The players speak (cont.)
Posted: Tuesday August 7, 2007 10:57AM; Updated: Tuesday August 7, 2007 1:00PM
6. Should NCAA athletes be compensated beyond their scholarships?
Notes: Numerous players drew a distinction between wanting to be paid like professional athletes and wanting more scholarship money... The amount of time players spend on football-related activities is strongly linked to a desire for additional compensation... The conference with the most "no" responses was the Big Ten, with seven.
Quotable: Most players said they want additional compensation because they do not have time to hold jobs, but some, such as this Pac-10 player, feel cheated out of the profits of college sports: "The NCAA, I'm sure, isn't losing money. The universities, for the most part, aren't losing money. I guess you'd have to be fair, but I'm biased as a football player because we're making the money and bringing people to games." ... Said one ACC player: "I don't think we should be paid like pro athletes, but I do believe there should be an increase in stipends and things like that." ... Added one Pac-10 player: "This is our job, we have a lot of responsibilities and we bring in a lot of money for the school. We can't get real jobs because that distracts from school and football."
7. Do you agree with the NCAA's recent decision to ban text-messages in recruiting?
Notes: Of the six players who gave answers classified as "other," three said they were not sure and the other three gave nuanced answers that acknowledged both the positives and the negatives of the decision... Many of the players interviewed had not heard that this rule change had been passed by the NCAA... Because this survey was conducted primarily among upperclassmen, many of the players were less informed about this subject matter because text messaging was less of an integral part of recruiting three, four and five years ago. Said one Big Ten player: "When I was getting recruited, text messaging was a really new thing. I never received a text message from my coach."
Quotable: One ACC player couldn't understand why it took so long for the rule change to happen: "It completely defeats the point of having a dead period. A lot of people don't even call each other anymore anyway. So if you're not allowed to call, it's no different at this point." ... Several players wondered why they had outright banned the practice instead of placing more of a limit. Said one Pac-10 player, "It's kind of a step backwards. I figured they'd just put restrictions like they do with phone calls. A lot of kids would rather just get a quick text from the coach that's recruiting them than sit through a long phone call."
8. Do you read message boards or blogs where fans discuss your team?
Notes: For the purposes of this survey, if a player answered "sometimes," it was counted as a "yes" response... Twenty-four players answered "yes" outright, while 23 answered "sometimes." ... Approximately 68 percent of BCS players responded "no," compared to approximately 51 percent of non-BCS players.
Quotable: "I read it if I want to have a good laugh," said one Big 12 player. "Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that they're showing their opinions, but at the end of the day, they don't know what's going on." ... Most players who responded "no" said the people who write on message boards or blogs do not know what they're talking about. Said one MAC player: "My grandma could guess the same thing."
Additional reporting by Kate Macmillan, Elizabeth McGarr, Sunnnie Redhouse, Lindsay Schnell and Shannon Whitehead.
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