, er, other trappings of being one of the big men on campus is stipend enough. See Question No. 1 for an alternative solution.

By Matt Zemek

I definitely like the idea. Implementation is a substantially different matter. Unless or until Title IX is substantially reformed or updated, we’re not going to see meaningful movement on this matter. That’s something which also needs to be changed in college sports, but it didn’t top “football majors” as my proverbial “ONE thing.”

By Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee

Tricky question, because it gets into all sorts of legal issues like Title IX. If the NCAA stands as it’s currently built, then no, I don’t like the idea of an extra stipend because it would mandate that the Heisman Trophy candidate would have to get paid as much as the backup goalie on the lacrosse team.

I’m of the belief that the age of the superconference will usher in a new age of full cost of attendance scholarships with it. In that case, I’m all for it. The NCAA allows athletes to work 20 hours, but after class and football practice, that’s just not realistic. Football players deserve something, and full cost of attendance scholarships are a good start.

By Russ Mitchell
Follow me on Twitter @russmitchellcfb

It's a first step, though I'm beginning to feel more and more certain that simply paying players is not enough. Much of this cheating appears to be about ego as it is about money...and simply paying a kid a few hundred extra dollars a month isn't going to stop his Id from fighting with his super-ego.

Most of these kids don't know the rules absent at the highest level. Many come from poor situations and are not going to turn down money in their face today - particularly given the small likelihood that they will be exposed tomorrow.

Paying them a small stipend is not going to stop cheating, nor is it truly equitable - either to to performance or the revenue generated. And if you think there's been money in the past, with these new TV contracts and the money that a playoff will generate (it's coming sooner than you think), cheating will only intensify.

It's not just the players... Go ask Butler University how much it benefited from the recent basketball postseason run. They estimate the revenue from the publicity/free media generated from their two Final Four runs at approximate half a billion dollars. You think that'll buy a few administrators attention? What cheating? Exactly.

I hate to say it, but Fiu's right. The time has come to allow college athletes to hire agents and represent themselves. Put it all out on the table...it's the only way to ensure that players are justly compensated and at the same time reduce the climate for under the table inducements. Let the free market decide.

However, what happens when that free market is every mens clothing store in Alabama paying every athlete to appear in commercials? How will the playing field remain even close to level then?


2011 CFN State of the Game Topics  
- Should The Death Penalty Be On The Table? 
- What One Thing Can Stop The Cheating? | Bloggers Analysis
- How To Fix The NCAA | Bloggers Analysis
- Is There Institutional Control? | Bloggers Analysis
- The Cam Newton Situation | Bloggers Analysis
Was Stanley McClover Telling The Truth? | Bloggers Analysis
Should Players Get a Bigger Stipend? | Bloggers Analysis
- Should a one-loss SEC team play for it all? | Bloggers Analysis
- Why isn't there a playoff? | Bloggers Analysis
- The Programs About To Blow Up | Bloggers Analysis
- Does The Longhorn Network Matter? | Bloggers Analysis
- What'll Happen In Ten Years? | Bloggers Analysis
- When Should Players Turn Pro? | Bloggers Analysis
- What's Your Beef? The Biggest Complaints | Bloggers Analysis

LIMITED TIME ONLY: CLICK HERE for a Free Week of Top-Rated Selections

- Suggestions or something we missed? Let us know
- Follow us ... http://twitter.com/ColFootballNews
 
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