Skip to main content

ESPN's Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg Involved In Heated Debate About Paying College Athletes

With Monday's National Labor Relations Board decision to punt on Northwestern football's attempt to unionize, the debate over paying college athletes is back in the forefront. One of the most vocal supporters of paying players is ESPN college basketball analysts Jay Bilas. His colleague, former Virginia Tech men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg, is less keen on the idea. Over the last three days, the two ESPN employees, as well as a number of beat writers, have been going back in forth about the issue. 

">August 17, 2015

">@SethOnHoops Of course it does. But, that is the MOST they get, and the limit. Employees get all of that, too, AND fair market value.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@SethOnHoops Of course it does. But, that is the MOST they get, and the limit. Employees get all of that, too, AND fair market value.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 17, 2015

">August 17, 2015

">@JayBilas we undervalue the value of the experience, the network, the opportunity for a lifetime education and the stage they play on.

— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops)

@JayBilas we undervalue the value of the experience, the network, the opportunity for a lifetime education and the stage they play on.

— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) August 17, 2015

">August 17, 2015

">@SethOnHoops Every "regular" student gets all of that. But, they are not limited to only that. Only athletes are.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@SethOnHoops Every "regular" student gets all of that. But, they are not limited to only that. Only athletes are.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 17, 2015

">August 17, 2015

">@JayBilas every student does NOT get that.They don't get the exposure, notoriety, network of contacts,travel, & stage that are invaluable.

— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops)

.@JayBilas every student does NOT get that.They don't get the exposure, notoriety, network of contacts,travel, & stage that are invaluable.

— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) August 17, 2015

">August 17, 2015

">@SethOnHoops They all have the ability to get their fair market value, with no restrictions. The only restrictions are on athletes.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@SethOnHoops They all have the ability to get their fair market value, with no restrictions. The only restrictions are on athletes.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 17, 2015

">August 17, 2015

">@JayBilas you became the Bilastrator because you put to use and took advantage of your college experience.Worked ok for you!

— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops)

.@JayBilas you became the Bilastrator because you put to use and took advantage of your college experience.Worked ok for you!

— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) August 17, 2015

">August 17, 2015

">@SethOnHoops You did the same as a coach, AND you got paid fair value. If the deal is so great, let it stand on its own in the marketplace.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

.@SethOnHoops You did the same as a coach, AND you got paid fair value. If the deal is so great, let it stand on its own in the marketplace.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 17, 2015

">August 17, 2015

">@JayBilas

We discuss college athletes and the conversation of the value of education, experience and opportunity never comes into conversation.

— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) August 17, 2015

">@SethOnHoops and this would only go into play for the two highest revenue sports at that institution. Thoughts??

— Harold Francis (@CoachFrancis31)

@JayBilas@SethOnHoops and this would only go into play for the two highest revenue sports at that institution. Thoughts??

— Harold Francis (@CoachFrancis31) August 18, 2015

">August 18, 2015

">@CoachFrancis31

@CoachFrancis31@CoachMikeHart@JayBilas@SethOnHoops Are we monetizing $60K scholarships in your model?

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) August 19, 2015

">@CoachMikeHart

@SethOnHoops Of course it does. But, that is the MOST they get, and the limit. Employees get all of that, too, AND fair market value.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 17, 2015

">@JayBilas

We discuss college athletes and the conversation of the value of education, experience and opportunity never comes into conversation.

— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) August 17, 2015

">@SethOnHoops Are we monetizing $60K scholarships in your model?

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33)

@CoachFrancis31@CoachMikeHart@JayBilas@SethOnHoops Are we monetizing $60K scholarships in your model?

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@KevinMcNamara33 It's not my model. It's the way everyone but athletes have it. Are scholarships monetized for regular students?

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@KevinMcNamara33 It's not my model. It's the way everyone but athletes have it. Are scholarships monetized for regular students?

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@JayBilas

@CoachFrancis31@CoachMikeHart@JayBilas@SethOnHoops Are we monetizing $60K scholarships in your model?

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) August 19, 2015

">@KevinMcNamara33

— Mike Waters (@MikeWatersSYR)

Yes, actually, they are. In the sense, that "regular'' students have to pay for the education. @JayBilas@KevinMcNamara33

— Mike Waters (@MikeWatersSYR) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@MikeWatersSYR

@CoachFrancis31@CoachMikeHart@JayBilas@SethOnHoops Are we monetizing $60K scholarships in your model?

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) August 19, 2015

">@KevinMcNamara33 No, they don't. Scholarships (and pay) are available to any student except an athlete.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@MikeWatersSYR@KevinMcNamara33 No, they don't. Scholarships (and pay) are available to any student except an athlete.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@JayBilas

@CoachFrancis31@CoachMikeHart@JayBilas@SethOnHoops Are we monetizing $60K scholarships in your model?

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) August 19, 2015

">@KevinMcNamara33 No, they don't. Scholarships (and pay) are available to any student except an athlete.

— Mike Waters (@MikeWatersSYR)

Seriously? Available? @JayBilas@KevinMcNamara33 No, they don't. Scholarships (and pay) are available to any student except an athlete.

— Mike Waters (@MikeWatersSYR) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@MikeWatersSYR

@SethOnHoops Of course it does. But, that is the MOST they get, and the limit. Employees get all of that, too, AND fair market value.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 17, 2015

">@JayBilas

@CoachFrancis31@CoachMikeHart@JayBilas@SethOnHoops Are we monetizing $60K scholarships in your model?

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) August 19, 2015

">@KevinMcNamara33 I'd like to inquire about your availability. Sincerely, $21K in debt

— Ted Conroy (@TedConroy)

@MikeWatersSYR@JayBilas@KevinMcNamara33 I'd like to inquire about your availability.

Sincerely,

$21K in debt

— Ted Conroy (@TedConroy) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@TedConroy

Yes, actually, they are. In the sense, that "regular'' students have to pay for the education. @JayBilas@KevinMcNamara33

— Mike Waters (@MikeWatersSYR) August 19, 2015

">@MikeWatersSYR

@CoachFrancis31@CoachMikeHart@JayBilas@SethOnHoops Are we monetizing $60K scholarships in your model?

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) August 19, 2015

">@KevinMcNamara33 Sorry you paid for school, but that's what you were worth to the enterprise. Not so for jocks.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@TedConroy@MikeWatersSYR@KevinMcNamara33 Sorry you paid for school, but that's what you were worth to the enterprise. Not so for jocks.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@JayBilas

@MikeWatersSYR@JayBilas@KevinMcNamara33 I'd like to inquire about your availability.

Sincerely,

$21K in debt

— Ted Conroy (@TedConroy) August 19, 2015

">@TedConroy

@CoachFrancis31@CoachMikeHart@JayBilas@SethOnHoops Are we monetizing $60K scholarships in your model?

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) August 19, 2015

">@KevinMcNamara33 Let's not be condescending. It's a bad look.

— Mike Waters (@MikeWatersSYR)

@JayBilas@TedConroy@KevinMcNamara33 Let's not be condescending. It's a bad look.

— Mike Waters (@MikeWatersSYR) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@MikeWatersSYR

@MikeWatersSYR@JayBilas@KevinMcNamara33 I'd like to inquire about your availability.

Sincerely,

$21K in debt

— Ted Conroy (@TedConroy) August 19, 2015

">@TedConroy

@CoachFrancis31@CoachMikeHart@JayBilas@SethOnHoops Are we monetizing $60K scholarships in your model?

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) August 19, 2015

">@KevinMcNamara33 That's not condescending. It is true. Scholarships are offered for value to the school.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@MikeWatersSYR@TedConroy@KevinMcNamara33 That's not condescending. It is true. Scholarships are offered for value to the school.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@JayBilas

@MikeWatersSYR@JayBilas@KevinMcNamara33 I'd like to inquire about your availability.

Sincerely,

$21K in debt

— Ted Conroy (@TedConroy) August 19, 2015

">@TedConroy

@CoachFrancis31@CoachMikeHart@JayBilas@SethOnHoops Are we monetizing $60K scholarships in your model?

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) August 19, 2015

">@KevinMcNamara33 Then it came off bad. "Sorry you paid for school.'' Most people have to.

— Mike Waters (@MikeWatersSYR)

@JayBilas@TedConroy@KevinMcNamara33 Then it came off bad. "Sorry you paid for school.'' Most people have to.

— Mike Waters (@MikeWatersSYR) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@MikeWatersSYR

@MikeWatersSYR@JayBilas@KevinMcNamara33 I'd like to inquire about your availability.

Sincerely,

$21K in debt

— Ted Conroy (@TedConroy) August 19, 2015

">@TedConroy

@CoachFrancis31@CoachMikeHart@JayBilas@SethOnHoops Are we monetizing $60K scholarships in your model?

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) August 19, 2015

">@KevinMcNamara33 I pay for tickets to ball games, and you go for free (and eat for free). Should you not be paid?

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@MikeWatersSYR@TedConroy@KevinMcNamara33 I pay for tickets to ball games, and you go for free (and eat for free). Should you not be paid?

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

The debate continued with Syracuse.com's Mike Waters, the Providence Journal's Kevin McNamara, and others.

">@KevinMcNamara33

Yes, actually, they are. In the sense, that "regular'' students have to pay for the education. @JayBilas@KevinMcNamara33

— Mike Waters (@MikeWatersSYR) August 19, 2015

">@MikeWatersSYR That is nonsense. Asking for fair market value is not dismissing value of a scholarship. Total red herring.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@KevinMcNamara33@MikeWatersSYR That is nonsense. Asking for fair market value is not dismissing value of a scholarship. Total red herring.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@JayBilas

@CoachFrancis31@CoachMikeHart@JayBilas@SethOnHoops Are we monetizing $60K scholarships in your model?

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) August 19, 2015

">@KevinMcNamara33 I guess that's the problem. I contend student-athletes are receiving fair market value. Scholarship/Pell/etc.

— Mike Waters (@MikeWatersSYR)

@JayBilas@KevinMcNamara33 I guess that's the problem. I contend student-athletes are receiving fair market value. Scholarship/Pell/etc.

— Mike Waters (@MikeWatersSYR) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@MikeWatersSYR

@SethOnHoops Of course it does. But, that is the MOST they get, and the limit. Employees get all of that, too, AND fair market value.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 17, 2015

">@JayBilas A full Pell plus COA is $10K a year, if that matters.

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33)

@MikeWatersSYR@JayBilas A full Pell plus COA is $10K a year, if that matters.

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@KevinMcNamara33

Yes, actually, they are. In the sense, that "regular'' students have to pay for the education. @JayBilas@KevinMcNamara33

— Mike Waters (@MikeWatersSYR) August 19, 2015

">@MikeWatersSYR So? What does that have to do with anything? Athletes are worth far more. Why restrict it?

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@KevinMcNamara33@MikeWatersSYR So? What does that have to do with anything? Athletes are worth far more. Why restrict it?

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@MikeWatersSYR

@CoachFrancis31@CoachMikeHart@JayBilas@SethOnHoops Are we monetizing $60K scholarships in your model?

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) August 19, 2015

">@KevinMcNamara33 Fair market value doesn't need a cap. And, Pell Grants are gov't money. Why should taxpayers carry the load?

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@MikeWatersSYR@KevinMcNamara33 Fair market value doesn't need a cap. And, Pell Grants are gov't money. Why should taxpayers carry the load?

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@snoopster222

@CoachFrancis31@CoachMikeHart@JayBilas@SethOnHoops Are we monetizing $60K scholarships in your model?

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) August 19, 2015

">@KevinMcNamara33

Yes, actually, they are. In the sense, that "regular'' students have to pay for the education. @JayBilas@KevinMcNamara33

— Mike Waters (@MikeWatersSYR) August 19, 2015

">@MikeWatersSYR They can pay what they like. Do all players get the same playing time? Media attention? No.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@snoopster222@KevinMcNamara33@MikeWatersSYR They can pay what they like. Do all players get the same playing time? Media attention? No.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@snoopster222

@CoachFrancis31@CoachMikeHart@JayBilas@SethOnHoops Are we monetizing $60K scholarships in your model?

— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) August 19, 2015

">@KevinMcNamara33

Yes, actually, they are. In the sense, that "regular'' students have to pay for the education. @JayBilas@KevinMcNamara33

— Mike Waters (@MikeWatersSYR) August 19, 2015

">@MikeWatersSYR Today, some players get scholarships, others don't. In no industry is everyone paid the same.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@snoopster222@KevinMcNamara33@MikeWatersSYR Today, some players get scholarships, others don't. In no industry is everyone paid the same.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@The_Twenty_Two

We discuss college athletes and the conversation of the value of education, experience and opportunity never comes into conversation.

— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) August 17, 2015

">@SethOnHoops Why? Do coaches accept less and gravitate toward the middle? No. They are paid fair market value. Simple.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@The_Twenty_Two@SethOnHoops Why? Do coaches accept less and gravitate toward the middle? No. They are paid fair market value. Simple.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@SethOnHoops This is a multi-billion dollar business. Coaches paid relative to revenues generated in this market. Players should be, too.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@SethOnHoops This is a multi-billion dollar business. Coaches paid relative to revenues generated in this market. Players should be, too.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@BDF4

We discuss college athletes and the conversation of the value of education, experience and opportunity never comes into conversation.

— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) August 17, 2015

">@SethOnHoops No. But, if you think it's such a great deal, let that deal stand on its own in the marketplace. Athletes are worth more.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@BDF4@SethOnHoops No. But, if you think it's such a great deal, let that deal stand on its own in the marketplace. Athletes are worth more.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@SethOnHoops No economist would agree with your last assertion.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@SethOnHoops No economist would agree with your last assertion.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@SethOnHoops You're right. No REASONABLE economist with a working brain.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@SethOnHoops You're right. No REASONABLE economist with a working brain.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@SethOnHoops Again, so what? If it is so valuable, let it stand on its own in the market. Athletes worth far more, schools would pay them.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@SethOnHoops Again, so what? If it is so valuable, let it stand on its own in the market. Athletes worth far more, schools would pay them.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@AB1132

We discuss college athletes and the conversation of the value of education, experience and opportunity never comes into conversation.

— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) August 17, 2015

">@SethOnHoops Does 'Bama pay its coaches more than Western Michigan? Can 'Bama pay more for facilities, travel? Yes.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@AB1132@SethOnHoops Does 'Bama pay its coaches more than Western Michigan? Can 'Bama pay more for facilities, travel? Yes.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

">@SethOnHoops

@The_Twenty_Two@SethOnHoops Why? Do coaches accept less and gravitate toward the middle? No. They are paid fair market value. Simple.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">@The_Twenty_Two Choice is not the industry or not for the athlete. Choice is each entity deciding whether to pay and how much.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas)

@SethOnHoops@The_Twenty_Two Choice is not the industry or not for the athlete. Choice is each entity deciding whether to pay and how much.

— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) August 19, 2015

">August 19, 2015

This conversation is still going strong, after beginning on Monday afternoon. Which side do you agree with?