Spurrier Proposal Preposterous

I love Steve Spurrier, but the proposal that the head ball coach and six other SEC football coaches endorsed to allow payments to football players is one of the more absurd things to ever come out of the SEC meetings. It's a complete non-starter from the beginning for several reasons.

The coaches suggest that football players be paid $300 per game, which would allow players to cover family expenses for coming to games or spend the cash in other ways. The suggestion is that it would apply to about 70 players, which I suppose means guys who are redshirting are not going to get paid. The plan also calls for the millionaire head coaches to provide the money for their players. That's $252,000 per coach. No big deal for the top end of the pay scale, but for Joker Phillips at Kentucky or Vandy's new coach James Franklin it would be significant. It doesn't matter, though because there is no chance it will happen.

Football only won't work ---- The reality of the world is that any "stipend" given to any student-athletes on campus would have to given to ALL student athletes. Florida has approximately 270 athletic scholarships in a variety of sports and all would have to be a part of it. You can't only pay student athletes in revenue generating sports. The federal government would stop it on Title IX grounds as well it should.

Total Costs Prohibitive --- Now that we know $3,600 for football players will not pass, let's do the math, shall we? UF has 270 scholarships for student athletes. There are actually many more athletes who would get a percentage of the $3,600 based on their scholarship percentage. That means it would cost almost $1 million per school to pay a stipend of that size.

All at Once Payments --- If the idea is to give players some spending money while they are in school, what sense does it make to pay them all the money in the fall game by game? A stipend should be spread out over the entire school year and should be dependent on having no disciplinary sanctions for behavioral or academic shortcomings.

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Maybe it is beneficial to begin the discussion of having a stipend as part of the scholarship a student-athlete receives. I have long been an advocate for stipends, but a proposal such as this is probably counter productive. I know football coaches live in a vacuum, but it's a bit disconcerting that seven SEC coaches would attach their names to this suggestion. You really should have a broader view of intercollegiate athletics than to think something like this would be acceptable or appropriate.

Spurrier and the other coaches who signed on – Muschamp, Saban, Mullen, Miles, Nutt and Dooley certainly mean well. They realize their players deserve more than what the full scholarship provides. They just need to realize theirs are not the only student athletes on campus.

Now if we can just get them to address the issues of partial scholarships, underfunding of baseball and reverse discrimination in scholarship limits we could make some real progress.


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