The federal Department of Education pays the bulk of the watchers' salaries through its work-study funds, so Miami doesn't incur much cost for a program that helps to keep its players eligible. Says Doug Johnson, Miami's associate athletic director for internal operations and compliance, "Sometimes you need to train an athlete to be mature."
GETTING THEIR DUE?
Believe it or not, at least two reputable economists say that the astronomical baseball salaries shelled out in this off-season are not out of line—and in some cases are probably lower than what they should have been.
Gerald Scully, a professor of management at the University of Texas at Dallas, and Robert Baade, an economics professor at Lake Forest College, have each constructed statistical models for estimating how much money a player generates for his team. Their equations take into account the player's statistics and his team's record and revenue data. Baade contends that his model can explain 83% of a team's attendance. He also maintains that at least 40% of a team's revenue can be attributed to the quality of its players' performances.
Neither Scully nor Baade has analyzed this year's free agents because the financial data needed to do so are not yet available, but in applying their formulas to information from 1986 and '87, both have found stars to be worth $3 million per year and more. For example, when Roger Clemens went 24-4 for Boston in '86, he was being paid $340,000. But Scully found that Clemens's '86 performance was worth $3.9 million in revenue to the Red Sox—more than the record $3.25 million a year Mark Davis got for signing with the Royals in December. In nearly every case that Scully and Baade looked at, the player was underpaid.
"It's incorrect to conclude that because you're seeing some $3 million contracts, owners will put themselves in the poorhouse," says Scully. "This is scarce talent in an open market, where you bid for it." In light of baseball's new four-year, $1.06 billion contract with CBS and its four-year, $400 million deal with ESPN, says Baade, "this year's large free-agent contracts were both inevitable and justifiable."
CALLED FOR TRAVELING
At halftime of a Dec. 30 Illinois high school basketball game, Calhoun High led Brussels High 40-22, and Brussels coach Rick Huddleston had weighty options to consider. Because of packed stands and high humidity in the old Brussels gym, the floor had become so slick that officials were ignoring traveling violations. Someone was bound to get hurt. After deciding that the game couldn't continue at Brussels, the refs gave Huddleston three choices: Call the game off, play the second half the next day or complete the game at Calhoun's gym, in Hardin, Ill., 16 miles to the north.
"If it would have been another team, we might not have played the second half," says Huddleston. But the two schools, with a combined enrollment of 257, have a long rivalry, symbolized by the walnut replica of an apple crate that winds up in the winner's trophy case every season. So most of the 350 fans bundled up and headed out on County Road 1. "When you were driving to Hardin, you'd look back and see nothing but a line of headlights," says Calhoun coach Jim Roach.
Now etched for the ages on a brass plate on the side of the Apple Crate Trophy is the game's final score: CALHOUN 83, BRUSSELS 59.