Doug Robinson: The walls are closing in on the NCAA

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  • jimbo American Fork, UT
    April 6, 2014 7:16 p.m.

    If we need other proof of the big business aspect of NCAA sports, just look at the salaries of the head coaches for football and basketball at virtually all division 1 schools. I suspect that they are, by far, the most highly compensated employees; and this includes our large private institution here in Utah county.

  • Aloha Saint George Saint George, Utah
    April 4, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    I'm anxious to see where this goes. This is not going away. Some school may elect to get rid of sports altogether, especially ones where there barely breaking even. In university system it's about education/preparation for the job world. This requires that young men and women learn interact and negotiate with their peers for a common objective. I'm interested to see how coach-layer relationships improve as well as this compensation for Athletes.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    April 3, 2014 6:31 p.m.

    Doug, you have hit the nail on the head. Money and money-grubbing runs sports from little league, nowadays, to the "professional" level.

    That's why I have chosen not to spend a single cent of my income on organized sports any any level

    When Miguel Cabrera "earns" $46,000+ every time he comes up to bat, regardless of what happens at the plate, just for playing a game, something is drastically wrong.

    The gullible fan with more dollars than sense will continue to support this ridiculous endeavor forever, I'm afraid.

    Personally, I choose not to and hopefully there will be millions more of us in the near future.

  • TandJ LaVerkin, Utah
    April 3, 2014 1:05 p.m.

    There is only one correct way to do this. Get professional sports out of the NCAA, and if a school such as the Univ. of Utah wants to support or purchase a minor league team (I don't think that they could afford the NBA or NFL) then let them do so. It would be much like whoever owns the Salt Lake Bees baseball club. Then the University could pay their player for PLAYING and nothing else. No free schooling, they would be professional players earning a salary. All schools should be able to do the same. Then, the NCAA would operate as it did in 1940. Schools with non-professional players could walk on and play (you might even allow scholarships). But there would be no, absolutely no recruiting. The non-professional players could choose the school that they wanted to attend and then simply try out for playing. Much like high schools. The answer is very simple. If a school wants to support a professional team let them do so.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    April 3, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    Unless a governing body still exists to make things equal and equitable, the disparity between the haves and have-nots will actually grow and widen. The big school programs, who have bigger fan bases, will be able to pay their athletes more... much more, thus insuring they always get the elite players, while the mid-majors and smaller fan-based schools get to choose from the leftovers.

    The differences will then continue to widen while upper echelon schools will all but promise their chosen, elite athletes will become relatively rich while lower tiered programs, who don't generate as much revenue, won't be able to make or even insinuate such promises. The disparity among programs around the country will only widen if college sport programs are allowed a free hand in operating as a free market enterprise in a capitalistic environment.

    Upper tier programs will flourish while lower tiered program will try to operate with the leftovers. Thus, the quality gap continues widening and the ensuing problems continue growing. Therefore, some way of ensuring equitable payout to athletes across the board must be maintained in order for the talked about changes to work in the longterm.

  • vinnyb3 Provo, UT
    April 3, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    Solution (at least part of one): Allow athletes to accept sponsorships, gifts, and accept money for signing their own name.

  • utroyalwulff logan, ut, UT
    April 3, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    I love college football and basketball. But lets be honest the NCAA has taken advantage of these kids while making a fortune by masking themselves by hiring university presidents to hide behind (miles brand former oregon and indiana president,,, the only guy that could get bobby knight fired.) Yes they get a degree, or some of them do get a useful one, but most are really not "student-athletes." They are looking for a way to get to the professional level and it has to go through this channel. When the term "student-athlete" is used, I laugh, especially when everyone on the team but just a few are lets say "liberal arts" majors. Ive had family members play D1 basketball and the stories they tell, but in the same token they were smart and did get a degree in something worthwhile.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 3, 2014 8:19 a.m.

    A truly outstanding column. I agree on so many levels. The NCAA is like the IOC, UCI, FIFA and most of the other governing bodies that exploit athletes for the benefit of others, including the leadership. Colleges are no better as a whole. I despise the whole system. Unionization is the only tool available to the athletes. It has worked in many sports, all pro, and where there is no union, like cycling, the athletes are treated poorly overall. If a union at Northwestern serves as a wakeup call, the good for them. Thanks for the awesome piece, Doug.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    April 3, 2014 7:45 a.m.

    Nothing just or fair will be accomplished as long as the haves vs the have-nots are the basis for decisions, and they pretty much defines not only the net worth of athletes economically, but also academically, too. The good-old-boys are going to get their pound of flesh one way or the other, as observed from the angst against the mid-majors from 1984 when BYU was the only one in the country undefeated and the way they treated Utah when they and Auburn were undefeated, yet so was another team. The new 4-team play-off is "just about right" according to them, but wait and see what happens to the #5 team every year. The funny part is that they make themselves look bad but they don't care, they have all the marbles or trump cards. I'd say they're way past time to reform in some meaningful way, not just changing colors of lipstick on the pig.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    April 2, 2014 8:27 p.m.

    One decision which would ease some of the pain felt by scholar-athletes...

    Let them move from one school to the next... without penalty...

    Just like coaches.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    April 2, 2014 7:05 p.m.

    The NCAA needs reform, no question about it. However, so many of the ideas I hear sound as though they would create more problems than they would solve.

    #1 - Some argue the two most popular and profitable college sports, football and men's basketball, should have their own athletic department and that players within those departments should get paid based on their fair market value. Not only would such an idea cause a massive rift among student athletes, it would also fail to take into account that at some colleges, hockey, wrestling, women's gymnastics and women's basketball are just as popular as football and men's basketball.

    #2 - Tile IX. People might hate Title IX, but thus far, every court in the U.S. has upheld the law as it is written, therefore whatever additional compensation male athletes receive must also be given to the female athletes. If those pushing to pay players in the popular sports think they can get around this, trust me, they can't.

    #3 - Suppose college athletes did get paid. How much should they get? Whose going to manage their money. Watch the ESPN documentary "Broke" if you think college athletes can handle the money okay.