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Bill Snyder: college football is ‘in a bad place’

Kansas State Wildcats head coach Bill Snyder looks on as his quarterback Collin Klein comes to the sidelines during a time-out against the Oregon Ducks at the Fiesta Bowl football game in Glendale AP

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder has been around the game of college football for decades, so he knows a thing or two about the state of the game. And he’s not happy with the landscape at the moment.

Speaking on KCSP in an interview that aired Wednesday, Snyder said money-driven college football is “in a bad place.

“We’ve allowed it to be TV-driven, and allowed it to become more important to a university than it should be,” Snyder said. “We’re educational institutions, and what’s really important is trying to enhance the lives of young people and give them guidance and direction to help themselves.”

Snyder added that he believes the issue can “correct itself”, but it’s not like college football is getting less popular or making less money. It’s no secret that my belief is that athletes across all sports should share in the revenue. How to get there is not so simple, obviously, but it’s hard to justify million-dollar coordinators and multi-million dollar head coaches when the quid pro quo for athletes is an education where the full value is rarely obtained.

Even Snyder understands he’s paid too much, though he signed a five-year extension worth just under $15 million in January.

“[I’m] grossly overpaid for what I do. That’s part of what creates the issue.”

Well, at least he can admit it. That’s, like, the first step or something.

(Hat tip: Kansas City Star) 
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17 Responses to “Bill Snyder: college football is ‘in a bad place’”
  1. alligatorsnapper says: Apr 17, 2013 7:47 PM

    I like and respect Coach Snyder. He has done so very much for Kansas State. What he is saying is true, but nothing will change in the near future, unless the law suit winding its way through the judiciary system is decided for the plaintiff, Ed O’Bannion Jr. against the NCAA and EA Sports.

    It is good to hear Coach Snyder speak his mind and heart about this, though as he admits, he is part of the problem.

  2. netbros says: Apr 17, 2013 8:09 PM

    Snyder says it’s his “belief that athletes across all sports should share in the revenue.”

    If every coach in college sports who makes more than $1million per year would put everything over a million into a pool for those athletes, the “where will it come from” question gets answered.

    Coaches, keep your first mill. Use the rest to help your student athletes. Put it in a general pool across the entire NCAA that is shared by all leagues, by all member schools.

    No? OK then. As you were.

  3. thraiderskin says: Apr 17, 2013 8:26 PM

    Paying the STUDENT-athletes would completely ruin the college game. College is about preparing individuals for their role in actual society. If you pay the athletes than you must pay those in areas of study that your school is famous for, such as Harvard paying their law of business students. Or USC paying their basket weaving students (ha!), Miami paying their future embezzlers. The slope you approach with the argument of paying student-athletes is so dangerous, few institutions would survive the actual outcome. Under-grad gives people great opportunity far beyond just scholastics and being a football stud on a campus only magnifies that experiences.

  4. 10kmp says: Apr 17, 2013 9:13 PM

    They are paid. A free education, books, food, place to live, MONTHLY SCHOLARSHIP CHECK, tutor, trainers, the best medical care… They’re paid. At Notre Dame or Stanford, for eg., the cost of school and room/board amounts to well over 100k over a four year period… and that isn’t including the scholarship checks, private tutors, or access to elite medical care. Of the 85 scholarship football players – the kids you’re advocating for – many will play very little, yet they’ll still receive all the benefits mentioned. I detest the NCAA and agree that that organization is hypocrisy personified… but the FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL players are very well paid.

  5. going4iton4th says: Apr 17, 2013 9:14 PM

    I respect Snyder for speaking his mind but he’s benefitting from college football and the revenue it generates just like so many others in the sport. The NCAA is just the buffoonish middle man organization that needs to be cut out completely. It would be delightful if every student athlete played for the love of the sport and a paid for college education–but that’s not what our society is about…Why does the NCAA continue to push their narrow minded outdated rules?

  6. ronmexico4life says: Apr 17, 2013 9:49 PM

    If you pay athletes, they become employees. If they are employees, they can sue the school if they get hurt or at least get workers comp. If they are employees, they can unionize which would ruin college football in my opinion.
    If there is a way to get these athletes money for there marketing exposure without turning them into employees and without making college football all about which school can offer a better $ package to recruits, then I’m all for it. I just don’t see how it’s possible though

  7. bender4700 says: Apr 17, 2013 9:55 PM

    Maybe if we did pay our students who are purely in school for academics our economy wouldn’t be so crappy.

    Outside of the sports economy.

    The argument against paying players would make sense if:
    1. Schools. again SCHOOLS were not making BILLIONS off ATHLETICS.
    2. Having a college degree gave you an extremely good chance at a WELL paying job. Not HIGH, but WELL. Since there are plenty of jobless college grads, or college grads working in a completely different field than their degree.
    3. Our economy was so great that we had the money to throw at athletes playing a GAME.
    4. Education was the main objective of 95% of the Div-1 football players.

    Think about it:

    Roger Gooddell and the rest of the NFL fought over the sharing of 8 BILLIONS dollars. Athletic departments around the country are spending MILLIONS on weight rooms, locker rooms, and bigger stadiums. Where is that money coming from? You. How many of you have debt?

    I’d rather the people that earn the millions receive it.

  8. thraiderskin says: Apr 17, 2013 10:37 PM

    of course you would Bender… because you ONLY see the numbers that are in your face and you think the scale should be more balanced. As stated before, if you pay the athletes, they become more than just student athletes. This would turn the student-athlete into professionals. It isn’t rocket science, it is actually common sense. Some people see how the University system (yes, meaning more than one school) only brings in the revenue as pure profit. While I admit money allocation should be re-evaluated at many schools, the money isn’t just pure in-the-pocket profit. Paying student athletes because the school makes million is more than rediculous, it would completely crumble the public school system. If its a public institution, then those paid are public employees. At what point does the “profit sharing” end (this is the slope I mentioned previously)? If you can’t wrap your head around the money being made, that is fine, its hard to ignore, but if this is some sort of “they have what I want, so we should make them share it,” go to hell! I get enough of that crap from the White House, I don’t need it in sports talk.

  9. farvite says: Apr 18, 2013 12:40 AM

    College football will be fine.

    The NCAA is a trainwreck…. Couldn’t have happened to a better organization.

  10. irishdodger says: Apr 18, 2013 1:18 AM

    The bleeding hearts need to take a breath. Have u seen the cost of a 4-yr college education lately? Regardless of the fact that our economy remains stagnant, tuition to state universities continues to skyrocket. How do they get away with that? Loans are granted by Big Brother (govt). No wonder kids who aspire to be teachers, nurses, etc, remain in debt their entire life b/c the salary their education earns them is minuscule vs their loan. When college athletes can no longer afford tattoos, weed, Air Jordans, Satellite TV, beer, etc…we can talk paying the players. Until then, shut up. These kids can always go play CFL or Arena….oh wait….exposure is priceless & CFB gives them that. Universities DO profit off athletes but there’s no gun to their heads.

  11. manchestermiracle says: Apr 18, 2013 1:21 AM

    Thanks farvite, I was wondering if someone was going to say the obvious: College football is fine, it’s the “organization” running it that is ethically bankrupt and corrupt to the core.

  12. 11inthebox says: Apr 18, 2013 11:54 AM


    Wow. You sound so angry. And I don’t understand why. What you’re railing against is actually a form of free enterprise—a revered concept that has come under fire in recent years.

    The reason the athletes can afford “tattoos, Air Jordans, and weed,” is because they do things like sell their jerseys. Of course the NCAA deems this illegal….

    Bill Snyder is right, though. College football is in a bad place. The goal *is* to educate young people. But we all know that a coach who goes 7-5, graduates his players, and has a “mostly” sold out stadium will get fired.

    That’s because all college presidents want t.v. money and that big old payout that comes from a BCS game. So everything is sacrificed for an 11-1 or 12-0 season. I wish they would just admit it.

    As for opportunities to play professional football. Well, there are over 100 division one schools alone. There’s no way everyone is gonna play in a professional league, regardless of exposure.

    You’re right on about tuition, though.

  13. coolhorn46 says: Apr 18, 2013 12:51 PM

    No matter which side of the argument you come down on, college athletes aren’t gonna wind up getting a payday.

    The NCAA likes to hide behind the myth that college athletics is still amateur “student” athletes playing games for the sheer enjoyment of it, unsullied by the almighty dollar. It’s convenient for the NCAA to ignore the big business that college football and basketball have become to the universities.

    The schools aren’t gonna start handing over any stipends to student athletes until/if/when they’re made to…and who’s gonna force the issue? The NCAA? I doubt it. Fans? Athletes’ parents? Athletes themselves? No, no, and no. The schools are comfortable with the old saw that they are paying their student athletes with an education that’s worth thousands of dollars and will stand the athletes in good stead after their playing days are through. That would be true if the athletes uniformly went to class, learned things, and graduated. That doesn’t happen all that much, especially in basketball.

    Don’t expect the individual conferences to make any kind of push to pay the athletes. They’re too busy setting up deals with ESPN, Fox, and any other networks out there for hundreds of millions of dollars to split between the schools. Paying the players who, like, actually perform on the field is so low on the list of priorities as to be virtually invisible, no matter what Jim Delaney’s said in the past.

    Bottom line…vent about paying the players all you want to, on either side of the debate, but know this…nobody who matters is really listening. Ain’t gonna listen either…..

  14. coolhorn46 says: Apr 18, 2013 12:57 PM

    One additional thought…depending on what you choose to believe, a significant number of athletes are getting paid anyway, with the infamous “hundred dollar handshakes” after games, or off-the-books sweetheart deals for new cars, upscale lodging, and other perks. The NCAA’s enforcement division seems to be the only entity that’s not very good at finding out about the extra benefits allegedly coming the way of college athletes, but then that hasn’t changed in years.

  15. jimbo75025 says: Apr 18, 2013 5:40 PM

    irishdodger says:Apr 18, 2013 1:18 AM
    These kids can always go play CFL or Arena….oh wait….exposure is priceless & CFB gives them that. Universities DO profit off athletes but there’s no gun to their heads.
    Great point. These guys use the colleges and the facilities to their advantage. Skill instruction from even position coaches getting paid hundreds of thousands of $ to give them skills which they can then transfer to the NFL. Weight rooms, trainers, etc etc etc. The non cash benefits these guys receive is worth a ton of cash in and of themselves.

  16. taintedlombardis says: Apr 22, 2013 1:37 PM

    He’s also probably referring to all the institutionally encouraged cheating. When it’s become this lucrative for ADs and HCs and all the other hanger ons the stakes could not be higher. $$$

  17. txnative61 says: Apr 24, 2013 1:58 AM

    Snyder has my greatest respect, despite the futility of his words. The fact is brick and mortar education will soon be an anachronism, with internet credentials gaining, then surpassing them in prestige. Already they are dependent on athletics to attract paying students from the middle to upper classes. Many of the athletes come from lower classes unable to move in the social circles, or purchase the tools (computers, etc.), as many of their fellow students. Extensive practice time required precludes working for supplemental income and leaves the dreary prospect of adding extensive study time for any hope to compete academically. I don’t have the solution, but predict very gifted athletes will begin finding other paths and speed the financial undermining of conventional education.

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