The root of my struggle is I have some sort of internal battle of capitalism vs. everything that doesn’t sound like capitalism. I understand that in the terms of sports, certainly there’s an advantage to not have capitalism running rampant for the competitive stability and balance amongst league members, and that it’s a little different than the way “capitalism” operates in the sense of a micro, macro or global economy. But I think part of this jealousy (they can't have more money, b/c they already make "enough") vs. greed (why make billions when you could make $300M?) world that we live in is due to the unfortunate material obsession that our culture has today. I think another determining factor has to do with the stat laden world we live it. So when lists like these are brought to our attention, those not at number one have a problem.
Follow the jump to read more on my struggles.
What comprises those figures? Obviously the Conference TV contracts, logo licensing and apparel, ticket price multiplied by stadium seating capacity (divided by overhead of course), donor contributions and many factors, all of which I am probably not aware of. So my question is, where does it stop when it comes to revenue? Everyone likes to say “well look what the B1G does, they’re fair and do it right.” If that is so, explain to me why Ohio State is as perennially #2 on the list as Texas is #1? Life in short is not fair. It has always been unequal by nature. Why don’t we hear Northwestern or Illinois barking about needing to split equally among members the money THE Ohio State makes off of their logo because it happens to be more iconic than theirs? Do we ask Pickens to contribute equally to each of the Big 12 schools? BSFS holds only 50,000 and UT holds 101,000 so do we ask the league to average out stadium capacities across the league with ticket prices as well? Schools like OU and Nebraska spent decades dumping resources into their football teams, while K-state and KU made basketball a priority. Nothing wrong with either approach. But to now require equal TV time for football teams because for the past 40 years two schools focused on building a program while 1 team has only done such a thing for the past 20 years and the other a small 3 year window in the 2000s simply is not fair to the programs who made it a point to build some cache.
I fear I probably didn’t divorce personal political opinion from this piece as much as I would have liked to. I just always struggle with punishing/hating the innovators in society, because others don’t want to work against the environment they are surrounded by to try and achieve things for their own. Look closer at the list, and think about why you don’t hear much out of KU. Well they are doing pretty peachy because they found something that worked for their circumstances. It’s a bouyie system. It’s like when the EU formed and Germany got pissed b/c other countries diluted their economic strength. KU would have to sacrifice some of their $6M they net in tier 3 rights in basketball season. Keep in mind, they have quite a bit of capital improvements they are continuing to pay on as well as buying out an overweight contract still to this day, in addition to paying nearly $1M per win in a football season. The problem to me is the lack of innovative/creative people trying to figure out how to best position their product.
Certainly K-state does not have the ability to come up with a cash cow (bull) like the LHN. But at the same time, K-state is the only school I care about, and considering we don’t have to support a diving team, a women’s soccer team, a wrestling team etc. I am just happy to know we are operating within our reason and are apparently kicking ass at it. I think we were one of 29 institutions or something like that to operate in the black as an athletic department. But to me, the LHN was simply something where whoever happened to be #1 was trying to beat themselves, in order to insure they remain number 1. Did you expect them to just become complacent and let others surpass them? Certainly I would be disappointed in my leadership if they just laid back and accepted life as they know it as good enough. When you’re #1 you’re constantly checking your rear-view mirror and blind spots. George Steinbrenner is hated for similar reasons as Texas. Based on environment (geographic location) they have an inherent advantage, but he found a way to go beyond that to further insure the #1 position. So when it comes to tier 3 rights, I have little problems with UT keeping what they have worked to achieve. As part of an “equalizing” factor, I do appreciate shared revenue between tier-1 and tier-2 contracts. Right, wrong or indifferent I feel I have outlined what I struggle with.
I assume my opinion shall be agreed with, disagreed with and perhaps even polarizing. I just thought it was time to rant. I probably won’t rebuttal with anything (yeah, good luck buddy) and rather just read through your comments and take in your opinions and reflect internally on them to help me decide where I want my opinion to go/what sounds the most true. I certainly don’t know if my perspective is right, so more than anything I think this will be a reflection piece for me. Most definitely there are probably flaws to my assumptions as well, by no means am I 100% informed.