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Slive Defends Amateur Model For NCAA Sports

Yesterday, SEC commissioner Mike Slive took part in a roundtable Q&A session with a number of other conference commissioners and media members.  In addition to discussing playoff plans and the future of the BCS, Slive also tackled the idea of athletes being paid.

You might remember that it was Slive last summer who began a national discussion regarding full cost-of-attendance scholarships.  But that doesn’t mean he’s in favor of turning college athletes into semi-professional athletes:

“There’s a very tender line.  We are in the world of academia.  One can get cynical.  But we are in academics.  Therefore, universities are not interested in having professional athletes as a subset of its academic mission.

(But) we are talking about an academic enterprise that has culturally become a phenomenon in a way in which it probably never was designed to be as a form of entertainment, and significant entertainment in football and basketball.”

According to Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News, “Slive said if the day ever happens when college athlete are paid, they will be unaffiliated with the universities.”



Well, if the day ever comes that college athletes are paid and therefore will be unaffiliated with universities, they won't be college athletes, will they?

This is similar to  the doublespeak we get from the DC Beltway all the time.

College FB is big business, and people from the poorest to the wealthiest love it.  One way or another, the powers that be will hold it together, even if they have to muddle definitions of pay, athletes, subsidies, tuition, etc. They have plenty of expert attorneys and PR people to do that.

This reminds me of conversations with NFL fans outraged by "safety rules" designed to protect receivers, QB's,  punters, etc.   Many even defend bounties ( notice they're not on the field!).  I tell them, the NFL will not let itself be destroyed by lawsuits over concussions, and I tell them no matter how much they whine, they will keep watching!


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