A Duck Fan Responds to Pac-12 Player Demands…

Denverduck07 Editorials 76 Comments

Recently, the Pac-12 conference was rocked with the announcement of a representative group of 12 football players — #WeAreUnited. The announcement came in the form of a list of expressed exploitations, harms and grievances, followed by a list of demands addressed to the Pac-12. #WeAreUnited advises in stark terms that their participation in football activities is contingent on a written guarantee that the entirety of their demands is met.

The timing of the announcement comes at a time when the Pac-12 has recently posted a new edition of a modified conference schedule, with training camps are due to open within the next two weeks.

The 12 members of #WeAreUnited present themselves as representative of all football players in all Pac-12 conference schools. Additionally, they also claim to represent all Pac-12 athletes in all sports. #WeAreUnited has bundled the immediate issue of COVID-19 protocols with other issues that would make radical changes to collegiate athletics. Despite the non-negotiable tenor of the demands of #WeAreUnited, there appears to be an open door for talks.

Pac-12 Video

Many more parties are involved in these discussions.

When talks start, one can hope they flourish in the spirit of negotiation — with give and take, putting yourself in the other’s shoes, building consensus, appreciating shared goals. In doing so, #WeAreUnited, you may expand your awareness, and find value in the system for which you currently participate.

Your concerns about COVID-19 are valid, and negotiation will hopefully help you to arrive at an agreement that helps you decide to play or not. Realize, though, that athletic programs are at the financial brink. Stanford announced cessation of some sports because of profound financial concerns, and the Cardinal are not alone in that precarious position. There is risk in moving forward with the fall season, and there is substantial risk in not moving forward.

Realize, too, that even though you claim to represent all university athletes, you do not take into consideration that you are members of a major team sport. Many of your fellow athletes in other sports do not perform before crowds that number in the tens of thousands. They do not garner the same national attention as you do. But, understand that when your team takes the field, the revenue generated at your game allows those other athletes the opportunity to perform. You promote your university, and you indirectly provide opportunities for the other male and female athletes in all sports at your university.

GoDucks.com Video

The Marcus Mariota Performance Center is unique in all of collegiate facilities.

Additionally, #WeAreUnited, you contend for compensation, revenue sharing and agent representation. As major sport scholarship athletes, you receive a lot of non-monetary compensation already: room and board, tuition, tutoring, position coaching, strength and training development, the finest sports medicine and the biggest opportunity to showcase your talents — and that is just the short list. Not all athletes you claim to represent have these advantages. Some are on partial scholarship, and some are non-scholarship, such as the walk-on practice team that works so hard to help you perform better.

In your quest for likeness compensation, do you realize that this is a quest for only the elite few players, a small subset of the two percent that will go onto professional competition, and it does nothing for the other 98+ percent of athletes? In your quest for revenue sharing, do you not know that of the dozens of collegiate sports, there are only two or three sports that are revenue generating? Again, I remind you that when your team takes the field, you do so in part for the benefit of your fellow athletes in the lesser revenue generating sports.

Please understand that collegiate amateur athletic programs are designed to give opportunity to as many as possible. Opportunity for athletes to develop their talents, and opportunity for athletes to gain a higher education. The amateur status within the college system provides more opportunity for more people. If you obliterate football revenues, you eliminate thousands of scholarships for students in this conference, and in so doing eliminate their opportunity to receive a college education.

Gary Breedlove

Another record set by the MEN OF OREGON. (Funded by Football)

Likeness compensation, revenue sharing and agent representation remove the amateur status. Under this scheme, revenue and compensation are directed disproportionately to elite athletes and all lesser revenue sports dwindle to nothing without funding. Re-appropriating endowments is not the answer; endowment funds are legally locked in as dedicated to the wishes of the donor. You cannot “have your cake and eat it too.”

The pursuit of this kind of semi-professional compensation will inevitably erode college football. Participation will be limited to only the elite, that two percent who are good enough to play professionally anyway, and these elite players will likely compete in the form of a new professional football developmental league. In this “pay for play” environment, players will really be treated like a commodity in to meet the “bottom line.” Chances are they will likely not have the protections and structure they have now in the collegiate system.

Is that what you really want?

As a Duck fan, I see the amazing Oregon facilities, funded by generous donors. I see the dedication, professionalism and passion of the coaching staff. I see the thousands of fans that fill the stadium, travel to away games and cheer you on.  I see a massive amount of energy and capital expended to support you, and we enjoy rooting your success. I can only imagine how hard you work to attain excellence, but I do not see harm and exploitation.

Gary Breedlove

Female athletes have won SO MANY National Championships at Oregon. (Funded by football)

I wish you well, #WeAreUnited, and I hope you can negotiate constructive changes through the process. There is always a place for discussions of reforms in college athletics, as the sport has a history of continual evolution. You have the right to decline to play because of the risk of COVID-19. You have the right to insist on your demands and walk away, if they are not met.

I hope you will consider what you have now, and your impact on fellow student-athletes when you make those decisions.

Denverduck07
Denver, Colorado
Top Photo is Screenshot of Pac-12 Video

For those who are new to this site; we want all opinions and love spirited debate as we love to learn from each other, but we do aggressively delete comments that violate our policies, of which are unlike anywhere on the web. It is not hard to follow all 29 of them as they can be summarized to 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean for the grandchildren reading, and 3) no reference to politics Charles Fischer  (Principal)

Bob Rodes, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is an IT analyst, software developer and amateur classical pianist in Manchester, Tennessee.

 

 

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DumpsterFire

Ooph…yeah, this it a subject that might ruffle some feathers, so to speak. So in my bio on here I said, “Opinions are like…..a, umm….yeah….and I have a lot of ’em.” This is definitely an area I have some pretty strong opinions, and they’re not all nice, nor are a lot of them family friendly, so I’ll keep those to myself. I’ll probably also be limiting my comments today because of it.

One thing I do agree with is the medical coverage for life, at least when it comes to injuries that occur during sports and/or sports related activities, however, if someone breaks their leg walking to the grocery store, nuh-uh, sorry. I do agree that they are somewhat special as far as student athletes because they, and I’m talking the money generating athletes here, do bring in a lot of finances for their university that funds more than just their sport. The schools wouldn’t survive without that revenue. In that regard, yes, they should be taken care of if they end up with lifelong injuries. Them getting half of that revenue though? Yeah, great idea, as long as they understand their facilities, travel expenses, equipment, support staff, etc. would no longer be able to be upgraded, so what they’ve got will be exactly what others will have in 20 years.

Profiting off of their likeness? Hey, why not, I mean heck, who wouldn’t want an authentic Mariota, or Herbert, or James, or Blount jersey complete with name? Not if it involves an agent though. Recruiting at that point will go out the door. It’ll simply be who has the biggest wallet…worse than it already is. Championships will be bought, not won. There’s a reason I generally don’t watch pro sports, and honestly a major part of it is the greed. I got tired of listening to multi-millionaires complain that they aren’t making enough millions. If college sports goes that direction, I’ll probably take up underwater chainsaw carving or something, because this fan will no longer exist.

That brings up a point that I don’t think any of these athletes understand…yes they are there for my entertainment. Yes, they’re humans, I get that, but the 50+k fans that show up to Autzen aren’t there to watch human beings, they’re there to be entertained. Now, should the athletes be treated fairly? Absolutely. I’ll stand right beside them and fight anyone who says otherwise, but to think that they aren’t in the entertainment business is ignorance at best. One thing they should never forget though, is all that revenue they’re talking about, guess who it comes from…people wanting to be entertained.

There’s so much more I could say about the “demands” that are being made, but most of my responses aren’t exactly going to be friendly, so I’ll leave it with what I’ve said. Maybe I’ll say more, and maybe I’ll respond to other posts, but I have a feeling I’ll type up a lot on here today, but I’ll likely hold down the backspace button a lot more than usual.

Good luck on this subject today folks…keep it classy…

Last edited 1 month ago by DumpsterFire
Pocketchange

i think it is important to remember that the athletes want representation with the mountain of legal documents they have sign. That is different than representation for pay.

DumpsterFire

Such as? FYI, I do understand that there is more to being a scholarship athlete in college than simply signing a letter of intent, going to school and playing sports. I also know not everyone understand it isn’t that simple, but a “mountain” of legal documents, well maybe you should explain some of it and why they’re denied representation (<–implied by your post, or so it comes across as).

Pocketchange

In the letter they specifically speak to liability wavers.

Jon Joseph

A legit point, no doubt. Believe me, any half-decent (if there is such an animal) trail lawyer will make mincemeat of any such waiver.

Charles Fischer

Pocketchange….I do not recall seeing your posts before, so I want to thank you for your input and may you keep doing so.

Welcome!

DumpsterFire

I second that, in regard to having an input. We don’t have to agree on what we’re saying, but voicing your opinion is important. Keep it coming, Pocketchange!!! This, to me, is what good and important discussions are all about, and trust me, I am listening (reading technically) to what you say. Good communication involves both talking AND listening…not just waiting one’s turn.

I seem to be in a recycling mode today with things I’ve said on other articles, but this is one of my favorite quotes…
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” – Evelyn Beatrice Hall

Last edited 1 month ago by DumpsterFire
Pocketchange

I went to the NCAA compliance website and the forms don’t seem too rigorous. So I’m wondering what other forms they are filling out that would deny them the right for legal representation, speech, or protest. (Right for speech and protest was also on the list). Is it in pac 12 or school paper work? I don’t know.

Charles Fischer

I absolutely wish to achieve on this site what your last line/quote is, but that is actually counter to the popular “Cancel-Culture” that currently prevails.

Not here, as I’ve learned so much from those I thought I disagreed with at first, thus I want all opinions across the spectrum. (In the great tradition of our First Amendment in the US Constitution)

Pocketchange

Thank you Charles! The conversations on FishDuck are always enlightening and civil. When you look at other websites discussing this topic it is really out of hand. It seems like the fans don’t really like the players. (See Oklahoma state forums). I really appreciate being able have a space with completing ideas that is civil

Charles Fischer

I am grateful for all the well-written views as this is just extraordinary reading. I do not agree with all, but some that I disagree with are readers I also highly respect. Hence I am more apt to pay attention to their contention as opposed to if someone told where to stick my head, etc.

It is a joy to be a part of, but damn…it is also fragile and I am learning new stuff all the time in managing it. (Like three items in just the last two weeks!)

Later when we expand into our own forum with the same decorum–that will be fun… Thanks for the feedback!

Last edited 1 month ago by Charles Fischer
DumpsterFire

Yes, I understand, but you speak of a “mountain” of legal documents they have to sign. Where does it say they are denied representation? What’s currently stopping them from having representation, especially if it’s a legally binding document? We, as citizens of the United States, have the right to have an attorney review pretty much anything we want. We also have a choice of signing it or not, and honestly, if the job description says you do this or you do that and you don’t want to do a part of it, the employer, or school in this case, has the right to say have a nice day.

None of that means that they can’t, as a group, say we would like to change this liability waiver in regard to the how and what it may end up impacting in my life, for the rest of my life. I did cover my views on injuries, and I do think that they should be covered, because they are a unique revenue generating individual that the school does depend on.

Last edited 1 month ago by DumpsterFire
30Duck

Thank you, DenverDuck07, for the best analysis of, #WeAreUnited, I’ve seen. I did hear an interview with one of the players directly involved, and he did understand that many of the issues on their list could not be handled immediately; that signs of acknowledgement and movement on those, would be a valid response.

Last edited 1 month ago by 30Duck
BigDucksFan

Dear Mr. Denverduck07. You have provided us Duck fans with an interesting article but I have to say that I disagree with most of what you are not saying but implying. 

In your article you mentioned “I do not see harm and exploitation” and “I hope you consider what you have now”. With both of those statements, the bases for the #WeAreUnited are totally being missed or ignored. 

If after years of watching college sports one does not see the overwhelming exploitation of the student athlete then I can only feel sorry for you as it is exactly these feelings that the athletes from college football are trying to overcome here, and I wish them well in their endeavor. 

Charles Fischer

“College Football is BIG Business”

We have heard that forever and certainly it feels that way when we watch on TV….but where does the money go? Does it fund new buildings or new faculty? Does it go into the General Fund of the university or the Athletic Department?

No. Football money pays for all the other sports, save Mens Basketball. It is the funding devise that creates the money for scholarships and supplies for the Softball, Womens Basketball, Soccer, Golf, Tennis, Baseball, Track & Field, etc.

It is the most equitable spread of wealth you can imagine; football is making money for the benefit of all athletes at Oregon, otherwise thousands of athletes in the future will not attend college.

That is not exploitation to many of us; it is creating opportunities for others. These football players do not understand the profound impact they are making on the lives of so many hard-working men and women of other sports.

Solar365

It didn’t used to be this way though did it? My understanding is the schools placed dollar value on the reputation gained from competing in these other sports. It’s like the automotive companies that go racing. The racing itself is not profitable if at all, but the indirect benefits are numerous. They end up producing better cars (or say students) as a result. That and the entertainment attract additional customers. It’s a cost of doing better business.

ptdduck

So the end justifies the means? The players surrender their rights and are subjected to ridiculous NCAA rules while football and basketball coaches get paid millions. It’s a great business model for some.

DumpsterFire

Something to remember, playing football here, or at any major college, is a privilege, not a right. The rules are in place for a reason. I’ll agree they aren’t perfect, and there are things that can be improved upon, but I wholeheartedly disagree with them being ridiculous.

Here’s a different way to look at it…say players are allowed to have agents, get sponsors and collect monetary compensation, what exactly is that going to say to the walk-on LB who isn’t ever going to see the field in an actual game? How is it fair to him that QB-X is raking in $100k in sponsorship money while the no-name walk-on gets the privilege of paying his own way through school, but he’s the one who prepares the big name QB for their next game? How is he any more or less important?

Heck, for that matter why is it that my boss makes more money than I do? There are literally only a few thousand people in the country that do what I do and he’s not one of them. If it weren’t for me he wouldn’t be making anywhere near the money he does. I mean I want to be able to go golfing a couple times a week and get a new truck every couple of years…OK, maybe not golf (sorry, just not my bag), but I can’t. I also don’t complain because I’m taken care of very well, and if you want to relate this to college and student athletes, ask your average student if they’d like to have even half of what the athletes are afforded at no cost…I’d venture to say that they’d take it in a heartbeat and not complain one iota.

Yes, the coaches get paid millions, and on the surface it doesn’t seem fair, but consider how much revenue the football team brings in to the school that supports the school as a whole. It’s a small price to pay for something that truly does benefit not only the other student athletes, but the every day, run of the mill students, too. So in that aspect, yes, in my opinion the end does justify the means…and this is coming from the father of a junior at the U of O…who isn’t on an athletic scholarship. I, for one, am just fine with coach Cristobal getting paid $2.5 million a year. I’d be OK with more than that, because the school benefits with his success.

Last edited 1 month ago by DumpsterFire
ptdduck

First of all, endorsements deals between the athletes and the sponsors are private transactions. The NCAA & schools have no business IMO regulating what players do off the field as long as it’s legal. Walk-ons won’t be prevented from negotiating endorsements.

Secondly, the primary reason some coaches are way overpaid is because their players don’t get paid. Without the players, there is no game. It’s obscene how much some coaches get paid. I’m not advocating paying players. I’m all for giving them the freedom to advocate for themselves. Amateurism must die, it won’t kill college sports if it does. It didn’t kill the Olympics.

Last edited 1 month ago by ptdduck
30Duck

Very well said. Since its inception the NCAA has seen its mission to be preserving the idealistic amateur college athlete. UNC received no punishment at all for the scholastic farce it had perpetuated for years because the NCAA had no jurisdiction in that area. If the NCAA had evolved to become the single voice of college sports, rather than each conference acting independently, the situation would be much better now.

DumpsterFire

Do you really believe that schools aren’t going to have influence over certain sponsors? Let’s say for instance Adidas decides they want to sponsor a player on the Ducks football, basketball or track team. The school has a sponsorship from Nike, and that isn’t going anywhere, ever. Do you think that the athlete is going to be allowed to wear something other than Nike? Sure, they can do commercials, but what they wear on the field means just as, if not much more than what they say off the field. ‘Wear Adidas’…scores touchdown in Nike’s. So yes, the school does have a say in the matter.

As for the Olympics, no they didn’t die per se, but the dreams of thousands upon thousands of athletes around the world did. The Olympics isn’t an amateur sporting event anymore, so in that aspect, yes it did kill it. We’ll never again see a ‘Miracle on Ice’ because of the death of amateurism in the Olympics.

By the way, I’ll say this again, directly at you this time though…just in case things are getting heated on the other end of my computer…I enjoy and appreciate your comments, so thanks for taking a stand and saying what you believe is right. I really do wish more people would engage in conversations like this on pretty much all topics. I think we’d get a lot more done in this world.

Last edited 1 month ago by DumpsterFire
ptdduck

Of course schools are going to have their own sponsors and players may get roped into that. But that shouldn’t preclude players from negotiating their own deals, especially with sponsors not affiliated with schools.

Ashton Eaton’s Olympic heroics made me proud. I could care less if he got paid endorsement money. It didn’t dilute his accomplishments one iota. Maybe Pre would have medaled in ’72 had he had a sponsor. He thought it was ridiculous that he wasn’t supported unlike the Europeans he was competing against.

Amauterism will have a swift and just death. I remember people were against gay marriage because they thought it would corrupt so called traditional marriage. And then gay marriage happened and disaster didn’t follow. Amateurism is an outdated ideal that no longer belongs in a billion dollar industry.

Last edited 1 month ago by ptdduck
BigDucksFan

Yep, works great if you’re a coach but not so much if you’re a player.

BigDucksFan

I wonder what the NFL would say if they were told they had to help pay for professional soccer ?? Or if the Giants baseball team were told they had to help pay for the little league sports ??

Then again should the non profit making sports at college be made to find a way to pay their own way or be changed into club sports ??

Lou Farnsworth

Hiyas BDF, great to see your (consistently) “early bird” comments! You must live somewhere mid-Atlantic? Chuckle.

As I see it, the words “harm” and “exploitation” are at the center of much of the controversy here. And a substantial amount of that controversy concerns both ones perspective as well as ones level of being informed. Could it be that when the player(s) who chose the word “exploitation”, they did it without fully understanding all the legal, ethical, and financial responsibilities that surround the P12 Athletic Departments and the NCAA in general?

“Exploitation” is a rather explosive word. It bespeaks of the (grossly in some cases) immoral taking advantage of another. Are there disparities that should be addressed? Absolutely. I would love to see, for example, P12 Commissar Larry Scott’s’ $5M salary reduced to less than $1M.

The $4M saved could be used to help defray the cost of lifelong medical for conditions arising as a result of college sports. If the student athlete goes on to play pro, then the pros should pick up the tab.

I too BDF, “wish them well in their endeavor”,

It’s not an issue that is going to go away anytime soon. And resolution to the issue certainly would seem to hinge upon folks of good will on both sides. Folks who will listen, ponder, and be willing to compromise towards an ongoing and evolving solution.

BigDucksFan

So true Lou. I reside in San Diego but have very poor sleeping habits, thus the early comments. It is interesting to note that Larry Scott seems to be putting off talking to #WeAreUnited, for some tactical reason. Maybe he wants to see how many are serious about there “or else”.

If we ever have a chance to cut Larrys salary now is the time.

Mulholland

Well written , well Done ! I am a DUCK , started going to games in 1972 , was a student , when the foot of my dorm rolled in a pony keg , to share with all10 k that we’re in Autzen ! Now I’ve been a season ticket owner for 29 years , and had a streak of 98 games in a row home and away , so I guess what I’m saying , I’m a major shock holder for my DUCKS ! In saying that ,we all can’t have out cake and eat it too .

The players should have a voice , but a realistic one . C19 sit out, yes, better understanding and guide lines for “ People of color “ heck YES ! But the rest of the concerns , are something that does need some change , and to do it right , will take time , and to be thought out correctly , not just throw stuff on a wall and hope it sticks !

We at O , we’re family !! And I always want what’s BEST for our young student -athletes ! We are OREGON , and let’s ALWAYS kick the huskies ……..

Last edited 1 month ago by Charles Fischer
Solar365

“not just throw stuff on a wall and hope it sticks !”

Read Trump’s “Art of the Deal” or any other book on successful negotiations and get back to me on that. That also goes for the timing of the demands. Never let a crisis go to waste. These students are shockingly competent at what they are doing and it will result in some tangible successes for them that they would never have gotten if they were timid and resonable and considerate of the circumstances.

Lou Farnsworth

ALWAYS!!!!

BigDucksFan

An interesting article from USA Today about other colleges athletes raising their voices like rarely before.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2020/08/06/weareunited-covid-19-whistleblowing-college-athletes-speak-out/3299442001/

Lou Farnsworth

An excellent summary of the status of the movement BDF…thanks for sharing.

Charles Fischer

All of us may disagree with points he makes, and agree with others, but I thought it was important to have the discussion. He came to me with a guest article, and I welcome all opinions to learn from–and we are certainly not seeing this perspective out there thus far.

One area of agreement I have with the article is my fear of the “de-funding” of non-revenue sports….the ones that have actually won National Championships at Oregon…if the boycotting players have their way.

You cannot tell me that the track athlete doesn’t work as hard at their workouts as the football players and excel in the classroom….

Last edited 1 month ago by Charles Fischer
Solar365

You also can’t tell me UO will cancel the track and field program if the football program doesn’t provide the funding. There is other non-monetary intrinsic value to these other sports programs that the schools and the public have forgotten about. Hence the demands of the players not to cancel the other programs over monetary issues. The money has made people completely lose the plot of what college sports is about, and much of this horrible arrangement in place that ignores that has been done with the best of intentions for the athletes ironically enough.

2020 is the year of the opposite. Up is down, left is right, and right is wrong, and the USA is just not built for that. These are very interesting times indeed.

Jon Joseph

Charles, I think it is very likely that many former club sport, golf and tennis for instance, will return and should return, to being club sports.

CBB and CFB are simply being asked to shoulder too heavy a financial burden.

I am completely in agreement with the goals of T9. But an amendment is needed to eliminate or reduce, the # of CFB scholarships counted for the purposes at achieving gender ‘equality.’ Obviously, no women’s sport requires 85 scholarships or brings in anywhere close to the $ raised by CFB.

And the money being paid administrator’s from the conference office on down, has to be significantly cut.

Either begin managing athletics as a business or go D3. The operation and administration of college sports has been grossly negligent for decades. In particular, CBB and CFB have been turned over to ESPN and other media companies so that coaches and administrators can earn a living disproportionate to the players bringing in the money.

DumpsterFire

I’m not sure I entirely agree with a return of some sports to club status. My opinion, if the school allows you to wear their logo and represent them as an organized group competing against an opponent from a different school then there should be some sort of compensation to the athletes for that, even if it’s just paying for the uniforms, travel, room and board.

Club players fork out the money for everything, including the uniforms, rent to any facility that they practice at and most of the time they have to already own the required equipment for each sport. The officials for these sports don’t do it for free either, and the school/conference doesn’t pay for club sport officials.

While true, the top two men’s sports (football mainly) pretty much sports the bill for all other scholarship sports, men’s and women’s, they also get better treatment, and better facilities. Do you think that the U of O golf team has anything even remotely close to the facilities of the football players? You know that awesome looking weight room coach Feld posts videos of on his Twitter account is accessible to the women’s tumbling team, or even the men’s basketball team? No, they already have it better than the other scholarship athletes in their own school, and it doesn’t stop at just the weight room…

Jon Joseph

I’ve been blessed to tee it up at Eugene Country Club. The club has very nice men and women locker rooms.

There are more stray dogs at college golf matches than fans.

Golfers need to be on athletic scholarship, subsidized by football and basketball players and directed by a coach and assistant coach, instead of a playing Captain?

The guys on the Oregon golf team are not playing with clubs donated by the First Tee. And they likely can afford a golf shirt and a pair of shorts?

Perhaps scholarship $ going to golfers could be used instead to assist financially disadvantaged Oregon residents?

The existing model clearly is not working financially. Cuts have to come from somewhere. If not from non-revenue sports, then from where?

Bob Rodes

And perhaps you already assist financially disadvantaged Oregon residents by providing athletic scholarships?

DumpsterFire

Oh, I agree the facilities are nice, but in my line of work I’ve had the privilege of doing design work (including in person final inspections) on both the ECC upgrade a few years ago, as well as multiple facilities at the U of O, including the football facilities and let me tell you, there is no comparison. Football is king, and it isn’t even close. It’d be like you or I trying to compete with Elon Musk to send someone to the ISS or Mars where we’d be using one of the old Hydro-Jet rockets some of us had as a kid to go up against SpaceX.

Last edited 1 month ago by DumpsterFire
DumpsterFire

I couldn’t agree more. Heck, tell me that the women’s basketball or softball teams don’t work their tails off both on and off the court/field and in the classroom. They’re some of the more recognizable student athletes we have here at Oregon, but their sports don’t support themselves. Yes, the basketball team did pretty well the last year or two, drawing crowds as big as the men’s team did (maybe better, I’d have to look at the actual stats), but they had a true generational player that drew attention nationally and that just isn’t going to happen again any time in the near future.

Charles Fischer

The Pac-12 boycotting players want to make an impact for thousands of future players, but they already are helping thousands of athletes now by funding scholarships that enable non-revenue sports athletes to compete at the highest level, get an education and contribute to society later from their schooling.

It is the greatest gift, the greatest impact football players are giving to athletes of all races and genders in all sports!

Last edited 1 month ago by Charles Fischer
Jon Joseph

Great take. Thank you.

1st, it is clear that far from every football player in the Pac-12 is in lock step with the entire list of ‘player’ demands. The recently released B1G player demands focus on COVID and health related issues and that’s it. A number of Pac-12 player’s have already distanced themselves from, at least, the entire scope of these Pac-12 player demands.

The Pac-12 player’s financial demands are off-the-wall and do not help, IMO, the player’s cause. 50% of revenue for student-athletes; money from the Stanford academic endowment fund, good luck.

I do get the desire for NIL income and the right to hire an agent. That the better athletes will score more NIL money than lesser athletes; that’s living in the USA. In the NFL, even with a union, a guy playing the right guard position is not going to make as much as the QB.

I definitely get the COVID and other health-related demands. As a matter of fact, all conferences and divisions that do not offer athletic scholarships have already called off fall sports. Unlike the P5, the Ivy league has not sold its athletic soul to big time media companies; the ESPN tail does not wag the academic dog. Missing 1 season of CBB Tourney proceeds and football proceeds is not going to render Ivy athletic departments insolvent.

The issue that is clearly begged: Do Ivy league Presidents simply care more for their student athletes than P5 Presidents care for their athlete-students?

P5 CFB is at a crossroads. The student-athlete model is archaic; it does not reflect today’s world. In the ‘near’ future, I see the CFB going NFL Lite, including perhaps holding a HS draft, paying players and likely, many schools, especially if T9 is not amended to exclude football scholarships, dropping CFB. I see many varsity sports that were once club sports, returning to club status.

I for one have to ask, should anyone be paid $9M+ for coaching 15 college football games? Should every big game be played in the dark? Should a media cartel be functionally in charge of CFB and the CFB Playoff? Is it possible to compete against teams that play in a conference bringing in tens of millions dollars more per annum than the Pac-12? Should P5 CFB continue to serve as a voluntary minor league for the NFL?

In summary, is the game worth the huge candle?

Regardless, player’s should not be placed at risk in order to support financially under-capitalized structures, formed by and paying large bank to, adults.

Lou Farnsworth

As always Jon you raise a ton of excellent points, as well as those “cut to the core questions” that you proffer so well.

I couldn’t agree more about many sports returning to club status. That football is bankrolling most all other sports is, indeed, too heavy a burden. Yes, 50% of revenue is IMHO a non-starter. But since the footballers are disproportionately impacted by injuries, and are “footing the bill” for other sports, perhaps sharing in 2% of revenue, (being put in a trust to be dispersed upon graduation?), might not be all that bad an idea.

The truly “archaic” model definitely needs to be re-envisioned, all the way from that ESPN “tail” down. A massive re-haul of the NCAA that would give it the lions share of television dollars instead of ESPN? Replacing all the P5 Networks with an NCAA Network? That shared revenue distributed in a fair manner?

Is the game worth the candle? Yes. Contingent upon a judicious carving of that candle.

Jon Joseph

Thank you Lou, 30 Duck and BDF.

Yes, at some level the game is worth the candle. But IMO, the ‘game’ was far more FUN when Oregon was running for the Roses, the game was played in the daylight. the conference commissioner was making less than $1M a year, the conference HQ rent was far less than $1M a year, we were not saddled with an insolvent network, and no one really cared if their conference could beat your conference in football; they cared about their team.

1 thing I do know for certain, LSU’s championship last season neither improved the value of an LSU degree nor diminished the value of a Stanford degree.

I am hopeful that as you so suggest the model is re-envisioned and re-engineered.

BigDucksFan

Jon, I like your differentiating between “student athletes” and “athlete-students”.

As someone commented the student athletes are required to sign a stack of legal papers, prepared by the school, having the schools best interest in mind and without any legal representation of their own looking out for their own best interest. I wonder how many 18 year olds really understand what they are signing or could pay for legal representation of their own. A few maybe but not many. Maybe that is something that could use an “adjustment”.

Love your question Should a media cartel be functionally in charge of CFB and the CFB Playoff?”

30Duck

I second the respect for the “media cartel” question as it really has so much to do with the creation of the CFB environment.

Haywarduck

I would say this is all part of a negotiating process. My take is the student athletes deserve more in the form of an educational benefit.

It was just in 2015 that the student athletes scholarship became protected. Before then a student athlete’s scholarship could be taken away, and the athlete was left with nothing, if the coach decided to cut him/her. This should be where the focus on changing the scholarship should be directed.

I think student athletes should be given 6 years to do 4 years of education. Maybe even have the scholarship guarantee the student athlete a masters degree level of education.

These student athlete’s are expected to do a full-time job, being a college athlete, while completing their education. While a Justin Herbert can do this with style, many struggle.

Give these student athlete’s a guaranteed education, even if it takes more than 4 years. If they are truly perceived as ‘student’ athletes, then put more into the student support and benefit. I also agree paying student athletes become a slippery slope. Work on the benefits they already receive, and make them more meaningful and realistic.

These student athletes are given an opportunity to learn how to make lots of money. The athlete part is just a small part of that opportunity. These student athletes might want to understand that many of the guys who make it pro become broke anyway. The real benefit is the education, make it stronger.

They might want to ask who has more wealth, Micheal Jordan or Phil Knight? Why does Michael Jordan have so much money? Athletics was a part of PK’s success, but his education led to the billions and the success of many.

Last edited 1 month ago by Haywarduck
BigDucksFan

You make some great points Haywarduck. I often wonder about the quality of education most of the football players get. Yes some of them take their education seriously but most are after the NFL entrance. I wonder if a lot of football players are taking classes like basket-weaving 101, just to get classes they can pass and after college and NFL failure they really are left with very little that can help them in the real world.

Haywarduck

Agree and maybe sell the benefits of education, better, and then make the idea of getting a quality education more realistic.

Seriously the big bucks is made through education, not athletics. Without a good education even those who make a very good amount of money too often end up losing it because they have no idea about how to manage the situation.

Like you said, a lot of credits toward basket weaving leaves student athletes with nothing. Make sure these student athletes come away with knowledge and an opportunity at an education that matters.

We need to leave this whole sharing the $ in college athletics in the garbage bin. Let the development league take the kids who want to go pro after high school basketball. Let’s get back to college hoops with student athletes. The same with college football. Let the guys who want to play for money, go for it. Those who want to be student athletes, take better care of their academics.

We should never cross the line of paying student athletes, never. A well rounded individual is what we want to create in college, not just what we see now. Raise the academics help in college athletics and put the student back in student athlete.

Haywarduck

I would add let the pro game play the pay game and the colleges play the student athlete game. If a kid wants to go straight to the pro game let him/her.

Right now many schools are competing against the pro game. Scandals are coming out all the time. Here are the top scandals of all-time https://bleacherreport.com/articles/468221-the-25-biggest-scandals-in-ncaa-history.

As long as kids are held back from turning pro there will be scandals. Colleges will pay these kids when they have to compete with each other over the top recruits who really just want to turn pro.

If it is just a college education, chance to play for a college then everyone is on the same footing. It is time to let the flood gates open on kids turning pro when they want.

It is either that or we will create a hybrid college game I don’t want anything to do with. We already saw what that looked like with the dawgs back in the day and more recently with sc.

I think it would be fun to see more kids staying with a college team for 4 years and real basketball being played. I also think it will be much more enjoyable when kids look at education as the longterm goal and athletics as a bonus.

ptdduck

The first step is to get rid of the amateur-athlete status, which has been a self-serving predicate for the NCAA and schools for decades. It no longer applies. College sports is a big business, especially football and basketball. By getting out of the way and treating athletes like adults, the following positive steps could take place.

-Athletes can make money off the field including endorsements
-Schools must compensate and have permission for using the image or likeness of athletes
-Athletes can have agents
-Athletes can be drafted and sponsored by pro teams without losing eligibility
-Athletes can transfer without having to sit out a year

None of this costs the NCAA or the schools a dime except for using the image or likeness. All players will have the opportunity to monetize their athletic status without hindrance. That’s a huge leap forward in terms of treating athletes fairly.

Jon Joseph

Good points but point 2 likely makes the players employees of the school which brings in FICA, FUTA, PERS, etc.

Under today’s scholarship agreements, players allow the team and conference to exclusively use their likeness. Tuition, room and board to date have not been determined to be ‘income’ as defined under the tax code.

The exclusivity agreement will end when players are allowed to market their own likeness.

DumpsterFire

And that will be the end of college athletics. The schools with the most money will then, and forever be the ones that the best high schoolers will end up going to because they’ll be bought and paid for by the highest bidder. Think Terrelle Pryor, but with a nuclear blast. If you want any semblance of the sport you see now, with the competitiveness we as fans are accustomed to then it must remain an amateur sport at this level.

Think about it, if the athletes had agents, how long do you think it would take for someone like Kayvon Thibodeaux’s agent to find him a better deal at a different school? What do you think would have happened if right before Mariota’s senior year his agent got him a smokin’ deal at Alabama, or Ohio State? Do you think we (Oregon) would have our only Heisman sitting in the Hatfield-Dowling Complex? How long before LSU makes a phone call to Penei Sewell’s agent?

Now, as far as drafting, sure, I don’t have an issue with that, but sponsoring? No, no and [HECK] no! The comparable sport that does that currently is hockey. Players are drafted typically at 18 years old, but with the exception of only two or three players, most of them return to their Junior team or go to college for at least a year or two. They have access to advice from the team that drafted them, but the do not get any financial help because they’re amateurs.

Athletes being able to transfer without having to sit out a year…if you think the transfer portal is chaotic now, wait and see what would happen if all they had to do was say they want out. Believe it or not, having to be bound to a contract, which is what the scholarship is, is an important life lesson and I think the concept of an obligation someone agrees to is starting to get lost with even the transfer policy as it is. Try doing that at your job and see how long it takes before no one is willing to hire you.

The funny thing is that so many people seem to want this Utopia environment where everything is perfect and people can do what they want without consequence…but what most people don’t seem to understand is that the definition of Utopia in Latin is actually “nowhere.”

Last edited 1 month ago by DumpsterFire
Jon Joseph

Tyrell Pryor? Did you mean Cam Newton? Shopped to the highest bidder by his old man. No NCAA violation because Cam didn’t know about it, right?

As far as big time sports go, follow the $. Check out Bama and Ohio State’s recruiting budgets compared to the competition. Check out the $ the big time recruiting programs bring in and the financial success of these programs.

P5 today is already NFL Lite.

DumpsterFire

HAHA…yeah, Cam was definitely what we’d see in the transfer portal games, but I did mean Terrelle Pryor. Do you remember the huge production he made out of his recruitment, like he was the second coming or something? He’d be a minor production by comparison if schools were allowed to openly bid for recruits. I mean compared to that, Cam Newton was like a grade school production of James and the Giant Peach.

ptdduck

Athletes are not property. The NCAA regulations they’re subjected to would not fly in the real world. The amateur athlete status is a self-serving, puritanical code that’s outdated. The NCAA should focus on graduation rates and reducing the extraordinary demands placed on athletes. Big time college football is a year-round occupation. Coaches like Nick Saban make $9 million per year and his players make zilch. It’s an exploitive business model and a cartel.

This is a great essay on the history of amauterism.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/10/the-shame-of-college-sports/308643/

Last edited 1 month ago by ptdduck
Jon Joseph

Coach Saban is ‘only’ paid $7.5M a year by Bama. Dabo is the $9M man.

Of course, you do not see a Saint Nick presser without him surrounded by a bottle of Dansani and Coke. And don’t forget the fashion advice he gives young ladies.

I wonder when was the last time Nick picked up a check in Tuscaloosa? Probably when he was coaching LSU.

ptdduck

Read the essay I linked. It might change your perspective. It did mine.

DumpsterFire

The problem I have is the source. The Atlantic is a known Left-Center media outlet and although they generally report factual information, I will never take anything they (or the opposite such as say, the National Review) as fact. The reason I chose the NYT article is because it is also Left-Center in their views, but doesn’t paint the same picture.

The main reason I essentially “countered” your link with one of my own was kind of to point out that there are differing views everywhere, and not one of them is the absolute truth. It’s much like research done on how chemicals the forestry industry uses has no impact on people who are exposed to them…yet oddly the studies are paid for by the forestry industry (I’m not here to debate that, this definitely isn’t the place for it…I used it as an example only). The source of the backer of the study, or article in this case, does have to be taken into consideration.

And just so you know I did read the article, and my view is the same. That’s the beauty of our society, or at least how it was designed anyway…we’re each entitled to our own opinions as well as the how and why we come to the views we have. I definitely appreciate you having what looks to be a slightly different opinion on this subject than I do. I think we need that as a society, if for nothing else to keep each other in check.

Honestly, a lot of what we’ve all said here today would be an awesome discussion to have over a beer or three as a group…too bad we can’t do that (thanks ‘Rona!!!). I’m sure every one of us would come away with at least a slightly different view of it all and probably make a new friend or two in the process…but alas, here we are.

Lou Farnsworth

I am absolutely down for a really fine Double IPA and an equally fine Double Bacon Cheeseburger!!
When and where?

ptdduck

Taylor Branch is a phenomenal writer and historian. He’s not a staff writer or editor for the Atlantic like Rich Lowry is for National Review. This was written in 2011, so the world wasn’t as polarized as it is now. It’s a long essay that delves into history not a short opinion piece.

Last edited 1 month ago by ptdduck
DumpsterFire

, I hope you understand the meaning of my last post to you. It certainly wasn’t to try and discredit anyone, it was simply to point out that there is plenty of information to support views from all sides. One isn’t necessarily more right or wrong than the other, they’re just different. I’m kind of, well I’d almost say an antagonist like that but I find myself more in the role of devil’s advocate a lot, even when I agree with the opposite of what I’m saying. I blame my dad…lol. This one though, I think we have differing views.

Now, so I don’t overload the posts; @Lou Farnsworth, I’m personally partial to Hop Valley, but the cheeseburger for me is a rarity, although somewhat ironically yesterday I did shoot off with one of my coworkers to lunch at Plank Town for a pretty sweet cheeseburger and a couple pints of Riptooth…

Last edited 1 month ago by DumpsterFire
NJDuck

I think this is a good article from John Canzano. I agree with what he has pointed out about the player boycott. If you haven’t done so, I think it’s worth reading:
https://www.oregonlive.com/sports/john_canzano/2020/08/canzano-pac-12-player-boycott-hits-the-target-but-also-misses-the-mark.html

Last edited 1 month ago by NJDuck
Bob Rodes

Personally, I am not in favor of paying players directly. I do think it would be great for an athlete to be profit from his or her likeness, etc. Also, I can’t imagine players being able to effectively negotiate deals themselves, so either their university would negotiate on their behalf or they would need to be allowed to hire agents.

But I also think that there need to be some hard restrictions on the type of deals that players can negotiate. For example, I can see things like Phil Knight offering five-star recruits multi-million-dollar Nike endorsement contracts, but only if they commit to Oregon. That should be verboten; college football doesn’t need another New York Yankees-style “best team that money can buy,” even if it is the Ducks.

Furthermore, I think that students who profit in this way should have to share their money around to help pay for the rest of athletics at their school. It isn’t just their likeness that makes them attractive, it’s also the brand recognition of the team that they play for. For example, EA Sports will have to negotiate with both the players and the universities if they want to bring back the NCAA Football title.

But don’t give the NCAA a dime. :P~~~~

Last edited 1 month ago by Bob Rodes
Jon Joseph

Allow me to echo Charles kudos on another great editing job.

Steven A

Your first paragraph is the exact minefield the NCAA and all of the different states’ laws, or Congress, will have to address. But also the local car dealerships etc, wherein they will only offer the money if the player is playing locally.

Do you get to bring back the UNLV $100 handshake to the Valet on scholarship?

ptdduck

Professional athletes get endorsement deals all the time and nobody thinks they’re corrupt. If the ridiculous amateur athlete status was abolished, endorsement deals for college athletes would be above board and $100 handshakes wouldn’t be an issue. The purity test for college athletes is self-serving nonsense.

Last edited 1 month ago by ptdduck
Santa Rosa Duck

Denverduck 007 thank you for the fine thought provoking discussion.

DonealDuck

I think the BIG “United” paper by the players was very well written. If you show that you can be a positive voice and effective force in areas needed immediately, you have a better chance of being heard and effective in the further discussions that will be needed in college sports after the Covid virus has lessened it’s grip on the world, instead of over-reaching in a two week Covid-gripped period set of demands as the PAC “United” paper did.

Solar365

I’m going to be honest Charles. Please take down this article.

I find the authors presumption of ignorance of the players involved regarding the revenue generated at your game allows those other athletes the opportunity to perform” and furthermore using it to against them in the article offensive and embarrassing.

Of course the players know that. That is why they are voluntarily inclusive of the other sports, attempting to simultaneously represent demands for the other sports as a starting point of negotiations. I only wish I was that smart and gracious at 20. Really, are the players from the other sports going to tell them “Hey, you don’t represent us, leave us out of this, we want our sports program cancelled.” ? No.

I guess they could say “Shut up, keep playing and risking your health additionally with COVID-19 and continue turning down your free market rights for my scholarship, thank you.” which the author is effectively arguing for, but that doesn’t sound right either.

Why should the school operate in a free market to make money off the football program, yet institute regulations to prevent players from participating in that market? Can a player prevent their school from selling a jersey with their number on it? Of course not. Yet they can’t participate in profit sharing on the proceeds from the sale. That is exploitation to me, but the author is advocating that’s not exploitation and it is okay. If the players ask for it to be fair free market for them, then it’s now not okay?

Why should a player not have the right to make their own decisions regarding their own health which delays their return, instead of being somewhat blackmailed to lose their elligibility to play. (At this point the NCAA is allowing them to retain scholarship, but the elligibility is lost). That will make some players choose to play when they otherwise would not, and that is harm, which the author argues isn’t happening.

Please take this article down.

ptdduck

I agree with almost everything Solar said except the part about removing the article. I greatly appreciate the civility on this board.

30Duck

Not Charles of course, but you just spent time citing issues that the article brought up and that you disagreed with. It has generated posts from all of us, and broadened our understanding on a breadth of issues. Why should it be taken down?

Charles Fischer

Perhaps you are new here? I allow the full spectrum of views to be written by both the writers and the readers in the posts/comments, and insist upon civil discourse. What you are advocating is, “I don’t agree with this, thus it should be cancelled.” Sorry, but the trendy “CancelCulture” does not work here.

Regardless of your feelings about the article–you were able to state your thoughts freely, but you want Denver’s views spiked?

Note also the superb discussion that has taken place because of this article; we all have learned more and are better for it.

Note no ads, videos or subscription; there is no revenue in this for me, only costs. I am not aligned with the university, and thus can determine my own editorial policy. You need to see No. 52 here, for clarification.

If you wish to write an article in rebuttal–you are welcome to, as I publish guest articles often. Email it to me…

Duckpop22

First of all, this is a very well-written piece. The author stops just short of scoffing at what he finds scoffable and explains very well the parts in which he finds merit.

As far as the demands are concerned, I have to assume this is a starting point for negotiation, because if the demands that Larry Scott and his minions are going to “voluntarily take it up the wazoo from a salary standpoint,” (or however it is stated) is so laughable as to make the rest of their positions laughable, as well.

That said, six year scholarships sound like a good idea. Football related health insurance for life? Also a good and fair idea. Prevention against, and compensation for, the COVID-19 virus? Only fair. This thing isn’t going away and I can only imagination how it can be shared between the offensive line and the defensive line. I think the medical term would be, “Yucky.”

So, we have a starting point for a conversation that should have taken place long ago. Let’s do it. And then, let’s play ball!

Mike West

I must say: what a damn good article this is Denverduck.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mike West
oregon111

I saw that Gary Patterson at TCU told a kid not to say the Nword. But he said the Nword when telling the kid not to say it. Then the kid organized a practice boycott until Patterson apologized. Gary P. still won the game. Now the kid has to stop saying it. Funny stuff. Players demand all kinds of things.

When I played HS football in Ohio back in the late 70s, we had a track coach come out and ‘try’ to coach football. He was a small guy not in very good shape and he looked like he never seen a weight room. When doing stretching drills, he called us ‘girls’. We the players, told him to go put on some pads and we would show him who the girl is.

He stopped doing that after that scene. Players are funny. They will draw the line in all kinds of places.