Saturday, December 31, 2011


The WSJ's Rachel Bachman ("Enough Already With the Little Guy ... Why College Football's Power Conferences Should Ditch the Smaller Ones; the $2000 Question") explains why San Diego State is joining the Big East conf and why the colleges balked at the idea of throwing a $2,000 crumb to atheletes.  It's the money and it's shameless exploitation by colleges. There are now more than thirty college football bowl games.  More than half of the NCAA's Tier I-A schools play in a bowl game.  The games are on TV and for most of them the stands, while not empty, are sparsely populated.  Bachman explains that the way the gravy is spread, there is money for the poorer programs if they can attach themeselves to a rich conference.  Some of the poorer schools even end up pouring (diverting) money into their football programs, once they join high-rent conferences.

The NY Times' Joe Nocera ("The College Sports Cartel") is less kind.
In fact, the N.C.A.A.’s real role is to oversee the collusion of university athletic departments, whose goal is to maximize revenue and suppress the wages of its captive labor force, a k a the players. Rarely, however, will the cartel nature of the N.C.A.A. be so nakedly on display as at this year’s convention.
The convention nixed the idea of offering athletes an extra $2,000 stipend.  They also rejected four-year scholarships in favor of two-year, further sticking it to the players and also revealing the real game being played.  Bachman reports that the schools already losing money had the most votes.  This supports her idea to get the little guys out of the top tier.   But that is unlikely.  Consider that Nocera ends this way:
... it certainly would be worthwhile to see someone challenge its cartel behavior in court. The inevitable rollback of the $2,000 stipend and the four-year scholarship would be an awfully good place to start.
Good luck to Bachman and Nocera.  The more schools in the cartel, the more alumni cheering their bowl-bound programs, the less likely that Congress or the Department of Justice will lift a finger.  Yes, they take stands against "monopolies", but they also count votes.


The Jan 1 NY Times shows where some of the college football money goes.  I have no problem with star coaches getting what the market will bear, but the colleges' treatment of their players is show to be all the more shabby.


And here is the knockout delivered also by Joe Nocera