Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 at 1:58 pm  |  40 responses

Jim Boeheim Calls Paying NCAA Basketball Players ‘Idiotic’

by Bill DiFilippo / @bflip33

One of the biggest debates in sports is whether or not college athletes should get paid, and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim doesn’t like that.

When asked about the issue yesterday, Boeheim had some choice words on the topic, saying ”that’s really the most idiotic suggestion of all time. I don’t believe players should be paid. I believe they are getting a tremendous opportunity.”

From Yahoo:

Boeheim took exception with retired NBA star Chris Webber’s complaint he received nothing after his team shirt was sold. In a documentary released earlier this year, Webber lamented that while a student-athlete at Michigan, his team jersey sold in a campus store for $75 without any money going to him.

Boeheim also noted that college athletes who demonstrate a financial need are awarded Pell grants that can be $6-$7,000 on top of the free tuition, room, board and at least a half-dozen pairs of athletic shoes a year.

On the court, Boehiem’s Orange kick off their season on November 8, when the team hosts Cornell.

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  • Dundler

    He said, whilst cashing his pay cheque

  • LLC#12

    Would every player in every D1 team get paid? All 300 or whatever teams? Or just the best players? Would there be a wage cap? Would the traditional big colleges be able to throw larger sums of money at players than smaller colleges could afford? Is there any kind of actual proposal as to how it would work, or is it just debate so far?

  • thebossman15

    are u the feds? all them gaatdam questions

  • LLC#12

    Haha, my bad, that post does look a little odd in hindsight.

  • http://www.netstakeover.com/ JetSkiJohnson

    I understand not paying players but the business is profiting billions.. The coaches are cashing out and the players are left with just media exposure until they go pro.

    For those who are not are left with an 50% chance of getting a job in their major.

    Players should at least get free food.

  • Dfrance

    That’s the biggest hang up with the whole paying players thing. The 12th mans jersey is not being sold, he’s not contributing in actual games etc. Then you’ll have the top player who thinks he should get paid more than everyone else because he’s the best. It’d be a mess.

  • Dfrance

    My solution is not for the NCAA to pay players, but for them not to penalize them for profiting off their own name, likeness and playing ability. I think its unfair that you say they get free room and board and should be happy with that. Kids want extra things like clothes, shoes, to go out and eat, take trips. Yet for a student athlete, it’s next to impossible for them to get a part time job. So you tell them they can’t work and earn their own money, while their essentially working for the university for free.

    I say if a player can make money off their own name, let them, up to a certain capped amount. Whatever the equivalent amount they would earn making minimum wage over the school year. Anything above that is a violation. I’m sure there are holes in this approach, but I think it would eliminate the issue of what players, schools deserve to get paid.

  • Dundler

    It would be a mess, but only way to do it. You cant have contracts,because that ruins the amateur ideal, but every cent made from jersey sales, game tickets, whatever, gets either split between the players and coaches equally, or is put into the program (with it all being itemized etc, and I mean act into equipment or whatever not into someones pocket)

  • spit hot fiyah

    at almost 2 million per year

  • Dfrance

    “But they get 6 pairs of orange basketball shoes… a year… for free!”- Jim Boeheim on whether college athletes should be paid.

  • thebossman15

    lol i was just trollin bro its all good


    I played college ball…. That was the hardest job I’ve ever had!

  • JibbsIsBallin

    Boheim is a great college coach. His logic on this topic makes no sense whatsoever. And players getting a few pairs of shoes doesn’t suffice for it. Pretty sad that people can sell weed in college and make more money versus being a ball player for the school. F’d up system.

  • Junior Taylor

    Says the guy driving around in a Benz and living in a mansion while he screams at guys (ones who are the only reason why he is living a life of luxury) living in a dorm room eating roman noodles every night . I would say that same thing if I felt that my life of luxury was in jeopardy.

  • KSupreme

    Looks like he may have a tough time recruiting elite high school players after this….

  • berkamore

    Thank you. Unbelievable that the people actually doing the work in college basketball (the players) are the only ones not getting paid. But everyone one else is getting rich.

    Let’s compare four years (at the most) of tuition for the basketball team and the revenue generated by big time basketball programs at those schools. Yeah, I thought so. A tremendous opportunity? I call that unpaid/free labor.

  • retrobat

    Yeah I agree. It would have to be some sort of profit-sharing system. Perhaps there would be a scales set based on sales of jerseys, etc. It’s hard to quantify everything but I don’t see why these kids couldn’t get some money from their talent.

  • Dundler

    I don’t think anyone can really deny that yes, they do get a great oppotunity, get tuition/board, coaching, travel and all this stuff for free (lets not forget, thats a pretty big deal. You can always come to my country, where you have to pay for the privilege of representing your university)
    But its the fact that people are making money off them. It is free labour. If you could actually see the money going back into the program then it wouldn’t be as much of a problem

  • Dundler

    Precisely. I said this somewhere below but if all profit was immediately returned into the program without touching anyones pockets then I have no problem, but this is not the case.
    They get an oppotunity, no denying (again, I mentioned below, but where I live, you actually pay just to play for your university), but its the issue of profit that sparks the debate. If there is profit, they generate it. So they should see the benefit

  • Demar DeBROzan

    100% agree with Boeheim. I think we can all agree that the argument for paying college athletes is centred around the fact that some schools make a lot of money off of kids who don their respective school’s colours in competition. You know who else the schools make a lot of money off of though? All the other students who pay obscene tuition rates to study there. Some of those students go on to do great things and have great careers, which boosts the school’s reputation, which eventually leads to more $ (e.g. apparel sales, alumni donations, sponsored events etc.). How many people do you know with Harvard Law hoodies who actually went to Harvard? Should we start paying law students at Harvard while they’re in school now too?

    I’ll cut myself off before ranting too much, but the point is this: being a student (or a student-athlete) and being a paid worker are fundamentally different things under the current American socio-economic system. If you want to get paid to play basketball, go to Europe and become a professional (i.e. working) basketball player. If you want to go to college as a basketball player, do so with the knowledge that your talents may make your school a lot of money that you will never see, and if you are good enough, one day you will earn a lot of money yourself.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    The nbdl will increase in popularity if high school players to directly there. Revenue will increase and more $$$.

    The nba shouldn’t concern itself with sending players to college. If they care so much about young players liberal arts education then hire them personal tutors to travel. Most ppl freshmen year aren’t studying. Plus you have online college classes from Ivy League schools.

    Nbdl would be great way to start crafting the product early so the game will be more entertaining with better competition.

  • BugEyes

    I agree with him if they stay all 4 years that tutitionis like 50,000 and up plus free food and board what’s next interns gonna get paid now?

  • The Mauve Avenger

    …what is your career now?

  • Clos1881

    I think the NBA cares because it’s a better stage and more national exposure fans get to see future stars develop on a national stage and come to the nba with story lines already the d league would be like the minors in baseball and for casual fans they wouldn’t know who the player was once they got to the league i do think however players should be paid

  • Cortez Mack

    If college sports are “amateur” then pay the amateur coach Boeheim with a tuition wavier.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Baseball analogy doesn’t work because baseball is boring.

    But I agree with you colleges exist and majority college fans usually aren’t nba/basketball fans their player fans from their alumni.

  • Clos1881

    The D league is boring also lol

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    that’s because the talent that plays in it. Better talent better excitement. Imagine 4 -5 year professionals trying to get into the league going against future lottery picks night in and night out. Cut throat basketball. that’d check who has heart and is in it for the long grind. Of course nba evalutors will always check potential but I mean could you imagine some of these 7 footers who get drafted and end up out of the league in 3yrs. If only they had been trained properly.

    Is college entertaining because of the student body and fans reactions or because the basketball is better played. I’m a bigger fan of nba than college style play. College is too team oriented and doesn’t bring out the best in the individual that’s similar to certain european leagues. I’m an NBA fan, Summer basketball and high school fan because I enjoy seeing what the individual talent can do rather than how a team operates. I mean of course I like good coaching and well thought up plays, but I watch basketball for the entertainment. However, when I play I have no preference what style team. Whether it’s team or individual focused.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    actually from what a friend of mine said who played D1. they get like crazy lunch money and usually will save it and buy kicks on the side.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    There’s no way to regulate that. Like if they gave a proportional cut (like how much a team makes advertising, then greater amount the players will make on scholarship). But that would ruin recruiting. Of course we can only conspire and say alumni are fitting the bill for some of the elite kids, but that’s speculation and the NCAA isn’t going to go after everybody fairly.

    However, I submit the D-League expansion proposal above. Better for the game better for the league better for the players who only play ball so that they can get a better socioeconomic situation. it was sad when i heard iverson say he had to go back home where his family had nothing and he was staying in a great dorm, food available all the time. That’s pyschologically damaging.

  • Clos1881

    I understand what your saying but for the nba as a business college basketball is better for grooming players the ncaa tournament all of that helps make stars which translates to the league ie bird magic jordan but I’m not a huge fan of college basketball other than UNC

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    that’s the only thing i forgot in my assessment. The $$$ that trumps anything that has to do with improving the game. All of that thought countered with $$$.

    Of course college has multiple traps which weeds out a different aspect of a player then just skill and talent.

  • Demietrius

    I have to agree w/ Coach B on this one. Folks are quick to say that college athletes should be paid but brush over the fact that most of these kids ARE given a huge opportunity to go to college 4-5 years for free. Worth noting that many of their college buddies (non-athletes) will still be paying back student loans decades after graduation. Whether folks want to admit it or not, these kids are getting paid for their services. Besides, if they happen to be in the minority of college athletes who actually make ‘the league’, then they will be compensated for the ‘wasted’ time they had to spend in college soon enough. In the meantime, be grateful for the $40k+/year scholarship you get to play a sport. There are plenty of people would love to be in your shoes!

  • Dfrance

    They get per diem, for road trips. Which you can stretch if you eat junk food exclusively, but its hardly like having a part time job or anything.

  • Busta213

    You cant really compare a student athlete to a regular student. As always, supply and demand determines value. A good school does not need to recruit regular students – they will compete for a place at that school. The athletes are chased – because at the end of the day, the athletes are making millions of dollars for their institutions.
    Selling a generic Harvard Law shirt is hardly the same as putting the name and image of a particular Harvard law student on merchandise and then selling it worldwide. The university clearly has the right to use its own name in its merchandising and is not profiteering off anybody else to do so.
    Your conclusion is only that the status quo should be accepted. But why? People are able to make changes in society – or at the very minimum, try to.

  • Busta213

    They could always start with a fixed salary for everyone so that it isnt a recruiting tool where the biggest schools just outpay everyone else.

  • go read

    Furthermore, you have failed to explain why the NCAA is the only sports organization in this country that pays coaches like Jim Beoheim more than the star athletes themselves. All of these coaches know that their salaries will dramatically decrease if the pie is divided into more slices.

    What you are saying is that NCAA athletes in these money making sports should be content providing corporate charity, and allow the NCAA to earn millions while they struggle after college. I love how everyone is a capitalist until too many minorities might start to profit. F that.

  • JoeMaMa

    Name me a big name NBA player who went to his school based on academic qualifications, the desire for a top education, and/or graduated either on time, or within a few years of leaving. You probably can – because whenever a player does that, it’s trumpeted as big news. It’s the exception to the rule. These players are recruited to win games, fill seats, and sell school/conference merchandise and whatever products are being splashed across whatever TV station is broadcasting the games.

    These big name players, having been brought up on the AAU scene since the age of 10, are already mini pros when they hit college. Having them do course work as they audition for the League is a joke. I think education is important, but let’s not fool ourselves when it comes to major conferences and big name sports (basketball, football). And for Boeheim to say such a thing is dumb….what a prick.

  • Shooting Guard



    I’m an operations associate at a hedge fund