Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Economics of Assistant Coaches’ Bribery

Posted by M. C. Fox on September 28, 2017

A dog torturer is welcomed with open arms in the pros. What is a little college sports bribery? I don’t think sports sheeple will care -“If it helps my team win…”

It is one of the biggest stories in the media today: four assistant basketball coaches have been accused of taking bribes. Here is a summary from CBS News:

“The picture of college basketball painted by the charges is not a pretty one,” Joon H. Kim, the acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference. “Coaches at some of the nation’s top programs taking cash bribes, managers and advisers circling blue-chip prospects like coyotes, and employees of a global sportswear company funneling cash to families of high school recruits. … For the 10 charged men, the madness of college basketball went well beyond the Big Dance in March. Month after month, the defendants exploited the hoop dreams of student-athletes around the country, allegedly treating them as little more than opportunities to enrich themselves through bribery and fraud schemes.”Each arrested coach is facing up to 80 years in prison.

Obviously, this is exceedingly serious business. I want to stress the word “business.”

I don’t want to discuss the legal issues involved. I am not a lawyer. If I were lawyer, I would find out how to make a buck on taking one side or the other, and I would cash in. But I am simply a lowly journalist, struggling to put food on the table…

What I am about to write, I am stealing from a great talk by the late Ben Rogge.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a cartel. It exists in order to hold down payments to star athletes who are in a position to generate revenues for specific universities. University administrators want to have athletic programs. Major universities in the collegiate sports world, Rogge said, get huge amounts of money from ticket sales. They also get big donations from rich alumni who love collegiate sports. What he said 40 years ago of course applies today, except the amounts of money are so much greater because of televised sports.

Administrators in these sports-focused universities do not want to pay their most valuable athletes a market wage for the privilege of generating money from their performances. So, they collude. This is price fixing, pure and simple.

Unlike almost every other industry, the government allows the NCAA to establish rules forbidding market-based payments to star athletes. The athletes are allowed to receive scholarships, despite the fact that they are not scholars, but that is supposed to be the limit of payments to the athletes…

Be seeing you


I am not a number. I am a free man!-Number 6


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