Tag:paying players
Posted on: August 4, 2011 1:03 pm

Embree wants players rewarded for graduating

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Last week at Pac-12 Media Days, conference commissioner Larry Scott echoed the thoughts of many and said that college athletics was at a crossroads. The newest head coach in Scott's conference, Colorado's Jon Embree, agrees but he isn't just sitting back and lamenting at the state of the game, he's putting forward ideas.

For all the talk about paying players and full cost of attendance scholarships, Embree is advocating a different approach that takes elements from both. Instead of paying players directly, he argues, how about giving players $50,000 or so upon receiving a degree for them to either further their education or get started in life.

"I think they should be rewarded for graduating," Embree told CBSSports.com. "If we're going to use the term student-athlete, if we're going to be releasing graduation rates, if we're losing scholarships because of APR, then let's put our money where our mouth is. They don't do anything special for the kids when they win.

"To me, that graduation piece is best because they're earning something: a degree. You're helping them setup themselves for the future. In the NFL, they might get one year, two years or none. But that degree will be with them. Then you'll have a decent amount of money to get a head start on life."

Embree likes tying money to graduation as a way of incentivizing education for coaches, players and schools. A former tight end at Colorado, he knows the challenges players face more than most and recognizes that a scholarship doesn't cover all of a student-athlete's living expenses. While he is receptive to full cost of attendance scholarships, Embree is very much against giving players "spending money" on a weekly basis.

"A scholarship only covers so much," he said. "I don't believe you can pay the student-athletes a monthly stipend and keep it fair across the board. You start doing that, then one guy things he should get $300, another guy thinks it should be $500."

The concept of giving players money upon graduation is not a new one. Many have advanced the idea that those players who's jersey is sold (i.e. the ones the school is really making money off of) would receive a cut of the money upon graduation or leaving for the NFL. The idea of tying the money to something like jersey sales is a no-go for Embree however.

"No because what will happen is that they'll start selling jerseys in the book store that isn't a guy that's playing," he said. "They'd get around that. There's no doubt that college athletics is at a cross roads. A lot of money is made off these kids, me included. I don't know what all the answers are but they need some kind of equity. Just something."

Some food for thought for NCAA president Mark Emmert and 50 college presidents when they meet for a retreat on athletics later this month.

Posted on: June 28, 2011 2:42 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 4:10 pm

Calipari: Need superconferences to pay players

Posted by Chip Patterson

College football and college basketball are big money sports. As more and more financial transparency is demanded from the public, we are learning exactly how profitable amateur athletics can get. One person with plenty of knowledge of the cash you can stack in college sports is Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari. Calipari recently became the proud recipient of a new contract extension that ties him to the college basketball superpower through 2019. The new deal will earn Calipari roughly $4.56 million/year, putting him just behind Nick Saban and Mack Brown when it comes to big-time college coaches. So who better to speak on the topic of collegiate athletics finances than Calipari?

That's exactly what he did when speaking to Mike Lupica on ESPN Radio. Lupica asked Calipari if he ever thought student athletes would get paid. Calipari's answer was particularly interesting, especially because it focused on needing changes to college football. (transcription via Sports Radio Interviews)
“The only way [paying student-athletes] can happen is you do the four superconferences, and those 64 or 72 schools have their own football playoff in each conference and then those four winners are semifinalists for the national title and then you have the title game and you have bowl games and all that revenue is shared between the 72 or 64 schools and then you do the same in basketball. You have their own tournament. … All the revenue from television to tournaments comes back. You get Title IX square, you get money back to the general fund … you give money to intramurals and you take care of this expense of cost-of-living expense.”
The superconference proposal has been on the table since realignment discussions got serious in the last few years. Though with five of the six BCS conferences securing new media deals (and the Big East's upcoming renegotiation in 2013), it does not appear that the formation of superconferences would be probable in the near future.

Additionally, the model loosely proposed by Calipari virtually guarantees that no mid-major school could ever win a national championship. Even in a 72-team "superconference" model, there are only 5 open spots to be filled by teams not affiliated with a current BCS conference (counting TCU as part of the Big East). Despite his previous tenures at UMass and Memphis, Calipari apparently foresees only the big-time schools being able handle the financial burden of paying student-athletes.

READ MORE: Calipari has been on this superconference kick for a while.  CLICK HERE for more from Calipari on the Eye on College Basketball 
You know who really likes the superconference idea?  Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott.  He's very pleased with Cal's proposal. (artwork:BryanDFischer, Recruiting Guru and Pro Bono Photoshopper)
Posted on: June 21, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 1:08 pm

UConn's Pasqualoni speaks on player stipends

Posted by Chip Patterson

After spending six seasons on the NFL sideline, Connecticut's Paul Pasqualoni has been getting back into the groove of being a head coach in college football. A big part of that in the offseason is the public relations grind. Pasqualoni made the short trip to Bristol this week spend time at ESPN participating in various programming for the network. In his appearance on First Take, Pasqualoni weighed in on the challenges of creating more money for scholarship athletes.

"I think we would all like to see the players be able to receive a stipend," Pasqualoni told First Take's Dana Jacobson. "Now having said that, it's a very difficult thing to do. If you do it for a I-A football player then to be fair you have to do it for all scholarship players. Of all the I-A teams in the country, and there's probably over 120 of them, maybe 40 of them are operating at a level of profit. I don't know exactly how you fund it, when you start talking about every student athlete and giving them a stipend."

Pasqualoni spent 17 years with the Syracuse football program, with 13 of them as a head coach. At 61, he is one of the more seasoned coaches in the game and it is refreshing to hear an even-keeled look at the situation. When Mike Slive or Jim Delany give their opinion on the issue, it always feels loaded (because it is). Many people would like to see scholarship athletes receive a stipend for their hours put into college athletics, which often leaves barely enough time for academics and no chance of a part-time job. But the logistics of creating, managing, and regulating that money is still something that needs to be agreed on before any additional stipends are put in place. Change, in general, can take a long time with issues involving money. But with the NCAA, there is no telling how long it will take for those discussions to take place in a serious manner.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com