Sunday, August 21, 2011

08/21 (Very) Quickie

Don't miss the Quickish highlights of last night's Goodman League-Drew League feud summer-league hoops game in DC.

*Cards pay Larry Fitzgerald a ton: He is the face of their franchise (not to mention the best WR in the league). Unclear if any WR deserves as much as Fitz is getting, but if any do, he does.

*The simplest solution to the "should college football players be paid" debate: Create a pro league for players during the three years between h.s. and being eligible for the NFL draft. I have been advocating this for a decade.

What that does, as much as anything, is account for what the "pay college football players!" doesn't: Andrew Luck deserves a ton of money; the 100th guy on the roster doesn't. There are roughly 150 players per college year with any hope of making the NFL.

A pro league for 18- to 21-year-old pro prospects ensures that the most pro-worthy players get paid well above anything a "pay college athletes" model would offer. (My favorite is that pro-pay advocates seem to think that $50K a year is somehow a good deal for the biggest college stars.)

It allows the market to dictate who deserves to get paid (and roughly how much they deserve). And it allows the most pro-worthy players to focus exclusively on preparing for the NFL, which is in the best interests of both the player AND the NFL.

If you choose to play college football, you are doing it because you want the free education and because you love playing football -- if you stay and happen to develop into a pro prospect (not already claimed by the pro development league), all the better for you. Otherwise, the current incentive system is fine for you.

College football will survive without its most pro-worthy stars: The sport has always been about the tradition, the schools themselves, the pageantry, the results -- not who is playing. They will still pick a Heisman winner. (It's not like that was ever indicative of pro potential anyway.)

In this way, it is modeled on the pro clubs of European soccer, which remains the fairest and most efficient way to train and reward pro potential.

-- D.S.

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