Friday, August 21, 2015

The Best Thing on the Internet. Ever.

The commercial for Madden 16 made me laugh so hard I cried. I love the 'taches on Gronk, Franco, and McLovin. They make me want to shave my beard off.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Searchable Databases Available at My New Site,

I created a new site, Snoozle Sports, so users and create their own queries for generating statistics for college football and NFL stats downloads. On this site you can make custom queries, download CSV and XML files, and see visualizations of the data for teams. It's still early in it's development, but I wanted to get out my 0.1 version before the regular football seasons started. I still need to add the play-by-play data and lines to the new site, and they'll be soon.

I won't be taking down the stats on this site, and I will continue updating them throughout the season like I did last year, but basically this new site will be a new tool for you to use.

The site is named after my dog, Lady, whose nickname was Snoozle, she died right before, I started building this site so I named it honor of her.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

College Athletes Should Be Paid $90,000/Year

By my calculations, the average college athlete should be making $90,000/year. How did I come to that number? I compared the average salaries of other professional athletes to the amount of revenue their leagues brought in to get a ratio of how much an average salary for an athlete should be. 

In the table below I have the estimated revenue, average salary, and my estimate of the total league players salary and ratio of salary/revenue for each of the four major North American Leagues

LeagueRevenueAverage Player Salary/YearEstimated Number of Players Estimated Revenue Per PlayerRatio of Salary to Revenue
NFL$11,000 mil$1.9 mil1696$6.48 mil29%
MLB$7,000 mil$3.3 mil750$9.3 mil35%
NBA$5,000 mil$5.2 mil450$11.1 mil45%
NHL$3,300 mil$2.5 mil810$4.07 mil58%

The revenue and salaries were from the Major Professional Sports Leagues in the United States and Canada Wikipedia page and the number of players in the league was calculated as the roster size of teams (53 NFL, 25 MLB, 15 NBA, and 27 NHL) multiplied by the number of teams per league (32 NFL, 30 MLB, 30 NBA, and 30 NHL). The range of league ratios ranges from 29% to 58%.

As a note, the NFL collective bargaining agreement is 47%, so either the numbers are off, or the NFL has revenue that is not part of the collective bargaining, and it looks like the NHL union has done a great job with negotiating with the league.

Using this knowledge I calculated what the salary NCAA athletes should be making by estimating the revenue of a NCAA D-1 athletics departments at about $4,800 mil. I got his number from the ESPN college sports revenue and expenses from 2008. The median revenue was $40 mil for 2008 and I multiplied that by the number teams at 120. Then I estimated the number scholarship athletes at a school to 150. This number is rough since schools have varying sports per school, but I figured 68 football, 30 both basketball teams, 20 baseball and softball, 10 swimming, 10 tennis, and 12 as fudge factor. I decided a fair wage would be about 40% of the athletics department revenue based on the fact that college athletics is not the cash cow professional sports are and there is more overhead in the athletics departments. For the year 2008, that would put a fair salary at $80,000/year for 2008. With an growth estimate at 2% for 6 years that would put athletes at about $90,000/year for 2015.

The median revenue/athlete in NCAA D-1 is about $300,000, with that much revenue paying athletes is just plain fair. Undergrad research assistants help professors generate income through research and they get money, graduate teaching assistants generally get a scholarship plus a stipend for their teaching and research efforts, why are college athletes getting only getting their tuition and room and board paid for? At my alma mater, New Mexico State University, the athletic department brought in $25 mil for 2008, and I estimate the average football player with tuition, books, room and board cost the university about $20,000, based on 150 athletes that is about $ 3 mil in expenses, or athlete expense to revenue ratio of 12%. NMSU's athletics program is dwarfed by programs like Alabama or Texas where the ratios will be even lower at about 5% athlete expense to revenue ratio.

I propose the NCAA schools pay their students a flat salary across the board on top of their scholarships, say $45,000/year (which is more than I made as a grad student) plus the scholarship students would be earning at the school. This will be the salary per scholarship player across all sports to keep in the spirit of Title 9. This flat salary would prevent rich schools like Notre Dame or Alabama from buying players off. Also, the money would encourage students from dropping out due to the higher opportunity costs. I know in sports that are not football or basketball, coaches can split scholarships across multiple players, the coaches can still do that for those sports.

This is America, when people participate in the capitalist system they should be compensated for their hard work, and I think college athletes are not getting their fair shake.

This is an updated version of an article that was originally posted on my sibling blog, Dr. Wag's Pattern Recognition.