Scoggins: Time for the NCAA to end its charade and share profits with athletes

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 2, 2014 - 12:01 AM

Are Northwestern football players employees?  Things are pointing that way.

Photo: M. Spencer Green • AP,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith is scheduled to receive a bonus worth $18,000 because a Buckeyes wrestler won an individual national title.

Think about that for a second. An athletic director with an annual base salary of nearly $1 million is guaranteed an extra week of pay — based on a performance clause in his contract — even though he had no personal investment in the blood, sweat and sacrifice that Logan Stieber put into winning the 141-pound championship.

But by all means, the NCAA and its member institutions should continue to cling to their archaic notion of amateurism. It’s all about doing what’s best for the student-athletes, right? Nonsense.

Thankfully, a movement to reward college athletes financially beyond a scholarship continues to gain momentum. This era of astronomical TV contracts has become a game-changer and further exposed the hypocrisy of the amateurism model.

The NCAA is under siege in public perception and with ongoing antitrust lawsuits. Last week, a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board found that Northwestern football players fit the criteria of employees and should be allowed to unionize.

Pending legal appeals, that landmark case could redefine college athletics and how they operate. College athletes functioning as a union is a fascinating idea, but it’s such a radical departure that it’s difficult to comprehend the endgame.

Would athletes be able to strike? Could athletic departments institute lockouts? Would every scholarship athlete in every sport be granted membership?

This is a complicated issue with many tentacles, but the Northwestern case should provide more leverage in the anti-amateurism crusade. It’s time for real reform. There is unprecedented money being pumped into college sports these days, but the athletes — the ones who provide the labor — remain unpaid participants.

TV networks pay hundreds of millions for broadcast rights. Football and basketball coaches make obscene salaries. The arms race has changed the financial scope of college athletics for everyone except athletes. That doesn’t seem right.

The NCAA needs to adopt a system that allows athletes to receive a stipend (preferably $3,000 to $5,000 annually) and also profit from their likenesses. We’re not talking about exorbitant payouts, but something that recognizes that athletes deserve a cut of the expanding pie.

Major conferences have expressed support for a stipend model to serve as a full-cost scholarship. The problem is, smaller conferences balk at that idea because they lack the financial means to pay stipends.

I wouldn’t support changes that force midtier athletic departments to eliminate sports. But realistically, Texas and Tulsa reside in separate athletic universes, and it’s time the NCAA and schools to create a new model.

The common rebuttal in this debate is that athletes receive full-ride scholarships, private tutoring and extra benefits not available to normal students. That’s true, and a free education should not be minimized in light of ridiculous tuition costs. Athletes don’t leave school saddled with hefty student loans.

But scholarship athletes are not normal students, either, in terms of their responsibilities and value to universities. College football resembles a job in time commitment between practices, film study, weight training, travel, meetings and study hall.

Then there’s the financial aspect. How much do you think Florida’s athletic department and entire university profited off Tim Tebow’s prolific career? How many Johnny Manziel jerseys did Texas A&M sell the past two years?

And yet we’re supposed to accept that Manziel deserves not a penny of that action while others get rich off his likeness? Surely the NCAA and its members can develop some mechanism that would allow athletes to profit from their star status.

Would that create some other consequences? Perhaps. Former Gophers quarterback Bryan Cupito joked that his autograph would have fetched “seven cents,” but he wonders about potential jealousy inside the locker room.

“At first I think it would definitely make things hard,” he said. “But over time, 10 or 20 years from now, people will understand it.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 11/27/14 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Golden State 6:00 PM
Orlando
Brooklyn 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Portland 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Washington 6:00 PM
Cleveland
LA Clippers 6:30 PM
Detroit
New York 6:30 PM
Dallas
Toronto 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Milwaukee 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Sacramento 7:00 PM
Houston
Utah 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Indiana 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Denver 8:00 PM
Phoenix
Memphis 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Detroit
NY Rangers 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 6:30 PM
Florida
Toronto 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Los Angeles 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Chicago 8:00 PM
Colorado
Calgary 9:30 PM
San Jose
Robert Morris 11:00 AM
Chattanooga
Rochester College 11:00 AM
Eastern Mich
Marist 11:00 AM
Fresno State
Butler 11:00 AM
North Carolina
Liberty 12:30 PM
Morgan State
Denver 1:00 PM
Belmont
American Univ 1:00 PM
Hampton
Sacred Heart 1:00 PM
James Madison
Northeastern 1:00 PM
Massachusetts
Samford 1:00 PM
Kennesaw St
ULM 1:30 PM
Coastal Carolina
Hawaii 1:30 PM
East Carolina
UCLA 1:30 PM
Oklahoma
Missouri 1:30 PM
Chaminade
North Florida 3:00 PM
Elon
Oral Roberts 3:00 PM
Milwaukee
Chicago State 3:30 PM
Western Carolina
Purdue 4:00 PM
BYU
Furman 4:00 PM
Duke
San Francisco 5:00 PM
Evansville
Wisconsin 6:00 PM
UAB
Davidson 6:00 PM
UCF
Albany 6:00 PM
Colgate
Canisius 6:00 PM
Cornell
Longwood 6:00 PM
George Washington
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Iona
Trinity Baptist 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Louisville
St Johns 6:00 PM
Minnesota
PSU-Harrisburg 6:00 PM
Navy
Richmond 6:00 PM
NC State
Grambling St 6:00 PM
Notre Dame
Georgia State 6:00 PM
Oakland
Campbell 6:00 PM
Ohio State
Goucher 6:00 PM
Towson
Bryant 6:00 PM
Vermont
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Mount St Marys 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Lafayette 6:00 PM
Yale
UMKC 6:00 PM
Youngstown St
Kansas State 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Va Military 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Lehigh 7:00 PM
DePaul
UC Riverside 7:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Marshall
Miss Valley St 7:00 PM
North Texas
UNC-Asheville 7:00 PM
South Carolina
Tenn Tech 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Texas Southern 7:00 PM
SMU
Radford 7:00 PM
TCU
TX-Pan American 7:00 PM
Utah
Wayne St-NE 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Northern Ill 7:30 PM
Iowa
Fla Gulf Coast 7:30 PM
Green Bay
Carroll (MT) 8:00 PM
Montana
Florida A&M 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Auburn 8:00 PM
Oregon State
Eastern Ky 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Stetson 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Northern Ky 8:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Utah Valley U 8:05 PM
Idaho State
Florida 8:30 PM
Georgetown
Georgia 8:30 PM
Gonzaga
Northwestern 8:30 PM
Northern Iowa
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
California
Arizona 9:00 PM
San Diego St
Utah State 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Alabama State 9:30 PM
North Dakota
Portland State 10:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Tulsa 10:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Pacific 10:30 PM
Alaska-Anchorage
Missouri State 11/27/14 1:00 AM
Colorado State
Ohio U 24 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 21
LSU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Kennesaw St 11:00 AM
Seton Hall
Northern Ill 12:00 PM
Eastern Illinois
Illinois-Chicago 12:00 PM
Northwestern
UT Martin 12:30 PM
Samford
Niagara 1:00 PM
Binghamton
Radford 1:00 PM
Pittsburgh
East Tenn St 1:00 PM
Indiana
North Dakota 2:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
LSU 2:30 PM
Texas-El Paso
Marshall 4:00 PM
Cornell
Kansas State 5:00 PM
Santa Clara
Oral Roberts 5:00 PM
Ark-Little Rock
Boise State 5:30 PM
Yale
Evansville 6:00 PM
(22) West Virginia
(4) Tennessee 6:00 PM
Chattanooga
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Bradley 6:00 PM
Columbia
Providence 6:00 PM
Dayton
Presbyterian 6:00 PM
Xavier
Albany 6:00 PM
Canisius
VA Commonwealth 6:00 PM
William & Mary
Alabama A&M 6:00 PM
Alabama
Colgate 6:00 PM
(22) Georgia
Memphis 6:05 PM
Southern Ill
Oakland 6:30 PM
(16) Michigan State
Utah Valley U 6:45 PM
UC Davis
Butler 7:00 PM
BYU
TX-Pan American 7:00 PM
(6) Texas
McNeese State 7:00 PM
(7) Texas A&M
Milwaukee 7:00 PM
Marquette
Northern Ariz 7:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Jackson State 7:05 PM
Chicago State
Indiana State 7:05 PM
South Alabama
Long Beach St 8:00 PM
Alaska-Anchorage
Iona 8:00 PM
Kansas
Fresno Pacific 9:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pm

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will the Gophers bring home The Axe?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close