Monday, January 22, 2018

Fueling Station is nice, now be leader in athlete compensation

Martin Jarmond opened BC's new athlete "Fueling Station" Monday in Conte. Think of it as sort of a snack bar for athletes that works with their hours and provides more appropriate options than BC's more traditional dining halls. This was one of the things Jarmond noticed BC was lacking when he first came on board. It is all part of the College Athletics arm's race and most of our competitors have some sort of equivalent service. Good for Jarmond on getting this done. But I think like much of the spending spree in college athletics, it misses the point.

What is the Fueling Station other than a form of special compensation for athletes? It is designed for them. It mirrors the type of service and dietary programs used by professional athletes around the world. Our athletes need this support because they are basically professionals too. They compete at a high level. They put in thousands of hours annually. They generate revenue. Yet they don't really see direct compensation for their labors. I know the price of a BC tuition, but how can we continue to make that argument when the salaries of all the administrators and coaches around these athletes keeps skyrocketing? Giving a kid a smoothie after practice is a nice idea. But how about a steady salary or even a signing bonus?

As the college basketball scandal recently confirmed, there is a huge, unfair and unregulated black market for players' services (at least in the major sports). Something needs to be done to bring it out in the open and let the players find their true value. The Alabamas of college sports are not going to do it. They have too much to lose. However, a place like BC could. We have a seat at the table as part of the Power 5, but don't really benefit from the current underground system. I wish Jarmond would use his new position to lead some sort of change. It would be a more meaningful and lasting contribution to all of college sports.


CT said...

Geez. Not this again.

John said...

But concerning NCAA approved stipends, I would like BC to not bring up the rear.

Last I heard we give $1,500 while many of our competitors give the full $5,500.

That has to be changed as we get more competitive IMHO.

On a side note, my wife was wearing her BC ACC CG shirt today around the house. December 1, 2007.

Let's get back there and in basketball too. When did we play Duke for the ACC Championship? 2006?

Lead us there, Mr. Jarmond! In all sports

The Fueling Station is another step forward.

mod34b said...

A nice touch Mr Jarmond showing you are in touch with what athletes need.

Good omen

Napolean Bonaparte said...

Fine - then the IRS should tax college sports. Paying these coaches and staffs multimillion dollar salaries and benefits coupled with the massive TV contracts already makes a sham of the exclusively educational charitable mission underlying tax exempt status. Paying the players modest stipends or salaries is only going to lead higher salaries in the future in the race to recruit better players while the academic requirements become laughable. The whole thing has become a commercial profit driven enterprise - and it should be taxed as such. The FBS schools want to have their cake and eat it too and should not be allowed to.

knucklehead said...

What do they need money for?

John said...

You have some good points, NB. I was and am opposed to stipends.

But that horse has left the barn, unfortunately. So now I just want us to do what we have to do - and not be in last place.

BC has a lot to offer, in our opinion. However, What we award now in stipends should not be a negative factor against us recruiting-wise.

JBQ said...

"What do they need the money for"? Money for dates and doing the laundry come to mind.

John said...

Flights home. Trains and buses home. Used to be "going out to eat". ☺️

Maybe helping with Mom and Dad's flight expenses - who knows?

It was voted in for some reason = full cost of tuition.

tuesdaymorning said...

Pay them

John said...

Full cost of attendance - excuse me. Voted in by 79 to 1, with Boston College as the lone dissenter.

The student athletes could also use the money to upgrade their computers, IPads and phones, etc.

Yes, they have full scholarships, but they also work very hard to represent us. Nutrition was also always a major concern. This new system installed by the AD will really help in that regard.

John said...

When you pay athletes (salaries), it's all over.

And do you pay each athlete the same? Last one on the bench gets the same as a starter? All starters get the same as the clear standout/star?

Will they work harder? Or secretly say "thanks, Succah"?

Stipends are as far as the Power 5 should go.

Otherwise it's the Minor League, one step below the Development League - and the general public will never hear about any of these players.

Can you name players in A, AA and AAA baseball?

The Power 5 will cease to exist.

Deacon Drake said...

Good points made on here. The part that doesn't get addressed is how, over the long haul, can small private schools compete with public behemoths like Ohio State (spoiler alert: they can't). From the BC end, they could hardly even keep sports funded. They cannot give out full scholarships to all athlete (or they would) so where does that money come from? And this is BC, not one of the hundreds of struggling institutions out there for whatever reason... Like have you heard about Cal (Berkeley, not Calipari)?

As a former athlete, sure, I would have loved another check in addition to the $10k/yr tuition (yeah, some of us were not full ride), $12k/yr housing, $4k/yr food, $2k/yr equipment, access to facilities, coaches, services (yeah, BC did my laundry, amongst other things), tutors that cost $20-30/hr, free medical and physical therapy, free tix to all games. I did the math back when I was year or two out of college and the package was like $64k/yr, and that doesn't include costs like travel to games, etc. Not terrible. Certainly more than the people who actually were employed by the school, and a fuck ton more than the real world pays (as I learned the first 5 or so years I was in the job market).

The underlying argument becomes: The NCAA is a professional sports organization. Why do the athletes even have to be students? Paying the athletes just further drives that point home.

The Billy Preston case is pretty sad, but it showed what the underlying forces are, and it isn't the athletes.

downtown_resident said...

A better idea is to create true minor leagues for football and basketball (LaVar Ball is actually on to something) so the players that want to get paid and for whatever reason aren't interested in college (and don't see a value in the free education) have a meaningful alternative.

John asks lots of good questions about salaries. I would add one more-- if we're paying players, can we dock their pay or even fire them if they perform poorly?

Can you see why people don't want to go down this road?

mod34b said...

about 93% of BC football players never make it professionally, and less than 1% of BC athletes have long NFL careers.

BC is not a farm team for the pros. It a team filled with student athletes getting free tuition, and an excellent 5* education.

Its a good deal as is. Leave it be.

if other 'big time ' schools want to be NFL minor league teams (with no pretense of academic standards) and pay players decent money.. go for it -- and split the new pro teams off from the regular college teams .... that will actually make amateur athletics at places like BC even more fun....

Geezer eagle said...

I agree with Mod. I have always taken pride in BC being the few remaining institutions with legitimate student-athletes. I don't want to become another Ohio State or SEC football factory.

Napolean Bonaparte said...

NCAA Division 1 football and basketball subsidizes the NFL and NBA so that minor professional leagues aren't required as they are in MLB. I agree that viable minor professional leagues would alleviate a lot of problems. But why would the NFL and NBA ever do it when the dopey taxpayers in Ohio, North Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, etc. will happily pick up the tab? Ultimately, the FBS private universities will be unable and/or unwilling to keep up with all the nonsense from the huge state universities. All of these private schools are academically excellent. It's time they recognize it's in their ultimate best interests to chart their own course together as an Ivy league II with superior athletics and set their own standards at a much higher level. BC, Duke, Wake, Vandy, ND, NW, Georgetown, Tulane, Rice

CT said...

No. Just no.

The smaller private schools to which you allude are subsidized just as much by the larger football and basketball factories, which are supported by the “dopey” taxpayers for which you seem to hold contempt. The condescension is rich, given that BC has yet to return an ACC check on principle.

Chart your own course and that’s indeed where you wil find yourself. On your own.

Guido said...

The idea of paying stipends or whatever compensation is foolish (IMHO). But , I would not be against providing athletes from very poor families a monthly stipend for taking their girlfriend out for a pizza or giving them $$$ to fly home to family for the holidays etc. This extra benefit could be linked with need from a Financial Aid form filled out by families . Why should any college be handing out stipends to kids whose families are well off - even middle class families !!!!! I was able to help my kids matriculate at some decent schools (BC - Nova) and I would consider myself middle class. If my kids were on a full ride , then , I certainly could have provided them with assistance for social activities , flights home for the holidays etc. But a blanket stipend across the board for these athletes is not realistic. Also , do all sports (baseball , hockey , basketball , soccer etc )become part of this stipend plan !!! Maybe we should just have intramural sports and focus on education.