College Football in Crisis: Pac-12 Needs to Get This Right

Jordan Ingram Editorials 71 Comments

By the time this article is published, the college football landscape very likely has changed overnight. As I wrote this article on August 11, the Dan Patrick Show announced that, according to sources, both the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences were planning to announce the cancellation (or postponement) of the football season in the fall.

Honestly, it’s a relief. Fans have banged their heads against the wall waiting for some clarity and decisiveness from anyone in charge, but real concrete answers have remained vague and elusive.

But the Pac-12 has another issue it must deal with alongside a global health crisis. “#WeAreUnited,” a group of players who published a letter in The Players’ Tribune, outlined a clear list of concerns and demands aimed at addressing racial injustice and preserving student-athletes’ health, safety and financial security amid COVID-19.

And it’s not going away. In fact, the #WeAreUnited movement received a significant boost after recently joining forces with #WeWantToPlay, a group of players determined to play football this year. Now, the expressed goal for both groups is to form a players’ union, College Football Players’ Association, to give athletes a legitimate voice in decisions that impact their lives.

Players including Jevon Holland (Oregon), Valentino Daltoso (California) and Nick Ford (Utah) have been outspoken leaders of the group, taking to social media to spread their message and earning the support from Oregon players Jordon Scott, Penei Sewell and Thomas Graham Jr.

“We’re not your entertainment, we’re human beings,” Holland recently told Sports Illustrated.

ESPN college football reporter Dave Wilson said this could be the right time for such a movement, which has been a long time coming.

“This is the moment we’ve long anticipated when it comes to players realizing the power of their collective, and it will force a reckoning in college sports. While it’s at once jarring and bold, the Pac-12 players’ demands are also a reaction to years of plodding, incremental change, and it has become clear players aren’t going to wait to see what’s next.”

The list of WeAreUnited’s demands includes mandatory safety protocols for COVID-19; lowering lofty salaries and bonuses for coaches and administrators; providing medical insurance for six years after college eligibility ends; freedom to secure representation and earn money for the use of their name, image and likeness; ending racial injustice by forming a civic engagement task force of students, experts and administrators, and putting 2% of all conference revenue in a fund for low-income black student-athletes; and distributing 50% of each sports total conference revenue evenly among athletes in their respective sports.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott appeared to initially dismiss the matter during a Zoom meeting with the players, calling #WeAreUnited’s memorandum a “misguided P.R. stunt” (Scott reportedly has a very different recollection of the meeting).

Sure, some of the items on the list read like the ultimate wish list, especially the long-contested matter of paying amateur athletes (Possible solution: Put the money in a trust which players can only access after they graduate. If a player drops out of school, they forfeit their earnings). Even U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (Conn.) weighed in on Twitter regarding #WeAreUnited’s call to reduce extravagant administrative salaries:

PAC-12 Commissioner Larry Scott makes $5.3M. If the only reform was to make his salary $450K (still a top 1% salary), every PAC-12 football player could get an annual $5,000 stipend to help their families with rent, health care, food, etc.”

Twitter

Players who met with Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott to discuss their concerns felt he didn’t take them seriously.

For the most part, the list is reasonable, safety-forward and, frankly, long overdue. I mean, we’re asking these young athletes to play during a pandemic. If the conference and school officials can’t formulate a plan to address safety concerns from a deadly virus, why not listen to the players?

Critics might say, “Well, football is a physical sport and players put their health and safety on the line every time they take the field.” But those are known risks. And as the old tautology states: “We don’t know what we don’t know,” especially when it comes to long-term health effects related to COVID-19.

It is critical for the future of college athletics the Pac-12 gets this right. And the good news is the solution is easy. Just do the right thing, no matter how difficult or expensive.

Do we really want to be on the wrong side of players’ health and safety — again? (Yes, concussions.) If COVID-19 has long-term health effects, do you want that on your conscience? The Pac-12 should belly up and treat these players like human beings.

The conference is already going to lose millions of dollars, regardless of the decision rendered last week. Be straight with the players. Be real, be honest. The best way to show respect for these young men is to protect them as best we can. And that means listening to what they have to say.

Jordan Ingram
San Diego, California
Top Photo Credit: Kevin Cline

Natalie Liebhaber, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in the financial technology industry in Bozeman, Montana.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

BIG, BIG Changes at FishDuck!


Mr. FishDuck, where are all the daily 
articles?
Answer: Go read this article right here for learning about the transitory period we are in.

Do sign up for our Newsletter to let you know when Mr. FishDuck has written an article and for his spicy not-for-public commentary. Newsletters begin in mid-October!

Do Register to Post Comments! 

It takes a minute is all, and will allow us to continue our amazing discussions of Oregon Sports. Register here… 

Our 29 rules about posting a comment at FishDuck can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean for the grandchildren reading, and 3) no reference to politics!

Easy-Peasy!

Subscribe
Notify of
71 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
StovieDuck

We say the athletes long term health is #1. It should be . What evidence proves not playing is safer?

Oklahoma sent kids home and now 9 have tested positive for Covid-19. Seems it’s safer for them to be in their programs with professionals managing their time, eating, healthcare, protocols and activity!

Might most of the athletes be safer in the regimens and safety of their programs vs being home? Are their relatives safer if they are with young people, being tested regularly in their programs? Or with them home hanging with friends? Are these decisions really “About the Athletes?”

While a small sample, the Oklahoma Data/Science says, let them be in their programs and play! Might be safer?

We need to learn to be in a world where we manage and live with this virus! CDC says antibodies only protect for 3 months! So why would a vaccine work? How long until we know if getting 4 a year is safe?

We’ve had just over 5 Million positive cases. We have 331 million people. So 326 million cases to go. Normalcy in 2 years? 5? 10?

Is it really safer for the athletes to be out of the protective bubbles of their programs? Where’s the data/science proving that? Not making a statement. Just asking?

Last edited 1 month ago by StovieDuck
duckcardinal

That Oklahoma break was just 6 days that the athletes were allowed to go home. Nine new cases from that interlude against just one case total from almost a month of monitored workouts on campus.

Charles Fischer

You are completely right; there is no data proving it safer at home versus on campus and practicing. But the big difference is that if the player gets COVID while practicing/playing, he can sue the university and will win.

This is all about risk mitigation by the universities.

BTW…you are new here and we would love to see your opinions often. Welcome!

Jon Sousa

The unknowns are what everyone is worried about. One thing that crosses my mind is, “What if covid just peters out and there are no long term health problems?”

Following this “what if”, the SEC, ACC, BIG12, and some others play football as scheduled (almost), they make almost the same boatload of money as usual, and the B1G and the PAC12 (out of an abundance of caution) don’t play and end up broke and at a disadvantage (instead of an advantage) in the recruiting game because kids want to play and get ready for the NFL (and the PAC and B1G are going to not play every time they get scared).

Charles posted in the comments section 2 or 3 weeks ago that Oregon Health Authority was projecting how many COVID cases we would be having by mid-August. They made three projections – Worst Case, Best Case, and Somewhere in the Middle scenarios. I saw the forecast myself and even the Best Case was not good at all. Well, here we are en mid-August and while they were predicting 1600 new COVID cases a day, our actual case load has only gone up slightly. Back when the predictions were made, the daily new cases were around 300. Today, when we were supposed to be up past 1500 per day, the average is only around 320 or so a day. Last week’s total went down from the previous week.

Forecasting this thing isn’t near as accurate as forecasting the weather. Sigh…..

DumpsterFire

Forecasting the weather…

“…In California, they’re gonna have warm weather tomorrow…gang wars an some very overpriced real estate. Up in the Pacific Northwest, as you can see, they’re gonna have some very, very tall trees. It will clear across the Rockies and the Great Plains, mostly. But look out, here comes trouble. O-ho, boy! Front coming our way. Look out.

What’s that gonna mean to us in the Three Rivers area? One of these big BLUE things! This cold, frigid, Arctic air, this big mass coming out of the north. It’s gonna meet up with all this moisture coming up out of the Gulf. Gonna mix together at high altitudes and cause some snow. Goin’ out on a limb now: Not gonna hit us here in Pittsburgh. Gonna push off and hit Altoonta.

Phew, close call, folks.”

Charles Fischer

You made a really good point that I forgot about–the middle of August predictions for COVID cases in Oregon.

Your last line is a hoot and made me smile. Thanks!

Charles Fischer

I made the case before the Pac-12 cancelled the fall season, that it would happen because of the liability risk to the universities. For attorneys that like to initiate litigation….articles and quotes from the NCAA Chief Medical Officer are in their file of proof to offer later when a player from one of the conferences that plans to play has something go wrong and begins a lawsuit.

“Right now, if testing stays as it is, there’s no way we can go forward with sports,” NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline told CNN (via Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic).

“We’re not in a place today where we could safely play sports,” Hainline said.

Again, IMHO, the other conferences that play will eventually have multiple, if not class action lawsuits filed against them eventually. We are just too soon into this crisis to have all the information needed, and juxtapose that along with the cultural attitudes in favor of litigation at the drop of a hat?

This will ultimately get ugly for any school that plays, IMHO, until vaccines, therapies or both are available, proven and uniformly administered.

Last edited 1 month ago by Charles Fischer
BigDucksFan

That statement from the NCAA sure puts the schools that want to play in a difficult situation.

30Duck

And, sorry to the horse for beating it again, but, the fact that all the NCAA can do is put out statements, that each conference can do with as it desires, has finally come to a reckoning.

BigDucksFan

Your right 30Duck. However when/if a school ends up in a court of law over choosing to play, what the NCAA said won’t help them.

30Duck

Exactly, and therein lies the problem. The NCAA avoided the lawsuit problem back last Spring because It could cancel the basketball tournament, not leaving each conference to act on its own.

Last edited 1 month ago by 30Duck
BigDucksFan

I’m kind of surprised the NCAA hasn’t taken more control over the football playoffs like it has over BB. I wonder what has kept them from entering that money pot.

30Duck

Jon could probably speak to this, but the cynic in me says it has a lot to do with the money that Division 1 football makes. Division ll is a lot like the football we used to know; and even better has a Playoff that is actually a playoff to determine who the champion is.

Mike West

I must disagree 30Duck,

There isn’t a justification in the world that could convince anyone Our Beloved Ducks, as Conference Champions, had a snowflake’s chance in a fireplace of earning a berth in the Title game last year.

That in my opinion is the true measure of qualification. Merit, not fairness. Titles are earned, not given. The Ducks proved beyond a shadow of doubt they were not national championship material.

I mince no words for the unqualified. They do not deserve a seat at the table. The NY6 bowls serve are perfect for teams like our Ducks last year. Face an equal opponent. Don’t waste people’s time pretending you’re a powerhouse when you’re not.

Jon Joseph

Why the Ivy League was the 1st to cancel fall sports. No athletic scholarships, no ‘sell out’ to media companies. But, no fans in the stands.

BigDucksFan

You’re probably right as most everything has to do with money. I’ll have to put some time in with Div 2. but hard to find them broadcasted weekly.

30Duck

As far as I can tell they aren’t regularly broadcast on a national level, so no big $ to have to deal with. When the Playoff starts, ESPN will show some of the games and the championship. But no Pregame shows, and very little coverage on SportsCenter.

BigDucksFan

I guess one can’t have everything.

Haywarduck

What I find interesting is that in the NFL, full of some of the wealthiest people in the world, they have to protect themselves from spending too much. They have spending caps, along with other leagues, to make sure they don’t spend too much on players, to win. If left to their own instincts they would spend so much money the league wouldn’t be a money maker.

When we look at college sports were don’t have that exact problem. So far, the college football, basketball programs and the NCAA have been the greedy ones, for themselves. They have made and spent billions on themselves and their programs, while the players wellbeings have been an afterthought. Many colleges have spent so much they don’t make money, but that is just poor management of the amazing amounts of money being generated.

I think it is time to control, put limits on how much the NCAA and colleges can take away from what is made in football and basketball. In the NFL 48% is set aside for the players. Maybe in the NCAA 48% is put aside for educational and health benefits for those who are actually playing the games.

I don’t want to see the players being paid, but they should benefit from the growth in the amount of money brought in. As that amount has grown the NCAA, Athletic Departments, administrators and coaches have benefited in relation to the growth in income.

It is time to set aside some of that money to ensure those who are at greatest risk gain in proportion to the income they generate. Maybe it isn’t 48%, but the greed is on the side of the NCAA and Athletic Departments. It is time to reflect on ensuring the student athletes gain in some proportional way, the adults have. Some of the excesses need to stop on the NCAA and AD’s side, something to think about.

Jon Joseph

The NFL owners realize that they are in the same boat and the same business. This is why, in addition to salary caps as you so noted, teams draft the best CFB guys in inverse order and Jacksonville gets the same media slice as do the NY Giants. The goal is NOT to have a mere handful of teams winning the Super Bowl year after year. Everything is done to assure competitive parity.

By comparison, CFB is every man (conference) for himself. If the Pac-12 did away with athletic scholarships and became the West Coast Ivy League, would anyone in the SEC be the least bit concerned? NO! It would just make more HS players available to the SEC.

Is anyone in the SEC concerned over the Pac-12 Network being a financially insolvent failure?

Do we see a uniform response in CFB to the COVID crisis? Leadership from the NCAA? These are rhetorical questions.

30Duck

It’s like we’re on a bicycle built for two, Hayward.

UtahDuck

Is oregon/P12 actually asking the players to play during an uncontrolled pandemic? Last I checked the season has been canceled/postponed. What bugs me most about the we want to play is the lack of choice they are giving to schools. The Big10/Pac12 have decided that playing puts them at to much financial risk. If a player gets Covid and dies, gets extremely ill, or has other unforeseen issues(We don’t know the effects of covid long term) The school is liable and will be sued for loads of money.

If you are demanding to play that’s fine, I understand your love of and desire to play and asking for a hand to write the covid polices makes sense but you can’t demand to play and demand the school take the financial risk.

Charles Fischer

Amen, they “don’t get that.”

In a way, we fans are in the same dilemma; we would love to have them play if they would release the universities of liability….yet we would also feel badly if anyone had long-term damage or worse from COVID.

Mudslide

I’m increasingly coming to the attitude of, pardon the Roberto Duran quote, no mas. Greed … of players, boosters, universities, coaches, league administrators, and the media … is dominating and decimating college sports. Physical harm to the athletes creeps around every corner. Stir in a little win-at-all-costs corruption in the world of recruiting and you have a sports soup that does not warm the heart. One thing the players’ demands have illuminated in my mind is the fragile nature of the whole business of college sports. The entire thing lies precariously on the edge of imploding.

Ironically, the COVID problem makes it easier, almost mandatory, that the PAC12 and other leagues give a big, fat “Nope!” to players’ demands. Depending upon the psychological position of players, administrations, fans, and even the government at large, I see a grave threat to the entire college sports package. (And psychological health may not be at apogee at this point in our country.) Perhaps it’s meant to be. Even the Olympic Games took a 1500 year hiatus because of the erosion of the Greek state. (Maybe in a couple decades we’ll be slurping spicy noodle soup while watching basketball on Chinese television channels. Who knows?)

For me…I’m getting to the point of ambivalence. The next step, not far distant, is not giving a whit about sports. There are always Person of Interest reruns……

Jon Joseph

The suit that took away the exclusive programming of college football and basketball by the NCAA, the bloated CBB playoff, the BCS and the current BCS x 2, exacerbated by the media’s demand for 24/7 sport content, has fully monetized and corrupted ‘amateur athletics.’

What entities are truly in charge of the CFB Playoff? ESPN and DR Pepper.

Money is not evil; the love of money is evil. Players today are media and money savvy. Far more so than when I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. You would have to be blind not to see the money ‘everyone’ but the kids playing college CFB and CBB are making. This includes layer after layer of unneeded, overpaid, administrators.

How do you right the imbalance of remuneration? Under today’s model, it may be impossible? I wonder how many schools will be willing and financially able, to be ’employers’ of athlete-student ’employees?’

All of this can be easily resolved. The NFL and NBA establish minor leagues equivalent to MLB. Athletic scholarships go the way of the Ivy League and D3; there are none. Students who want to play a given sport walk on and try out. No coach earns more than the president of his school.

BTW, I believe there are a number of ‘leaders’ in the Pac-12 who would be more than happy to see the conference become the West Coast Ivy League?

CFB, CBB are attempting to serve at least 2 masters; this is unsustainable.

Mudslide

Sure. Check it out, Jordan. My favorite actor is in it…James Caviezel. (Another northwest native.) It’s MUCH better than reruns of the 2019 ASU-Ducks game on ESPN…or much of anything on ESPN now that I think about it.

duckcardinal

I’m already pretty much there; a pox on both their houses.

Twenty five years ago I wouldn’t miss the 6 PM and the 11 PM Sports Center; followed my hometown teams in MLB, NFL, and NBA, and video taped Pac8 football & hoops when I couldn’t watch them live. Now, I haven’t watched a complete pro game of any kind in five years, and I don’t see that changing. College football, and by financial extension, all college sports, may soon fall into that category.

Jordan, you cite these brave voices of WeAreUnited as being representative of all Pac12 football players, but you neglect to mention that the WeWantToPlay requests/demands are very different from those of WAU. My take is that for every 5 of the WAU players there are 50 others who are thinking: “would you just shut up – I may be losing my free education!” And there are likely 500 in the16-23 (UO/Stanford) other Olympic/non revenue sports thinking the same thing. And that’s not including the 11 Stanford sports that have already been ‘given the axe’.

Holland’s impassioned “We’re not your entertainment, we’re human beings” is great fodder for SI’s dwindling, emo-seeking audience, but it merely reflects either Jevon’s naivete or willful duplicity in trying to frame it as an either/or statement. There’s actually a term for that, perhaps Charles with his speech and rhetoric background knows it. As someone who has worked professionally as a journalist, you are probably aware of it as well.

Regardless, entertainers (actors, dancers, musicians, politicians, poets, painters, and buskers of any kind) all are, or have been, human beings. Most graybeards have heard that ‘I’m a human being’ plea relentlessly invoked by “celebrities” for enduring circumstances that most of us would swap our lives for in a millisecond. Now all I can muster is a sigh and a rueful shake of my head.

William Blake had it right 240 years ago:

“He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars: General Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite & flatterer..”

Last edited 1 month ago by duckcardinal
Jon Joseph

Great take and spot on. The existing ‘amateur sport’ hypocrisy simply cannot and will not, last.

College athletics has sold its soul; payment is coming due.

BigDucksFan

“. . . . we’re human beings” seems like we hear that every night on the late night news in a not so good context.

duckcardinal

To clarify, my “you probably know” is directed to the article author, and not to Mudslide.

The concurrence on ‘No Mas’ is the point of my reply to The Slide. -DC

Charles Fischer

I wish I could give this more than one up-vote. Outstanding points…

30Duck

POI? Absolutely, give me some, “Root”. I believe that college sports were headed for an inevitable meltdown because it was just getting too big, the NCAA’s immovability from the Student-Athlete archetype of 60 years ago made it so.

College sports, basketball, football were just more fun when we grey beards were growing up. One change I will give the NCAA credit for was the limit on scholarships. I remember going to Autzen to watch the Ducks & Trojans and there were more than twice as many guys on the Trojans sidelines.

UCLA’s basketball dynasty was during a time before, “March Madness” and in the case of basketball, I think the change in size and commercialization has not taken away the enjoyment. The same can not be said for football. Giving over the Bowls, the Rose, in particular, to sponsorships and ESPN, have made the season an impossible dream for but a select few teams, to call it a “playoff” is laughable.

College sports has left the building, It now has more in common with TV and movies than with our memories. It is naïve to think that it wouldn’t move with the times. But, the players were not brought along with the transformation, because they are Student Athletes, same as always.

DumpsterFire

I remember buying the cheapest tickets possible and ending up in the first row by halftime….

I know I may not fit the typical “grey beard” standard (yep my avatar pic is actually me, less than a year ago), but hey, what can I say…I refuse to get old. Of course true grey beards would probably still call me a “whipper-snapper”…

Last edited 1 month ago by DumpsterFire
Charles Fischer

I understand how the double-whammy of no season, and player demands lowers the interest level significantly for a ton of fans. But for some of us–we will want to still discuss the Ducks as a way of escape from everything out there that is disconcerting.

And you are right in my view; the players could end up killing the Golden Goose for everyone…

DumpsterFire

I’m with ya both (Mudslide and Charles). There’s a huge risk that fans can be lost in droves if there college if every demand is met. I know personally, I’ve stopped watching pretty much all pro sports because of some of the demands of the players, especially when it came to money…or more precisely, more millions on top of their already outrageous salaries (I think the movie The Replacements said it the best…”You know how much insurance on a Ferrari costs [insert expletive here]”)

I know the only reason I still watch the NHL is because I’ve continued to actually play hockey, but they came very close to losing me as a fan after their last round of demands. One more and yeah, I’m probably done there too.

I’ve loved college sports because, well one thing I’ve always said is that ‘they play for the love of the game, not for a paycheck’…but if that suddenly changes…I guess Creswell, or Sheldon High School is about to have a new super-fan (sorry other schools, that’s where I/my kids went…I do have loyalty).

Yes, college football is a billion-dollar industry, but without the fans paying…sponsors will erode, stadiums will be empty and it’ll become a hundred-dollar industry that loses money, like most college sports. Think about this one…Nike, Oregon’s cash cow, started with Track and Field.

What does Oregon Track bring to the monetary table? Between men’s and women’s track ticket sales brought in roughly $50k…not million, but thousand. By comparison the football ticket sales were almost $23-million.

That’s just in tickets alone, but there’s plenty more that we, the fans, are dependent on. I think the football players here are forgetting that it isn’t them, but the fans that bring the money to the school. Yes, big private donors bring in a ton compared to [probably] everyone on this site combined, but they’re still fans.

Last edited 1 month ago by DumpsterFire
DumpsterFire

I think I’ve said it before…I can back some of these “demands” (minus the whole demand thing), but not all by any means. Some make sense, some don’t and some are pipe dreams to say the least.

I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’ve had to work to get to where I am, and there were plenty of struggles along the way that were both my doing and things I had no control over, but every obstacle put in front of me I adapted to and overcame. I’ve been what could be seen as exploited on more than one occasion. Yes, I’ve had some incidents of what could also be seen as privileges as well…but I’ve had to put the effort in just the same. It’s called paying your dues.

What I’m seeing with several of these demands is them wanting to sidestep the same process (I’m assuming) we’ve all had to go through. Why? Because they can run fast (<—simplification, I know)? What exactly do they think is going to happen once they can’t play ball in a few years and they’re working in the mail room of some corporation? Do they go to their boss and say, “Hey, I’m gonna sit out today because I don’t like that you make more than me”? How well do you think that’s going to go over?

I get things like injuries, healthcare and to a degree wanting to help the underprivileged, but the line is drawn when it’s based off of skin color. Sorry, and I’m sure this is where I’ll lose some people, but that’s not based off of equality. By making a demand for funding for a group of individuals solely based off of the color of their skin is exactly how we got to where we are today. The pendulum swinging the extreme opposite direction doesn’t solve anything. It’s like taking a water bottle filled with bleach, replacing it with hydrochloric acid and saying, “Here, it’s fixed, you can drink it now.”

I really am all for equality and fairness, but not at the expense of ANY group. If you want to be treated as equal, you must first see yourself as equal. The moment you separate yourself out as different is the moment you cease to be equal. If someone is going to fight for social justice, fight for it, but not if it’s exclusionary. A poor Hispanic, Asian, White, Indigenous or mixed kid is still poor, and deserves the same opportunity as everyone else…so long as they put in the same effort.

Perhaps I’ve jumped off track, and I know that if there were a thumbs down capability that I’d be running the risk of having more downs than ups, but you know what, I’m OK with that. I know who I am, and I know that I’m way more than the limited person you’ve been able to read SOME of my thoughts in here, but they certainly don’t paint a complete picture…and yes, I’m aware that the demands of the players don’t either, but in the limited world of college sports, I think they’re reaching for the moon, and asking for the solar system.

Last edited 1 month ago by DumpsterFire
Jon Joseph

I will not articulate the reasons why I disagree with any general statements regarding race; particularly, opportunity and disadvantages being attributed to one’s race, but I do disagree.

The only general statement regarding color with which I will agree is that of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Everyone should be judged on their character, not the color of their skin.

Mudslide

Very nice, Dumpster, and well said.

There are those that decree that exploitation or the indenture of college athletes must be resolved. Well, no. Like most common situations in life, words are no substitute for reality. Since the dawn of man (okay, okay…humanity) each and every human has toiled under the whip of exploitation. Which one of us is not exploited in some way? Name a person and I’ll show how. Arguing degrees of exploitation then still doesn’t clarify anything. It’s all value judgment. Indenture? Well, I might argue that I am indentured to my wife…but that’s not a bad thing. (Is it honey?) Traffic laws? Taxes? We all perform under some form of civil contract, written or not.

Now, none of the above relates in any way to solving the problems we face…the resolution of unhappy players who want more or they won’t play, or the health concerns regarding playing a sport (as opposed to playing with friends at home). It just means that the value judgments on all sides are smacking up against a brute wall of money and who gets the limited resource. The players may win. The leagues may win. The medical advisors may win. The sponsors and media may win.

But guess who the losers most assuredly will be. Yep, the suppliers of the limited resource.

Jon Joseph

IMO, 2 things and 2 only need happen for the players engaged in the 5 sports where they cannot freely transfer and be immediately eligible: 1. Everyone in the 5 restricted sports gets 1 free no restrictions transfer; NIL is approved with the only restrictions being full, public disclosure of every deal and perhaps, some form of in-trust safeguard for NIL proceeds prior to a student-athlete departing his/her school.

To me, the above are no-brainers. On the other hand, pay-for-play directly from the university opens up a huge can of worms.

Charles Fischer

The attorneys will always win in this current judicial scenario….

DumpsterFire

It’s kind of funny when you think about it, but in nature it’s survival of the fittest, which typically means the biggest, strongest and fastest. Enter the human race, where we started out that way, but have evolved, so to speak, into who has the most powerful mind that is capable enough to manipulate the current situation thus allowing the meekest to survive alongside the fittest. We’re almost a paradox in evolution where we control the environment we live in as opposed to adapting to it…

Oh, and to keep with the subject matter here, GO DUCKS!

Last edited 1 month ago by DumpsterFire
Charles Fischer

I am torn with these type articles, both Friday’s and this one, and here is why…

I just want to talk sports, but this COVID-related discussion is a massive part of the sports world now and it cannot be ignored.

Yet the Friday article with 120 comments actually brought 800 fewer page views to the site than normal–yet the lower number of people wanted to vigorously discuss the subject.

The Sunday article about Josh Delgado only had 18 comments, yet had over 1,000 more page views to the site than the average! It is like a 50% difference gap overall compared to the average page views per day…yet the difference in comments was monstrous!

The take-away?

More people want the sports-dedicated articles to read, (and don’t discuss as much) and fewer number of people want the COVID-related articles, but are much more interested in discussing them.

As a publisher….that is really, really interesting. Not what I would have predicted, yet I am not surprised. People and behaviors are interesting as heck!

DumpsterFire

Well I’ll say that for me at least, I tend to not comment as much on the weekend since I’m limited to typing on my phone, and I’m out and about more. I hear what you’re saying though, because my first thought this morning when seeing the top (newest) article on here…”same story, different day”…(no offense Jordan).

Heck, maybe I’ll put pen to paper and throw something your direction sometime. We might have to wait for the sun to stop being warm for that to happen though. There’s still a lot of warmth to soak up right now, and given where we are, well it may never rain at Autzen, but it sure does everywhere else…

BigDucksFan

I’m looking forward to your article. No rush but is it coming out tomorrow ??

Charles Fischer

Well DF, I suspect we will have a very long “off-season” until we have football again, and thus we will take guest articles anytime of the year!

Mudslide

Yes…but these COVID articles taste great and are less filling!

Charles Fischer

Mudslide…I know I am easily amused, but you did make me laugh! (And thanks for that commercial memory)

Haywarduck

This one is brilliant, “PAC-12 Commissioner Larry Scott makes $5.3M. If the only reform was to make his salary $450K (still a top 1% salary), every PAC-12 football player could get an annual $5,000 stipend to help their families with rent, health care, food, etc.”

While lavish Larry would still be overpaid, it would be a good start. Moving the Pac-12 headquarters out of downtown San Francisco could safe another $6.9 million a year in rent. They could move into my building for about $700 a month. Another $5,000 for the players, plus a little change.

BigDucksFan

Love it

Mulholland

Jordan !!!!! I just moved down to Carlsbad , and I’m looking for a DUCK to have a few cold ones with and talk duck football with !!! Here is my e mail : pdcmulholland@gmail.com WE are true Cali flock ducks

BigDucksFan

How about this, for the next Ducks football game, those Duck fans in the SD area unite at a sports bar someplace and watch the game ??

BigDucksFan

I’m game for it. I suspect your talking about “The Vinyl Draft” sport bar ?? I’m also sure there are a lot of other Duck fans that if we let them know will show up also. Lots of time to do that.

Jon Joseph

Thanks for the take Jordan. As you note, the situation is changing rapidly with the B1G and Pac-12 checking out for the fall, while the ACC (including ‘conference member’ Notre Dame,) B12 and SEC plan to play ball and all other fall sports.

It will be very interesting if these 3 conferences do indeed play to see whether the reward will justify the risk to player safety. The B1G and Pac-12 opting for student-athlete safety are taking a financial hit of somewhere between $750M and $1B+ in lost gross revenue.

Here are a few of my favorite ‘this is why we should be playing,’ red herrings: the kids want to play; the players are safer on campus in a team environment than ‘out’ in the general public; COVID-19 does not kill young people; no one really knows the long term effects of COVID-19.

The kids want to play? This does not reduce the risk to student-athletes and the responsibility of adults.

Players safer on campus in a team environment? Then why did many programs across the country shut down due to player’s testing positive for COVID? FSU and Syracuse player’s have threatened not to play due to what they see as inadequate testing. How does a football team or a field hockey team social distance?

COVID-19 may not as a rule kill young adults but it has affected players with potential long term damage to their hearts. If you do not know the long term results, why would you not err on the side of caution?

I also see the ‘racial injustice’ issue when it comes to CFB, as a complete red herring. The best people regardless of color play today. The economic situation a player of any color, grew up in has nothing to do with whether college athletes should be paid to play? Pay in the NFL is not predicated on race but on performance. A number of African-Americans QBs in the NFL are paid more than Tom Brady.

No one is suggesting that if college athletes are paid to play that the race will have any influence on the compensation an athlete will receive.

THE POLITICIANS ARE COMING! As is the case with the NIL issue, politicians are now jumping in on the pay for play issue. In the case of the Northwestern Union movement a few years back, the NLRB determined that college football players are not ’employees’ of their respective school. Congress can decide otherwise and removing athletic departments ‘tax-free’ status is a powerful tool.

In today’s world, can you pay athletes who bring in the bread and not the athletes subsidized by the money-making programs? Can football player’s capitalistic demands for a share of the money overcome the gender and socialist claims of one group being paid while others are not, challenges? Not likely; especially, if politicians are involved.

Be careful what you wish for? If player’s are being paid from university funds and not just from the ‘sale’ of their individual likeness, they will be ’employees.,’ and not student-athletes. With FICA, FUTA, PERS, Union vs Management negotiations, hearings on whether a player can be ‘cut’ or even dropped from first to second string, etc., how many schools sponsoring P5 and G5 programs today will be willing AND financially able, to directly compensate athlete-students? How many will opt for the additional liability that comes with an employer/employee relationship?

IMO, there are a number of equitable considerations in the player’s favor when it comes to the young men and women playing sports that are profitable being ‘paid’ beyond what they receive today. But if the player’s win this battle there is a very good possibility of losing the war?

If a school does not sponsor varsity sports but only intramural, after school, club sports, no one gets paid and scholarships based on athletic ability will go away.

Autzen Stadium will be a great place for students to play touch football, no?.

Jon Joseph

The ‘right thing’ rub when it comes to pay-for-play; how do you split the duck eggs without killing the golden duck?

30Duck

Jordan, I could not agree more with your sentiments on this issue; definitely where you say that the issues raised by #WeAreUnited are reasonable and long overdue and also where Wilson cites the plodding nature of the NCAA finally being the catalyst for the players to echo, Howard Beale, from, “Network” and declare that, “(we’re) not going to take it anymore!”

I am wary of having Larry Scott, who has made a mess of things so far, rising up to the challenge; from his lavish office. As you wrote, what is needed is first and foremost he be straight, real and honest with the players. From the way the first encounter went, this could be a big ask.

BigDucksFan

Good take 30Duck. Regarding Larry Scott one have to realize that Larry Scott is the type of guy that is not “straight, real and honest”. He has lied and shifted his way into his present overpaid job for many years now and we must put some of the heat for that on the people that put him into this position and accept his incompetence in place of real achievements for the Pac-12.

You are totally right about it being a “big ask” to expect Larry Scott to treat the players demands with any kind fo real respect.

However we know now that the conference has made the right choice regarding “to play or not to play” this season. The desire for money did not overcome the need for safety, and thats a good thing but only a first step in the process.

Jon Joseph

Ding-a-ling on Larry, I like it. But it is bosses who are out to lunch.

BigDucksFan

Yes, and no doubt a lunch that we are paying for.