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tv   The Stream  Al Jazeera  November 21, 2013 7:30pm-8:01pm EST

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breaking down the physical and financial cost of playing college sports. in a class action lawsuit, players are seeking compensation for use of their likeness. that means they want to be paid when their images appear in rebroadcasts of games, dvds, photos, video games and other places, once that stopped
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playing college sports. that lawsuit has opened a much broader discussion about whether student athletes should be paid. the ncaa say the education is the payment. omar is here filling in for wajahat ali. we asked our community is enough compensation. >> we have been getting a lot of interesting responses. ricky say there is no reason why student athletes shouldn't be paid at this point. of course for those of you at home, we want you to join the conversation, so please join us
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on twitter. >> joining us is a college baseball player who played at ucla and went on to the nba. and the co-chair of the college sports law practice, a former associate director of enforcement with the ncaa. a former football player at usc, and sports commentator with espn. if this is your first time watching us, we're all about access. we use a variety of technologies including google hangout. bob i want to start with you, what is the overarching reason historically that college athletes are not paid? >> because they are amateurs. amateurism was created originally in 18th century europe in order to maintain a separate class.
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they didn't want the people who had to work seven days a week to stop what they were doing and get good at that leisure. so it all goes back to the time of amateurism, but when you look at the exponential revenue taking place, you have to consider changing the model. >> these guys and girls are really generating a lot of money for the universities are they really amateurs. >> i think by technicality they are amateurs, but they do need to change the model like bob said. it's -- it's old. it's played out. it's archaic. the system the way it is set up right now, because of the way the revenue has been streamed through college athletics, and the only people benefiting
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monetarily happens to be the university. and at this point in time, i don't think -- especially with you being able to leave and enter your profession before you get a college degree from that university, i -- i don't think that, you know, scholarship is a fair compensation for the sport. >> ed you filed this class action lawsuit against the ncaa. why did you do that? >> initially it was to right a wrong. i thought that the way that it is structured, the way that the rules are now is -- is just bad. and i think when you look at it as a -- at a society standpoint, everyone seems to be compensated for their abilities except for the student athlete, and i just thought it was time for a change. >> ed just to follow up on that. we have a tweet . . . do you
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think this is something that should be able to connect with people simply like there is fundamental unfairness here. why do you think so many people don't see that it way? >> well, it's been the way that it is for so long. i think a lot of people are just scared to change, scared of change. i think if -- you know, you just -- you just make it happen. i -- i don't think that -- i do believe the way that things are now -- the way that the rules are now, it's just -- like scoop said. it's just so archaic, i think, again, thanks need to change. >> also the mindset of the general public is that the education being given to these athletes is the compensation, but once again, like in basketball and football, you can
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still enter your work force without finishing your education. so what makes that fair compensation. that's what i think the problem is. people just look at it as you are getting paid through a scholarship, but when you are like carmelo anthony and you go one year, but you win a championship, why stay any longer. and the school is making a lot more money for you in one year than he received for one year education from syracuse. >> tim a lot of guys have mentioned they think this is fairly archaic. these student athletes are generating revenue for the schools, should they get a cut of the profit? >> well, i think it is really rooted in the ideals of academics. these universities exist because they are educating young men and women, and when you mix in
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college athletics, and you are in a multi-billion dollars industry that creates problems. >> i have some more community feedback . . . and take a listen to this. >> what we have in college athletics is a case of trickery. we have universities and the organizations essentially employing, employees for free? exchange for the allure and illusion of an education that is supposed to help them, but is really geared towards keeping them on the team which means offering courses that will not help an individual's future.
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>> do you think this is intentional exploitation? >> it's not intentional, it's gradual. it's like they built the titanic in the panama canal. and now you are trying to figure out how to turn it around. right now the athletes are really deemed as volunteers. okay? so there is a major discrepancy there, but they don't get any of the benefits that an employee does. they don't receive any worker's compensation to the injuries they get on the job while they are playing the sport. so if you are going to ignore those rights, i think first and foremost is the medical rights, and second and just as important is everything ed has been trying to do on the front lines. >> scoop if these guys were employees, that would imply the employer is making money, but
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there are a couple of sports that are generate huge amounts of for the school and that money is taken to support other things on campus that don't generate revenue. >> i can't agree with that for the whole part. because you go into this agreement -- and if we're talking about athletics at the highest level, at the division i level, where you see these sports generating income for the school, whether it be lacrosse or penn state or volleyball at san diego -- or women's basketball in, uconn, if we're talking about sports at that level, it's hard to look at it from an employees standpoint. because these athletes know the deal when they go in.
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so when you sign your agreement to go attend a school as a scholarship athlete, it is agreed upon you and your family that this is what you are getting in return for this. so i -- it's a technicality with the way they are framing amateurism. but when you sign an agreement, it's hard to look at it as an employee employer situation, when you want something changed the way you are being compensated for it. and employees have the right to do that. if you don't think you are fairly compensates you can go to the hr or ceo's office and argue for how you are being compensated but once you sign up for a scholarship it's hard to make that argument. >> true. if we are talking about the ncaa compensating athletes, is it
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just compensating athletes that generate money, and if so, does this open up a whole can of winter storms? >> that's a great point. i think oftentimes it is overlooked how complex the issue is, because men's basketball and football are the only two sports that generate profits. once you decide to change the model and potentially compensate football and basketball student athletes, all of a sudden those non-revenue sports might go by the wayside and institutions might not even be willing to fund an athletic's program. >> coming up some athletes make a lot of money for their school, but what if it costs them physically, financely, and economically? please second us your comments.
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year, why is that not enough? >> and they participate in the benefits of the athletic facilities, and the marketing opportunities they get for participating on tv. nonetheless they are arguing that the ncaa are using their names and likeness to profit and they are not receiving compensation. >> there is a national collegiate study that found out what is the average compensation. the average football player is worth half a million, and the average basketball player is worth a million dollars. >> while we have got you talking here, talk a little bit about what it is like to be a college athlete in terms of the academic, and physical and financial demands. >> it's extremely demanding. you don't have a lot of time in
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the day. you are up at 5:00, you have class, you are watching film, and then you are in practice from 2:00 to 6:30, you have a meal, and then go home and try to study as much as you can and wake up the next day and do the same thing. i figured it was 80 hours at week at times that we very specifically putting into football. and just like an employee you are told where to go and when. and i value my education and the degree i got. i'm using my degree to make this film, so i'm not trying to be hypocritical, it's just the reality we have to look at the fact that coaches used to be amateurs. the coaches used to be p professors, and now they are a
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completely separate union. so a lot of the rules only apply to these kids, and these kids are over 18. it's not like david beckham was signing million dollars degrees when he was 14. nobody asked where michael phelps got his degree from. >> we put out the question of whether universities should be taking care of the medical expenses of athletes. and we have a few comments here . . . ed what is your take on this? >> absolutely not. i -- i think -- first and
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foremost, when you are on scholarship, it should be at least for four years. me personally, i tore my knee up a week my practice was going to start my freshman year. so it took four -- it took five years to complete four years athletically for myself. so -- and i was fortunate to keep my -- my scholarship, and i think everyone should. i think that everyone should be able to once you sign the letter of intent, it should at least be for four years. to me there's something criminal, for lack of a better word, that scholarships are only for one year, and almost kind of a trial basis going into the following season. >> and those scholarships can be easy to violate. is the process by which the ncaa
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punishes schools, coaches, and athletes for violations consistent? >> there has been changes implemented recently. there was legislation that is designed to allow for more consistent and more predictable penalties and punishments. but the enforcement process which regulates the schools and punishes the schools and coaches is different from the student athlete reinstatement process. and indeed there are questions as to whether or not the penalties are consistent, but every circumstance is usually pretty different. >> scoop -- was somebody trying to jump in there? >> i was just saying there has been a lot of inconsistencies. the ncaa was founded for the health of the athlete, and they have evolved into a policing
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organization. and it's night and day of what happened to two schools is night and day. so there is obviously major hypocrisy in all things going on, and there is no rhyme or reason. they make the rules and do what they want. >> scoop -- >> bob, i think it's well noted that there are complaints about the consistency at the ncaa, but being familiar with some of those cases i know there are very unique circumstances in each case that present themselves and allow the committee then to decide whether or not the penalty should be stiffer or -- or weaker. >> hey, tim, explain something to us. bob brought it up that he would go to a meal and then try to steal a meal because they just don't have enough money. there is something interesting
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in the ncaa rules that says athletes can't make more than $2,000 on top of their scholarship. why is that? >> that was a rule that was introduced into the legislation, but ultimately defeated by the membership in which schools would be permitted to allow -- they were going to be permitted to provide student athletes with $2,000 up to the cost of attendance to cover those costs. but different schools have different values, and the funding is not the same all around the board, some schools are wealthier than others, and as a result, at least in division i that legislation was defeated. >> bob there are a lot of students that say i'm not an athlete, and i'm starving too, what makes this a different scenario for athletes? >> well, this is the one instant
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where athletes are actually gets the short end of the stick. because you are getting limited by how much you can work. most athletes in football and basketball, beside not having the time, they don't go out and get job experience. i had two summers where i had paid internships, and i had to tell them to stop paying me because i hit the $3,000 mark. and i said why is that? and they called it the kareem abdul-jabbar rule, because he got paid $20 an hour to water the lawn and it was an automated singler system. if a player is lucky enough to get a degree, a degree is a prerequisite for a job, that doesn't mean you have the requirements for a job, you get those through skills.
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>> we're going to pause here for a second guys, because we got to hit a break. coming up should the ncaa change its rules or if so how? or should institutions be first and foremost places of learning? keep your comments coming. we'll be right back. ♪ >> audiences are intelligent and they know that their
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♪ welcome back. we're talking about college athletes, and should they get paid. omar what is the community saying? >> they are saying a lot and we have a video comment. take a listen to this. >> so obviously there is a ton of money involved in this debate, and that makes it a problem because the ncaa has made it clear they are not going to negotiate a player salary. college football makes a lot of money based on the idea that college sports are purer than professional sports. and the fact of the matter is, you only have to look at smu and cam newton to argue that is not the case. >> so ed, what do you think about this idea of giving up on
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salaries and having players control their own marketing rights? >> i absolutely think that players should control their own marketing rights for a number of reasons. one, you get the experience. you get to actually control your own destiny when it comes to the money as well as you know -- it's -- a player's worth. you get to see what your worth is if you are bringing in millions and billions of dollars as a group, as a team to a particular university, you should be able to at least test that market and -- and see what you are worth, and -- and -- you know, again, just the fact that you can get the experience and -- and figure that out, and -- and learn from it, it can be something that you could use once you leave school. there's a ton of ways to get
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experience and -- and see what your market is, what your value is, and -- and really go from there. >> tim the nba and the nfl they get most of their players from colleges and universities. you mentioned earlier that you played baseball in college. baseball has a two-track system, right? you either choose to have an education or choose to go into the minority leaders and try to become a professional baseball player. why doesn't the nfl and nba have real farm teams? >> practically because they don't have to, because the ncaa operates the college football and men's basketball programs that operate as their minority leader programs. and they don't have to go to any minority leader programs, nor would -- i'm not confident that if there were minority leader programs that they would be able to succeed if college athletics
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is still in place. >> i agree. the nba is not working itself into the farm system, the model they wanted it to be is actually coming. i think the bigger question we need to ask is what needs to change inside of this? we don't think -- i think between the four of us, we know there is no one-step rule that can go into place that is going to absolve the problems that the ncaa is having. but what changes need to be made? and i think bob made a good point about athletes getting the short end of the stick. i have always said or thought that why are college athletes that are on scholarship treated anybody any differently than anybody else on campus that is on a scholarship. and i think if they are looking to unskew this, at least it lessens and -- and changes the
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situation a little bit, and makes it more current. >> doesn't it change it when -- i mean isn't the entire playing field level among all scholarship students until the athletics that certain students are in, the value of that exceeds the university's input into that student? isn't that what changes it? >> from what i understand changes it is the nature of competition. there's no athletic, you know, bcs bowl game -- i mean academic bcs bowl game that they have to challenge themselves and complete against one another with. there is no music competition -- >> unfortunately guy, we are out of time. i want to thank you all for a great discussion tonight. in the meantime we'll see you all on line. ♪
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