Jamie Pollard, head left, who directs the athletics programs at Iowa State University, apparently decided today he'd seen enough of this All Players United business, whereby university athletes have shown solidarity for the idea of getting paid for working their asses off. We must point out, as Pollard must've noticed, that the insurrection is being led by a relatively small number of athletes, considering the many students who play sports for big schools. So he ran to the ramparts to rouse the slumbering legions. Twoth Pollard: "Time for silent majority of student-athletes to take a stand, 'pay for play' is a fallacy by those that do not value education."
(And because I also value education, I'm obliged to point out: comma splice.)
He went on to send up a few more choice flares that might seem more like trolling if he weren't so earnestly counting on university athletes to agree with him.
Yet to hear one realistic plan how to pay players without eliminating all other sports. Value of Education versus Arena FB or D League.— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) September 25, 2013
Ask a student body member with thousands of dollars of debt at graduation how they feel about a student-athlete saying they should be paid?— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) September 25, 2013
Athletic scholarships provide Accessibility and Affordability, two of our nation's biggest challenges facing higher education. #education— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) September 25, 2013
Only one that is going to be paid from "pay for play" are the lawyers. Time for silent majority to stand up and value education!— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) September 25, 2013
Several people sidled up to agree with Pollard's mini-diatribe (hashtag education!). I didn't notice who appeared to be scholarship athletes taking a stand, but hey, remember, they didn't earn their reputation as a silent majority by saying things. Meanwhile, many other people offered critiques. Here are some of the most piquant. (For context, Pollard's salary in fiscal 2012 was $450,000, according to this Des Moines Register database.)
@IASTATEAD just a heads up but this kind of talk hurts recruiting. And look @ how many players are having to borrow meal swipes currently.— Texas Twisters (@TXCyclones) September 25, 2013
@IASTATEAD too bad the athletes spend so much time making money for you that it requires a superhero effort to truly get a higher education— Mark (@mhw_ii) September 25, 2013
@IASTATEAD how about cutting your salary?— Eric Fenstermaker (@EFensterNV) September 25, 2013
@IASTATEAD Why would anyone pay your players?— Al (@JebusHChrist) September 25, 2013
@IASTATEAD easy. Reduce your salary...— Bodie De Silva (@Bodie) September 25, 2013
.@IASTATEAD "We haven't figured out a way to do what's right" should never be a defense for doing wrong.— Dave Smith (@DaveSmith_1) September 25, 2013
@IASTATEAD your entire industry is a fallacy by those who do not value education— Mark (@mhw_ii) September 25, 2013
You can also read the statement the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics released today; Pollard cleared his throat by tweeting it before his denunciations of "pay-for-play," a phrase the statement includes with scare quotes. Its title, "351 Division I Programs — One Voice" seems to echo the All Players United ethos. TL;DR is the athletics directors of this fine country will not stand idly by and watch as people suggest that workers' compensation include some form of cash money, lest we scuttle amateurism as we know it. Hashtag education hashtag millionaires hashtag tone deaf.
Photo credit of Pollard hugging Fred Hoiberg: AP