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The Olympic Model re: Endorsements

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  • The Olympic Model re: Endorsements

    I've noticed a trend on twitter this month, mostly since the tourney about athletes not getting paid...I don't know if they do this every year, but it seems like it's a hot topic this year

    I posted that article earlier today about the worth of a bball scholly, etc

    Reading around the interwebz I've seen people discussing the "Olympic Model"...meaning that players wouldn't be paid by the university, but they could explore their options in endorsements (e.g. Michael Phelps and Subway)

    I don't really have a problem with that outside the ability of boosters to guarantee a kid a certain amount of commercials and money in order to secure their commitment...not sure how they'd regulate that

    BUT, anyway...not thinking about the recruiting aspect what are your thoughts on this?

  • #2
    Players are already paid by endorsement deals. They get thousands of dollars worth of athletic apparel as part of their athletic scholarship.

    There's no way to separate recruiting from this. You don't think an already great recruiter like Calipari wouldn't use his NBA connections to secure endorsement deals for a recruit? What about Nike? Lot's of college guys want to be in Nike because of Michael Jordan. Remember all of that speculation that Selby wasn't sure whether he wanted to go to an Adidas school like Kansas? Nike would shell out a lot of money if they knew they could lock down guys like John Wall, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, etc in college by talking them into going to a school like Kentucky that is already a draw to players.

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    • #3
      Fair point, and that's pretty obvious

      But what if they just kept it to local business?

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      • #4
        Way too much gray area and will just lead to a slippery slope.

        As you said, then you get boosters making guarantees and suddenly recruiting turns dirty.

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        • #5
          The shoe companies would own college basketball and it would be a terrible mess

          I honestly don't know what the solution is

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          • #6
            The solution to what? Is there an overwhelming need for athletes to get paid?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Joe Norris View Post
              Fair point, and that's pretty obvious

              But what if they just kept it to local business?
              Then you have to define local. Under Armour is local in Baltimore, MD. I'm sure they would shell out for guys like Greivis Vasquez at Maryland. Oregon would probably have an incredible basketball program if Nike counted as a local business. All they'd have to do is open up some kind of corporate office in Eugene. And the way Phil Knight throws his money-dick around, it probably wouldn't be too hard to convince him to toss a few million dollars at a Nike office in Eugene to serve as a draw to athletes.

              If we're going to give college athletes sponsorship deals we might as well just skip the pretense of amateurism and let the university pay them. Then we can go ahead and contract Division I and just get rid of those pesky mid-majors who can't keep up with the high dollar schools, because lets face it, that's what this is all about.

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              • #8
                Well, by "local" I guess I meant small time business

                I was thinking it wouldn't be terribly difficult to put a cap on annual income that a company earns that can participate in sponsoring an athlete as well as a cap on the max you can pay a kid

                obviously it'd probably be more work than it is worth, but it's something to think about I guess

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                • #9
                  Most small time businesses are struggling to stay above water right now as is. I don't think many of them have enough of a profit margin to not only pay their employees, but to also pay athletes who do nothing to bring them money.

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                  • #10
                    Then kids wouldn't get hired

                    but if you paid Thomas Robinson $100 to sign autographs on the patio at free state you'd probably bring in more business...obviously, a kid wouldn't get rich on it, but it'd give em an opportunity to make some extra cash

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                    • #11
                      Like I said, slippery slope

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                      • #12
                        Then Nike opens a shell company in Lawrence. A restaurant. And pays players through it. Players get plenty in return for their skill. Anyone arguing differently is full of it.

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                        • #13
                          Fine....that's where $$$ caps come in

                          you think a kid is going to pick a school because some nike shell restaurant can pay them $1000/semester...hell, do you think Nike is going to go to the trouble of setting up a shell restaurant so they can pay a kid $1000/semester

                          (to be fair, I don't think it'll ever happen, but I think it's fun to discuss)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Joe Norris View Post
                            Fine....that's where $$$ caps come in

                            you think a kid is going to pick a school because some nike shell restaurant can pay them $1000/semester...hell, do you think Nike is going to go to the trouble of setting up a shell restaurant so they can pay a kid $1000/semester

                            (to be fair, I don't think it'll ever happen, but I think it's fun to discuss)
                            Absolutely they would. It's not like these relationships would end at the college level. Companies like Nike are always looking for the next big rookie star to slap on a poster. If you can snag him in college (or even before that), it saves you the work of chasing him afterwards.

                            There is also the potential for exploitation by agents looking for the next big name. Establish local ties, get a business to steer a kid toward someone, etc.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Joe Norris View Post
                              Fine....that's where $$$ caps come in

                              you think a kid is going to pick a school because some nike shell restaurant can pay them $1000/semester...hell, do you think Nike is going to go to the trouble of setting up a shell restaurant so they can pay a kid $1000/semester

                              (to be fair, I don't think it'll ever happen, but I think it's fun to discuss)
                              Would Nike build a shell in Wichita? No. Would they in Lawrence, Chapel Hill, etc? Yes.

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