Market Power

Musings by an academic economist on the power of markets and the power over markets.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

If You Can't Pay Them

It's letter-of-intent day for college football teams. Missouri got themselves Chase Daniels, the EA Sports High School Player of the Year, the top honor in high school football (I'm told). That makes three Chases that will be on the Tigers.

I've never played organized sports - only disorganized sports - so I have never been involved in recruiting. College teams are not allowed to pay their players, so the creative juices get flowing to try and figure out ways to get kids to come to their schools. Eric at Off-wing Opinion has this piece that focuses on comic books in which the recruited athletes star.

[T}here was the case of Ben Olson, the quarterback who redshirted at BYU, then went on a Mormon mission before deciding he didn't want to return to Utah. According to The Sporting News, Olson received a comic book from Oregon, in which he stars as "The Gunslinger."

Again, there was a catch. The Ducks sent Olson only half of the comic book. The other half, Olson was told, could be picked up when he visited Eugene. He never did, and ultimately committed to UCLA.

Oregon was more successful in its recruitment of James Finley, a junior college wide receiver. Finley also received a comic book, which features Mike Bellotti agonizing on the sidelines during a close game before Finley catches the winning touchdown, leading to a frame featuring Phil Knight (of Nike - Phil) celebrating in his skybox.
What's next? Video games? Probably.

The folks at the University of Michigan used to put out economist trading cards. I think we need to have economist comic books. It'd be a great fund raiser.