OSU Scandal


I would like to make some relavent comments about this scandel at Ohio State, but that would be quite foolish. Considering there has been a federal investigation of the institution which I would discuss and the miserable record of its sports program, there is no need to hang the laundry out so to speak on the internet(statutes of limitation has ended by now for all but the most serious crimes right?).

My view of college sports is different than how I view professional sports. The latter does not need socialism to thrive. The key difference is that they are a different type of institution, profit maximizing is not the goal. Players should be paid a nominal though equal sum to play college football. For those who aren't aware, playing college football is a full-time job and then some. It means going to class in the morning and then practice/films in the afternoon. The day is basically filled from around 8 a.m. till 6 or 7 p.m. and, oh yeah, your dead tired at the end of the day when trying to study.

Studies have been done which say that most college programs lose money, but these don't take into account the social profit they produce. Let's face it, what kind of place would Nebraska be without their university football team? Paying the players a small amount would lessen the incentive for activity mentioned in the article and give players some compensation for the profit they produce.


Being the resident Truck & Barter Buckeye, I suppose I should comment on Maurice Clarett and the latest news. I agree with Bob that there is not much to be discovered after an OSU and NCAA investigation, not to mention the brief criminal investigation.

When Bob describes a day of playing college football, he sounds like he has been there. I'm sure it is an exhausting schedule. As soon as the season ends, winter weight lifting gets them up at dawn to continue the stress.

Unfortunately the rift between academics and athletics on campus cause a great deal of resentment from the faculty and students. Many of the students who are not invloved in athletics perceive the extra attention and facilities as detracting from their experience. Even the fans, frequently described satirically as "the greatest fans on earth," will turn on a dime and begin to boo the team or the coach after a single bad game. I think this is unfortunate, but likely unavoidable. You are likely to hear similar feedback in cities trying to attract professional sports or build a major league stadium.

I feel a great deal of compassion for Maurice and other players in his position. Maurice certainly was a bright light while he was here, but he flamed out quickly. I would like only to see him get his life in order and find a team where he can excel.

Coming back to economics, I wonder what the effect of essentially free labor is in the sports market. Ignoring the NFL rules barring entry from high school, these atheletes are willing to forgo up to five years of salary and take a significant risk of a career-ending injury and still only a small chance remains that a job will be available in their industry (i.e. football). I suppose the marginal product of fame is something like the marginal product of capital and encourages investment in an athletic career.

Yes and the school is in your conference. I was there for two years and grew to despise it for one of the reasons you mention. The animosity between students and players was palpable. I don't think the football program gives any return on social capital there. It existed for one reason only, money. Since I'm on a rant about the place, let me just say that they first exposed to me what the term "liberal hypocracy" means. It is quite ironic that my mom didn't want me to go to Berkeley for precisely this reason, but yet I still found myself surrounded by lunacy. Even more ironic is that the faculty was amongst the highest percentages of Republicans surveyed recently. Enough about why I'm glad I left or they actually kicked me out after I stopped going to school the second year.

As far as why make the investment in football? Many might be tempted to say that it is the pecuniary incentives which attract people to sports. I think it is only partially right, fame and the desire to engage in competition play a role. Claurice seems to understand the economics of the situation very well.

What are the effects of a free workforce or as it is commonly called when business engages in such actions, slavery? I guess it would be something more similar to indentured servitude. People are willing to give up a few years of freedom for some sort of payoff. One would think that the expected return would be higher monetarily than if they didn't play the sport. This may not be true however if professional athlete wannabees factor in other stuff such as fame and utility gains from playing competitively. I think the implications of being a free workforce is that the student-athlete is, in fact, an indentured servant. Their rights and freedom of action are restricted with no ability for recourse except not to play. Athletes in revenue producing sports should receive percuniary compensation because they are workers generating a return to their employer. And please, don't try and say they are receiving a free education. Some are, but Claurice and others aren't.

People willingly join the system, myself include, so we must derive some utility even as indentured servants. The benefits of playing college sports extend beyond graduation since even though we have lower GPAs, employers generally seek out athletes. However, I wonder if this extends to black athletes who don't graduate. Do their earnings increase?


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This page contains a single entry by Bob published on November 12, 2004 1:44 AM.

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