Advocacy group says college football players worth over $100K

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Thanks to another round of conference expansion and the start of the 2011 season, the issue of whether college football players should be paid that simmered over the summer has been shoved into the background.

Thanks to an advocacy group, that issue will likely be back out front yet again.

The National College Players Association, headed by former UCLA linebacker Ramogi Huma, will release a report Tuesday titled “The Price of Poverty in Big Time College Sport”, which will claim college football players at the Div. 1-A (FBS) level are worth on average $121,000 annually to their respective schools.  At schools such as Texas, that number would swell to over $500,000 a year.

The NCPA came to their conclusion by taking the pro models for revenue sharing and applying it to the collegiate level.

The report, obtained by the Associated Press ahead of its release, will apparently focus on three proposals for paying college football and basketball players:

  • Schools should be required to take revenues and put them into what’s being called an “educational lockbox”, which players could tap into after their eligibility has expired or they’ve graduated.  It’s unclear how this would help the players during their playing careers.
  • Players should be permitted to pursue endorsement deals, with some of the money earmarked for the “lockbox” as well as defraying some of the cost of attending college that a scholarship doesn’t cover.  Speaking of which…
  • Schools should make up the difference between what a schoalrship pays for and the actual cost of attendance.  The report will state that that number falls between $952 to $6,127, depending on the college.

As to the group’s points, the first one will likely never, ever happen, at least with the current group currently occupying the positions of power.  There are far too many hurdles to overcome, first and foremost Title IX compliance, to allow that to come to fruition.  There are also some concerns that, if the students are paid, they would then become university employees, which would open up the college game to unionization.  That’s the last thing the NCAA and school administrators would want.

“Dr. Emmert has been similarly clear that paying student-athletes a salary is in no way on the table,” the NCAA, which has not seen the report, said in a statement.

As to the second point, that likely won’t happen as well but it should, at least to some extent.  There is simply no good reason why players are not paid for their images being used in video games licensed by the NCAA, nor is there any reason why a player should not get a cut from the sale of jerseys with their number on it.

The third solution proposed by the group, has a very good chance of coming to fruition.  At a retreat last month that involved the discussion of myriad issues facing college football, school presidents/chancellors and conference commissioners were among the individuals who tackled the issue of “full cost of attendance“.  While no decision was made, it does appear to be headed in that direction.

Some schools in smaller conferences could, however, buck at such a proposal being enacted due to the costs involved.

The AP writes that “the Committee on Academic Performance is meeting this week to discuss the issue, and will make recommendations to the Division I Board of Directors next month.”

The report will also state that student-athletes — football and basketball players in particular — fall below the poverty line at 85 percent of schools due to the difference between scholarships and actual cost of attendance.

“The NCAA’s definition of amateurism has proven to be priceless to obscenely paid coaches, athletics administrators, and colleges but has inflicted poverty on college athletes,” the report will state.

Starting LSU safety Grant Delpit tweets he’s set for surgery

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LSU didn’t come out of its spring game this past Saturday completely unscathed.

On his personal Twitters account Sunday, Grant Delpit tweets that he’ll undergo surgery Monday morning. While the defensive back didn’t specify the nature of the medical procedure, both Ross Dellenger of the Baton Rouge Advocate and Andrew Lopez of the New Orleans Times-Picayune are reporting that Delpit sustained a broken collarbone.

In his tweet, Delpit wrote that he’ll “be back soon ready to work!”; Dellenger’s and Lopez’s reports put the timeline at 6-8 weeks for a return, which means the rising true sophomore would be healed well before the start of summer camp in early August.

A four-star 2017 signee, Delpit was the starting safety for 10 of the 13 games in which he played as a true freshman last season. The Houston native finished fourth on the Tigers with 60 tackles and was fourth as well in passes defensed with nine. He was also one of six Tigers players with one interception on the year, second to Andraez Williams‘ team-leading six.

Ex-Michigan LB who directed threatening tweets at Jim Harbaugh says he’s ‘being harassed by police… being told I’m mentally ill’

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And the disturbing trainwreck continues.

Elysee Mbem-Bosse sent out a string of alarming and threatening tweets last Monday night that seemed to be directed at U-M head football coach Jim Harbaugh.  Even as U-M’s athletic director expressed concern for a player who left the football program in mid-November, the University of Michigan Police Department had already confirmed that they had launched an investigation into the social-media threats; the man the tweets were directed at subsequently called them “a serious matter.”

In a tweet posted Sunday morning, Mbem-Bosse “apologize[d] fully” for his social-media missteps, writing that “I take full responsibility for the tweets i (sic) made regarding the safety of Coach Harbaugh.” The former linebacker, though, went on to accuse the university’s police department of harassing him and telling him he’s “mentally ill without proper evaluation.”

The latter accusation came a day after the football player posted a photo of a form in which it shows that a psychiatrist personally examined Mbem-Bosse at the University of Michigan Health System for 35 minutes on Friday, April 19, of this year. That psychiatrist determined that Mbem-Bosse is mentally ill, meaning he “has a substantial disorder of thoughts or mood that significantly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or ability to cope with the ordinary demands of life.”

Mbem-Bosse tweeted the photo of the form to Harbaugh’s Twitter account, describing the determination made by the university’s doctor as “Mafia work.” “[U]nbelievable the extent men will go [to] just to cover up their mistakes and flaws,” Mbem-Bosse wrote, presumably alluding to Harbaugh, whose grandfather was born in Sicily and moved to Italy as a young child, dismissing the player back in November amidst what Mbem-Bosse has described as a family crisis.

Other than confirming that an investigation had been initiated, there has been no update from the university’s police department on the probe’s status.

Baylor lands commitment from player born without femurs

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Plenty of programs landed commitments on Saturday, but none like the one Baylor got from a Plano West (Texas) athlete.

Ricardo Benitez agreed to continue his football career at Baylor, which is remarkable since he never should have had a career in the first place. Benitez was born with a condition called Femur Hypoplasia Bilateral, which means he does not have femurs in his legs.

“Doctors told my parents I had a condition called Femur Hypoplasia Bilateral and it might be best to stop the pregnancy,” Benitez told MaxPreps last year. “They said I had a hole in my heart, would be in a wheelchair the rest of my life and never play sports. But my parents saw me as a gift from God and went on with the pregnancy. I crawled until I was two and didn’t start running until I was five.”

Benitez stands 4-foot-2, dresses out with his Wolves team every week and runs routs just like everyone else. Here he is at an SMU camp last year.

Benitez also camped with Baylor last summer and committed to the Bears on Saturday. “I played four years of high school football, and cherished every second of it. When the season ended I knew I was not done being a football player,” Benitez wrote in a Twitter post. “I did not know where, but God did. I received a call from Coach Brown at Baylor University. After a long process, and with tears in my eyes, I can finally announce I will be given the chance to go to college, and play football at Baylor University.”

(Helmet Sticker: Dr. Saturday)

Sam Ehlinger, Shane Buechele exit spring ball still vying for Texas QB job

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For 16 months now, Tom Herman has waited for one of his quarterbacks to take the bull by the horns. And for 16 months, the bull still hops freely around the ring.

Junior Shane Buechele and sophomore Sam Ehlinger quarterback opposite teams in Saturday night’s Orange-White game, and exited the spring the same way they began it: to be the guy who quarterbacks the Orange and White on Sept. 1 at Maryland. Ehlinger was 13-of-22 for 151 yards while Buechele hit 12-of-21 throws for 130 yards and a score; Ehlinger’s White team won the game, 23-13.

On the balance, Herman indicated that whoever ultimately wins the job will be the guy who can make plays without turning the ball over.

“At quarterback, when you hold the ball in this game, you have the hopes and dreams, goals, aspirations, everything of your teammates, of your loved ones in your hands,” Herman said. “When you think about it that way, you tend to be a lot more is cautious with it. Now that being said, from day one of spring ball, I told the QBs, experiment, rip it in there, man. Try to fit it in tight windows,
because I want you to have that confidence when you do. They’re never going to get yelled at for an interception in the spring that is, ‘Coach, I was trying to fit it in and I just missed on a couple inches’ or whatever. Now, if he does something really dumb, if he tries to throw an out route into a cloud corner or something like that and that gets picked, yeah, he’s going to hear about it. But I think building
confidence in your abilities and in the spring is important.”

Ehlinger would be the clear-cut quarterback if not for a handful of late-game mistakes in his true freshman season. He fumbled the ball away in double overtime of the USC loss, threw an end zone interception to clinch an overtime loss to Oklahoma State and tossed an across-his-body interception to allow Texas Tech to come from behind and beat Texas in November.

Whoever does win the job will wind up approaching the job the same way: throw the ball to Collin Johnson and Lil'Jordan Humphrey as often as possible. Johnson caught six passes for 91 yards and a touchdown, while Humphrey hauled in a game-high seven balls for 100 yards and rushed four times for 14 yards and two touchdowns.