Dr. K. Talks About the Tremendous Change of Dynamics in College Athletics

Dr. K. Talks About the Tremendous Change of Dynamics in College Athletics


Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Dr. K. to discuss the elevation of the college athlete to professional and the changing dynamics surrounding it.

Leahy: Dr. K., you called it. After this name, image, and likeness policy was announced, now we have Nick Saban. This is a story at Fox Business, not sports. Fox Business.

Nick Saban says Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is already earning nearly $1 million in endorsement deals. Saban cautioned the new policy to pay college athletes could create unequal opportunities. What do you have to say about that, Dr. K?

Dr. K.: Well, I love Nick Saban. And, of course, Alabama’s program is clearly in as a focal point of what’s going on here. And when asked, he said, I don’t want to talk to anyone about it.

Well, that’s always interesting because that’s not going to happen. (Leahy chuckles) And he then went on to say that there was no precedent for it.

And then when they questioned him about Bryce Young, which you just alluded to, went on and said he is very concerned. And I’m quoting Nick Saban.

I’m very concerned about the disparity of compensation among teammates creating an uneven playing field. He went on to say that everything that we’ve done in college athletics in the past has always been equal. I don’t know where he got that.

Leahy: I’m not sure that’s exactly the case, but go ahead.

Dr.K.: He says, equal scholarship, an equal opportunity, now that’s probably not going to be the case forward. Some players will have more opportunities than others.

Saban also said that he believed that educating his players about the unequal marketing opportunities will lead to an opportunity for our team success that people are not looking over their shoulders at what somebody else is doing or isn’t doing.

It’s clearly documented that a good many Crimson Tide players have already signed endorsement deals. Bryce Young signed on with CAA, one of the more prominent agencies that represent NFL players.

He supposedly also has inked a deal with Cash App. He was a five-star player coming in. He’s projected to be the starting quarterback for Alabama.

And then Saban said, yeah, he’s drawn near to a million dollars and he hasn’t taken a snap in an SEC game. I think it’s the real deal.

And I think as we said last week, I think it’s going to be an absolute bombshell with all these kids. We could talk for hours about it. It’s exciting, but it is marketing.

Leahy: And I think also, these guys are going to come out at the age of 18, and they’re basically professional athletes, and they’re going to have to play at the college level and then to have to manage that.

I mean, they’re going to have people. They’re going to have agents and accountants. And that’s a lot for an 18-year-old kid to have to deal with.

Dr. K.: Everybody has entitlements, there’s little doubt. I think it changes the dynamics of college athletics tremendously. The day of the college athlete, good ones going to school for education could very well change dramatically.

If you’re being paid as a professional athlete, and then how long do you stay? It’s going to change the NFL. It’s a far-reaching decision, but it’s an entitlement.

We all have entitlement. You’re on the radio, you’re a big-name guy in the city, and you’re being paid handsomely for what you do and what you know.

And that’s your economic entitlement. And if an athlete is in the same capacity as an athlete, he has that same entitlement. So it’s just free economics. It’s a good thing to have?

Leahy: Let me put our two storylines together here, and kind of get your reaction to this. We have one storyline, Texas and Oklahoma are interested in joining the SEC. I think that’s going to happen. That’s my guess.

Dr. K.: I do too.

Leahy: All these things happened quickly these days, Dr. K., you know?

Dr. K.: I agree.

Leahy: The other storyline is name, image, and likeness. Eight freshmen in college can get in these big deals. Okay, so here’s what I think.

The superstar in waiting if all goes well, and things don’t happen along the way is the grandson of Archie Manning, the son of Cooper Manning, the nephew of Eli Manning, the nephew of Peyton Manning.

His name is Arch Manning. He’s 6’4. He’s like 208 pounds already. He’s a rising Jr. at Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans. He’s breaking all sorts of records.

It looks like he’s the real deal. As of today, he’s supposed to be the number one college quarterback coming out in the college of 2023. How much does he make?

And does it increase the chances that he’s going to Texas if they’re going to be in the SEC? We got 30 seconds on that big one, Dr. K.

Dr. K.: One, I think he will make a fortune. Just the name alone – being a Manning. Two, I’ll tell you, he’ll be a wealthy dude when he gets finished with his deal signing before he goes to college and where he goes, who knows.

I would imagine he would have stayed in the SEC. It’s going to be fun to watch. I promise you.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.














Dr. K. Drops Bombshell: ‘College Athletes Have Now Become Professional Entertainers of Sorts’

Dr. K. Drops Bombshell: ‘College Athletes Have Now Become Professional Entertainers of Sorts’


Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Dr. K. to discuss the recent decision by the NCAA president to decentralize and deregulate college athletics, which would enable players to become professional entertainers.

Leahy: Well, Dr. K., lots going on in sports this week. What’s the highlight of what you’ve been looking at, Dr. K?

Dr. K.: Good morning, Michael. Well, I imagine you saw this. I’m pretty sure most everybody did. Potential bombshell as far as college athletics is concerned.

The NCAA President Mark Emmert yesterday said, and I quote, “That the time is right to consider a decentralized and deregulated version of college sports shifting power to conferences, campuses, and reconsidering how schools are aligned.”

He went on to say that, “We need to totally rethink what college athletics is all about.” He laid out a vision, and this is the bombshell.

He laid out a vision for the future of college sports, putting fewer limitations on athletes and deemphasizing the role of a national governing body like the NCAA, which was founded 115 years ago.

We talked about this briefly last week when we talked about how the name, image, and likeness issues came up allowing college athletes to all of a sudden become professional athletes in terms of compensation.

But I thought what he said – we were ahead of our time last week, Michael. He comes out yesterday and basically says the same thing we talked about last Friday that things in college athletics can’t be monitored and can’t be controlled. Therefore, he’s going to go, well, whatever you guys want to do, you can just do it.

Leahy: Why, Dr. K., do you think he made this bombshell announcement?

Dr. K.: Well, I think he and the boys have decided they can’t monitor this thing. One, the whole governing body mentality is such that if they outline rules and then they can’t monitor them and they can’t regulate them.

Last month, the NCAA waived its rules prohibiting athletes from earning money off of their fame. Off their fame. Now, these are college athletes, online environments, sponsorship deals, and personal appearances.

College athletes have now become professional entertainers of sorts. And they are now eligible to derive personal revenue. Not to colleges, mind you.

Not the NCI, but the individual. That is a far-reaching decision. In states like Florida and Georgia they go on to say, Michael, at the schools in states where there are no name, image, and likenesses guidelines, unlike Georgia, the schools have been instructed by the NCAA, Mark Emmert, and he says, to craft their own rules.

Which is a dramatic change for anything the NCAA has ever done. So if you think about the far-reaching ramifications of this message delivered yesterday, I don’t know where college athletics goes. I really don’t.

Leahy: You know, can I tell you which sport it might be good for?

Dr. K.: Absolutely.

Leahy: Basketball.

Dr. K.: (Scoffs) Well, that’s a real enigma in of itself. Basketball has been from a recruiting perspective as we all know, lots of college basketball coaches have lost their jobs and had potential serious issues because you had to give a little dough, had to give a little something.

The whole recruiting process in college athletics over the last 20 years, maybe 30 or 40 years, I don’t even know, has really been a joke.

There’s been a lot of things going on that nobody wants to talk about and nobody wants to recognize. But I think what he says yesterday, I think, will have a profound effect on what happens in college athletics.

Leahy: Does this basically say what has been for decades, illegal booster payments to college athletes are now legal? Is that basically what this says?

Dr. K.: Yeah. Absolutely. That’s exactly what it says. They have become college athletes as become professional athletes.

Leahy: Let me just ask you, is this a bad thing in your view?

Dr. K.: No, I don’t think so. One, I think you have to discern the difference between a professional athlete and a college student.

Where the issue and the rub comes in is that the colleges, universities, have taken these “student” athletes, monetized them by virtue of ticket sales and all kinds of refreshments, popcorn, hotdogs, and all the other stuff that goes along with game-day experiences.

Whether it’s basketball or the College World Series or, most prominently, college football, it’s all of a sudden become big business, and universities have taken advantage of it over the years past.

Now the athlete is going to get the chance, and you’ve got to wonder what the colleges and universities are saying. Uh oh, now the price of poker is going to go up.

It’s got to go up significantly. I just think what I saw yesterday when I heard this, I could hardly wait to get on there to talk about it because I think it’s something that will go down in the history books as being a day of reckoning as far as college athletics is concerned.

Leahy: What’s interesting about this to me, on the one hand, I think there are, shall we say, free-market elements of this. It has struck me as being a bit unfair that somebody who’s making a lot of money for the college can survive and can’t support their family even if they’re a young person in college.

But what do you think are the unintended or unanticipated consequences of this? I have some in my mind. But what do you think is unanticipated of this?

Dr. K.: Oh, I think the magnitude of the money.

Leahy: Oh yeah. (Chuckles)

Dr. K.: When you start talking, we’re not talking $10 dollar and $20 bills.

Leahy: Noooo.

Dr. K.: You’re talking about huge money for these athletes. We can just go back and look over the course of well, let’s just take Trevor Lawrence in the last two years.

How much money could Trevor Lawrence have made, and how much money did he make Clemson University, in terms of ticket sales and everything else and a potential national championship?

Now all of a sudden, now the athlete becomes arguably – depending on his talent and skill set – are more important than maybe even the coaches.

The coaches aren’t getting any money. And then when are you going to take a guy like Saban and go, hey, and maybe he already is doing that.

I know he owns car dealerships and all that sort of stuff not tied to his abilities as a football coach, but who’s given a wink-wink nod-nod to not know that that’s where this all comes from.

It’s enterprise. It’s free enterprise. If you have an asset that you want to sell, whether it’s a stock or a piece of real estate, you can sell it. Well, these guys have talent.

No different at the college level, some even greater, as we see when you look at the draft. When you look at the draft, the NFL comes out and takes all these players, they have an immediate value.

An immediate value. Is it any greater the day they graduated from college than it was the first day they stepped in? Yeah, it is.

But maybe in their junior and senior year not so much. I don’t know how much Trevor Lawrence learned in his junior and senior years to make him worth more then.

I don’t know. But I just think this is something that’s going to be very interesting to watch. And I think the repercussions, the unintended, as you mentioned, I think the universities are the ones who are going to be the big losers here.

Leahy: It’s always sort of dangerous to kind of anticipate how people react to massive changes like this. But I do have a couple of immediate responses and would like to see what you think about this.

First, it seems to me that those powerful university programs that have very wealthy boosters, the rich, are going to get richer in terms of talent, right?

Dr. K.: Yes. Absolutely.

Leahy: It’s sort of like competing against the New York Yankees payroll if you’re in Major League Baseball. The Yankees have more money and they can pay their talent more.

And so I saw the booster at the University of Miami in Florida, he runs a chain of gyms and he’s rich. So he’s going to go, he’s going to give every player a big bunch of money.

If you’re a talented athlete and you come from a poor family, you want to go where the money is so you can support your family at the age of 18, right?

Dr. K.: Yeah. Think about this, Michael, where is this really going to stop? Okay, now we’re saying, and then Emmert comes down, goes, okay guys.

You just make your own rules. But now when is this going to happen? When is the university going to be in a position to buy athletes?

Leahy: Yeah, exactly. Let’s stick with this topic. It’s fascinating. I’m delighted you brought it up. And there’s just so much more to talk about it.

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “NCAA College Basketball” by NCAA.