5-at-10: Friday mailbag on paying college players, SEC previews, college football previews

5-at-10: Friday mailbag on paying college players, SEC previews, college football previews

August 16th, 2013 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

Gang, great week. And look for the high school preview section inside today's TFP. Lots of stuff in there. Tons. It took a whole lot of effort and energy from a lot of folks. Great job gang.

Will Wade is the new UTC men's head basketball coach.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Programming note: New UTC hoops coach Will Wade will join Paschall and the TFP sports editor on Press Row at 1 p.m. today on ESPN Radio 105.1 FM. You can listen online at espnchattanooga.com and click on the Listen Live button in the top right.

We'll start the day saying Happy Birthday to the Mrs. 5-at-10. We are a blessed dude for having met her and convincing her to get hitched. (And yes, considering we have our wedding anniversary and the wife's birthday during the crazy-busy football preview section time, well, we get an F in timing.)

From the "Talks too much" studios, we'll but a yacht with a flag that says chillin' the most and we'll rock this joint up and down the coast. (Can you tell we've been on a Kid Rock vibe of late?)

From a ton of you -

What do you think about UT's new uniform?

Gang,

We dig the new digs. Seriously. In fact, we think they did not go far enough. They should have made the helmets Smokey gray, too.

The traditionalists are going to hate any change, so why stop at the shoulders.

Go the Full Monty. Wait, strike that.

And hey, the fact that everyone was talking about Tennessee yesterday - a Tennessee team that is 2-14 in SEC games in the last two years - is a great thing.

New uniforms 1, new uniform haters 0.

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From Mr. Spud

Hey 5@10 dude,

Reading through today's 5@10 (Tuesday), I was looking at the list of top schools making money on the sale of merchandise and your comment about no money for the players. It made me think.....what is Jay's stance on college players getting paid? I say that they are already being paid...and quite well at that. I spent WAAAAYYY too much time compiling this list, but here is a break down of the schools on your list that shows how much they receive in the form of a FREE education. Cost listed for 4 years (tuition, room and meal plan) with a per year cost in parentheses. I would guess that most rosters consist of mainly out of state players, but I could be wrong.

School // In-state 4 yrs (1 yr) // Out of state 4 yrs (1 yr)

Texas $75,156 ($18,789) // $171,826 ($42,969)

Alabama $84,200 ($21,050) // $139,200 ($34,800)

Notre Dame $228,468 ($57,117) // same since private

Michigan $96,552 ($24,130) // $205,552 ($51,388)

Kentucky $80,664 ($20,166) // $125,008 ($31,252)

LSU $68,828 ($17,207) // $129,932 ($32,483)

Florida $62,052 ($15,513) // $151,160 ($37,790)

Georgia $78,032 ($19,508) // $150,872 ($37,718)

UNC $69,748 ($17,437) // $151,788 ($37,947)

Arkansas $64,432 ($16,108) // $107,956 ($26,989)

Tennessee $74,616 ($18,654) // $144,136 ($36,034)

They don't get paid??? I beg to differ.

Mr. Spud,

First, excellent research. Look at the big brain on Spud.

Second, there's no such thing as spending too much time trying to make a point to your pals. Making the point is the point. You see the point?

We agree on several levels and have always thought athletes were already getting paid.

As for your question, schools should not pay the players for a variety of reasons.

First, of the hundreds of schools playing college athletics, something like 20 of them actually make a profit. So that's out.

Secondly, we whole heartedly agree with the excellent numbers Spud has posted and remind people that say they need to be paid that they are being paid. And in most cases, those scholarships go beyond four years, and again in most cases, the schools spend some more coin doing everything they can to makes sure the players graduate.

A lot of folks have tried to come up with ways to compensate players for their jerseys or their likenesses or even their Johnny (Football) Hancocks, but we all know where that will lead. Before long, part of the recruiting pitch will be, "Come to State U., where our alumni buy more jerseys than any school and that means more coin to you." All the while some big booster is funding buying 12,000 No. 22 road jerseys to pay the running back to stay in school.

Another hurdle here is the fairness argument. While we can empathize and even agree in some point about paying players because every other person/group involved is making a ton of cabbage. But what are you going to pay them? $200 a week? That moves the argument for football players from, "It's not fair that they are not getting paid," to "It's not fair that they are getting slave wages." And you know, as with professional sports contracts, the prices will only go up to the point that it will not stop and it would bankrupt smaller schools.

Side idea: This honestly just popped into our head or we would have written it long before. When the big leagues break off, maybe the conferences pay the athletes. Take the SEC for example. They are making sick coin and let's say the pulled 5 percent aside from the amount they paid each school last may and put it into a fund to be paid to each athlete upon graduation. Last year that total would have been roughly $1 million split among roughly 500 student-athletes. That would be $2K each put into a trust. Over a four- or five-year stretch, that could be close to 10 grand, which would be a nice little graduation present.

This idea has a chance. Plus, the brainiac folks would be OK with it as a graduation motivator. The money is paid across the league, and the success of the league would mean more money for the athletes. Plus, the leagues would be inclined to do it because it would further insulate the leagues as being the destination for the elite athletes. It also would force the schools to budget this into the equation, because while we agree with Spud that the scholarship is a huge chunk of coin that is being taken for granted, it's getting tougher and tougher to stand our ground about not paying the athletes when places like Oregon are putting five-star barber shops into the athletic building and Alabama has a waterfall in the football office.

Thoughts?

(Great question and we'll ask Will Wade about this today.)

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From Sports Fan

Jay - for the mailbag. What's your upset special on the SEC schedule this fall and who is the unknown or lesser known SEC player that we should watch for a breakout season this year? I'm getting stoked about football.

SportsFan -

Excellent question and one we will share with Paschall, the SEC Rainman - 247, definitely 247 toothpicks - on Press Row today.

And we're getting so stoked we'll do a top-five for each of your questions.

Upset specials/outlandish picks

1) Kentucky beats Louisville

2) Georgia runs the table in the regular season.

3) Tennessee beats South Carolina.

4) Ole Miss beats Texas A&M

5) Auburn scares Alabama (and yes, it's a sad state on the Iron Bowl rivalry that Auburn simply scaring Alabama is termed an upset)

Breakout players

1) Tennessee running back Rajion Neal (Hey, sportsfan could run for 1,100 yards this year behind that line)

2) Whomever wins the AU QB job, be it Nick Marshall or Jeremy Johnson. And this is a vote for Gus Malzahn making whomever takes snaps much better than we think they could be.

3) Jordan Jenkins, Georgia sophomore linebacker

4) Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri wide out

5) Derrick Henry, true freshman running back at Alabama. Man are they super-talented or what?

And who's ready for some football? Thirteen days people, 13 days.

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From Laughing Boy

Good question by sportsfan-mine would be similar, who's the high school team this year coming out of the blue for a breakout season. It might be hard to pick a sleeper that will surprise everyone since the teams are covered so well such as in the megasize preview.

LB -

OK, same question and with a little different treatment.

Our area top five teams to start the year (we do this as teams we think would win when lined up against each other, so it's skewed toward the bigger teams):

1) Baylor

2) East Hamilton

3) McCallie

4) Cleveland

5) Calhoun

Here's our top-five state title contenders in their classifications (which is skewed toward the smaller schools):

1) Calhoun

2) South Pittsburg

3) Boyd-Buchanan

4) Gordon Lee (Hey, why not, they won like 37 state titles last year didn't they?)

5) Tyner (We like this Tyner team a lot.)

Players who will have huge seasons:

1) Zach Miller, Polk County: Dude could rush for 2,000 yards if he stays healthy

2) Chandler Curtis, Calhoun: This kid will have a monster year and go from being a mid-major recruit to an ACC/SEC type of guy.

3) Jujuan Lankford, South Pittsburg: Another 2,000-yard threat. Also, he likely will average 10-yards per touch this season.

4) Blake Zemen, Marion County: Hey, look a running back who may go for 2,000 yards.

5) Jim Cardwell, Boyd-Buchanan quarterback/safety: He'll post big numbers on offense and defense. Feels like he's been there for like 14 years, right?

Breakout players:

1) Nick Tiano, Baylor quarterback: Job is all his and he'll make the most of it.

2) Haasan Miller, Tyner quarterback: The Rams have a slew of weapons and Miller's got guts.

3) C.J. Fritz, McCallie athlete: The Blue Tornado's speed infusion led by Fritz.

4) Kareem Orr, Notre Dame wide receiver: Entering his junior year, Orr could post huge numbers.

5) Harrison Moon, Signal Mountain tight end: A highly regard recruit, Moon is poised for a breakthrough fall.

Thoughts?

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From Chas9

Jaybo--Question for the bag: What are your top five training tips for those of us considering a try at The Ironman?

Triathletes run while unzipping their wetsuits as they cross onto land at the finish the first phase of the Ironman 70.3 triathalon in Boulder, Colo., Sunday Aug. 4, 2013. Roughly 2000 competitors swam, biked and ran in the event.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

9er -

Glad you asked. Here's our top 5:

1) Cut back on the Co-Colas. The actual sodas and the adult-version.

2) If you go to the Krystal, it better be to use the free Wi-Fi.

3) Start riding your bike to work. You may be the smelly guy in the meeting, but you have to start somewhere. (If you live on Signal, though, and a maroon Ford Expedition honks at you and you get scared, well, don't say you weren't warned. Stupid bikers up and down the W Road.)

4) Swim in the River. And to do this you better get a tough wet suit and be sure not to smell like chicken livers. The Tennessee River catfish do not play.

5) Save your coins for a big popcorn. What's a great movie like Ironman without snacks? Oh wait...

Discuss, and have a great weekend.