Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How Much Should College Athletes Be Paid? A Physicist's Answer?

My personal opinion is nothing at all.  This dilemma pops up in ever increasing intensity more and more frequently now, so it is inevitable.  Fighting it is like putting your finger in the dike, or as Coach Groves himself once told me "P*ssing in the ocean thinking it will change the pH."

So I thought about it a bit and came up with a formula of sorts to quantify it as a Physicist like Richard Feynman would do.*  I'm hoping for input (via comments) from my dozens of readers to refine and augment it appropriately.

$ = HWU * (SSPF*UCA) - [(CP + MD) + TCDS  + IBC]

$ - Pay for Student Athlete
HWU - Hard Work Unit (amount of work put into sport by the student-athlete for the entire year)
SSPF - Sport Specific Pay Factor (what each sport is worth)
UCA - University Cost Adjustment (adjustment factor for each school's overall costs per student)
CP - Cost for any prosecutions of student-athlete
MD - Cost of monetary damages incurred by student-athlete
TCDS - The cost of college for the student otherwise displaced by the student-athlete who is now attending Junior College instead
IBC -  Income from illegal boosters including, but not limited to, cars, alcohol, firearms and Party Funds

* I'm no Physicist.  In fact I got a "B" in Physics at PSU, although I got an "A" in the lab.


  1. Well, the BIG TEN presidents said the conference would rather drop out of D-I than pay its player.

    However, I hope your formula if utilized will not cover the years of my enrollment. I know myself, and other cohorts and myself, would really screw up the left-side of that equations. As LTM and I recently reminisced about some, I had at least twelve (12) CPs to my, um, credit...ALL of for which I was found not guilty: stolen cafeteria food and utensils; artwork borrowing; streaking (three times); assault of officers with water balloons; unlawful assemblage for Gays, Blacks, Women, and Victories (4 separate); and attacking a racist East Halls dishwasher.

    As far as MP, I, uh, still have a few socks, T-shirts, a uni, and one jock strap. The maintenance costs to check the urine oil leak on the van shouldn't have been too high. Alcohol stained floors and seats were mostly only superficial. And the numerous fumigations of the buses and vans to remove my ulcerated smokings should have been deemed a medical necessity cost. I swear the trash bin was dented before I pushed Ted Lyons in it on the back stretch. And I was allowed to take my 100 plus Nittany Lion Collector Glasses from the Terrace Room.
    KKOB 80

  2. My formulae was certainly tongue-in-cheek, as I disagree with the entire thought of paying student-athletes. I thought all of this up and put it online in just several minutes. I wanted to have everyone think a little deeper into what it would mean to become an employer of athletes rather than just an under-the-table employer of athletes like we have now.

    Unfortunately track and field would be deemed "not worth anything" thus making the left side of the equation zero. You're on your own with the negative right side!

    And I only have one of those glasses left. You need one of the "PSU is 800 U" versions from the group store.


Thanks for commenting. Keep up the good work! (Try to mention others to encourage them to comment too!)

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