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College Athletics. And the Amateur Ideal. Amateurism & the Olympic Ideal. Ancient Olympics Even central myth hypocritical Winners well rewarded by home cities Modern Olympics & Pierre de Coubertin Anglophile miffed over Franco Prussian War Sought solution in British “public” school

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College Athletics


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    Presentation Transcript
    1. College Athletics And the Amateur Ideal

    2. Amateurism & the Olympic Ideal • Ancient Olympics • Even central myth hypocritical • Winners well rewarded by home cities • Modern Olympics & Pierre de Coubertin • Anglophile miffed over Franco Prussian War • Sought solution in British “public” school • “Mens sana in corpore sano” • Amateurism reflects class snobbery • Laborers not considered amateurs

    3. American Scene • More combative than British • Commercialism & Corruption always present • 1st competition: 1852 Harvard v. Yale in crew • Sponsored at resort by railroad • 2nd competition brought first eligibility scandal • Harvard’s coxswain had already graduated! • Second sport: Football • Rutgers v. Princeton: first academic scandal • 4 Rutgers players were flunking math

    4. NCAA as “Incidental Cartel” • Restricts movement • Prevents “tramp athletes” • Students – not hired guns • Monopsony power • Players have little mobility • Drives down pay • Stars worth more than tuition • In football >$500k/yr • In basketball >$800k/yr

    5. Athletic Scholarships • Now source of great excitement • Not always the case • NCAA forbade them until 1956 • NCAA rules often ignored • At center of “Seven Sinners” • Hoped to to regulate by legalizing • Analogous to drugs or prostitution • “Student-athlete”: a legal term • Scholarships created “pay for play” relationship • Prevented workman’s compensation claims

    6. The Value of an Education • Cannot equate benefits with tuition • Scholarship is value of input – not output • Do private schools give more benefits than public? • Do athletes get an education? • Graduation rates on average the same • Rates vary widely • Across Schools • Across Programs

    7. Graduation Rates Vary by Sport and Quality • Money sports worse • Especially football & men’s basketball • Consider 2004 Sweet 16 • 5 schools had <33% graduation rates • But Duke’s grad rate 25 points below all men • 12 schools graduated < 50% • Three had grad rates >40 points below avg. • UConn, GATech, Wake Forest

    8. Women do Better • 9 of Sweet 16 better than best men • Stanford & Vanderbilt > 90% • Only Purdue <50% • Head-to-head with men: • Duke: 87% v. 67% • Vanderbilt: 92% v. 62% • UTexas: 88% v. 38% • UConn: 67% v. 27% • Comparable to Women as a Whole

    9. Blacks do Worse • Top 5 football programs • Grad rates average 43.2% • Student body 56.8% • For Black players: 39% • All blacks 41.4% • Data for basketball now suppressed • In past has been worst for men’s b’ball

    10. Why do Some Sports do Worse? • Some athletes less prepared • SATs, HS rank, HS gpa lower • True for basketball & - especially – football • Not so for softball or golf • Is dropping out a rational investment? • Go to Florida State to get to NFL? • Go to Harvard to become a physicist?

    11. Academic Standards • Preserve academic integrity • Don’t recruit students who cannot read • Creates Barrier to entry • Established powers keep out new entrants • Competitors cannot pay athletes more • Now cannot take weaker students either

    12. History of Standards • Nothing uniform until 1965 • 1.600 Rule • To play needed projected 1.600 gpa • Based on complex formula • 1973: Replaced 1.600 with 2.00 rule • Ostensibly higher standards • Actually just needed C+ in any courses • Worst abuses came under this rule • The sad case of Chris Washburn

    13. Proposition 48 • Provisions • Needed SAT=700 & GPA=2.00 in 11 core courses • If not: no scholarship in 1st year & cannot play • Was Prop 48 Racist? • Disproportionately affected black athletes • SATs for blacks average 200 points lower • Are SATs a valid instrument? • Still – graduation rates rose • A concession: Partial Qualifiers • Can receive aid if pass one criterion

    14. Proposition 42 • Meant to eliminate partial qualifiers • Again accused of racist impact • Loophole restored – and then some • Under Prop 48 scholarship “counted” • Under 42 doesn’t count against limit

    15. Proposition 16 • Created sliding scale • Clearinghouse evaluated individual courses • Understaffing caused embarrassing errors • Allows partial qualifiers to practice • Challenged in court • Students claimed disparate racial impact • Won initial case • Verdict overturned on technicality • NCAA does not disburse federal funds

    16. Latest Revision • Eases initial restrictions • 14 core courses (up from 13) • Sliding scale • 2.0 core GPA requires 1010 SAT • 3.55 core GPA requires 400 SAT • No Partial Qualifier status • Stiffens progress requirements • Need 40% of degree requirement by 3rd year • Need 60% of degree requirement by 4th year • Need 80 % of degree requirement by 5th year

    17. Fear and Loathing of New Rules • Coaches fear • Players become ineligible in midstream • Faculty fear • Greater pressure to pass • Proliferation of garbage classes

    18. Are Athletics Profitable? • Most men’s sports are not • Only football and basketball make money • Only for Division I & IA • Almost all women’s sports are not • 90% of women’s basketball programs lose $ • & They are most profitable

    19. How Profitable? Consider the NCAA Tournament • NCAA has 11-year, $6 billion contract w/CBS • Tourney revenue now $425 million/year • $389 M in TV rights • $35 M from ticket sales, etc. • Was only $1.4 million in 1970 • ~60% goes to Division I conferences & schools

    20. Splitting the Pot • $105.3 M distributed according to program size • Number of sports offered • Number of athletes on scholarship. • $105.3 distributed according to performance • Conference gets 1 "unit" per member game • Finals don’t count • Each unit worth ~$152,000. • Temple did very well this year despite a bad season • Payments made six years • Each unit will pay ~$912,000 overall

    21. Uneven Allocation • ~60% of the performance distributions in 2003 • Went to 6 major conferences • ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-10, & SEC • Big Ten got most: $12.3 million • 9 small conferences each got $784,182. • Most conferences divide revenue evenly • Reformers want to change disbursement criteria • Base on graduation rates

    22. But Colleges Don’t Make Money • If Michigan cannot profit – who can? • Projected $2.05 million deficit in 2000-01 • Minnesota & Wisconsin hemorrhaging $$ • Miscounting • Benefits understated • Increased enrollments - the “Doug Flutie Effect” • Costs overstated • Opportunity Costs – what does a scholarship cost? • Endogenous Expenditure and Bureaucratic Behavior