SBD/October 10, 2013/Colleges

Bowlsby Says NCAA Should Consider Allowing Players To Share In Licensing, Jersey Proceeds

Bowlsby has stood firm against payments to college athletes
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby thinks that major college programs should consider "allowing players to share in the proceeds of licensing deals or jersey sales," according to Brad Wolverton of the CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION. The idea is "among the controversial proposals he says NCAA colleges should examine" with the issue of athletes' rights having "moved to the center of the conversation" in college sports. Bowlsby said of allowing players to share in certain proceeds, "I could capably argue either side of that issue. But we need to think really hard before we go down the path of creating that sort of availability." He has "stood firm against payments to players." Bowlsby: "If we ever go down the path of establishing an employee-employer relationship, we will have lost our way forever." But he said that he "would consider a 'departure fund,' or some kind of 'repository of money' for big-time athletes to tap into, that could be used to help them make the transition from college." Bowlsby: "The concept of having some brass ring you could aspire to if a professional career is not a legitimate option. I think a case could be made for that." He added, "I do think that it's time to look at the definition of amateurism." Those statements were seen as "echoing comments made last week" by Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. Bowlsby said, "It could include something more than tuition, fees, room and board, and books -- and probably should" (CHRONICLE.com, 10/8).

NOT THE SAME FOR EVERYONE: Univ. of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino appeared on Showtime’s “Jim Rome on Showtime” to discuss the paying college players debate. Pitino noted Forbes has listed UL as the top revenue producer "in college basketball 11 straight years, so it’s very easy for us to pay an athlete." Pitino: "It may not be as easy as another school that’s only averaging 5,000 people per game.” He added he believes that during the NCAA tournament “every parent should have a roundtrip ticket, obviously their hotels paid for, because the NCAA makes so much money." Pitino: "I can’t believe our system is that antiquated that we’re not paying for parents, their hotel rooms and flights, to go to that spectacle” (“Jim Rome on Showtime,” 10/9).
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