Doug Gottlieb dropped by The MoJo Show on Thursday and had a heated discussion with Chris Moore and Brian Jones about compensating college athletes.
Jones believes that college athletes should have control of their likeness; if nothing else, players should get royalties from jersey sales, video games and things of that nature.
“I’ll just say this,” he said. “Whatever sacrifice you (make) in giving up your likeness when you’re playing in college, that’s part of the deal that, frankly, every student sacrifices.”
“For professors, there are students that do research,” Gottlieb explained. “Or if you’re a Rhodes scholar at a university, they’re going to use your likeness in all of their paraphernalia to try and sell that university. That’s what you give up when you’re a college student – just like when you’re a college athlete, they’re going to use your likeness to sell their school, their product. What you get back in return is, from the moment you walk out – especially if you walk out with that degree – you get to use their logo, their brand, tied to yours. That’s the trade – and if you don’t like the trade, don’t take the deal.”
Gottlieb said that college players who are angry that they’re in video games and not compensated are like basketball players being angry that they’re in the “One Shining Moment” video that is played every year after the NCAA Championship.
“They’re not protecting their right to oversee their brand,” Gottlieb said. “Stop it. At one point, isn’t it an honor? Every player dreams of being not just in the video, but (to be) the guy standing at the end of it.”
Moore and Jones, however, feel that’s an apples-to-oranges comparison and that elite college athletes need to be getting more than what they’re getting. Gottlieb said that if Johnny Manziel, for instance, wants money now, he can quit the team and write a tell-all book about his experiences.
“If you think it’ll fly off the shelves, that’s where you make the money,” Gottlieb said. “That’s how the system works. If you made it legal to pay him royalties based upon your jersey, then all you do is some big booster wants a recruit and they say, ‘Come here and I’ll buy a bunch of your jerseys,’ and then it ends up being pay-for-play.”
Yet, some would say that it already is pay-for-play. Moore asked Gottlieb what percentage of elite Division I college football players – particularly skill-position players – he thinks accept money or other benefits. Gottlieb guessed five percent.
“Most kids don’t have their hands out,” he said. “For the most part, most kids, you get them based on establishing a relationship, chance to play, style of play, and can I get to the league?”
Jones said that he didn’t have his hands out when he was recruited in the mid-80s, but that schools still pushed him toward boosters who said they could give him whatever he needed.
“It’s a different era,” Gottlieb said.
“I’m telling you it’s not,” Jones countered. “The money has (only) gotten bigger.”