The Knight Commission and the NCAA are in the news this week with pronouncements about reform in college athletics. I am sure they will make a lot of wonderful sounding suggestions and ESPN will talk about how wonderful (or awful) life will be once the changes are in place Color me doubtful.
If there is one change that could make college sports better, it would be to take most of the money away from the sport. Instead, paying players will only add cost and, in turn, raise the price of tickets and limit the number of sports at the schools where the big dollars are scarce. I am going to devote several posts over the next few weeks on this subject. Feel free to email your thoughts to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want us to debate this topic vigorously, as it will certainly impact our teams at Georgia Tech.
I am convinced, after a lifetime following college sports and having played basketball at a small college, that college sports would actually be better for all concerned, save one group, if tickets to the games were virtually free to everyone. The group that would be hurt, and in turn will fight any change in that direction, is the sports administration industry at the NCAA and FBS schools. If your job and salary depend on a specific process being in place, you will fight having that process changed. Think about it. Would CPJ coach football if the best job he could get paid him about $200K per year? What about Nick Saban? My inclination is to suggest the head coach's salary be within a narrow range for all the sports in every school. Why should the football coach make ten times the salary of the volleyball coach?
Let me have your thought in the comments if you wish, or via email. I will include your ideas in future posts.