Thursday, April 14, 2011

College Football Athletics: The Case for Unionization

Balance of Power

In college football, the only remaining amateur participant is the athlete.  All other parties receive healthy compensations: coaches, administrators, TV deals, conference commissioners, athletic support staff, college presidents.  The best interest for everyone, except the athlete, is a maintenance of status-quo.  The other parties are compensated only due to the risk and choices assumed by the student athlete.

The students have the least power: their image is sold, their bodies are used, and their time is required.

Anti-Trust: Cannot Play NFL until 3 Years After High School

For three years of a players life, end of high school to NFL eligibility, universities in the United States are a football monopoly.   College football is the only opportunity for advancement for student athletes -- it is the path.  It is essentially required for student athletes to put their bodies at risk for sub-par compensation.

If the NFL allowed students to enter the NFL draft out of high school, this anti-trust question would be insignificant.  However, the 3-year rule appears to be a back-room handshake among college administrators and the NFL.  Colleges receive cash flows from the athletics for 3 years, and the NFL can mitigate the risk of paying a high school senior millions of dollars.

The Only Way Out of Current Predicament

What are the moral obligations universities have to their most productive revenue streams:
  • Athletes receive nominal compensation compared to the athletic revenue: $100 million in revenue for the the top institutions, and their athlete compensation is negligible.
  • Athletes in marketable sports are spending massive amounts of time chasing an opportunity to show themselves worthy to play professional sports: practice, weight lifting, practice, training.  These activities do not often translate into employable skills in other disciplines.
  • Body damage: concussions and other injuries.  What is the long-term cost of a concussion?  What about future income lost because of a concussion?  What about quality of life?  Given more information on concussions, do institutions have obligations to protect the student for the long term?
Largely, I believe unions are detrimental to industries.  However, when the balance of power between employers and employees are as skewed as college athletics: a strong athletic union is the only way to restore the balance and fairly compensate all parties.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

SendGrid Pricing

We use SendGrid to send thousands of E-mails per day, and they make it easy.  Our bill has steadily increased.  Our question, was: "Given SendGrid's pricing, when do we need to upgrade?"  By the way, SendGrid does have a simple calculator on their "Product Pricing" page.  The table below should help you answer that question.

$ / Month# of CreditsMarginal $Breakeven Point