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"Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain't come to play SCHOOL classes are POINTLESS."

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"Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain't come to play SCHOOL classes are POINTLESS."

It's OK, the NCAA and those major football schools *really* feel this way too; but it's not great for public relations, and what's not good for PR is not good for TV contracts, and what's not good for TV contracts isn't good for the bottom line.

So we'll continue to pretend that college athletics for football and basketball players at major schools is about going to class.

Meanwhile, athletes will be given $4 or $5k to fly to bowl games on a $500 ticket so they can pocket the change.


Because the athletes are broke, often education-poor, while their schools are making $m in revenue AND using athletics as the principal tool to drive donor interest.

Indeed, sir Ohio State Third String QB, we ain't come to play school...

How can the system change?

"The rent is too damn high." Any system that so readily abuses its proletariat, is in my opinion, ripe for change.

tl;dr: Pay the players:

Invest in education -- teachers and educators. Focus on failing schools using technology to facilitate teacher efficacy and efficiency and to help train "remedial" kids. The majority of major football and basketball college athletes are coming from these broken schools. For every Phillips Exeter DI athlete in football or basketball -- or even from Palo Alto High (see: Jeremy Lin), there are probably 1,000 DI athletes from lower to lower-middle class families.

Let's be honest; this third string QB probably does not have a passing understanding of Algebra ( He's given private tutors, one-on-one instruction in any class he so desires -- but you can't manufacture desire. And he's so far behind, his tutors will be pissed off that their $10/hour is not worth the trouble of tutoring someone in Physics 100 that needs remediation in pre-algebra.

How do I know this? I have a multitude of friends who have been both major athletes in basketball and football AND another group of friends who have tutored these guys. After the shock and awe wore off (this phrase is used tongue-in-cheek here) the latter realized just how bad the former are at school.

Tutor gives up because the tutor is not *tutoring* they are *teaching*, and the "student" athlete just wants to do the bare minimum, read: 2.0 GPA, to pass and get back on the field. And oh yeah, they're probably majoring in "Communication" or guaranteed whatever the easiest major in the entire school is. The school compliance and tutoring departments are not stupid; they know Johnny or Billy or third string Ohio State QB do not have the necessary training to pass a more difficult major *AND* be NCAA-compliant, so they give them the easiest possible.

We can't change the cultural phenomena of the media overhype-cycle of athletes -- for the same reason, too much money involved by all parties: the sponsors, the media, the athletes. Therefore, I think the focus has to be on balancing the system and fairness for the athletes.

Pay them while they're in college. Set up a trust fund for after they're in college. Keep it simple. Flat rates. Something like a $4000/mo stipend for the major college football and basketball players. Think that's a lot? Sure, $4m/year is a lot, but consider the largest DI football program made $100m in profit last year.

I've seen former world-class athletes wiping down the bar less than a decade later, even while their university has and continues to make $50-$100m/year in profits from other young men and women.

There is so, so much potential in these young men. However, the economic thing for these schools to do is recruit kids who have had mediocre education, spoon-feed them through the system, generate $bn in revenue from TV contracts, ticket sales, licensing and fees, and donor relations, and rinse/repeat every year.

One economist or publication estimated that Tim Tebow -- an obvious outlier, but still -- was worth $1.4bn to the university of Florida. I haven't checked, but I would wager that is more than the entire university's endowment.

One point four *billion* dollars.

One college athlete, worth $1.4bn to a university. Can you guess how Tim Tebow feels about paying college athletes given how much his university and the NCAA generated from his hard work?

The rent, indeed, is too damn high.

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