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Cincinnati's Mick Cronin vents on Big East, pay for players

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11:20 AM ET 12.16 | Whenever the issue of conference realignment was raised last week, University of Cincinnati basketball coach Mick Cronin maintained a detached, unconcerned stance. Time and time again, he said calmly and assuredly that UC would be OK and that he didn't lose any sleep over it. But Cronin changed his tune Saturday afternoon when the seven Catholic non-FBS football schools announced that they were officially leaving the Big East officially. Finally, he had had enough. "I don't blame them," Cronin said. "It's a shame that football, one sport, has dictated all this and the money that one sport apparently is swinging around and swaying universities to make the decisions. We're sitting here in a state where the state school is 800 miles from its closest road game. It's ridiculous. Don't tell me that people care about student-athletes." Cronin wasn't finished. "Lost in the shuffle in all this is our volleyball team, our soccer team, Marshall's tennis team," Cronin said. "It's all ridiculous. Let's call it what it is. I've thought about this long and hard and I've waited to say this. If it's all about this much money and money grabbing, the players need to get paid."

Cincinnati Enquirer

Mick Cronin, Chris Trotman/Getty Images Mick Cronin, Chris Trotman/Getty Images
December 16, 2012  12:13 PM ET

I like this guy but...

...one involved in something as slimy as college basketball shouldn't take the high road IMHO.

Clean up the "handlers" in CBB then ride the high horse.

JMO

December 16, 2012  12:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I like this guy but......one involved in something as slimy as college basketball shouldn't take the high road IMHO. Clean up the "handlers" in CBB then ride the high horse.JMO

No disputing your view on CBB...

But he's right.

December 16, 2012  01:53 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I like this guy but......one involved in something as slimy as college basketball shouldn't take the high road IMHO. Clean up the "handlers" in CBB then ride the high horse.JMO

so true.

and if Cronin doesn't like the fact football pays for everything, and wants all the athletes to be paid, maybe he'll take a 75% pay cut to support his stance.

December 16, 2012  01:57 PM ET

Gotta give him his due: This guy is funny on "Modern Family".

December 16, 2012  02:03 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

so true.and if Cronin doesn't like the fact football pays for everything, and wants all the athletes to be paid, maybe he'll take a 75% pay cut to support his stance.

Yup. Where would the Cincy BBall program be if the football program wasn't bringing in huge chunks of cash...

December 16, 2012  03:10 PM ET

You can also thank 'Title 9' for some of this too.. woman's sports don't bring in hardly any revenue for the universitys.. but they're required under Title 9 to field teams for women.. and most the money spent on the women's sports programs comes out of the men's sports programs.. alot of it comes from the football programs.. and you can't blame universities for leaving for greener pastures when the oppurtunity arises.. Cincy would have bolted for the ACC in a heartbeat if asked to join

December 16, 2012  04:38 PM ET

College sports are a cesspool. That said, I think Cronin is still right.

December 16, 2012  06:12 PM ET

Who is paying for their college education?

December 16, 2012  07:46 PM ET

Well, the guy IS right about one thing. It's ALL about the benjamins. Acting surprised, and complaining about it, however, comes off as a little naive.

December 16, 2012  07:48 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Who is paying for their college education?

good point. once you start "paying" college players, game over. i don't need to see the nfl on saturdays. i don't care to see the nfl on sundays. oh so boring. money is apparantly the root of all evil.

Comment #11 has been removed
December 16, 2012  10:33 PM ET

Open wide, Mick. That crap sandwich has already been ordered and you will have to take a big bite... oh, you're already ready for it.

December 17, 2012  05:13 AM ET

Okay, let's go ahead and pay all college athletes. So you can't just pay football players, or them and basketball players, so a University like Ohio State that has a larger entire athletic program than any other school in the country will be paying money out for a couple thousand students. So after all of that is said and down, each athlete will be getting paid about .28 an hour.

Comment #14 has been removed
December 17, 2012  11:07 AM ET

I'm trying to figure out what state school he's talking about that has its closest road game 800 miles away. He can't be talking about OSU.

December 17, 2012  11:12 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Okay, let's go ahead and pay all college athletes. So you can't just pay football players, or them and basketball players, so a University like Ohio State that has a larger entire athletic program than any other school in the country will be paying money out for a couple thousand students. So after all of that is said and down, each athlete will be getting paid about .28 an hour.

Here's the problem with paying athletes. First of all, how do they determine how much they get paid. What happens to schools who are barely afloat with the athletic budgets in the first place? But, the elephant in the room is Title IX. If they pay the men's athletes, they are going to have to pay the women too.

Frankly, I worked two jobs getting through college AFTER spending four years in the Army to get the college fund. These guys get a free education and don't have to worry about any bills. They get to live the dream of playing sports in college and all the benefits that come with that. A free four-year education is something most people would snatch up in a heartbeat. In my opinion, they should be grateful they have a place to play sports AND get an education and not have to take out a bunch of student loans like many people have to do to get their degree. Sorry, but I have no sympathy for pay-for-play idea. And, if they do, they should base it on their grades so it's tied to performance in the classroom.

Comment #17 has been removed
December 17, 2012  04:32 PM ET

Don't hold back, Mick. Speak your mind.

 
December 19, 2012  04:59 PM ET

Ooops dear Mick! I do believe that players are getting paid! Between scholarships, books, meals, sports clothing, shoes, and much more you could say that most student athletes are making over $30,000 per year! And they are getting an education...for FREE.

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