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Donovan: Players find lack of compensation 'difficult'

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07:34 AM ET 09.13 | With former SEC football players in the spotlight for possible NCAA violations, one of the conference's basketball coaches tried to put the practice in context. Billy Donovan stopped short of saying directly whether college athletes should be paid. But at a speaking engagement at the Capital City Area Gator Club in Tallahassee, Donovan said he understood some frustrations athletes face in being unable to reap financial benefits that big-time college sports produce. "There is a feel by a lot of families that here you have these huge athletic departments, you have arenas, stadiums filled up and these kids are told, you can't go out and you can't take a free meal, you can't take anything," Donovan said. "A lot of times for those kids, I think it's very difficult to swallow that."

The Gainesville Sun

Billy Donovan, Getty Images Billy Donovan, Getty Images
September 13, 2013  07:43 AM ET

Well, they COULD take a meal and they COULD get a little spending money and they COULD get a little compensation for their autographs and memorabilia ... and that would be OK with me ... but the fact is there are agents and boosters who would and have found ways to exploit these things to the point of ridiculousness ... and that's the very reason they're against the rules.

Sorry kids, you can't have it both ways. Get used to it. It's called life.

September 13, 2013  08:11 AM ET

Here is the thing....how were those stadiums and arenas built? how about the weight rooms? training rooms? where does the money come to pay for the coaching? the "free" education they get including tutors and books? the dinner tables? and clothing?

Yes, they have it sooooooo tough! The are sent to games in decked out buses and/or planes. Professional prepared food is theirs to eat at meals with access to whatever snack materials are made available at all times.

C'mon! All that fancy stuff was made possible by all the preceding student-athletes who put in their time and effort and blood and sweat and beers! Take advantage and get a good free education, eat the fancy food, wear the clothes, ride in luxury, put your time in, then go get paid gawd-awful gobs of money just to sign a piece of paper before you get paid gawd-awful gobs of money to PLAY A F"N GAME!!!!!

September 13, 2013  08:16 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Well, they COULD take a meal and they COULD get a little spending money and they COULD get a little compensation for their autographs and memorabilia ... and that would be OK with me ... but the fact is there are agents and boosters who would and have found ways to exploit these things to the point of ridiculousness ... and that's the very reason they're against the rules. Sorry kids, you can't have it both ways. Get used to it. It's called life.

This is the heart of the matter. How do you allow compensation, and regulate it? How do you keep the bookies/gamblers out of it? Is the compensation market driven, or one rate for all? Football and B'Ball only, or all student athletes? Those crying out for paying the players (here's looking at you, Andy Staples) have to a offer a plan that addresses these issues. It's not enough to say the current system is unfair, doesn't work, etc. What's the alternative?

September 13, 2013  08:19 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Those crying out for paying the players (here's looking at you, Andy Staples) have to a offer a plan that addresses these issues. It's not enough to say the current system is unfair, doesn't work, etc. What's the alternative?

This. Put up or eat crow, Andy.

September 13, 2013  08:33 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Well, they COULD take a meal and they COULD get a little spending money and they COULD get a little compensation for their autographs and memorabilia ... and that would be OK with me ... but the fact is there are agents and boosters who would and have found ways to exploit these things to the point of ridiculousness ... and that's the very reason they're against the rules. Sorry kids, you can't have it both ways. Get used to it. It's called life.

Very good points Doc.

What a frickin' mess.

Comment #6 has been removed
September 13, 2013  09:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

This is the heart of the matter. How do you allow compensation, and regulate it? How do you keep the bookies/gamblers out of it? Is the compensation market driven, or one rate for all? Football and B'Ball only, or all student athletes? Those crying out for paying the players (here's looking at you, Andy Staples) have to a offer a plan that addresses these issues. It's not enough to say the current system is unfair, doesn't work, etc. What's the alternative?

Great encapsulation of the conundrum, Doctor.

My brother and his wife have put themselves in a wilderness of debt to see their two kids through college. I've little sympathy for the current status of CFB and CBB athletes with the already-generous perks they get for attending (and even occasionally graduating from) an institution of higher learning.

I think the No Cred At All has been paralyzed into inaction. They're basically chasing their own tail trying to enforce the dizzying levels of impermissible benefits already brazenly thrown about. It's either find answers to the problem, or admit incompetence and recuse themselves.

September 13, 2013  09:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Here is the thing....how were those stadiums and arenas built? how about the weight rooms? training rooms? where does the money come to pay for the coaching? the "free" education they get including tutors and books? the dinner tables? and clothing?Yes, they have it sooooooo tough! The are sent to games in decked out buses and/or planes. Professional prepared food is theirs to eat at meals with access to whatever snack materials are made available at all times. C'mon! All that fancy stuff was made possible by all the preceding student-athletes who put in their time and effort and blood and sweat and beers! Take advantage and get a good free education, eat the fancy food, wear the clothes, ride in luxury, put your time in, then go get paid gawd-awful gobs of money just to sign a piece of paper before you get paid gawd-awful gobs of money to PLAY A F"N GAME!!!!!

Yep. And let me add a couple of things ...

"They are sent to games in decked out buses and/or planes." ... and while on the bus they receive lunches, drinks, apparel, free stuff courtesy of Nike, Gatorade, etc.

"Professional prepared food is theirs to eat" ... but it's more fun to roll down to Burger King with your posse. Someone should give them money for that?

September 13, 2013  09:34 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Yep. And let me add a couple of things ..."They are sent to games in decked out buses and/or planes." ... and while on the bus they receive lunches, drinks, apparel, free stuff courtesy of Nike, Gatorade, etc. "Professional prepared food is theirs to eat" ... but it's more fun to roll down to Burger King with your posse. Someone should give them money for that?

I have no ideal why in the last 5-10 years the majority of the public feels that these 18 yr old kids are "owed" millions

2 solutions:

if you don't like it, don't play. I won't miss you one bit. Go play arena ball or prepare for the Canadian League

If you want the $400-500k you'll get as an 18-22 yr old, pay your dues and be set for life at the age of 23.

It's really simple.

September 13, 2013  10:05 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

This is the heart of the matter. How do you allow compensation, and regulate it? How do you keep the bookies/gamblers out of it? Is the compensation market driven, or one rate for all? Football and B'Ball only, or all student athletes? Those crying out for paying the players (here's looking at you, Andy Staples) have to a offer a plan that addresses these issues. It's not enough to say the current system is unfair, doesn't work, etc. What's the alternative?

If we pay players then it will be subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act. It will be taxable and it will have to be reported and accounted for. It's much more complicated than just making it ok to hand over some cash.

People clamoring for paying players might as well be clamoring for the end of amateur athletics. I have no desire to watch paid players put on a college uniform and masquerade as a member of said college.

I'll give money to my university to help a kid can get an education. I'll stop giving money to my university when they use it to pay players.

People like Andy Staples only care about sports. He's elevated it to a position higher than anything else ... including education, and he makes his living pandering to those type of people as well.

September 13, 2013  10:28 AM ET

Here's an idea. Instead of big money boosters or networks providing $$$$ for players, why not do an honorable and noble thing and dump it in the general scholarship fund? Pay for scholarships for kids that really struggle paying for college. Some of them have huge debt by the time they get through.

September 13, 2013  10:48 AM ET

Of course they find it 'difficult', they saw how much the football players were making under Urbie and want their fair share.

September 13, 2013  10:55 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Great encapsulation of the conundrum, *Doctor.*

Beg pardon. Incorrect attribution of quote. Sorry, DS.

September 13, 2013  11:01 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Beg pardon. Incorrect attribution of quote. Sorry, DS.

I was only building on what the good doctor had started, so I didn't mind.

September 13, 2013  11:12 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

I have no ideal why in the last 5-10 years the majority of the public feels that these 18 yr old kids are "owed" millions2 solutions: if you don't like it, don't play. I won't miss you one bit. Go play arena ball or prepare for the Canadian LeagueIf you want the $400-500k you'll get as an 18-22 yr old, pay your dues and be set for life at the age of 23.It's really simple.

You do realize the vast majority of these players WILL NOT go to the pros don't you. A guy on a full academic scholarship can get money but not a guy on a full athletic scholarship?!

September 13, 2013  11:16 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Here's an idea. Instead of big money boosters or networks providing $$$$ for players, why not do an honorable and noble thing and dump it in the general scholarship fund? Pay for scholarships for kids that really struggle paying for college. Some of them have huge debt by the time they get through.

Here is an idea. Let the athletes have a basic scholarship. If a company like Nike approaches a player or group of players and offers them $ to be in a commercial, add , or wear a certain item, let the guy(s) get paid, it's private money and this is a capitalist society. If it ain't coming from your tax dollars why worry?

September 13, 2013  11:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

If we pay players then it will be subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act. It will be taxable and it will have to be reported and accounted for. It's much more complicated than just making it ok to hand over some cash.People clamoring for paying players might as well be clamoring for the end of amateur athletics. I have no desire to watch paid players put on a college uniform and masquerade as a member of said college.I'll give money to my university to help a kid can get an education. I'll stop giving money to my university when they use it to pay players.People like Andy Staples only care about sports. He's elevated it to a position higher than anything else ... including education, and he makes his living pandering to those type of people as well.

People like yourself are intriguing to me? If education means that much to you do you demand that the athletes that are admitted to your alma mater meet the EXACT same academic requirements as those of the general student body before you give a donation? Do you ask about grade reports and refuse to give if the graduation rate is down? I don't know but I get the vibe you are looking at college football just like most people, for entertainment. Let the guys get paid by Nike, Under Armor, Adidas, ect. If it's not your tax $, why care?

September 13, 2013  11:28 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Here is an idea. Let the athletes have a basic scholarship. If a company like Nike approaches a player or group of players and offers them $ to be in a commercial, add , or wear a certain item, let the guy(s) get paid, it's private money and this is a capitalist society. If it ain't coming from your tax dollars why worry?

This is sort of what the Olympic sports do, and I think Staples may have suggested it also. Not sure if it works with team sports. Nike et al probably will not pay long snappers, punters and back-ups, but will want to have the "Johnny Footballs" plastered with their logos. Not good for team unity. Also, how soon would the playser look like Nascar drivers/cars with logos all over their uniforms?

September 13, 2013  11:30 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

You do realize the vast majority of these players WILL NOT go to the pros don't you. A guy on a full academic scholarship can get money but not a guy on a full athletic scholarship?!

exactly, only about 5% will go pro

That's why they better get their degree, and enjoy the 200k in other benefits of free tutors, meals, free fitness training, and play in a players lounge that would rival my country club while doing so. Then be set for life with degree in hand and start a job that pays 50-60k a year in the real world, if they are lucky, without a penny of student loan debt.

Again, if a player doesn't like it. DON"T PLAY.

Don't be such a "victum" of playing college football. There are hundreds of other options for them in life. Take the much better one that is being offered instead of CFB

 
September 13, 2013  11:35 AM ET
QUOTE(#18):

This is sort of what the Olympic sports do, and I think Staples may have suggested it also. Not sure if it works with team sports. Nike et al probably will not pay long snappers, punters and back-ups, but will want to have the "Johnny Footballs" plastered with their logos. Not good for team unity. Also, how soon would the playser look like Nascar drivers/cars with logos all over their uniforms?

If I recall, the 3rd-4th highest paid position in the NFL is OT. How many sponsors are going to pay huge sums of money to that guy?

Last year, without a doubt, the best player on aTm's team was Joeckel. How's he gonna get paid. Linemen don't get endorsements.

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