Monday, May 9, 2011

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Introduction


Following on from my pervious assignment MN76 “IS COLLEGE ATHLETICS A BUSINESS MARKET OR A SPORT? You come to the other side of Sport � Professionalism! Like college Athletics the ecomicial and the company’s gains or status have become the bottom line for professional sporting organizations. The nogiations of million dollar salary contracts, television and advertising contracts, the infurance of mass media and the status of the teams within the league and on the stock exchange becomes the only objective and goal for these organizations. With the ownership of these orgainsations by executive businessmen the bottom-line is always the answer not the fun of the game. Are professional sporting clubs a business organisation? Do we still play the game or are we an employee of a million-dollar business organization? How is the game really played?


Professional Athlete Salaries


Most people in America feel that pro athletes salaries are too high. Current sports salaries are reaching astronomical figures. Players are signing 50 million-dollar contracts and up just because they happen to be pretty good at hitting a baseball or kicking a ball.


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It’s a business decision. Fans pay to watch the game. Numerous companies pay the team to endorse various products. Clothing and apparel companies pay the team to make jerseys, shirts, hats, etc. Different broadcasting corporations pay the team to cover and air the game. All of this money goes to the owner of the particular team. The owners, in turn, then pay their players their salaries. The economics involved in sports today hurts the fans, some teams, and the leagues themselves. The sports leagues can actually be hurt by there own actions. If players were not being paid so much money then organizations would not have to charge such incredibly high prices for tickets to the games and for concessions.


The NBA lockout a couple of years ago is a prime example of money ruining what looked to be a fine year. The owners locked out the players until they settled on a bunch of points with regards to salary caps. These types of strikes obviously hurt the sport.


John Donovan from CNN/SI Wedsite summed it up perfectly, You have greedy owners and you have greedy players, all of them fighting over absurd amounts of money. And, in the end, its the fans who get screwed.


One dispute between the two sides is the Larry Bird Exception. This rule basically allows teams to ignore the salary cap and re sign a veteran at any price. Michael Jordan alone made 6 million more than the team salary cap. The owners want this modified because some teams where just too good. The players didnt want to budge on this issue. Their side on this is that there is no middle class because of the salary cap. This is a very good point. Salary caps are important to keep teams close, but that leaves great players making millions while the good players make too little. The owners are trying to get the most money out of their team. Money problems have and will continue to scar sports and more importantly the fans. What should you tell a little kid who loves basketball, when his favorite player is playing golf somewhere instead. High price players effect fans more than you might think. The Los Angeles Lakers offered Shaquille ONeal $1 million over seven years. The deal will help push tickets for the so-called cheap seats at the LA Forum from $ to $0. That is ridiculous, now the average family has to spend a fortune just to go see a game. Relocation seems to be the new thing for teams to do. In order for a team to be good they must buy good players. If they dont make a profit they must move. The best example of this would be the Cleveland Browns. Despite having some of the most loyal fans in the world, the owner decided to move to Baltimore, where they could hopefully make a profit. Once again money problems stemming from high salaries comes between fans and their beloved game. If the trend in sports doesnt change, I would have to think that attendance is going to drop. Sports popularity is soaring but more and more people are going to have to watch the games on the TV. Prices for tickets are rising pretty steadily and there are more and more premium seats being placed around the arenas. How can the average family afford to go to a game when for 4 people it will cost well over $100. And then you can factor in the absurd prices for food and drinks. Pro sports may soon become entertainment for the rich. The way sports are set up today money is a huge part of how successful the team is. High priced players dont always equal high talent. In spite of the fact that teams with high salaries dont always win, it has been calculated that unless your payroll is at a certain level you are out of the race before it even starts. Baseball has the highest salaries out of all the sports. With the average salary at about 1,000,000 its hard to think of any player as poor. And the salaries are growing very rapidly.


In 181 the average income was $185,000. Compared to the real world baseball players are totally in a league of their own. In 176 the average ball player earned eight times the US average income. In 11 the average ballplayer earned forty-seven times the average US income (Sports Illustrated Website).


Salaries really have lost every sense of reason. On the field money is just a fraction of what some players get. In 16 Michael Jordan made 1.6 million dollars. But since image is everything he made $40 million just in endorsements in one year! All because some companies believe his face will help them sell their product. Sports athletes are hot commodities. Everywhere you look there is a sports related endorsement. Some companies rely solely on sports figures to advertise even if their product has nothing to do with sports (Food and Car Industries).


Here is an example of a Professional Athletes Salary. Kevin Garnett is a 1 year old Basketball player who had taken the A.C.T test three times in High School, failing all three times and had also taken the S.A.T Test once and failed. Kevin decided that he would not go to a collage even though he was the highly recruited #1 basketball player in the nation, and could have had a scholarship to any collage he wanted. So his decision took him to the NBA draft, where he was selected in the first round to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Timberwolves signed him to a 6 year $15 Million dollar contract to play for them. Every year we hear of some new name, some new player in the sports news getting a new record contract which sets a much higher mark and blows away the high from the year before. The average professional athlete makes $1,000,000 a year. The President of the United States of America only makes $50 - $400 Thousand dollars a year, whats does this tell you about athlete salaries, a person that play’s a game for a living should be making more than the person that makes some major decisions concerning a country? When players get paid this much it puts more pressure on them to perform. When players are not making so much, they are actually working for money.


A big payday is a good thing for the person and his family, but might not always be good for the locker room and the Organization writing the checks. “Professional Athletes are making too much money in a society that’s salaries and wages are traditionally based on the values of ones work”. Professional Athletes are constantly getting in trouble with the law. The players have all this money they are going to go out and spend it and have fun with it. You can turn to the Sports page and read about Rae Carrot a Wide Receiver for the Carolina Panthers in the NFL going to court for murdering his wife, Michael Irvin or Darryl Strawberry once again getting busted for possession of Cocaine and Marijuana or the crazed out lunatic Dennis Rodman kicking a cameraman in the groin. Whether it’s Drug violation or Sexual Assault, it seems that the money is making these players behave badly. If we pay these players millions of dollars to entertain us, then it would be great if they could stay out of jail long enough so that the fans can see them play, but most of them end up getting out of prison and found not guilty of the crime because of who they are how much they are worth and how powerful they are.


Professional Sports Due to the greediness of sports figures, professional athletes are not punished in the same manner as other professionals are. It is like they are in a completely different group that uses an entirely different set of morals. Team owners care more about making their money than they do about setting a good example for young kids and making pro sports fun again rather than a business. Three good examples of this greediness are Roberto Alomar and Dennis Rodman. Team owners and their respective leagues need to do something to turn this situation around before they have murderers and rapists playing sports for millions of dollars a year. Roberto Alomar makes 5.5 million dollars a year due to his stellar defense and five Gold Gloves. He is one of majors’ best all-around players and destined for the Hall of Fame, but he has performed one of the most unthinkable acts in all of sports. In a 16 playoff game, Alomar was up to bat and then Umpire (John Hirschbeck) called Alomar out on strikes. Alomar went back to the dugout where he started to argue the call with Hirschbeck who finally tossed Alomar. Oriole’s manager (Davey Johnson) along with Alomar went racing to home plate to argue the ejection. As Alomar was being pushed away by Johnson, he spat at Hirschbeck. Alomar was suspended for five games, which was to be served at the beginning of the 17 season, so he could continue to play in the playoffs. In my opinion, this act was indefensible and warranted a stiffer penalty than a five-game suspension. Major league umpires threatened to strike during the playoffs due to Alomar’s behavior and inadequate punishment. I believe that the league did not suspend Alomar during the playoffs because he is such a high profile player that he brings in enough money for the league that officials felt they could justify their actions. Dennis Rodman, the National Basketball Association’s bad boy, is notorious for getting in trouble. In a January 15, 17, game, Rodman lost his balance after going for a rebound. He fell into a row of photographers where he kicked one of the photographers in the groin. The photographer, who doubled over in pain, was removed on a stretcher and taken to a nearby hospital. Rodman only received an eleven-game suspension, was fined $5,000 by the league, and ordered to get counseling. Compared with millions of dollars in salary he is paid a year for playing basketball that fine is just a slap on the wrist. That fine is less than one percent of his annual salary. Someone who makes $0,000 a year would be fined more for littering. This is not the way reasonable people should conduct themselves. All of the situations mentioned prove one point. Professional sports are corrupt and need to have a serious facelift when it comes to punishment. If something is not done soon, professional athletics will crumble due to lack of support and former team owners will have to turn to illegal activities like some of their players to make money.


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