Market Power

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

Monday, March 28, 2005

A Victory for the NCAA

My co-blogger over at The Sports Economist, Skip Sauer, posts his thoughts on the conviction of Logan Young, a University of Alabama booster who paid $150,000 to Lynn Lang, a Memphis high school football coach, to steer one of Lang's players, Albert Means, to Alabama. It is well worth reading.

In his post, Skip links to a picture of the University of Texas football locker room. Here's the picture.

Here is another link to other football facilities at UT. You get a feel for just how much money is spent trying to lure recruits to this school or that school, but it shouldn't surprise you. D1 college football teams, especially the Texases and Nebraskas and Michigans of the world, generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue every year, but the players receive next to nothing in compensation. In order to generate those tens of millions of dollars, teams need to recruit the best players and to recruit the best players, they need to give something of value to the players. Since the players can't legally be paid their marginal worth, those things have to take the form of non-price rationing mechanisms. Palatial locker rooms are one of those things, and it is one of things that rent-seeking athletic departments will "employ" to recruit big-time players..