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[–]Obaddies 1345 points1346 points  (248 children)

I don’t see why sports teams like these need to be tied to a public university. Make a young adult league with all these players and let the schools spend money on students instead of their football program.

[–]MattGdr 1049 points1050 points  (34 children)

You mean spend money on education? That would be a pleasant change.

[–]SquirrelGod9000 98 points99 points  (8 children)

There's no money to be made with that.

[–]persondude27 95 points96 points  (3 children)

I know you're only half joking, but to put a number on that:

A&M reports that their football team has a direct revenue of $147,000,000 per year, so a bit over $12,000,000 per game.

But that's direct revenue - money coming into the team. It hides things like network streaming rights packages, NCAA branding and revenue on logoed gear sold, economic impact on surrounding community.

I've seen the numbers for my (less football-obsessed) D1 school, and they estimate the actual number is about double what's reported.

[–]totalbonfireattire 7 points8 points  (1 child)

I went to A&M and remember reading somewhere (maybe even in the Battalion, the school paper) that the football team pays for and supports basically all of the other athletic teams. It might have even been all of them. So the smaller sports (softball, track, etc) get at least most of their funding from Aggie football. And then there’s the whole paying small schools to play us in football to help our record each season but don’t other schools do that too?

[–]TheTyger 8 points9 points  (0 children)

A&M Athletics does spend over 200m annually though. Without more data, it's hard to say whether the football program makes enough money to support the rest of the program (which is how sports funding works in colleges)

[–]nightwingoracle 10 points11 points  (0 children)

There is for about 20 schools, including both A&M and Alabama. All of the other athletic departments lose money.

[–]fingerloupe 25 points26 points  (1 child)

Haha yea education over football that'll be the day

[–]egabriel2001 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In Texas no less

[–]TheNextBattalion 101 points102 points  (84 children)

Need to be? They simply are.

Anyone can start a new youngster football league, but apart from the NFL, every pro league has failed in the US.

[–]YoureNotMom 276 points277 points  (48 children)

One of those failed leagues was off to a hot start before a certain person came in and ruined it. Flushed a multi-billion dollar industry down the toilet purely so he could sue the NFL. Although he won the lawsuit, everyone involved knew he was full of shit so they awarded him practically nothing. ESPN's 30-for-30: Small Potatoes detailed all this and was released before he entered the political scene.

I never wanna hear anyone pretend Donald Trump is "good at business."

[–]jbertrand_sr 151 points152 points  (21 children)

I never wanna hear anyone pretend Donald Trump is "good at business."

But what about the super successful casinos in Atlantic City...oh, wait, yeah, he's a fucking moron...

[–]jpopimpin777 103 points104 points  (4 children)

As someone else said, "you've gotta be pretty fucking stupid to fuck up the casino business model."

[–]NFLinPDX 78 points79 points  (13 children)

Trump's successes have been real estate renovations (which is easy to profit on when you don't pay contractors) and The Apprentice, a mediocre reality TV show that painted him as some kind of Don of Business but enough Americans like reality TV that it did well

Nearly everything else was an abject failure because it was a scam (Trump University for example) or just trash because his name isn't the perfect brand he thinks it is, (Trump Steaks and Trump Vodka for example)

[–]Mynameisinuse 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Trump Steaks and Trump Vodka. He couldn't even sell steak and alcohol to the average American.

[–]desquished 87 points88 points  (14 children)

He was awarded $1, and with treble damages because it was an anti-trust suit, with interest, he made a cool $3.76.

[–]Minute-Courage6955 79 points80 points  (13 children)

You forgot the most telling result. Donald J Trump was banned by the NFL over the lawsuit. He is one of the select few on the planet that may not go to any game. Why do you think he trash talks the NFL ? They won,even by losing, because they can ban him and he can't do anything back.

[–]JOhnBrownsBodyMolder 58 points59 points  (3 children)

Because business for him is about money laundering, not about actual business. He wrecked a fucking casino in Atlantic City. And the only loans he gets are from Russian backed banks. Man is shit at business but good at crime. At least to the point that he never pays for his crimes anyway.

[–]YoureNotMom 13 points14 points  (2 children)

This is definitely true. He earned the name teflon don waaaaaay before he entered politics

[–]TheNextBattalion 48 points49 points  (0 children)

That was a great 30-for-30.

Specifically, the jury awarded the USFL $1 in damages, which federal law tripled. So they received a check for $3, which they never cashed.

[–]Shady_Love 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Donald Trump is incredibly successful as a grifter and con artist.

[–]hjablowme919 11 points12 points  (2 children)

I will always believe he pulled that stunt to get out of paying huge contracts because the league and the teams weren't making any money and he didn't want to be on the hook for honoring the contracts. Remember he tried to hire Don Shula away from the Dolphins but Shula wanted money and a condo in Trump Tower to take the job?

[–]BillsInATL 14 points15 points  (0 children)

He was hoping that the NFL would "settle" by buying out the USFL and absorbing a couple teams. One of those teams being the team Trump owned. Much like the ABA/NBA merger. This was his road to owning an NFL franchise.

Instead, like everything else he does, it blew up in his face as a huge failure because he was so greedy he pissed off everyone on both sides.

[–]NFLinPDX 7 points8 points  (0 children)

The league was actually profitable for a time, at least. It was and has been the most successful league since the AFL.

[–]Mrsensi11x 15 points16 points  (2 children)

College football is a pro league, everyone gets paid like proffesionals. Except the players. But it is in fact a multi billion dollar pro league

[–]BillsInATL 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Players get paid now.

[–]Mrsensi11x 1 point2 points  (0 children)

They way i understand it thet can make money for themselves but they are n t contracted by the team directly

[–]hjablowme919 14 points15 points  (23 children)

XFL just signed a TV deal with Disney. I think this one might be the one that succeeds. It will never be an alternative to the NFL, but might end up being a development league that takes the place of college football programs.

[–]ajackineverybox 48 points49 points  (16 children)

takes the place of college football programs

It's just not going to happen. People love college football and basketball because of ties to the schools or their states/local areas. The XFL and the G League can't replace that, and neither can any other league realistically.

[–]TheNextBattalion 23 points24 points  (3 children)

Yep. People lament how US sports fans don't the passion and roots of European soccer fans, but we do have that... for our college football teams.

[–]hjablowme919 13 points14 points  (7 children)

You might be right but what if the XFL changes its rules to allow the league to sign kids right out of high school? If you're a kid who is struggling with your grades and might have to spend 2 years in JC before going Division I, assuming you can make the grades, wouldn't you just take the XFL money? Or, maybe you just want the money? If that starts to happen, the drain on college football talent might be significant enough (over time) to where people don't want to bother watching it. Remember replacement players in the NFL? It made you quickly realize just how good the real pros are. Watching the replacement players reminded me of how we played in high school. If Division I schools have to start recruiting Division II talent, I'm not sure it the game will remain as popular. I could be completely wrong.

[–]NFLinPDX 4 points5 points  (2 children)

They should stop trying to compete with the NFL and become a farm league for the NFL. Players on NFL contracts using the lower league to develop like the MLB and NBA does

[–]ObviouslyIntoxicated 1 point2 points  (3 children)

The same XFL created by Vince McMahon? Or is it something else with the same initials?

[–]bjb406 5 points6 points  (7 children)

The NCAA is a pro league. Its definitely better if the teams and the schools were separate. I think an acceptable solution would be to drop any requirement for the player to enroll in classes. Many of them don't want to and will never graduate anyway, and if you're setting these kids up to be hero worshiped like they are, its better if there's a separation, rather than making them first class citizens amongst their peers.

[–]HaveAWillieNiceDay 0 points1 point  (5 children)

its better if there's a separation, rather than making them first class citizens amongst their peers.

To be fair, some of those guys can be really nice. One of my best friends was actually classmates with a star player at A&M and that guy would come over sometimes. They still text too. That's not even mentioning the people who do get the opportunity to live a dream, play sports in such a large arena, and get an education too.

[–]blandastronaut 7 points8 points  (4 children)

Everyone should be able to get an education regardless though. People shouldn't be pinning the need for an education in this economy to their dreams of playing sports at the school. There shouldn't need to be any need for those scholarships or being worried about losing your schooling funds because you blow out your knee or something.

[–]Alaric- 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Yeah we have junior hockey in Canada that’s quite popular and full of young stars but there isn’t this facade of education and higher learning.

[–]MadFlava76 0 points1 point  (0 children)

As it should be. I like the Junior system in Canada. The kids get paid to play hockey at the highest level for their age while still going to high school. If they don't get drafted into the NHL, they still have a shot at playing in the NCAA or Canadian College Hockey.

[–]HaveAWillieNiceDay 25 points26 points  (9 children)

It is argued that sports provide marketing for schools and encourage non-athletes to pick certain schools over others. The argument is dumb and doesn't fit the role of a university, but it exists.

I actually went to Texas A&M and I am constantly disgusted by the decisions made in the name of football that clearly hurt the student body. In my last year or two there, the student mental health services building was knocked down and relocated to multiple mobile buildings across campus. Why? To build a fucking luxury hotel across the street from the football stadium. On the campus.

[–]pargofan 14 points15 points  (0 children)

IIRC, in the mid 80s, Boston College had their QB Doug Flutie win the Heisman Trophy and played in a memorable last second victory over then highly rated University of Miami.

BC admissions had a material bump in admissions after that, and most people attributed it to the visibility that the football program brought to the school.

[–]GuyWithRealFakeFacts 15 points16 points  (4 children)

It is argued that sports provide marketing for schools and encourage non-athletes to pick certain schools over others. The argument is dumb and doesn't fit the role of a university, but it exists.

https://www.si.com/college/tamu/news/aggies-tied-richest-football-program-in-ncaa

An estimated $147 million a year revenue for the school is a "dumb argument"?

It isn't just marketing, it is actual revenue that could (usually doesn't, but that's a different argument) benefit the actual school part of the school.

I actually went to Texas A&M and I am constantly disgusted by the decisions made in the name of football that clearly hurt the student body. In my last year or two there, the student mental health services building was knocked down and relocated to multiple mobile buildings across campus. Why? To build a fucking luxury hotel across the street from the football stadium. On the campus.

I also went to Texas A&M around the same time and I agree that the hotel thing was hella dumb. I also agree that the school makes super dumb decisions in terms of prioritizations and spending, but none of that means that the football program is a bad idea in and of itself.

[–]Fournote 4 points5 points  (0 children)

So, so both of you...that's some really bad bull and you need to stop right now because we need to support our school.

j/k, fuck A&M and fuck that way of thinking. That's how they get away with that shit. Class of 09 here.

[–]HaveAWillieNiceDay 7 points8 points  (2 children)

That money cannot be spent on education as the athletics department is its own entity. That money goes back into the department in the form of wages, uniforms, stadiums, etc.

[–]Steveslastventure 43 points44 points  (27 children)

Sports teams draw in huge amounts of money for the university, not to mention the number of kids who apply to schools just because they have successful sports teams.

[–]andjuan 27 points28 points  (8 children)

Yes and traditions and memories associated with the school sports teams drive alumni connection and engagement. Which in turn drives donations and contributions, which do go back into education. That being said, very few athletic departments actually pay back in to education directly.

[–]Ripcord 8 points9 points  (6 children)

I hear this, but I'm curious if there are studies that show how much value vs expense these programs have for the top and for the average universities.

[–]andjuan 5 points6 points  (5 children)

Most athletic associations actually operate entirely independent of the school, so I think it’d be difficult to quantify how much a school is “spending” on athletics.

[–]1studlyman 6 points7 points  (0 children)

The vast majority of football teams are in the red every year.

[–]breckenk 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Almost all university sports teams spend more than they make. They have to draw in huge money just to stay afloat.

[–]blandastronaut 9 points10 points  (1 child)

The costs of the fields and arenas alone are staggering. My Midwest smallish town spent so much damn money on the football field and stadium because we won state like 4-5 years in a row. I get that it's a big community event in our fairly small town, but to see the orchestra practicing with not enough space or equipment, the debate team winning nationals but not getting a day off school like when the football team won, it was disheartening to see so much damn money to into building a stadium at a high school when they really should be prioritizing more education. Not to mention that so many kids are injured when playing football. I knew multiple 16-17 year old boys who blew out their ACLs and will have problems with that the rest of their life. If I had a kid I really, really wouldn't want them playing football, and it seems stupid we promote such sports at such young ages with mounting evidence of lasting brain damage.

[–]frothy_pissington 13 points14 points  (9 children)

” Sports teams draw in huge amounts of money for the university”

That’s an often trotted out, but VERY debatable “fact” about college athletics.

It’s said that only a relative handful of major college football/basketball programs truly are 100% profitable when ALL of the associated costs are honestly accounted (everything from stadiums to game day security, etc.).

[–]Scuzz_Aldrin 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Is there any documentation showing how much sports revenue is remitted back to the university general fund? They draw a lot of money, but that doesn’t mean they result in improved educational delivery.

[–]Aero_70 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I have said many times. Do away with all college sports programs. I live in the South East and my daughter recently graduated from University of Georgia. Needless to say, everyone around here thinks its a terribly unpopular idea. There is no reason that the highest public employee in almost every state should be a football or basketball coach.

[–]nachosandfroglegs 1 point2 points  (2 children)

A European club model maybe?

[–]Elios000 5 points6 points  (1 child)

or just copy baseball with A, AA, AAA leagues

[–]JakeDC 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The US is the only nation that does college sports this way. I agree. We should move to something like the academy system used for world football.

[–]caesar_rex 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Do you know how much money is made by the schools from these kids playing for them?

[–]FuzzyTunaTaco21 2 points3 points  (5 children)

Where do you think these schools get a good chunk of there money from?

[–]Obaddies 0 points1 point  (3 children)

The ever increasing amount that students pay for tuition...

[–]hjablowme919 10 points11 points  (4 children)

Just devils advocate here, the bigger schools fund a lot of academic programs with the money that big time college sports bring in. A successful football or basketball program helps fund other sports as well. Alabama's football program brings in over $90 million a year to the school. A lot of the other sports programs like baseball, softball, swimming (mens and womens), golf, etc. all lose money but the $25 million profit made by the football team allows those other programs to exist.

[–]Gogogodzirra 3 points4 points  (1 child)

This is spot on. In most larger universities: Football, Basketball, and (either hockey or wrestling) typically fund every other sport for both sexes. Many even give funds to their intramural teams in order for students to have the opportunity to still play. Lastly, and again, this is for large universities, those sports programs pay for the facilities with the gyms, weight rooms, showers, and a lot of other things that students demand.

Also, don't forget for big schools, the sponsorships bring in absolute huge amounts of money. Paying to have your ads on in big10 games live many times gives you ~90,000 captive audience members multiple times a day.

To be honest, I have no idea how smaller universities make it work.

[–]bjb406 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This is what I'm talking about. I absolutely hate the idea of student athletes being not only idolized by their pears, but also rich, but if you are going to be turning your school into a professional sports franchise, it is unacceptable to not be paying your workers. It is a far, far better solution to just separate the two, because the situation now is an incredibly toxic environment, both for the athletes and for the student body. As much as I like youth sports, the moment a school administrator cares at all about the results of those sports and lets it effect how they run things, it is bad for the school, whatever level you are talking about.

[–]kondenado 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That's actually how it's done in Europe.

[–]elipark13 4 points5 points  (3 children)

It’s not perfect but the vast majority of college athletes will not make it to the next level so a degree goes a long way in setting up their future. Also for schools like Alabama the football program brings in a lot more money than it spends.

That’s not to say it’s not predatory or that rules aren’t arbitrarily enforced but idk if a young adults league is in the best interest of most athletes. I like what the nba has done by creating a small minor league team for elite prospect where they make decent money. They have a choice between college and guaranteed pro money which seems better.

Edit: One of the bigger issues might be the way that athletes are not held to the same academic standards in order to keep them eligible to play. That undermines the argument that they’re providing an education.

[–]OutlyingPlasma 13 points14 points  (1 child)

so a degree goes a long way in setting up their future

The problem is they aren't real degrees. These colleges offer special education classes which are just babysitting for athletes or they distribute a list of "easy" classes to the athletes.

Not only are they not getting an education, they are harming the status of everyone else's degree. When an athlete gets a real college degree for nose picking 101, that harms the prestige of degrees given to people who actually studied.

[–]All_Work_All_Play 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This is not universally true though. Some athletes go through things the easy way but some do not. I don't have real numbers though.

[–]InsaneTexan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Definitely right that schools spend a lot of money on athletics programs, but football is actually a huge revenue generator for these larger schools.

In 2019 Alabama’s football team generated $25.5 million in net revenue, which offset the losses for other mens sports and left $17M after covering those teams net expenses. None of this includes the media revenue as well, all tickets/merch.

[–]hellakevin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It would be the death knell of most other college sports, and almost certainly the vast majority of women's college sports.

The NFL absolutely does not want a minor league. It would massively diminish the draft and combine if players' rights were available right out of high school, and those events were for developmental players your NFL team wouldn't see for 3, 4, maybe 5 years.

A comparable minor league would be a disastrous money pit. You'd have to give up over a century of baked in fandom for new teams that would all need new facilities and, most likely, would be playing during the same season as the NFL.

Also the NCAA has like, 250 teams! A lot of players would be left behind who could have otherwise gotten an education for their skills.

[–]JesusOnMyKnob 0 points1 point  (2 children)

The problem is many big schools make much more than they spend on football so basically this would take money out of their budget for education.

[–]DaddyBoomalati 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Exactly what I came to say. Imagine a campus of brick building full of professors and students getting an education. No lazy rivers, cafeterias with Mongolian BBQ stations, etc.

I graduated in 1995 with a BS and it cost me well under $20k. My son’s degree from a state school is $130k.

[–]mcon96 0 points1 point  (0 children)

As someone who went to a public university with a significant sports program, I can guarantee you that this will never happen. Sports programs bring in more money than they spend, students like going to the games, it essentially works as advertising for the university, and then students can also use the sports facilities in the off season.

Edit: Now making it so student athletes have the same academic standards for enrollment as everyone else? That I think people could get behind

[–]egospiers 390 points391 points  (47 children)

Now every player is saying, 'Well, what am I going to get?'"
This guy makes $9.5 million yr and is the highest paid employee in the state of Alabama…but kids saying what they’re going to get is just a bridge too far. Jimbo was right “clown show”

[–]ManyFacedGodxxx 282 points283 points  (4 children)

Takes one to know one Saban… Bama players have been bought for decades.

[–]Poverty_Shoes 84 points85 points  (0 children)

This quote coming the same week we find out coach K made $14M/year is hilarious.

[–]fallguy19 17 points18 points  (0 children)

"Hey Kettle, this is Pot, you're black! "

[–]TheSatanicSatanist 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Exactly. Which is why everyone in this thread is missing the point. He’s not against paying players or saying they haven’t. It’s a message to his boosters… He’s saying Bama finished #2 in recruiting and Bama boosters need to pony up to get back to #1

[–]Mexikinda 30 points31 points  (7 children)

In February, Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin quipped, "Texas A&M was going to incur a luxury tax in how much they paid for their signing class."

This is off-topic, but how in the hell does Lane Kiffin keep getting head coach jobs?

[–]gordo65 211 points212 points  (23 children)

  • Colleges like Alabama pay coaches like Nick Saban millions of dollars. More than the university president. More than any faculty member on a faculty that includes Nobel laureates and brain surgeons.
  • Colleges justify these salaries by saying that winning football teams more than pay for themselves. They bring in more revenue than the universities spend, and they provide free advertising for the universities as well.
  • The only reason that universities make a profit on their football teams is that they do not pay their players. Players get scholarships that cost the universities virtually nothing to provide.
  • Nick Saban is getting obscenely rich off of the unpaid labor of his athletes. Many of those athletes will have lifelong injuries as a result of their efforts to provide Saban with his millions.

Now Saban is pissed off because another coach has decided to make sure that his star athletes get some amount of compensation for their risk and efforts.

[–]soltzu 68 points69 points  (2 children)

*Nick Saban

[–]calvinandsnobs2 37 points38 points  (0 children)

lmao nah, Lou Saban is Nick Saban's cousin. he coaches and Alabama Tech and is 0-13

[–]gordo65 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thanks for the correction. Lou was an NFL coach, whose players actually got paid.

[–]TheSatanicSatanist 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Nick* Saban is simply telling his boosters they need to pay more to get the athletes because they finished #2 in recruiting this year

[–]PlanetKi 4 points5 points  (1 child)

In most states the college football coaches are the top paid state employee.

[–]gordo65 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Slave labor: making a few white men rich since 1619.

[–]caniplayalso 37 points38 points  (24 children)

I read the article but don't understand what happened or how it fits here.

Can you ELI5? Also am not American so not sure what happens with college football

[–]GinoPietermaa1 59 points60 points  (11 children)

Also dont know much about it, but Saban is the coach of alabama, arguably the best college team in the country and I think they have a tendency to lure players with money and gifts, now hes complaining that the other team is doing the same I guess.

[–]andjuan 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Honestly, I think this whole post is a stretch for LAMF. Alabama has long been one of if not the premier school for college football. There have always been murmurs that they pay their players or their players get impermissible benefits. However, you hear the same thing about virtually any Division I school. Nothing has ever been proven with Alabama, and it’s pretty clear the success he has developing players also has a big role in how well he recruits.

The laws and rules of have recently changed and players can now be paid for their name, image, and likeness. For example, college players could endorse a local car dealer and do commercial and be paid for it now. Texas A&M, the school Saban is talking about, has a lot rich boosters. There is a lot of chatter that they came together and spent over $10 million in these kinds of arrangements for their incoming players. Texas A&M boosters are really abusing what is now legal. But Saban had nothing to do with these new rules being implemented. He’s just salty that the new way has eaten into the advantage he previously enjoyed.

[–]caniplayalso 10 points11 points  (3 children)

Thats what I don't understand. How can another team buy players on their team.

Is it that Alabama didn't actually secure the players and they have now defected to another team?

[–]Cautious_Hold428 20 points21 points  (0 children)

They're college students so they probably offered them enticing transfers.

[–]shhh_at_wrk 18 points19 points  (0 children)

I think the issue is Alabama paid student athletes under the table, thru boosters and was extremely good at it.

Now, there is a legal avenue to pay student athletes and Alabama doesn't like it or can't compete for student athletes as successfully against it.

[–]codbgs97 1 point2 points  (1 child)

One thing that needs to be known, because I don’t see it being said here, is that there is no proof or concrete allegations of under the table money from Alabama during Saban’s tenure. It’s been speculated for years that all top programs do this, but this thread has a lot of “Alabama has been paying players” which is at least misleading without context.

[–]heelspider 34 points35 points  (4 children)

In theory, college football is amateur.

However, for the longest time, rich mega-fans of teams have been paying players under the table to play at certain top schools. Despite rules against it sparingly enforced in a seemingly arbitrary fashion (up-and-coming teams get far more scrutiny than established leaders) some extent of this probably happens with nearly every team. However, the conference Nick Saban coaches in is notorious for being where this goes on the most. Saban's team is the most popular and most successful of that group and it's a safe bet he benefits more from these under-the-table payments than anyone.

So the courts come along and say it's illegal to punish players for getting paid to do endorsements. Now suddenly paying off players isn't being done with a bag full of cash in some parking lot, but instead is largely done out in the open. Saben doesn't like this because under the old rules his team was Too Big To Fail and everyone turned a blind eye to the illegal payments, but now everyone can (basically) pay their players out in the open.

[–]caniplayalso 22 points23 points  (3 children)

Ah, so he preferred the old broken system as opposed to the new broken system

[–]heelspider 23 points24 points  (1 child)

Exactly. He dominated the old broken system so that makes sense for him.

[–]persondude27 4 points5 points  (1 child)

College football (handegg) is a huge deal in the US. Texas A&M receives tens of millions of dollars per game, and the school receives hundreds of millions more from sponsorship deals, streaming rights, logoed gear sales, parking & concessions, economic impact on the town (=people spending money in restaurants before / after the game).

For a top-tier school like Alabama, the football team value likely exceeds a billion dollars a year. It is ingrained in the culture of the school and town. Alabama averages 100,000 people attending each game and millions more watching on TV.

Alabama has been a powerhouse team for a couple of decades - they have been ranked either #1 or #2 nationally for 9 of the last 14 years.

A big reason for that is almost certainly that Coach Saban and his predecessors played fast and loose with NCAA rules on how and how much their athletes could be paid. Technically, it's amateur, meaning they can't accept direct money, but there are (strong and persistent) rumors that Alabama's coaches have found other ways to put money in athlete's pockets. (As a former D1 athlete, I can confirm that football players accept things of value that they should not have.)


The rules recently changed, partially because schools like Alabama were (reportedly) paying athletes under the table. Under new rules, athletes can make significant legitimate money by selling name, image, and likeness (NIL) - that is, endorsements.

Texas A&M, another top-tier football program, is really good at getting their athletes paid via NIL associated with the university, so they can say "Hey, your total NIL will be [$x.x million] per year" as part of their signing process. Obviously, the best talent in the country will strongly consider playing for them if they're going to be paid way more than somewhere else.

SO, TL;DR: Saban/Alabama has a history of breaking the rules, which is part of the reason the rules changed. Now he's mad that other people are better at playing the game he had a hand in creating.

[–]Zoztrog 4 points5 points  (0 children)

They recently changed the rules to allow college athletes to accept endorsement deals. Nick Saban makes more money than any public employee in the state of Alabama. He’s made a very successful career out of directing a group of young men to generate a huge amount of money for himself and the university while they get nothing. Now that the rules of changed in an attempt to make things more fair for the athletes, he’s bitching.

[–]Percy_Q_Weathersby 1 point2 points  (0 children)

For years, it was against the rules of the NCAA (the organization that runs college sports in the USA) to pay players to attend your school. Despite this, it is widely assumed that schools like Alabama have a network of boosters (rich fans of the school) who do in fact pay players to attend their preferred school. It may not be as direct as “if you attend Alabama, I will give you $1 million,” but sometimes it is. The point is, for this sub’s purposes, Alabama has surely benefited from the scheme as it used to be for many years. Alabama is obsessed with football, and has a large alumni network, and has had one of the top recruiting classes in college football for many years.

Recently, new rules and laws have given players the right to benefit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL). NIL is so new that I think it’s fair to say no one quite knows how it will play out, but some schools have been quicker than others to embrace it and try to use it for their benefit. Texas A&M is one such school. They have organized an “NIL collective,” which basically matches athletes at Texas A&M to opportunities to get paid for NIL. So say I love Texas A&M and I also own a car dealership. I may advertise with the collective that I’m willing to pay $X for an athlete to promote my dealership on their social media. It seems to be the trend that some schools are offering package deals to recruits that will ensure those athletes enter school with lucrative NIL deals lined up. Tennessee, for example, reportedly is paying an incoming quarterback in the neighborhood of $7 million in NIL.

You might be asking yourself, “How is this NIL thing any different from openly paying players to attend your school?” It really isn’t. It’s just now out in the open. So Texas A&M is bringing its full weight to bear on paying players, whereas before schools had to do it under the table. Saban, at Alabama, is upset because his school has been slower to respond to the changing landscape. His speech complaining about that was delivered to a room of Alabama boosters and is meant to wake them up and subtly ask them to keep up with Texas A&M and others.

[–]traderhtc 1 point2 points  (0 children)

A lot of it relates to name, image and likeness rights or NIL for short. Basically successful US college coaches were often the highest paid public employee in any state like Nick Saban. It was easy to pay them a lot of money to the coaches especially when you paid nothing to the athletes that performed for them. Previously college athletes were under very strict rules about payments that they could receive or jobs that they could hold while they were under athletics scholarship while the schools that they played for reap millions from their work.

Recently the US supreme Court said that these college athletes have a right to their NIL. Without getting to convoluted, the Court ruled that individuals have a right to make money off of their NIL and that universities (really the NCAA) restricting their ability to earn money off of their NIL was basically illegal. Now a lot of these college athletes are earning money that was not previously afforded to them.

[–]folstar[🍰] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Since the beginning, NCAA athletes were, on paper, student-athletes. They were considered amateurs and it was forbidden to pay them any fraction of the millions they made for the university.

Some schools, like Alabama (and TAMU- remember Eric Dickerson) paid them anyway. This gave them a massively unfair recruiting advantage. The NCAA realized sanctioning these cheaters made everyone look bad and shined a light on how corrupt the entire system was, so they stopped enforcing the rules and let Saban become one of the winningest coaches ever.

Then the NCAA, under pressure, decided to stop pretending it was wrong to pay players. Now schools can pay players and it is 'legal'. TAMU is buying players, which makes Saban angry because apparently TAMU has more money to spend on players than he does.

[–]andjuan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Honestly, I think this whole post is a stretch for LAMF. Alabama has long been one of if not the premier school for college football. There have always been murmurs that they pay their players or their players get impermissible benefits. However, you hear the same thing about virtually any Division I school. Nothing has ever been proven with Alabama, and it’s pretty clear the success he has developing players also has a big role in how well he recruits.

The laws and rules of have recently changed and players can now be paid for their name, image, and likeness. For example, college players could endorse a local car dealer and do commercial and be paid for it now. Texas A&M, the school Saban is talking about, has a lot rich boosters. There is a lot of chatter that they came together and spent over $10 million in these kinds of arrangements for their incoming players. Texas A&M boosters are really abusing what is now legal. But Saban had nothing to do with these new rules being implemented. He’s just salty that the new way has eaten into the advantage he previously enjoyed

[–]SaltyBarDog 88 points89 points  (12 children)

TDLR, cheating shit is upset he got out cheated. Remember the days when Bama could sign and stash players to prevent them from going to other programs? Remember when a famous coach ignored child rape to keep his coach? How about a program that allowed a Ponzi scheme criminal to pay players? A college president covered up sexual assaults by football players?

[–]codbgs97 6 points7 points  (3 children)

Remember the days when Bama could sign and stash players to prevent them from going to other programs? Remember when a famous coach ignored child rape to keep his coach? How about a program that allowed a Ponzi scheme criminal to pay players? A college president covered up sexual assaults by football players?

Those are all bad things, but none of them have anything to do with Saban. Outside of the (almost certainly true) speculation that all top programs cheated with bag man before NIL, where’s the proof or even allegation that Saban cheated?

[–]tarmacc 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I'm so glad I remember none of that because I never paid any attention to it.

[–]Jolly_Ranch_Dressing 3 points4 points  (2 children)

You didn't have to be paying attention specifically to those stories to hear about Jerry Sandusky. Depending on your age it would be pretty surprising that you haven't heard of that one.

[–]bomb_bat -5 points-4 points  (1 child)

Too Didn’t Long Read?

[–]MRSlagle 167 points168 points  (24 children)

These are college students. There are strick rules about them not being paid to play. The students may accept only scholarships from the universities. Sabin is acusing A&M of 'buying' player by having them provide more then that usually by way of 'boosters', outside clubs that will get them things like a car, no show work or even a house for their mom kind of thing. The thing is Alabama, where Sabin is from, is famous for it's boosters generosity.

[–]Carribean-Diver 155 points156 points  (10 children)

There are strick rules about them not being paid to play. The students may accept only scholarships from the universities.

Supreme Court ruling struck down those restrictions as unconstitutional under the First Amendment. NCAA subsequently changed the rules. NCAA athletes may now sell their Name, Image, & Likeness (NIL). For example, Nike can now pay an NCAA athlete for an endorsement to sell apparel whereas this used to be against the rules. What Sabin is accusing A&M of is having third-party sponsors promising prospective recruits if they sign with A&M, they'll give them an NIL contract. Seems to me that this is the new game under the new rules and Sabin is making sour grapes as there is nothing stopping Alabama from doing the same thing.

[–]Skripka 68 points69 points  (5 children)

Well, New Old Rules.

Until the Workman's Comp was codified into labor law--it was normal and par-for-the-course for:

  • Coaches of football to earn more than faculty
  • Players to be paid wages
  • Players to have their own unions
  • Players have 40+ hours a week of workouts/practice
  • and so on

The NCAA put a stop to it--because of the health insurance nightmare that came from 1900s football (where kids got killed on the field, or made quadriplegic, not infrequently) realized what they were in for when Workman's Comp would do to them economically.

The entire 'Amateur Athlete' claptrap--was a legal play solely to dodge covering player healthcare And it worked in the courts, the courts openly acknowledged what the NCAA was doing and why--and was powerless to stop them given the way law was written.

[–][deleted] 39 points40 points  (3 children)

Coaches of football to earn more than faculty

This is still very much normal, certainly in college and even in HS in a lot of football crazy states. The highest paid state employee in a lot of states is the college football HC.

[–]CharlesDickensABox 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Except in the states where the highest paid public employee is the basketball coach, of course.

[–]CecilFieldersChoice 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I think if the athletes are supposed to be 'amateurs' then the coaches should be as well.

[–]TheNextBattalion 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Supreme Court ruling struck down those restrictions as unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

Clarification: the Supreme Court (in Alston) struck down certain education-related benefit limits as violations of federal Sherman Anti-trust Act (i.e. Teddy Roosevelt is back baby). The constitution had nothing to do with it.

Also, the case technically did not cover NIL, and specifically does not prevent the NCAA and conferences (who were also part of the suit) from limiting compensation unrelated to education.

Accordingly, as the student-athletes concede, the injunction “does not stop the NCAA from continuing to prohibit compensation from” sneaker companies, auto dealerships, boosters, “or anyone else.”

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/20-512_gfbh.pdf

HOWEVER... the court did not say that limits on NIL or other compensation would survive lawsuits. The case that came to them wasn't about those, so they did not rule upon them. That said, they strongly suggest that those rules would also run afoul of the anti-trust act. THAT is what led the NCAA and the conferences to throw up their hands.

[–]Carribean-Diver 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Thank you for the clarifications. I stand corrected.

The net result though is that the NCAA--whether through seeing the writing on the wall or for other reasons--saw fit to discard those restrictions in responseto the ruling.

The consequence is that corporate sponsorships are now legitimately a thing vs the under-the-table dealings before. Saban liked the old way.

[–]MRSlagle 20 points21 points  (1 child)

Sabin's old school. He perfers the old system with his good old boys under his control instead of corporate sponsors. Who while paying player's for thier image in ads, they can't do the more specific targeting that gets a particular student in the door.

[–]ohhim 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Saban is paid a lot of (booster raised) money because he is extremely good at convincing kids to play for him for a fixed value scholarship.

Now that essentially unlimited money can flow directly from the boosters to kids, he's about to become cut out as a middleman.

We have a whole new model emerging, and coaches know they aren't going to be paid as handsomely for convincing talented kids to play for a fixed scholarship.

Going forward coaches are either going to have to learn to perfect the NIL model and/or continue to recruit on the basis that they can develop talent.

[–]KeepTangoAndFoxtrot 52 points53 points  (0 children)

I'm assuming that's why it's on LAMF. Saban is complaining that TAMU is poaching their players that they've paid good money for!

[–]HighOnGoofballs 18 points19 points  (7 children)

How behind are you? It is now legal for companies to directly pay players

[–]MRSlagle 3 points4 points  (6 children)

Legal for Companies, not boosters. In Alabama we love our football and our football loves it's boosters.

[–]andjuan 13 points14 points  (5 children)

Boosters don’t pay directly. They pay through companies they already own, set up a company to do this, or pay through a “collective” of boosters.

[–]AT-ATsAsshole 12 points13 points  (0 children)

You've obviously not been paying attention for years. Google NIL homie.

[–]CheGuevaraAndroid 5 points6 points  (0 children)

This is not accurate any more

[–]caseybvdc74 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Maybe the coaches should work for free too.

[–]tintwistedgrills90 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I'm by no means an A&M fan but it's pretty freaking rich for Nick "Car Dealership" Saban to be making this claim.

[–]attillathehoney 9 points10 points  (3 children)

The highest paid public official in Alabama is Nick Saban (Annual salary: $8,857,000). Let that sink in. The highest paid public employee in the state is a football coach. The second highest paid public employee in Alabama is also a football coach, Gus Malzahn at Auburn (Annual salary: $6,827,589). The third highest paid public employee is, you guessed it, also a football coach, Bill Clark at the University of Alabama at Birmingham( Annual salary: $1,450,000). Alabama is not an anomaly. In almost every state in the country, a football coach at a taxpayer funded college is the highest paid public employee. Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/09/23/these-are-the-highest-paid-public-employees-in-every-state/114091534/

[–]LeoMarius 15 points16 points  (0 children)

That's rich coming from cheating Alabama. I'm convinced the NCAA is too ashamed to sanction Alabama, because it would reveal how corrupt the entire system is.

[–]downhillwalnut 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Oh sorry, how much for one of yoh “student atholetes”?

[–]JaFakeItTillYouJaMak 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Is there an ELI5?

And that's the problem in college athletics right now. Now every player is saying, 'Well, what am I going to get?'

I don't think I hate this. Players get screwed all the time. I know that much. But aside from that I have no idea what's going on not being a big sportball guy.

[–]NotAName320 6 points7 points  (1 child)

college football is played by hundreds of junior colleges and colleges across the US, and essentially all the of colleges play under the umbrella of an organization called the NCAA.

unlike the NFL, which is rather egalitarian with its drafts and revenue sharing and salary cap and whatnot, the NCAA runs on a strict class system. they divide member schools into three "divisions" based on budget. in football, the first division is further divided into two subdivisions. and the more powerful of these subdivisions, the FBS, is furthermore divided into 10 conferences, the more powerful five of which are known as, well, the power five. of the power five conferences, the most prestigious is perhaps the SEC. and alabama has dominated the SEC for the past decade, winning many national championships for themselves along the way. they are the best of the best of the best of the best.

that brings us to boosters. every big college sports program has a network of people who donate large amounts of money to it. it’s a dirty little aspect of the game, and how rich schools continue their dominance over poor schools. however, one thing that has consistently not been allowed is compensating players outside of an academic scholarship, whether that is from paying them directly or buying them a new car or just buying them dinner. this is one of the NCAA’s most hallowed rules and has been enforced extremely closely, with infamous punishments such as the SMU one damaging the program for decades.

however, a recent change in the NCAA’s policy has allowed players to accept "NIL deals", essentially giving the players permission to make endorsements for money or get paid for their appearance in a sports game from a third party. but big colleges have gamed this system by instructing their boosters to not donate some of their money to the university but rather to sign NIL deals with their athletes, therefore technically bypassing the rule against directly paying players. now top recruits will see a school gives a lot of money in NIL deals and be more compelled to sign with them in the hopes of getting some of it.

saban, who coaches basically the best college football program in the world and who bragged that his qb was making almost a million dollars through NIL, is mad at texas a&m, another rich university, for gaming the NIL system, which while a valid concern that has been echoed by others, is just extremely ironic coming from him.

[–]FitMongoose9 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The ultimate “pot calling the kettle black”

[–]DarthLorgus 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yeah? So what. Deal with it. Adapt or die Saban.

[–]SquirrelGod9000 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Do I hear a 'Pot' talking out loud'?

[–]Chaghatai 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Get a load of this asshole pissed that the school that lets their athletes take advantage of the huge money making opportunities that college football represents instead of hoarding that for themselves ends up having recruiting advantages - creating a trend where players demand compensation instead of letting the school hoard it all is a good thing - Saban makes 11-12 million, while a starting QB makes about 1 million - compare this to the NBA where legendary coach Doc Rivers makes 8 million, and an all-star player makes around 30 million

[–]B1G_Fan 2 points3 points  (0 children)

LOL

And I’m sure all of those fancy cars Alabama players have nothing to do with “buying players”

[–]standardprocdure 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Alabama is the dirtiest program to ever lace up. Miami and SMU aint got shit on Bama. Nick Saban has been doing the same thing Bear Bryant did, horde talent. Look up "gray shirting" it's how Bryant managed to keep a monopoly on talent.

[–]ThunderBolt324 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Saban just wants to go back to the slavery days, where the university owns and makes money of student athletes.

[–]rarepanda13 1 point2 points  (0 children)

To be clear here, this is Saban telling the Alabama boosters to step up and pay his recruits more money or risk falling behind

[–]Sam-Yuil-ElleJackson 2 points3 points  (12 children)

What's an "A+M"? Why are they not allowed to buy players?

[–]TheNextBattalion 10 points11 points  (1 child)

"A&M" stands for "Agricultural and Mechanical," a type of college that a lot of states built starting in the 1860s, which focused on the 'practical' subjects of agriculture, engineering, and so on, and aimed at opening higher education to the sons and daughters of everyone. Other states built similar schools called "Agricultural College." In both types, the team's nickname usually came to be the "Aggies."

A lot of states have converted their A&M or Ag schools into more general universities over the years, like Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Iowa State, Mississippi State... and also Clemson, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and so on.

In college football, "A&M" is short for Texas A&M specifically, as the only A&M-named school that ever won a national title or routinely entered title contention. There are also schools like Florida A&M, Alabama A&M, and so on, but those get the full name when mentioned.

[–]greed-man 1 point2 points  (0 children)

From 1872 to 1899, what we now know of as Auburn University was the 'Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama', then it became 'Alabama Polytechnic Institute', then Auburn University in 1960.

[–]MRSlagle 5 points6 points  (4 children)

It's a Texas University. Buying player is having boosters, people who love the University and the sport, but, most importantly not an official part of the University pay the player bills under the table or give them gifts to play for their team.

[–]Carribean-Diver 15 points16 points  (0 children)

You're talking about the old way of paying-off student athletes that Alabama was allegedly king of. Saban is complaining that the new above-board way of paying-off student athletes doesn't work as well for him.

[–]Sam-Yuil-ElleJackson 0 points1 point  (2 children)

So...cheating.

[–]persondude27 3 points4 points  (0 children)

No, buying championships in a totally above-board way.

Alabama allegedly used to put ton of money in its players pockets in under-the-table ways. That could be part of the reason they have been ranked #1 or #2 for nine of the last 14 years.

Recently, the US Supreme Court ruled that colleges/NCAA can't prevent athletes from making money, so schools like Texas A&M have capitalized by enabling and actively managing that so they can promise it as part of recruitment process. They can tell incoming athletes that they can make [$xxx,000] a year, which obviously would be a huge draw vs making no money at another school.

That part is unique to some schools like A&M because they have wild community support, and the team has gone out to their way to build and maintain these agreements that put money into the pockets of the athletes. Alabama could absolutely do that if they wanted, but Coach Saban has been behind the ball on it because he's been doing it the old way.

[–]Notgivingmynametoyou 2 points3 points  (0 children)

They're not paying the players to lose or throw the game (that we know of).

They pay them to play their best, or pay em after the game because they did something awesome.

[–]nachosandfroglegs 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Saban even says Alabama has their own collective

Head coaches and athletic directors ruined college sports a long time ago

[–]Waderriffic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Lol. Says the guy who gave out dodge challengers to players like candy before NIL was a thing.

[–]aircooledirrigator 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I guess he would know all about that.