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Sharrif Floyd leads new class action against NCAA and major conferences

Floyd Getty Images

On the same day college football players at Northwestern cast ballots regarding whether they want to unionize, the latest lawsuit attacking not just one school but the entire system landed in federal court in Minnesota.

Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, who played college football at the University of Florida, is one of seven named plaintiffs in a class action filed against the NCAA and 11 major conferences on behalf of all football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball players. The complaint describes the NCAA and its school as an “illegal cartel” that restrains trade by fixing the cost of athletes at scholarships plus room and board.

Floyd’s lawsuit contains allegations similar to the lawsuit crafted recently by Jeffrey Kessler, long-time NFLPA outside counsel who is now attacking the NCAA not with a school-by-school effort to elect unions but with a kill shot to the cranium of the NCAA.

The factual allegations are fairly simple.  As the NCAA and its member institutions have grown, the system has generated billions.  With the costs of labor capped at whatever it actually costs a school to allow the athlete to come to class (or, as the case may be, to not come to class) and to house and to feed the athlete, the extra money gets devoted to other forms of competition for the players to choose, and to remain at, a given school.

“Flush with cash and unable to compete for athletes on the basis of financial remuneration, colleges have directed their resources and competitive efforts to, among other things, the hiring of head coaches, instead of players,” Kessler writes in his lawsuit.  “For example, upon information and belief, more than half of the head football coaches in the Power Conferences are paid at least $2 million annually, and several head coaches are paid in excess of $4 million annually, excluding endorsement revenue and other income, which can also be quite substantial.”

Floyd’s lawsuit adds that, while not able to compete for players by offering them money, NCAA member institutions “compete for players by pouring millions of dollars into their stadiums and arenas, building state-of-the-art training facilities and luxury locker rooms, and offering players deluxe dorm rooms and extensive tutoring services.”

Kessler’s complaint also focuses on the high-stakes trend of conference relocation, all driven by an effort to generate more money — more money that won’t be shared with athletes.

“A raft of conference shifts has taken place in the past few years,” Kessler writes, “with teams often now located nowhere near the geographical locations of their fellow conference members, helping to generate television revenues but disregarding the welfare of athletes who have to travel thousands of miles in the service of creating income for their schools.  For example, West Virginia University is at least 800 miles from every other schools in its conference, the Big 12.”

These various allegations make too much sense to ignore.  Players take physical risks and make personal sacrifices in the name of amateurism, but the rest of the system is run like the billion-dollar business that it is.  Coupled with the inability of the current stewards of college athletics to say anything but the wrong thing when discussing these matters publicly, the skids have been greased for dramatic change.

And now the stewards of college athletes will inevitably use scare tactics to make the courts, the media, and the fans believe that current efforts to spur change will instead destroy the system.  In other words, the folks who were smart enough to come up with a system that, while operating in plain sight for decades, managed to make scores of people rich while paying nothing to the people the fans were paying to see now want us to think they’re not smart enough to come up with a Plan B.

While they may be too stupid to realize that the day of reckoning has arrived, they’ll surely be able to find a way to run these lucrative sports enterprises without violating the law — and without further exploiting the young men and women who generate the revenue.

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116 Responses to “Sharrif Floyd leads new class action against NCAA and major conferences”
  1. beerbudsnbevo says: Apr 26, 2014 10:08 AM

    Lawyers will ruin football just like they ruin every thing else… all for their personal gain.

  2. bennyb82 says: Apr 26, 2014 10:09 AM

    Well this has escalated quickly…

  3. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 26, 2014 10:10 AM

    His law career is already going better than his football career.

    Sharrif (Pink) Floyd = another Viking bust.

  4. sdsmooth says: Apr 26, 2014 10:11 AM

    Why is it that Minnesota Vikings players make more noise in the courtroom than on the field?

    If a Viking isn’t suing someone or being convicted of something no one would ever even know Minnesota had an NFL team.

  5. kevindoc593 says: Apr 26, 2014 10:16 AM

    Well written article, enjoyed the read. I agree with pretty much everything said its crazy how quickly this will change. I thought I would never see the day but it looks like its just around the corner.

  6. gbp4ever says: Apr 26, 2014 10:18 AM

    While the players should get paid something I think it should not be much. It is very few who will understand that when it happens some smaller schools will shut down their programs not being able to afford paying kids to play. Also when they start getting paid they will start getting taxed on that pay and likely their scholarship costing the kids thousands in taxes each year. Also what 98% of these kids playing will never play pro so if they are on a scholarship it is a reward to getting a free education to lead to their real world job. If the player chooses not to use the chance to get the free education they are being given it is their own fault and only have themselves to blame when their dream of being pro does not happen and they don’t have the degree they could have got and used in the real world.

  7. nyfootballgiants says: Apr 26, 2014 10:20 AM

    So let me see if I understand. Colleges offer potential student athletes a full tuition scholarship including room and board, books ,etc – which when totaled has an equivalent financial value of over $50,000 per annum. (Per capita income in the US is about $43,000 per annum).

    Not all college sports generate revenue. The sports that generate revenue, tend to subsidize the sports that do not – which include many of the women’s sports.

    Finally, less than 5% of college athletes are able to perform at a professional level (including arena football, indoor football, canadian football, and other lesser levels of competition.) For most athletes the value of the scholarship outweighs what they would receive in the open market.

    Not sure about that? Look at minor league baseball. Most minor league athletes do not receive signing bonuses, and receive less than $10,000 per year.

    College athletes have it better than they realize. The do not deserve to be paid, and if they challenge this it will impact many other college sports on their campuses.

    Just think how many people in this country attend college, and after 4-5 years have an astronomical debt load (regardless of whether or not they graduate). College athletes do not have that burden.

    No sympathy for them. Like everything else in the world – if you do not think that the value you receive equals the value you are putting out – you can choose to leave. No one is forcing them to go to college. There have been athletes drafted without going to college. But Eric Swann is the exception.

  8. 2manyconcussions says: Apr 26, 2014 10:23 AM

    One need look no further than the Bowl Championship Series. Basketball has March Madness with 64 teams in a playoff, but in NCAA football the big-money teams have no interest in giving up their lucrative bowl game system.

  9. 1sttimepftcomment says: Apr 26, 2014 10:25 AM

    A free education isn,t enough? There goes college football!!!

  10. Pittsburgh Steelers says: Apr 26, 2014 10:26 AM

    A player can have their scholarship rescinded if they get seriously injured. That’s messed up.

  11. filthymcnastyi says: Apr 26, 2014 10:28 AM

    Oh, not to mention a serial predator! Chmura

  12. FinFan68 says: Apr 26, 2014 10:28 AM

    Sue to get somebody else’s money just because of greed and jealousy. Bad people are easily influenced by unethical lawyers looking for a buck

  13. 6thsense10 says: Apr 26, 2014 10:30 AM

    Keep hammering them. Keep it up. What astounds me most about this debate is the very people who believe in capitalism are against letting the free market dictate if players should get paid or not.

    It’s simple really. If you truly believe that the only value a player would bring to a school is only worth tuition, room and board than there is no need to put restrictions on player pay because the market would dictate that.

    The players are the life blood of any program. That’s why college fans breathlessly follow the college decisions of 17 and 18 year olds. That’s why recruiting is the life blood of any major program.

    The fact that most people bring up that most schools don’t make money is also funny to me. Most schools don’t make money because that is how their system is designed. Most schools take in a tremendous amount of revenue. The issue is how they allocate and prioritize the revenue. Coaching staffs that take in $10 million per season is insane and the only reason they get that much is because the players are not paid.

    Let the free market do it’s job.

  14. neuf1948 says: Apr 26, 2014 10:31 AM

    It’s a shame it has come to this…there is greed on both sides….and the kids will be shocked when they get the tax bill if this goes thru…hopefully a compromise can be found.

  15. deflateddome says: Apr 26, 2014 10:31 AM

    His law career is already going better than his football career.

    Sharrif (Pink) Floyd = another Viking bust.

    Shariff Floyd had 4 times the sacks and more tackles than Datone Jones had snaps on the field as rookies…Who is the bust?

  16. shaunypoo says: Apr 26, 2014 10:33 AM

    We get it, you don’t like free market capitalism. If you had your way, every team would win the national championship every year. At least then WV would have a shot.

  17. filthymcnastyi says: Apr 26, 2014 10:35 AM

    Randall Woodfield. He was a Packer

  18. kevindoc593 says: Apr 26, 2014 10:37 AM

    I’m sorry but I disagree with these last couple comments, I mean this thing (College Football) is generating Billions in revenue you guys are really telling me the schools can’t afford to give these kids scholarships and pay them a little for their troubles?

    I want all the people saying a free education isn’t enough to shut up & play football, put your brains and bodies on the line day in and day out (because don’t forget the NFL has an age requirement so you basically have to put 2 years of abuse on your body in college before even coming to the NFL) and don’t get paid for it while you see all the coaches and Assistant coaches in Mercedes and BMW’s never mind the head of the NCAA making 4 Million this year. Seriously the time for change in College athletics has come. There is plenty of money to go around stop using that stupid argument.

  19. 6thsense10 says: Apr 26, 2014 10:41 AM

    Keep hammering them. Keep it up. What astounds me most about this debate is the very people who believe in capitalism are against letting the free market dictate if players should get paid or not.

    It’s simple really. If you truly believe that the only value a player would bring to a school is only worth tuition, room and board than there is no need to put restrictions on player pay because the market would dictate that.

    The players are the life blood of any program. That’s why college fans breathlessly follow the college decisions of 17 and 18 year olds. That’s why recruiting is the life blood of any major program.

    The fact that most people bring up that most schools don’t make money is also funny to me. Most schools don’t make money because that is how their system is designed. Most schools take in a tremendous amount of revenue. The issue is how they allocate and prioritize the revenue. Coaching staffs that take in $10 million per season is insane and the only reason they get that much is because the players are not paid.

    Let the free market do it’s job.

  20. ariani1985 says: Apr 26, 2014 10:41 AM

    and good players like this continue to be leaders while the Turd Bay Packers give B.J. Bust a one year 18 million dolloar contract! WOW

  21. nfl4days says: Apr 26, 2014 10:48 AM

    That’s what the NCAA gets. If they had let players make money off of themselves (autographs, using their likeness in games, brand building etc.) they wouldn’t have restored to this. The NCAA was in the way of every other method for these players to make money. The NCAA is a greedy business using higher education as a shield. Also for the last time, not every athlete gets a free ride. Walk-ons for example don’t get a scholarship so they pay in full no matter how good they are. Only the best players who were recruited get full rides.

  22. jm91rs says: Apr 26, 2014 10:49 AM

    There is not plenty of money to go around in college athletics. There is plenty in football and basketball, the rest don’t make money. I’m fine with eliminating all the other sports, but that will just be the first step. Next the small schools will have no shot at competing with big school salaries and they’ll close up shop too. Soon there will be about 25 schools with football and the nfl talent will become so watered down that it won’t be as good. Players need to be paid some stipend, but a free enterprise system is a horrible idea.

  23. nfl4days says: Apr 26, 2014 10:51 AM

    Lol somebody else’s money? That money is their because of those football and basketball players and that’s it. You people fight so hard against the players out their putting their bodies on the line meanwhile coaches are making millions.

  24. holdsteady76 says: Apr 26, 2014 10:51 AM

    I’m left wondering what this means for the future of our educational institutions in this country. Aren’t universities using their profits to also fund education (new buildings, labs, equipment, and facility? The use of the “cartel” in the allegations really seems extreme and inappropriate. If things change that revenue gets diverted to student athletes in form of payment. If that means a library doesn’t get or research doesn’t get funded I’m not sure to feel about that. I’m sure the rules good be lossened somewhat, but I’m not sure I agree with turning universities into NFL style organizations.

  25. holdsteady76 says: Apr 26, 2014 10:52 AM

    Any more than they already are that is.

  26. pheloniusphish says: Apr 26, 2014 10:54 AM

    Killing the goose laying the golden eggs. Probably for the best. Maybe if they kill off college athletics, institutions of higher education will focus on providing – you know – higher education. Take some of the profit out of education.

  27. supermadelf says: Apr 26, 2014 10:55 AM

    Destroy The System sounds good to me.

  28. getoutgoodell says: Apr 26, 2014 10:55 AM

    I support the college athletes in their fight against the NCAA ‘cartel’. Sure a scholarship is nice, but not guaranteed against injury or performance. I think the players should get a slice of the pie because without them their is no profit for people like Mark Emmert, Nick Saban and the Bowl Committee to rake in millions of $$ annually of their labor.

    As a pro football fan, I hope this leads to what starts as a ‘semi pro’ league, totally independent from the NFL. Have 10 teams in cities like Orlando, Vegas and Louisville. Have a salary system based on recruiting or maybe a regional draft much like the NFL has done with incoming rookies and allow them to renegotiate after 3 years of service. That way the players can progress into possible NFL talent or perhaps renew with this new league, much like the USFL or arena ball.

    The NCAA and NFL are both out of control with greed and especially in the case of the NFL, it is drastically decreasing the quality of the game.

    Perhaps some competition such as this would give them the kick in the pants they need to fix their product.

  29. thepftpoet says: Apr 26, 2014 10:58 AM

    I still don’t realize how this has anything to do with Sharrif Floyd breaking any laws or being in trouble with the law?

    Packer fans go to the farthest depths to try to diss the Vikings.

    And fail at it.

    Miserably.

  30. fwippel says: Apr 26, 2014 10:59 AM

    Floyd needs to worry about improving his play on the field rather the joining or filing lawsuits. Another year impersonating the invisible man on the Vikings DL and Zimmer will cut him loose.

  31. shoddymnbridgerepair says: Apr 26, 2014 11:00 AM

    I think this lawsuit is just the boiled over frustration of being on a last place team.

  32. keltictim says: Apr 26, 2014 11:05 AM

    This issue is way more complicated than y’all are making it out to be. Just one example, if this lawsuit prevails and players get paid, we are not just talking about the football players. Due to title IX, all women’s athletes will have to be paid the same amount. In other words, the sports that cost the schools money already, will cost the schools even more. The smaller schools will not be able to afford this. Here’s an idea, drop the ability to remove a scholarship due to injury, move it to something else so the team can offer another scholarship, but don’t drop the student. Force the players to attend the full ride. This gives them a maximum payout of close to 200,000 dollars in value with their degree. I think those are some fair ideas.

  33. honalulublue says: Apr 26, 2014 11:06 AM

    What a bunch of crap. If not the for the scholarships and boarding, these athletes wouldn’t have the opportunity to go pro, let a lone get an eduacation. In fact, a good number of them would end up in prison if not for the NCAA opportunity.

  34. rg3sus says: Apr 26, 2014 11:08 AM

    My concern is still that power football schools could afford to pay players while the smaller schools can’t. Heck, many small schools in division one don’t even profit from football (Towson maybe?). This will create a huge disparity of talent if players are paid employees. Let the players profit from their pictures and signatures and call it a day. Simply monitor the profit scale so a Johnny Football signature isn’t worth 50k from some booster. Very easy compromise.

  35. luz56 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:08 AM

    Well I guess the cost of going to a game the cost of education the cost of advertising goods just went up… I guess the free education wasn’t enough… I would quickly issue a W2 for the scholarship

  36. dmo84 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:08 AM

    So everyone who works for Facebook, Apple, etc. must be equally rich. I know they don’t have spectators at their cubicle, but they are a part of the reason the company makes money. I don’t see any kids coming out of high school building 65,000 seat stadiums, ordering uniforms, marketing, putting together a coaching staff, negotiating a television contract, and on and on….. They just have to stay in shape and play a SPORT with their god given abilities. If they want to get paid then they should pay for their own tuition, living expenses, and health insurance to cover any medical needs they may have(surgeries, trainers). If they are still considered student athletes and this isn’t a professional job they should not receive workman’s comp.

  37. 1sttimepftcomment says: Apr 26, 2014 11:09 AM

    Watch the ticket prices! We won,t be able to afford to go to college games either!

  38. honkerdawg says: Apr 26, 2014 11:10 AM

    Everyone wants his 15 minutes of fame. Guess he doesn’t make enough as a pro. Just another stupid lawsuit just like the ones filing it

  39. teal379 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:12 AM

    The only reason the school makes that money is because of the football/basketball players? It’s their money too?

    Ok fine – they can also FRONT the expenses as well. All the players can pass a hat to pay for the charter flights, equipment, coaches salaries, tuition, room and board. At the END of the year we’ll divide up what’s left. That’s when everyone will get paid, according to their contributions on the field of course. But everyone has to kick in their share of expenses – regardless of playing time.

  40. honkerdawg says: Apr 26, 2014 11:12 AM

    Wonder who thought this one up, obviously not the players, they’re not smart enough !

  41. loftonbomb80 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:13 AM

    If there was a way to guarantee that any money the players want ONLY came from reducing coaches pay and spending on facilities It would be more palatable. However, you know that isn’t going to happen. The coaches aren’t going to take less and the school brass isn’t going to take less or reduce spending on facilities and perks for themselves. What will happen is school tuition will go up and schools funded with tax money will have their political friends pass along higher taxes to the citizens. Next college players will want retirement packages and health coverage for life too.

  42. billbrasky72 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:14 AM

    Scholarships at some schools can be worth 6 figures/year. I am still paying students loans 9 years after graduating and I worked nearly full time while attending. That’s money in the pockets of these bone-headed college athletes that are too dumb to realize they were even given because nobody physically handed them a stack of cash. Couple that with the fact that colleges are putting them on a weekly audition for NFL teams that could potentially pay them millions/yr. Anybody in their right mind would call that a great deal. Whatever happened to the notion of hard work and sacrifice now to prepare for the future? Oh that’s right, democrats and lawyers dispelled that way of thinking years ago.

  43. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Apr 26, 2014 11:15 AM

    I have no sympathy for the NCAA. Throw everything at them.

  44. fmaxfireflamespitter says: Apr 26, 2014 11:16 AM

    Sharrif is a former student of mine, and was an upstanding young man in a difficult environment. He used his size to keep the peace at school, rather than bully and intimidate. I’ve long since lost touch with him and can’t speak for him since then, but the Sharrif I knew had good intentions.

    That being said, becoming unionized is great, but unions are being dismantled, particularly in the court of public opinion. This may not yield the long-term results he and others are hoping for, and in fact create some they weren’t expecting.

    However, Sharrif is doing something about the problem. Yes, college scholarships are a problem. They are a commodity and being traded as such. Good for him.

    Oh, and coming from a Philly “Iggles” fan, he’ll prove it on the field too, Vikes fans. Just keep him off all boats and lakes. Don’t hurt my baby!

  45. 6thsense10 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:17 AM

    Why do you guys think title IX will prevent players from getting paid? What specifically in title ix leads you to Believe this. Revenue producing sports such as men’s football, basketball, hockey and women’s basketball will pay their players beyond a scholarship. Non revenue producing sports such as men’s and women gymnastics, men and women’s volleyball, etc will receive scholarships only…..how is that violating title ix?

  46. McFaddensPulledHammy says: Apr 26, 2014 11:19 AM

    All this tells me is that these college kids don’t value their education. I get the fact that the institutions are using them to generate billions in revenue. But the athletes don’t see the big picture. Most NFL careers last what, 3-5 years. After that, you are a 25 to 28 year old former NFL player looking for a job. When you sit down and interview with me, if you don’t have the education or experience in the field you are asking me to hire you in, your ability to score touchdowns or make tackles means nothing.

  47. billbrasky72 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:20 AM

    The money generated from college sports does not only go to coaches and sports facilities. It also goes into improving the schools educational facilities benefiting the entire student body and faculty, athletes included.

  48. mikejune says: Apr 26, 2014 11:22 AM

    Let me correct some misconceptions:

    FREE MARKET: Is there some NFL-minor league I don’t know about? Do players who want to play in the NFL have a choice but to play college in the NCAA? No. So, this is not a “free market”.

    COLLEGE TUITION: No, its not enough. And for those of you that wonder how the “Stars” will get paid compared to the back-ups, I ask: “why is it OK that they all get equal scholarships, but not equal pay?”

    UNIONS: The main purpose of Unions is to represent players and give them a seat at the table to have a say in the decisions that directly effect them. Right now, they have none.

    Any one who is anti-Union is basically an uneducated fool who has swallowed some BS from somebody. Unions are what built the middle class in this country.

  49. thenewguy12 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:25 AM

    That money is there because of regular average students paying through the nose in tuition and being saddled with huge amounts of debt so the schools can build huge stadiums and subsidize their athletics. For the vast majority of schools, athletics loses money. For every program like Texas, you have a dozen others who dont generate nearly enough revenue to not be subsidized by the students that arent getting a free ride through school.

  50. rolltide510 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:26 AM

    There seems to be a confusion as to what “free market” means. Free market implies that if Sharrief Floyd was presented a better offer coming out of high school then what his scholarship entailed, he was welcome to take it. It doesn’t mean that a auction is established to ensure he goes to the highest bidder. The latter is more “fair trade” like we see on the side of overpriced coffee.

  51. billbrasky72 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:27 AM

    It;s ridiculous for schools to pay student athletes above and beyond the scholarships they are already giving them to play for all the reasons listed in virtually every post above. That being said, I don’t see a problem with athletes taking money for endorsements, autographs, and such. If you are good enough to get Nike to pay you money to endorse their products while attending college, you deserve it in my opinion.

  52. thebiblestudent says: Apr 26, 2014 11:27 AM

    Here’s the interesting thing…

    College football used to be voluntary where actual STUDENTS came and tried out for the team.

    Now, instead, the colleges are recruiting football players, and trying to encourage them to be STUDENTS as well.

    College is supposed to be for learning. 15 years after the fact, I’m still paying off my student loans (for only two years of college).

    Quit whining.

    *You’re getting a free education (trust me, I’d love to not be paying these loans)
    *You’re getting free food (I’d love to have no grocery bill),
    *You’re getting free lodging (I’d love to not have a mortgage or rent payment)
    *You’re being put on TV
    *You’re getting potentially national attention and the colleges and TV networks are actually showing your resume to the NFL teams for you

    Take all that into account, and college players are actually being paid quite handsomely for their services.

  53. crubenst says: Apr 26, 2014 11:35 AM

    college football is about to go the way of the Buffalo Jills.

  54. richc111 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:35 AM

    What will happen here is what happened with the ex Jill’s sued the Bills. They have now suspended all cheer leading activities for the Bill’s because of their actions. their lawyer said this is not what they wanted and wasn’t their intent, but for ever action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Some of these guys only think what might benefit them. not the potential damage it might do for anyone else.

  55. thebiblestudent says: Apr 26, 2014 11:37 AM

    The big white elephant in the room is this: if you start paying the college football players, you also have to pay the college golfers, swimmers, soccer players, lacrosse team, women’s basketball, women’s golf, etc…

  56. heroofthisparish says: Apr 26, 2014 11:38 AM

    Student athletes should be offered protection against being cut for medical reasons and long term medical support for injuries caused by playing, but do not pay a single one of them beyond tuition. Not even a dime.

    If they were to start getting paid as employees, the next thing to be challenged would be the years of NCAA eligibility as it would be enforced retirement. Next would be the draft and we lose a huge piece of NFL parity… which is what makes the NFL so great. This is then followed by far more issues and eventually a few lawyers and idiots who support these kids in ‘sticking it to the man’ have managed to destroy football.

    That is aside the impact upon other sports and the fact that if college football has to start making more money to pay students, who do you think is going to get the bill for that eventually? Clue: it wont be the colleges.

  57. hansenbrothers says: Apr 26, 2014 11:44 AM

    I hope the NCAA comes crumbling down

  58. rrthomasxyz says: Apr 26, 2014 11:46 AM

    Northwestern should have challenged this issue in small steps. Contest the license to market pictures, images and likenesses of student-athletes. Then go after comprehensive medical insurance and the right to transfer from school to school if your recruiting coach leaves the school. They could have won on all 3 of those issues. But they chose the money issue on playing which they will never win. There is no overlap between the employer-employee and the student-athlete relationships.

  59. chris3141084 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:48 AM

    For the person that said have the players front the expenses in order to play, let’s put those billions in escrow then you can reassess your comment.

  60. commanderroman says: Apr 26, 2014 11:48 AM

    Why haven’t some rich people gotten together and recruited players to join in a developmental league strictly for the purpose of feeding the pro leagues? Pay the athelete somewhere equivalent to what a college tuition, room and board would cost. If they are a 5 star recruit pay them one amount, 4 star another amount and so on. Even walk on’s would get paid. The kid that really only wants to use college ball to get to the pro’s can go that route. Student athletes that want to go to college can and those schools don’t want be hypocritical by continue to call them student athletes can do so.
    The argument that the kids should be grateful for the free education goes away and the fallacy that the schools having the student athlete’s best interest in mind does as well. Now instead of the colleges being ball factories, a developmental league can be that, small markets can have teams, make money and and all these college coaches that make millions can coach there if they want. (Probably wind up being the demise of the NCAA as well).
    Think about this, Mark Cuban being in charge of March Madness and Donald Trump of the BCS tournament.

  61. noffy32 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:50 AM

    Play football and shut up. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t get a “free” scholarship. Unlike the rest of us who pay our own way.

  62. commanderroman says: Apr 26, 2014 11:50 AM

    ..schools that don’t want to be seen as being hypocritical can continue to call them student athletes can do so.

  63. mikejune says: Apr 26, 2014 11:53 AM

    Here is my solution, which all of you “Free Market” folks:

    How about paying the athletes in cash, and then letting them make the choice as to whether they want to spend that money on a college tuition?

  64. rmfp1978 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:54 AM

    Everyone acts like these athletes get an education that if they don’t succeed and make it to the NFL they’ll have a fall back plan That’s not true, these schools are putting athletes that aren’t educated in courses like Swahili as a major. It’s a bunch of made up courses so they’ll graduate. Then when they get in the real world they can’t find work. If they would’ve treated these athletes well in the first place this wouldn’t be going on. Instead they suspend players who trade gifts (given to them for making it to a bowl game) for tattoos. A lot of these kids come from nothing and when they take money from boosters their reputations get tarnished like they’re terrible people. Something needs to change with the current system

  65. luz56 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:54 AM

    I’m not sure if I’m the only one that is noticing the imploding of America???

  66. hitit49 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:54 AM

    Time for amateur league football to take off. Believe it or not millions if not billions of tax payer dollars go to theses guys education when its hard working parents or student loans for the rest of us. Let them live in an apartment, work out in a spare room, pay for medical attention and eat at 7-11s while car pooling to games. UNBELIEVABLE

  67. guessthenguessagain says: Apr 26, 2014 12:09 PM

    Good grief people. Can we all just take a breath?

    Maybe some of the posters who like to shout ‘Capitalism’ in a crowded theater will get a clue here:

    First, college is NOT the ‘minor leagues’. It is ‘higher education’, where students of all stripes strive to learn skills to help them in their professional careers, and to advance their appreciation and understanding of the world. This includes our sons and daughters, and athletes who may not choose to continue with pro sports, or who need something to fall back on for a career after sports.

    The notion that the average football player is somehow worthy of professional status by virtue of a University’s ability to generate capital from fielding a successful or (in keeping with the law suit’s argument, unsuccessful) team is both absurd on its face and insulting to the merits of higher learning.

    (And yes, there should be no ‘allowances’ for student athletes who can’t cut it academically. Period.)

    But what about the genius-level physicist (11 yr. old Carson Huey-You) or super talented musician (say,Grammy-winning jazz guitarist Pat Metheny for example)? Should they also ‘unionize’ because they bring incalculable ‘fame’ to a school? Surely they deserve to be compensated, right?

    Wrong.

    The “Billions” that “greedy” institutions of High Learning accrue go to improving “the brand”: hiring outstanding professors, building world-class campuses for all students to benefit from, world-class departments (like the super-computer for the National Weather Center at the U of OK to better predict tornadoes and severe storms nationwide), and yes, paying tenure to loser professors.

    I’m not a big fan of how most Universities are run, or of the very liberal philosophy that seems to dominate thinking at the leadership level, but it is not greed on both sides that is causing this situation.

    This is coming squarely from the “It’s not fair” mentality that will ruin much more that football in this county.

    There is a case for injury to be made, but unions are not necessary to address it.

  68. rodeoclown11 says: Apr 26, 2014 12:11 PM

    What’s next? Pay high school players? Pop warner league players? Bottom line, going to college and playing football is a life choice, not a mandate or a right. College eligible athletes also have the right not to go to college. That can get a job that pays money, continue to work out and pay for a gym membership and when they reach eligible age, can apply for a job in the nfl.

  69. socalcharger says: Apr 26, 2014 12:16 PM

    If a high schooler wants to get paid, they can engage in the “free market” and try out for the CFL. There is no age limit there. Will they get the same exposure and development in that environment? Who knows, it’s their decision and more power to them. As for college athletes, sure give them a stipend so they can but food and school clothes. These kids are not employees and only like 1% will make more money playing pro ball than using the college degree they get. I agree things with the NCAA and college athletes should change, but unions and employees is not the right one. Keep removing restrictions on support but keep them student atheletes. The employee wannabes can go to the cfl. The bit about schools spending money on training facilities made me laugh – guess what Floyd, they built that so you can improve your draft stock/earning potential.

  70. wafflestomp says: Apr 26, 2014 12:20 PM

    deflateddome says:
    Apr 26, 2014 10:31 AM

    His law career is already going better than his football career.

    Sharrif (Pink) Floyd = another Viking bust.

    Shariff Floyd had 4 times the sacks and more tackles than Datone Jones had snaps on the field as rookies…Who is the bust?
    ———————————————————————————-

    4 times? Not sure about the Minnesota school system, but then again Viking fans never let the facts interfere with a good argument.

    Datone Jones had 3.5 sacks as a rookie last year. Not great, but then again it topped Floyd’s 2.5 sacks.
    Floyd did have more tackles though, 19/11.
    Still not all that impressive.

    I couldn’t find any stats on actual snap counts, but if your assertion that Floyd had so many more, it obviously bodes well fore Datone’s future.

  71. thesmartest1 says: Apr 26, 2014 12:25 PM

    Lol we’ll pay you but about that scholarship….

  72. colv says: Apr 26, 2014 12:36 PM

    I said during the Johnny Football scandal last year the major universities were nothing more then a big business making their billions off the backs of the so-called student athlete, of which, a fraction of these kids move on to pro sports and what gets my goat is there are only a fraction getting degrees. My thoughts about Johnny M was, what’s the harm in selling his brand. If some fan wants it he or she should be able to make money this way. Today’s universities are not educating kids like they used to and all of our kids educations are basically a sham. No real jobs paying college educated wages. The very rich gets the best while others are crammed into classrooms with a hundred or more kids. Universities are BIG BUSINESS very little more. A high percentage of college graduates can not find jobs commensurate with their degree and are living or supported by their Baby Boomer parents, many are in their 30s at home still. Twenty percent of the US working population slid from middle-income to lower income since 2008 and these families will not be able to send kids to college in the future. Once the Baby-Boomers are gone our economy will suffer because of very little trickle-down money. All these societal-economic issues are starting to come home to roost.

  73. sportsjunkie76 says: Apr 26, 2014 12:36 PM

    So let me get this straight, “free tuition, room and board” is not enough for college athletes. Here is a fact for you. If you treat them like employees then they have to pay taxes on their scholarships. Let see how many of these kids will run into problems done the room. Once the starting point guard or quarterback is benched because he didn’t pay his taxes, I bet you will not want your athletes paid.

  74. pooflingingmonkey says: Apr 26, 2014 12:40 PM

    Well, after reading this article and these comments, one thing is certain: People really hate the Vikings.

  75. theytukrjobs says: Apr 26, 2014 12:49 PM

    The NCAA gets away with things no other US organization with billions in revenue gets away with. And they benefit greatly. Regardless of where you stand on this issue, you can’t disagree with that.

    Just because people are willing to do a physically dangerous job for free doesn’t generally translate to organizations being able to not pay them. Usually the ‘well nobody has a gun to their head’ argument doesn’t fly. Why does the NCAA get a pass?

  76. losingisnotanoption says: Apr 26, 2014 12:51 PM

    I think it’s time that schools start to distance themselves from the NCAA. What is the NCAA anyway?

    Get sports back to what they should be instead of a get rich scheme for a bunch of cronies.

    I dare a school to divest themselves of the NCAA.

  77. foreverbeachflorida says: Apr 26, 2014 12:56 PM

    Title IX isn’t a problem to any of this for a very simple reason: Title IX isn’t a court mandate, it’s a law passed by Congress. So if the pay-for-play movement gathers enough momentum, Congress can be asked to tweak the law and could do so virtually overnight. The Tower Amendment at one time would’ve exempted Title IX from revenue-producing college athletics altogether, it wasn’t adopted, but something along those lines might well pass if need be, all these years later.

  78. SilentMajority says: Apr 26, 2014 1:02 PM

    I think College football players and NCAA men’s basketball programs exploit the players. In theory they are supposed to get an education in exchange for their athletic talents, but in many cases it seems like they leave school with no more education than when they started.

    The other sports I don’t think are the same because they don’t bring in nearly as much money… Women’s basketball and hockey may be an exception depending on the schools though.

  79. randallwoodfield says: Apr 26, 2014 1:04 PM

    Sharrif (Pink) Floyd = another Viking bust.

    ——————————————————-

    I’ve said it before, and it’s still just as true. Anybody that calls an NFL player a bust after just one rookie season, knows absolutely NOTHING about football. You just keep proving it daily.

  80. Moudabo says: Apr 26, 2014 1:16 PM

    Greed often leads to many unintended
    consequences. How many of these
    ‘student-athletes ‘ would forgo their
    scholarships and pay their way through
    school, if they knew they only had a 1-per cent
    chance of playing in the pros?

    Pay the student-athlete and you are ensuring
    many talented, but disadvantaged kids, never
    make it out of their ‘hoods’ – and that would
    be a bigger shame.

  81. taintedsaints2009 says: Apr 26, 2014 1:19 PM

    I’m starting to see why this guy slid down in the draft. His heart isn’t into football.

  82. justintuckrule says: Apr 26, 2014 1:28 PM

    All it takes is one rich guy to start a minor league for football for kids out of high school that pays them more than the worthless education cost and the greedy NCAA will go bye bye.

    Most Football recruits don’t go to college to learn a meaningful skill. They’re taking basket weaving to stay eligible. Wise up

  83. chaney13 says: Apr 26, 2014 1:31 PM

    yes, many of the athletes receive a “scholarship”, along with room and board. However, considering how much time is demanded by the sports programs, how much time do they actually have to take full advantage of it?? And, how many of the top tier players even desire it?? How many are using their “education” simply as a vehicle for biding their time, and receiving exposure, while killing the 3 year waiting period to enter the NFL. The ultimate result may be the end of that lag between high school and professional careers.

    Additionally, I have seen very few mentions regarding the death-grip that schools maintain on players. Why is there so little discussion regarding allowing the athletes to more freely change schools? If/when a recruiting coach misrepresents/lies their own intention or the universities programs, the players should have freedom to transfer to another program as well.

  84. vikingspride says: Apr 26, 2014 1:39 PM

    This has really gotten out of hand. None of these players were complaining when they accepted the scholarships. I think the players should be able to make money off of their own names but the schools don’t owe them anything, they paid these players already when they gave them a free education and room and board. If these players would put as much effort into their studies as they have into this lawsuit they would have no problem making good money.

  85. lostsok says: Apr 26, 2014 2:12 PM

    While I get that people hate and fear what this may mean for football, and college sports as a whole, the reality is that the NCAA brought this on themselves.

    Hubris and greed.

    The thing fans need to remember: the people attacking the NCAA don’t hate sports, and do not wish to end them. This isn’t like fighting racism, or poverty, or something that is inherently considered bad.

    What is under attack is the corrupted control by a self-serving group that has seized absolute control of the collegiate sports universe…and has long stopped caring first and foremost about the students (or fans, for that matter).

    One way or another collegiate sports will continue. Hopefully in a manner more fair to the students.

  86. theneedforspeeed says: Apr 26, 2014 2:17 PM

    Why is it that when talking of paying college football players, most people forget that football is NOT the only sport played in college?!?!

    Are you going to pay swimmers as well? What about gymnasts?? They go to the Olympics, and I bet they put in WAY more hours than footballers. Pay them too!
    Oh, but then you have to pay EVERY COLLEGE ATHLETE! Where does it end? With the loss of all college sports, because I guarantee you, no college or university will want to go broke paying all the student athletes, of which there are thousands.

  87. dbfan4ever says: Apr 26, 2014 2:19 PM

    Pro and College athletes you are being used by the trial lawyers so that they can line their own pockets! That is where the stench of greed is! You should see how much money these lawyers make on class action lawsuits. I think the people of this country should sue the legal profession for all the nonsense lawsuits that are filed that companies have to pay big bucks to defend. These legal fees are like taxes business don’t have to pay them because they pass those costs on to the consumer by increasing the cost!

  88. rajbais says: Apr 26, 2014 2:36 PM

    Get em Shariff!!!

  89. kwjsb says: Apr 26, 2014 2:50 PM

    Players Barter their skills to the Universities, if they stay 4 years they receive over $64K per year in return, Not bad for an entry level job…..

    Now keep in mind Title IX comes into play, if these greedy few get their way Colleges will have a decision to make, to give equal pay to all sports, men and women’s or discontinue those sports that cannot support themselves. You are talking about taking away an education for over 200,000 students who with out the sport would not be able to afford higher education.

  90. footballschoolnot says: Apr 26, 2014 3:02 PM

    Many posters argue that student/athletes are getting 50K scholarships yearly. Truth is most would never have to pay a fraction of that amount. Tuition is before any financial aid is applied and if they enrolled as a student only, would pay much less.

    A scholarship should include a monthly stipend that is part and parcel of all scholarships, no matter the sport. Amount to be determined by wiser heads. Kids should have walking around money.

    The most popular athletes should be able to retain the dollars generated by their autographs, jersey sales and endorsements.

  91. jclark6528 says: Apr 26, 2014 3:02 PM

    This will also raise tuition at every school in the country…….will have a huge negative impact.

  92. youhurtmyfeelings says: Apr 26, 2014 4:48 PM

    He should focus on more important issues — like getting the Redskins to change their racist name!!! I love you, Mike!!!!!

  93. stellarperformance says: Apr 26, 2014 4:50 PM

    If these guys want to close the income disparity gap that plagues this country, start with the 1%’ers. Start at the top, not the bottom.

  94. psly2124 says: Apr 26, 2014 4:51 PM

    The liberals have begun to dismantle football. They hate the sport and think soccer is the way to go. If northwestern has a sack they will discontinue the football program and all sports will the. Fold up and make it just an academic institute.

  95. atthemurph says: Apr 26, 2014 5:13 PM

    Let the college kids unionize, let Shariff win his suit and then let the IRS show up and demand back taxes, interest and penalties for the compensation the players received in the form of free tuition (50k/yr), room and board (15k/yr), free medical care (5k/yr), free tutors, free athletic training facilities…….

    The Northwestern fools don’t have any idea what their asking for. If they are considered employees (and the NRLB says they are) then they have a tax problem.

  96. psly2124 says: Apr 26, 2014 5:22 PM

    I’m tired of these broke arguments like players should make money off there name. What would there name be worth if not or college football. Nothing. And what that leads to is schools with the deepest pockets will pay players to stay in school. An example would be come over to my house and sign an autograph and I’ll give you 20k. It leads to corruption and that is what the NCAA is trying to prevent. The other factor is title IX. If you start paying football players a stipend of say 1k a month. Then every women’s athlete will demand the same. Big deal coaches are driving around in Mercedes. You think every college coach is, most are driving 10 year old pickup trucks. A handful of coaches are making serious money. 90% are making just enough I get buy. How much do you think coaches at DIII are making. There the head coach, equine t mangager, and derive the busses to the game, now they will be out a job.

  97. dragonfly99 says: Apr 26, 2014 5:31 PM

    Another NFL player who would rather make his money through a lawsuit rather than performing on the field to earn that big contract. Obviously his heart is not in football.

  98. fanasaurus says: Apr 26, 2014 5:41 PM

    I thought that to compete in pop warner, high school and college sports required someone to have amateur status. If you get paid you can’t compete in college sports, if you pay college football and basketball players where does it stop? Leave it up to the lawyers to screw it up.

  99. tokyosandblaster says: Apr 26, 2014 5:46 PM

    What a tool. Perfect for Minnesota.

    >

  100. edrouse says: Apr 26, 2014 5:46 PM

    dont play then ..pay your own way to school.. feed yourself .. rent your own place to stay…and shut up ……

  101. drunkwino says: Apr 26, 2014 6:06 PM

    …It leads to corruption and that is what the NCAA is trying to prevent.
    —————–
    The NCAA is a festering pool of corruption. They’re not trying it, they just don’t want the competition.

  102. Slim Charles says: Apr 26, 2014 6:20 PM

    If you don’t want players to get paid you’re not a true fan. Simple as that.

  103. stellarperformance says: Apr 26, 2014 6:45 PM

    A very small percentage of these college athletes will advance professionally. All the rest of them get a free education. How about the drama students? A few of them could be Hollywood stars someday. Shouldn’t they all go to school for free? The football players do.

  104. FlashPatterson says: Apr 26, 2014 6:49 PM

    Why do I have to pay an extra $2,000 a semester in athletic fees, lot fees (they also charge for parking passes), library fees, gym fees, health services, oxygen fees… ET Freaking Cetera. I don’t use any of that athletic crap yet I have to pay for my school’s new football stadium and their new track complex. The point is that students who aren’t freakish athletes are getting hosed way worse than you are, how about we fight for complete reform?

  105. byzr says: Apr 26, 2014 6:50 PM

    to all you “free education” folks:
    1 – most of the kids go to colleges not in their state so they’re getting out state tuition rates which are outrageous.
    2 – a lot of the kids want/need to work but aren’t able to due to practices and school commitments and Mark Emmert is making how many millions.

    it’s absurd that the balance between the administration and the students has gotten so one sided. if someone developed a minor football league and paid these guys moderate amounts of money and put them up in housing and fed them the NCAA would be screaming bloody murder over losing their cash cows.

  106. professor177 says: Apr 26, 2014 6:58 PM

    The minute the college athlete get paid its a wrap on college sports.. The get free room and board, education, and alittle pocket change which isnt much but enough to keep them hungry. People need to stop counting the dollars in other peoples pockets and focus on ur own.. Any kid aspiring go play pro sports and go to a good college knows long before that college is a stage that u must perform on to get to where u want to be which is the pros.. Once they start getn paid they are gonna be experiencing the same troubles that many pros go through. Things that distract the player and consequently the team as a whole. So all those that say the schools generate billions and the players should get some of that need to remember the schools set the stage for the players to showcase their ability.. If they go to the pros they make many times over what they didnt get for four yrs of their life.. Yet the school is still ready to serve up more players for us fans the following year.. You wanna hear unfair.. We pay money for all these action packed movies to see the brad pitts and yet we dont even know the stuntman who actually does the stunts we give the pitts the credit for doing..

  107. vikingcheesegrater says: Apr 26, 2014 10:17 PM

    I hope Sharif is spending as much time thinking about NFL football as he is on all the college stuff.

  108. surigaostraits says: Apr 26, 2014 10:30 PM

    mikejune 11:22, said Unions built the middle class . Did the union come up with the idea , the invention,the plan ? The Guy with the idea should be compensated by what the market will allow ( ask a Pro Football player).No Guy with an idea,No union,No Middle Class or one like Stalin or Putins Communism where only Party Members receive Fringe Benefits

    This whole issue(unionization of college sports) reeks of Socialism, of Obama Care and Nancy Peslosi saying We’ve got to pass the bill (Affordable Care Act) so we can know what’s in it

    more Class Warfare driven by the drive by media

  109. boonevol says: Apr 26, 2014 10:43 PM

    Lots of misapplied logic in the arguments. The same system that takes money out of your paycheck for the government can easily deduct taxes from a university “scholarship” .
    The money JoeStudent has to pay to attend college has nothing to do with the millions of dollars generated from tv contracts. If that money is use to compensate players, Joe Student suffers no additional loss or gains any back.
    The NCAA is a corrupt, overbearing, organization. Their investigation processes have been shown to have flaws. Their rules are more complicated than the tax code. Meanwhile “student-athletes” are prohibited from making money from their likenesses yet sign away their image rights to the NCAA. Last time I looked, scholarship athletes are not even allowed to hold a part time job.

  110. thefox61 says: Apr 26, 2014 11:19 PM

    Shariff don’t like it. Rock the Casbah, Rock the Casbah!

  111. nothingbuttthetruth says: Apr 27, 2014 12:00 AM

    Amazed by the lack on knowledge of this issue by most posters.
    Facts when it comes to the idea that college athletes should be compensated in more ways than just scholarships:

    – Title IX – a non-issue
    – Taxes – a non-issue
    – Having to compensate athletes in non-revenue producing sports – a non-issue

    There is no other business/industry in the country in which the people generating billions for the company are not allowed to be compensated for their individual talents. The NCAA has been getting away with murder (not to mention likely violating labor laws) for years and profiting greatly from it. Congrats to everyone who’s finally standing-up against this injustice. Time to bring the fat-cat NCAA bullies to their knees.

    Every other student on campus – including those on ACADEMIC scholarship – can have a job and be compensated for his/her talents and abilities. Yet the players making millions for the school can’t? And they can’t even make money off their own name/likeness? Utterly ridiculous.

    Change is coming -and it’s long overdue.

  112. 75rockrasin says: Apr 27, 2014 7:28 AM

    Just shut down the NCAA and do away with College football. The NFL teams can then create a minor league system designed much like Baseball.
    Pay the players like minor league players. Let them travel like minor league players, and have facilities like minor league players.
    And see how happy they are..

    After all, we’ll see how much money they generate for their minor league teams, of which they will be true employees.

  113. esd45suf says: Apr 27, 2014 12:45 PM

    Getting paid is only a small part of the issue. Currently the players have ZERO input into any NCAA, school, or team rule the affects them. Those rules are far, far more restrictive on the “student athletes” then the “student band guy” or the “student researcher” who also get scholarships but don’t risk their permanent health while bringing in revenue for the school. The student athletes are also controlled via their scholarships. They are, in essence, given one year contracts that the school can renew or cancel, but if the student wants to leave and go to another school, they have to ask nicely and, if lucky enough to be released, will have significant restrictions placed on where they can go. Essentially this is the old MLB reserve clause which, when finally challenged in court, was thrown out and created free agency.

  114. 52lightsxout52 says: Apr 27, 2014 5:48 PM

    It’s truly amazing to read headlines like this while we are in the midst of the largest college student debt bubble in history…

  115. fmc651 says: Apr 27, 2014 7:55 PM

    I would rather read how Floyd is putting time in to improve himself. His rookie year was uneventful. Having said this I think Zimmer will improve him.

  116. w3ndy4sp3n says: May 2, 2014 10:59 AM

    Shariff don’t like it!

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