Posted September 25, 2013

Duke coach David Cutcliffe: Nobody’s getting rich off college athletics

David Cutcliffe
David Cutcliffe

Duke’s David Cutcliffe gave his take on the pay-for-play debate in his press conference. (Lance King/Getty Images)

Many people have recently taken issue with the NCAA’s policies regarding student-athlete amateurism, but Duke coach David Cutcliffe doesn’t appear to be among them.

On Tuesday, Cutcliffe was asked about the recent “All Players United” movement, as a number of college football players across the country wore “APU” on their playing gear last weekend to protest the NCAA’s treatment of student-athletes on issues ranging from concussions to compensation. Cutcliffe hadn’t heard of the movement, but he offered his take on the specific issue of increasing scholarship amounts to cover the “full cost of attendance.” From his press conference:

“Let me tell you what it’s going to do,” Cutcliffe said. “All of that is going to make it so expensive to come to a college athletics event that nobody is going to want to come. Again, we’re not abusing kids. There’s a lot of uniformed people that haven’t seen the day-to-day.

“I’m pretty qualified to be informed. We’re not going to let a youngster starve. Before they starve, I’m going to break an NCAA rule to make sure they eat. I’m going to take them home if they can’t pay their rent. If we get to that point, I’m going to house them. It’s not the case. It’s not the case.

“I’m sorry to disagree with so many intelligent people that seem to think they understand the circumstance. And nobody is really getting rich off of this; we’re operating an athletics department off of all this. Do you understand how much it costs to operate an athletic department? We have 26 varsity sports and recreation. A lot of facilities and a lot of people are in place here to make it better for the student-athlete. That’s a lot of money to operate all of that. Nobody is stealing from them, you understand what I’m saying?”

Last week, SI.com broke the news that one of Cutcliffe’s former players, Arian Foster, admitted in an upcoming documentary that he received extra money while in school at Tennessee. Cutcliffe coached Foster in 2006 and 2007 while serving as offensive coordinator for the Vols. In the documentary, “Schooled: The Price of College Sports,” Foster said he would sometimes run out of money for food and often had to choose between spending on groceries or on rent.

Foster said he would be forced to call Tennessee coaches and request food, and they once delivered “like 50 tacos” to he and his roommates. Cutcliffe provided a different take:

“That may have been as weak an interview as I’ve heard,” Cutcliffe said of the Foster interview. “Arian never looked hungry.”

[...]

“Yes, [a scholarship] pays for food and rent,” he said. “On gameday, when you go back to your dorm, you usually got $15 in meal money, and you could buy, I don’t know, 10 tacos maybe.”

47 comments
CoryDowns
CoryDowns

Nobody is getting rich off college football?  High school football coaches in the state of Florida make a few thousand bucks on top of their 30 to 50 thousand salary, and assistants make around $1200 for coaching.Take a look at Cutcliffs home compared to these guys and tell me again nobody is "getting rich" off  of college football. What a f$cking hypocrite! 

Fifilo
Fifilo

Yea, the NCAA/ESPN mafia is really a charity.

Daniel57
Daniel57

A Full Ride at Purdue is worth $250,000, so over $50,000 a year. Ask the average Arena Football Player what he's making. The League minimum is only $31,000 with the Average being about $80,000. What don't they get? Education, Training Table, Dorm Room, and if you are at a decent Program, TV or Radio coverage almost every weekend. What the Schools are offering now sounds pretty good.

Only about 1800 Players have the privilege of suiting up in the NFL every year. Most of these kids are not physically mature enough to play College Football right out of High School, much less in the NFL.

There are only about 20 Programs in the FBS that can pay for their Athletic Departments without Student Fees or Tax Payer money. How are the other 100+ Programs going to afford to expand Scholarships or pay Stipends?

Take Southern Mississippi. They were so broke that they took a fat check from Nebraska to agree to play in Lincoln the last two years in a row. I wouldn't doubt that they sell the 2015 game back to NU as well. How are Programs like these "getting rich"? They're BROKE. How can they pay more to field their Teams than they do now?

This makes for interesting discussion, but it's not happening.

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

Of course uninformed people keep pointing to the coach's salary... these coaches are usually not paid out of the University's coffers - understand?  Almost always at the real money-making programs, the coaches' salaries are paid out of the pockets of rich alumni and boosters.  

The school then uses this coach to run a team that makes $10s of millions for the school.  The school takes that money and pays employees and creates programs and scholarships for other students.  Hence the coach more than earns the salary hes paid through this school by the boosters and other rich benefactors.  


These schools aren't bankrupting students to pay the coach - and when hes talking about not getting rich, hes talking about 99% of people associated w/ athletics that are paid through the school.  


People are complaining about big-money athletic programs - but what they dont realize is that at the biggest revenue-producing programs.... the athletic departments not only pay for themselves, but they GIVE BACK money to the university.  The University loves this system because it makes tons of money for the academic side that people keep complaining about not being focused on.  If you give all that money to the players, the academic side will be hurt much more than the "rich" people at the top.  All that extra money will not longer be there from these programs and it will not flow back to the college.  


the grass isn't always greener

Iowa
Iowa

The players shouldn't be paid, but Cutcliffe just sounds like a fool when he claims "nobody getting rich off this." There are plenty of coaches and administrators getting rich off college sports.

Craig
Craig

"And nobody is really getting rich off of this"

Sorry, but when I see that in most states the highest paid public employee is the University football coach...often 10 or 20 times that of the governor then this statement is pure hogwash.  Maybe the kids are getting rich, but clearly "somebody" is...and remember this statement was made by one of those "somebodies."


Rafalca
Rafalca

Some places they get pretty rich.  Look at the new cars and houses freshmen get at ALabama.

Iwonderalot
Iwonderalot

David Cutliffe's salary from Duke is $1.75 million per year, plus retirement and other benefits.  He also makes money on the side since coaching is only a part time job.  Mike Krzyzewski makes between $6 million and $10 million in salary and benefits per year depending on how well the basketball team does, plus millions more on the side.  I guess that's not enough to count as 'rich'.  I wonder how much David Cutliffe would have to make in order to consider himself rich.

Nathan12
Nathan12

What we really have going on here is educational institutions running professional sports franchises - or in some cases, professional sports franchises running educational institutions as a sideline.  Best solution: go all the way.  Have the colleges hire out their name and mascot to contracted sports franchises - the college still has it's team, the name and uniform etc continue, the contract can include arrangements for the non-profit-making sports...and there is no need to force a bunch of professional athletes to get dragged through academics they can't handle, nor for colleges to water down their academics to accommodate professional athletes.  All this disputing about whether or not some athlete got a few bucks for an autograph or some such would become a non-issue as well.  Professional sports can be professional sports without the mockery of "amateurism" they pretend to now.

Ason
Ason

somebodies( namely coaches, a.d's,network exec...basically everyone but the kids) gettin rich david.


NoBiasIntended
NoBiasIntended

No one gets rich.  How much does this coach make a season.  I would say whatever it is, the amount makes him "rich."

Cool
Cool

Wonder how much Coach Cutcliffe makes a year?  Do you think he makes the same amount of money as the other professors at Duke?  He might have to go hungry a few days to keep his program afloat  for all we know, because we are just outsiders who don't know the inner workings as well as him.   I have no idea where to go and pick up my hundred thousand a month check, but I am positive he does.    No, no one is getting rich off football, not one single person, right coach?

pilot424
pilot424

There is something that is never brought out when these conversations talk about "scholarships".  Did you know that the financial aid at all these colleges, even the big programs, apply and get every cent that they can get from the government for these students.  Thats a lot of money. So when one says they get a free education from the school you must ask out much is that scholarship?  You subtract all those grants and "private scholarships" that these kids get qualified for.

bubbalooey
bubbalooey

Football pays for all the rest of college sports programs, most don't make a dime, especially female sports, so if you start paying the players plus the scholarships, they will have to raise tuition for the rest of the students.  They already receive a free education, which most parents have to scrape up to pay for the non football players.  Next some dimwit sports writer will suggest they pay high school players next....  What a crock.

DrRobHardin
DrRobHardin

@ZacEllis I don't think anybody is going hungry but people are getting rich... coaches, broadcasters, administrators

entprof
entprof

Cutliffe, Saban, Sarkasian, etc. sure as hell are getting rich on College Football.

bubbajr
bubbajr

"Foster said he would be forced to call Tennessee coaches and request food, and they once delivered “like 50 tacos” to he and his roommates."

Do you all not edit these?  How did you get through college and get a job at SI as writer and STILL not know the difference between a subject and an object and where each fits? 

mcrabtreeUT
mcrabtreeUT

@ZacEllis Great article! So much truth in what he's saying. People don't realize how much they actually do get (within the rules).

ingloriousBOH
ingloriousBOH

@thatsean @si_ncaafb A handful of coaches are, but almost all athletics depts lose $$$. Most that profit only do so bc of high student fees.

CoryDowns
CoryDowns

@AaronDunckel they are still getting rich off of college football. The market dictates that they make what they make but it is grossly hypocritical to say "no one is getting rich off of college football"!

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

@Craig the coaches aren't paid by the school's budget... often their salary is paid by boosters or other donations

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

@Iwonderalot his salary is coming from sources other than Duke university... rich donors and benefactors often are contributing to the coaches salary

Iowa
Iowa

@Nathan12 Long as these franchises are paying taxes, it's not a terrible idea.

ZacEllis
ZacEllis

@DrRobHardin No question. Players aren't getting nothing (they get scholarships) but do they get fair market value? That's the real Q.

pilot424
pilot424

@mcrabtreeUT @ZacEllis  People don't realize either that the programs apply and get all the available money from the government for these kids too so they don't have to cover the whole costs of school for the "scholarship" player.

ZacEllis
ZacEllis

@mcrabtreeUT Thanks. Players do get a lot. They don't play 'for free' as most think. But question is, do they get fair market value?

CoryDowns
CoryDowns

@AaronDunckel @Craig they are still getting rich off of college football. That is the problem with what Cutcliff said. Christ, pay them what you want but don't say nobody is getting rich off of it!  

Iowa
Iowa

@ZacEllis @DrRobHardin It's pretty easy to make the case that they're getting more than their market value. If they weren't at the schools themselves, their market value would be nothing.

DrRobHardin
DrRobHardin

@ZacEllis Some are drastically undervalued and others are drastically overvalued. Finding a balance is the challenge.

mcrabtreeUT
mcrabtreeUT

@ZacEllis It's a great question. I go back and forth. But as long as people know that they can def. can afford some tacos if they want haha

mcrabtreeUT
mcrabtreeUT

@ZacEllis It's a great question. I go back and forth. But as long as people know that they can def. afford some tacos if they want haha

Iowa
Iowa

@thatsean @ingloriousBOH @si_ncaafb No, college sports' excess program is what makes departments losing money. Continuously skyrocketing salaries, ridiculously lavish facilities, purchasing four sets of new uniforms and helmets every year, voting to extend borders on conferences across the country, so travel costs skyrocket...these things cost far more than funding a cross country team.

ingloriousBOH
ingloriousBOH

@thatsean @si_ncaafb Also, Florida basketball ($2275) and Florida State football ($2613) each netted about a monthly house payment in 2009.

ZacEllis
ZacEllis

@DrRobHardin That's the key, which is why schools might not end up paying. Let outside market decide+pay players directly.