Big Ten Football Q&A: Is It Time for Revenue Sharing in College Athletics?
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On Thursdays on The Big Ten Blog, we will feature questions from the B/R inbox, Twitter and email. Do you have a question for next week's Q&A? Send them to Big Ten lead blogger Adam Jacobi via the B/R inbox, on Twitter @Adam_Jacobi or at email@example.com.
Anonymous reader via email: "What if instead of athletic departments each collecting their own revenue, all the revenue was put in a giant pool and distributed equally among all participating members? Schools can keep ticket sales and concessions but everything else would be distributed equally."
Thank you, anonymous reader, and I'm glad you asked. This is an undeniably radical idea, which means it is delicious. Let's dig in.
First of all, this is a massive disincentive to the arms race that collegiate athletics has become. That, to a lot of people, would be a positive development. It would also be a boon to dozens of athletic departments who are currently struggling to make ends meet—non-BCS conference football programs, 90 percent of FCS football programs, we're looking at you. If they share in the revenue, all of a sudden, the exodus of athletic programs at the smaller schools stops.
Would you support revenue sharing in college athletics?
It also means fewer stadium upgrades for a lot of programs that have been undertaking them recently. Ohio State's probably not going ALL HD EVERYTHING if it's not seeing every penny its donors bring in. All those luxury skyboxes going up for the big spenders? Not quite the priority anymore.
But really, the only athletic programs that this negatively affects are the most wealthy, and even then, they'll still be in better positions than most since they'll still be collecting higher ticket and concession revenues than most anybody else.
Sure, there's the impetus to scream "redistribution" or "socialism" and just tune out any suggestions here in, but this isn't some radical Marxist thought exercise. Major League Baseball employs some pretty substantial revenue sharing, and lo and behold, the program hasn't exactly wrecked the sport or humbled its dynasties. The NFL shares about 75 percent of its revenue, per about.com, and that league is the healthiest, most profitable in all of American sport. Revenue sharing doesn't cut down on the "haves," it cuts down on the "have nots" ("haves not"?).
But that all said, college football would be a different beast without its arms race at the top. Coaches' salaries would be lower. Athletes' training facilities would be updated less frequently. Stadium expansions? Probably not, unless it's absolutely necessary (which, what a concept, eh?).
Unfortunately, this creates a massive incentive to under-report revenues, since more money is better than less money, and giving away money to support a larger fund results in a substantially smaller amount of money coming back in. So that would require some more vigilance from the NCAA in its powers of oversight, and hooo boy, would that rankle some fans.
But then again, whose pocketbooks would you rather the NCAA be keeping an eye on: the players, or the schools profiting off them?
I could keep going on, but we have more questions to get to. We have the comment section for more debate too. But I'm glad you asked.
@Adam_Jacobi What font is the flying w of Wisconsin in?— WishinForFootball (@WishinForFootba) June 28, 2012
I'm glad you asked. My guess is, it's not a font you're ever going to find in Microsoft Word. But Wisconsin does have a history of bland Ws on its helmet, so this did get me to wondering if perhaps there's a font better suited for the Wisconsin program. Fortunately, Twitter decided to help.
First, via @treykerby, who used modified JI-Driest and says it's "for all their fat running backs":
Next, @PlannedSickDays brings a lttle flair to the party with the Curlz MT font:
We've been missing raw, savage sass. So here's @LegendofVinnyT and the Blackadder ITC font:
Last, his could not possibly be complete without Comic Sans, so here's @MakJae9:
I love you all.
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