"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Why LOI's suck

Or something like that from CNNSI's Seth Davis.

Read Seth's argument here.

Talk about it here at MUScoop.


Anonymous said...

I agree 100 percent with Seth Davis, but I'd go further. The NCAA is a trust/cartel, and should be broken up. If I described to you an industry that: (1) makes billions of dollars, (2) subjects their workers to excessive hours for work that is physically exerting, entails on-the-job injuries, and leads primarily to short careers with no future, and (3) pays these workers less than minimum wage while "management" get s paid millions, you'd think I was describing a sweatshop in Vietnam, or something from the 19th century. Add to this the fact that it earns money from sports played primarily by poor, inner-city African-americans or rural whites (men's football and basketball), and spends the money on sports played primarily by suburban, upper-middle class whites (women's golf, lacrosse, soccer). It's a system that needs serious fixing.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, I think this class has a chance to be Crean's best. Marquette has created a lot of hype around our current junior class, but so far it's been just that...hype. The just-signed class seems like more steak than sizzle.

Regarding letters of intent...it's the sports equivalent to a pre-nuptial agreement. If I were that good a player, I'd tell schools to take their LOI and pound sand with it.

Anonymous said...

I generally like Seth Davis, but I think he misses a huge factor in his analysis. When a kid signs a LOI, he is for the most part assured a scholarship at that school. The recruiting for that scholarship spot ends. Last time I checked, that scholarship is worth approximately $30K per year at MU. Plus, the kids get free trips to places like Maui, free tutoring, lifetime admittance to MU and many other perks which are never disclosed.

As far as anonymous' comment that the NCAA is a trust/cartel, GIVE ME A BREAK. The comparison of an NCAA basketball player to a child working in a sweatshop in Southeast Asia may be one of the stupidist comments I have ever read on this site. If you truly believe that to be the case, you are an idiot.

--Epstein's Mother

Anonymous said...

Ad hominem attacks are clearly the most intellectually reasonable and convincing...

Anonymous said...

"When a kid signs a LOI, he is for the most part assured a scholarship at that school."

Huh? That's the point of the article. You can sign one and have the school reneg.

No idea what the comment about Southeast Asia means. Does the poster even know what "cartel" means? Perhaps if Davis used the word "monopoly" it would be easier to understand?

Anonymous said...

I suggest the last "anonymous" writer go back and re-read the article. Davis states:

"This is not to say the athlete gets no benefits whatsoever from signing the NLI. The agreement effectively ends the recruiting process because once the athletes sign, other schools are prohibited from recruiting them. Also, while the letter binds that athlete to a school, it also binds the school to the athlete. If there were no NLI, the school could renege on its promise of a scholarship and just give it to someone else. Since most signees are minors, a parent or guardian is required to sign the letter."

It seems like a win/win situation to me. The athlete just needs to understand that the coach who recruited him may not be there when he enters the school.

As for Mr. Anonymous who wrote: "Ad hominem attacks are clearly the most intellectually reasonable and convincing...". It seems to me that you have a prejudice against suburban, upper-middle class whites. I guess I will have to take my law degree and go play somewhere else. I must be too stupid to comment on your intellectually deep opinions.

Anonymous said...

A cartel is a group of firms or countries that collectively attempt to affect market prices. I would say the NCAA is a cartel of universities.

I have no prejudice against suburban, upper-middle class whites -- I am one -- but I don't believe in stealing from the poor to give to the rich. Generally, no one does.

No, I do not seriously think that NCAA athletes are in the dire situation of children working in Vietnamese sweatshops. The point is that this type of anti-competitive behavior is not tolerated in any other avenue of society, especially when it is done by the powerful against the relatively powerless.

Anonymous said...

I am not exactly sure you could in anyway call the "powerless" some sort of victim here. Athletes at this level get their education paid for, with a bunch of the perks someone mentioned earlier, and in return get to play high level college basketball as well. I guess I am not understanding the problem from the athlete's point of view. I think everyone reading this blog would love to either be in that situation or have a child in the situation.

Anonymous said...

Student athletes are certainly compensated. I think a part of the problem is that the collage scholarship is viewed as valueless by many when in fact it is worth much more than the $30,000 tuition (think lifetime earning potential).

When so many underpriveleged people would love to have the opportunity to get an education and unlock so many of the doors that are shut to those without an education (and a degree), it makes me sick when people say these athletes recieve nothing.

An education is an opportunity that the recipient must turn into a reward for himself - a valuable lesson in itself.