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Most who closely follow collegiate athletics and understand the amount of revenue generated by college football and basketball programs believe the players should receive compensation.
And compensation means more than just room, board and the cost of attendance stipends the NCAA began providing in recent years.
We can now add Connecticut head coach Randy Edsall to the “pay the players” camp. Edsall tweeted the following on Friday:
As Edsall alluded to, in January, the NCAA formally adopted proposal 2017-99, allowing “non-coaching sport-specific staff to participate in on-campus evaluations” and analyze video of, to use NCAA lingo, prospective student-athletes (i.e. recruits). In Edsall’s eyes, that gives college football programs larger scouting departments than NFL teams, turning college football into a “farm system” for the NFL.
Some coaches have expressed similar sentiments before, but I can’t recall a sitting FBS coach doing so this bluntly. It’s also somewhat surprising coming from a coach from a school outside the Power Five conferences, where revenue is not nearly as plentiful in the big television deal world of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC. Edsall coached at UConn from 1999-2010 but left for the Maryland job. He was fired midway through his fifth season with the Terps and returned to UConn ahead of the 2017 season, so he knows both sides of the tracks, so to speak.
His paying players position wasn’t the only thing Edsall had to say on Friday afternoon. In response to the Yahoo Sports story detailing payments from an agency to high school and college basketball prospects and their families, Edsall offered this thought:
It’d be naive to think that paying for recruits happened only in basketball. In fact, an SB Nation story about boosters paying for recruits from a few years ago offered a fascinating glimpse into that world.
Edsall has never run afoul of NCAA bylaws during his career (state nepotism laws not included), but he has undoubtedly heard some stories about colleagues over the years. Perhaps, like with basketball, some of those will emerge in due time.
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