For about 10 years I’ve thought D-I football too good to be true

A pretty cool thing, with all its pageantry, tradition, and beauty, and our Utah Utes right in the middle of it all. But I worried that it got so big, so much money involved, I figured someday some sort of huge scandal would cause it to come crashing down, most likely coming from the SEC.

Nope, it started with California governor Hair Gel (signing state legislature bill SB-206), permitting college athletes to participate as full fledged professionals. The NCAA initial response being staunchly opposed, and two weeks later summarily surrendering (et tu brute).

What is somewhat surprising is the amount of people in favor of it, unable to see over the horizon to all the future negative ramifications. I assume this is mostly people who are not really that much into collegiate football in the first place.

It’s pretty pathetic seeing Mitt Romney chime in in support, somehow the self-appointed judge of this matter. He needs to find a real job, leave our game alone.

A high school student with a C average who is 6’5” tall and 300lbs who happens to participate in a made up pretend game gets awarded a scholarship to Stanford annually worth; $53,000 tuition, books, fees, etc., $19,000 room and board, $4,000 stipend, etc. Oh the downtrodden, the injustice. Oops, I forgot, everybody is a victim these days. But now that’s not enough, some star player could receive another fifty thousand, one hundred thousand, who knows how much additional per year.

It’s good Rice-Eccles expansion is limited to 51K. There’s liable to be a significant amount of disillusioned and disinterested fans.

I haven’t watched an NFL game in 4 years, to quote retired L.A. Dodger hall of fame announcer Vin Scully, “Won’t ever watch again for the rest of my life”. I haven’t watched an NBA game in 5 years. D-I college basketball will likewise be ruined.

Many people won’t care about the change. To each their own.

Hopefully the Utes can get to the Rose Bowl before this takes effect, while it still means something to me.

It’s hard to swallow all the so called “improvements” to various pop culture institutions. Political/social pundit Victor Davis Hanson described much it for me in an article titled The Alienated American (Americanus alienatus).

It’s kind of sad. It’s been a part of myself and family for decades.

The good news is, Alta is almost good to go, I got a season pass, and there’s a $200 round trip three times daily direct flight Santa Barbara-SLC.

I feel your pain. Been too long since we last spoke. Trust all is well in paradise.

Add 20% to that student athlete compensation amount since you’ll be paying for it with after tax dollars but wait, there’s more. How much dollar worth of coaching, training, nutrition, room and board, consulting, use of state of the art facilities do these athletes get without having to take out loans or have their parents pay for it with after tax dollars.Try to create the same experience elsewhere and you’ll be paying a lot of money to do so. The compensation to the student athlete is already significant IMO. And they don’t HAVE to take it. Go somewhere else and do it. Also, I think the university has the right to take a chunk of the “likeness” since it was created via the university. What about a company who hires a developer to create a software that gets patented, who owns the patent? It’s the company.

Obviously this is a complicated issue and I respect your opinion. However you are overestimating the value of education when education isn’t the priority.

Most “student athletes” either graduate with a degree that has little real world value or many don’t graduate at all. Others get injuries that have a lasting impact on them. They are also there to play football and nothing else. Studying and their education comes second. Playing football is two full-time jobs combined, then you are supposed to be a full-time student? So the argument that they get a free education to play football and they should be grateful for it doesn’t work for me.

I agree with others on different posts, there is WAY WAY WAY too much money in collegiate sports. But the only way that changes is if demand goes down which according to some outlets it is. Here is an article specifically talking about Stanford football, the money it generates and how while the “student athletes” get a “free” education the university is basically exploiting them:

If you don’t like the NFL, that is your call. I love watching the NFL, that is just me personally. College football has a lot of problems, some are worse than the NFL: it has no real playoff, favors the big power teams especially from the SEC and has little parity. That isn’t even getting into the economics of it (the bowl system, coaching salaries, advertising). The NFL has a true playoff, you can have a mediocre season, make the playoff and win it all. Parity is fluctuating but overall is better than college sports. Yes, there are some real DIVAS but those same DIVAS came from college. The NFL is far from perfect, the players are still exploited by their owners. No or limited guaranteed contracts is a big issue from a dangerous sport. I’m not a bleeding heart and I also recognize that many players make a lot of money in the NFL. They get paid to take those risks. I get it, the NFL isn’t perfect but college football isn’t either.

Sports both college and professional will continue to change, personally I’m no longer a big baseball/basketball fan and rarely watch any of those games. I love watching football, college and professional. College players risk everything with little or no guaranteed reward. Education is huge, no doubt but most can’t take advantage of it. They aren’t there to study, they are there to crush the other team. If you take the money out of collegiate sports I’m sure it would have a big impact. I don’t think the universities or coaches and others making big money off the players want that to happen anytime soon.

Just my 2c.



Not only that, but they work their ASSESS off to ‘get paid’ through their scholarships. PLUS they have to still do all of the schoolwork. Utah is an exemplar because the student athletes graduate at an astonishing rate.

I knew a number of athletes when I was in school and they worked hard to earn every penny of their scholarships, PLUS they worked like crazy to get their schoolwork done.


It’s great to see you here again, Ultimate! I’m feeling nostalgic for the old days here. May they return in even better form!

1 Like

I hear you, my friend, and there must be a fair and just solution to this. I’m just worried about the change’s impact on college sports. I hope the powers that be figure that out.

Look, the players do get a lot of coaching, have access to facilities and get an “education” but without the players none of that would exist. If there was a minor league system, the players would get paid, have coaching/access to facilities and all the other benefits except getting a degree. If every player just went somewhere else - that would mean the end of football.

Frankly college sports probably shouldn’t exist. Academic institutions should be there for academics and not to profit off of athletes who cannot profit off their performance. European soccer has an extensive minor league system where players start from a young age - they get their basic high school education and other things like that while also having access to coaches/facilities/nutrition. That is obviously a different system but the facilities are built because of the players.

Take the players away and the coaches/fields/stadiums and teams go away. I’m all for taking all the money out of college athletics, that is just a very difficult thing to do.

I agree with the OP. You get room board tutoring social perks and often times are getting things from individuals in the community year round. And if you want an education or two… see grad transfers. Now the minority of individuals are going to the NFL. So if a student athlete decent care about the degree but still has one at the end of the day that is going to improve their job prospects. In addition if they stay local that will give them an edge. Scholarship athletes get paid and they get paid a lot.
Some people get shot at and bombed for months on end to get college paid for, while others get to play a game while living in the nicest dorms on campus.

Disagree on many levels. First, if these specific players did not exist the system would absolutely still exist. If every single D1 player had decided not to play football when they were kids, the NCAA would still be going strong, probably with no measurable difference. It’s not the specific players that create the value, it’s the system and the universities. To see this, just look at the flip side. If NCAA football did not exist, and instead all of the D1 players were playing in a minor league, how much revenue would that generate? Do you think minor league football would be on every major network every Saturday in the fall, and be getting paid millions and millions of dollars for it? Of course not; we know it wouldn’t, because every professional league other than the NFL has failed spectacularly. That is absolute proof that it’s the system and the universities, not these specific players, that create the value.

Similarly, you say that the players would get paid if there were a minor league system. Of course this is not true, otherwise there would be a minor league system and the players would be going there rather than going to college. They certainly wouldn’t have access to the same coaches, training, nutrition, etc., because there would not be anywhere near the money in such a system as there is in CFB.


And by the way, I’m fine with some more money flowing to these guys. I’m fine with them making reasonable money coaching kids. But many of the argument being tossed around for why that should happen are ridiculous and built on really faulty assumptions.

Similarly, you say that the players would get paid if there were a minor league system. Of course this is not true, otherwise there would be a minor league system and the players would be going there rather than going to college. They certainly wouldn’t have access to the same coaches, training, nutrition, etc., because there would not be anywhere near the money in such a system as there is in CFB.

Wow, I’m convinced, thanks!

In all seriousness, I appreciate the debate. It is a complicated issue and a bunch of fans on some random website aren’t going to solve this issue. This issue isn’t going away and if that ruins college football for you, there is little any of us can do about that.

If every single D1 player decided not to play, does that mean you and I would be playing? Put me in coach! What specific players are you talking about? If no one played football, NCAA football would not exist. How much money is in D2/D3 or even FCS for that matter? Still a fair amount but not to the same degree at all. How do universities create football value? Cheerleaders? coaching strategy? marching band? If the product on the field is poor, there are no TV deals, there are no ads/sponsors, there are no fans. If there is no money in it, there are no 100+k stadiums, coaches making 7+mil/yr. No one is getting season tickets to watch the coaches, the AD or the OC/DC talk coaching. Money drives the system and who benefits? The system and the universities benefit as do the sponsors, investors and anyone which a financial interest in the game. We also do as fans, we watch modern day gladiators try and kill each other in the name of football. Some of the players do benefit, they get drafted and have a meaningful NFL career. Those are the minority. Those that don’t get rich in the NFL (an extremely limited group actually get rich) may have a degree, if they get one, that may not lead to a meaningful/rewarding career. Plus they risk significant injury.

Does the system does create value, absolutely!. How? By marketing the players, the teams (no I in team) and the product on the field. If there is no one to play football, how would they make money? Again, I’m not talking about “these specific players”, more all players in general.

NCAA football is a cartel. you have to play there if you want a shot at the NFL. Competing pro-leagues so far haven’t worked on multiple levels - too much competition, no fans or history of fans, poor product on the field and a lack of sustained sponsor investment to name a few reasons.

If you took NCAA D1 FCS football and converted it to a minor league system where players are paid to play and develop for their shot at NFL glory my guess is it would do a whole lot better than XFL 1.0, and the other pro style leagues. Plus it is an established product. The NCAA cartel would never allow this to happen, there is too much money in it. Money wins and the NCAA controls the system. There will never be a true minor league system, but if there was and it was based on NCAA FCS football it would certainly generate a lot of revenue and all the shiny trinkets that come with it.

The bottom line is the people actually playing the game should either be able to make some additional money while they are getting their moment in the sun or they should be allowed to finish their degree even after their playing days are done so that they can actually focus on their degree. The “student athlete” idea is a complete joke. They are athletes first, second and third and students last.

If you think my argument is faulty, that is fine. I’m not going to change your mind. Differing opinions are a good thing, so is a good debate.

I’m with you here. And I know there will be significant impact on college sports, and almost entirely for the worse. A few players would likely get some decent chunks of change doing some commercials, etc, while the vast majority will get enough to cover lunch a few times.

And the entire game of recruiting, etc, is going to be blown up beyond belief.

1 Like