High School and College Football in America

Papac

Well-Known Member
#1
Watching Friday Night Lights for the 3rd or 4th time and it made me wonder how they've got that system set up and it's something you don't really get in Europe. Would our players benefit from playing for their local school and then going to university over heading straight into the youth teams and generally dropping out to concentrate on football at 16?

After looking at the draw for the Scottish Cup tonight, I had a look at the opening rounds and saw that Glasgow University were easily disposed of in the preliminary rounds by a team from Prestonpans. I'm fairly certain that every university could have extremely well funded sports teams as well as the facilities.

It's a cultural thing but it's something that we don't really have at all here. Most secondary school teams are thrown together from a trial or two and have hungover teachers earning a bit of extra money on the sidelines.

In America, their coaches are the highest paid state employees in most of the individual states.

http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/st...d-college-football-college-basketball-coaches

WHO'S THE HIGHEST-PAID PUBLIC EMPLOYEE IN EVERY STATE?
This year's Final Four is a good example of why big-time college sports coaches make big-time money. The three public school coaches -- Dana Altman, Frank Martin and Roy Williams -- are earning a combined $7.2 million in base pay this year. But guess what? Not one of them tops his state payroll. Here are the 50 best-paid public employees in the U.S. for 2016 ... and a whole lot more dollar data.

(Many) money men
Of the 50 U.S. states, a college football or men's basketball coach was the highest-paid employee in 39 of them in 2016. If you're wondering why Coach K or David Shaw aren't listed, it's because they work at private institutions. And yes, a few of these coaches -- Les Miles at LSU and Tom Crean at Indiana, for example -- don't even work there any more. (Salary data source: USA Today report)
It seems like there's big money in it in America. With individual clubs down south basically building university style academies and stockpiling talent from around the world, is it a stupid thought to think that universities almost fill that space in our country already?
 

Papac

Well-Known Member
#5
They've got a population 65 times what ours is. It would be near mpossible to replicate here IMO.
I'm wondering why we can't.

Obviously the money wouldn't be the same but the levels of support at local level and participation could easily work on a smaller scale.

A lot of us live in the same area for our entire lives and have an affinity for it. If someone told me tomorrow that the secondary school I went to were playing the 'rival' one down the road, I'd still be a bit interested in how they got on and want them to win.

I can't stress enough that I'm only going on Friday Night Lights and things like Remember The Titans but these shows/films makes it a family and community event. My own experience of it was one that was basically an exercise in hungover teachers earning a bit of pocket money and parents dropping their children off for a few hours to get some peace and quiet.

It seems like a pretty good feeder system for the colleges and universities that we have here and a pretty good feeder system from there into the clubs. Obviously, it isn't the same thing but I'm asking if people think that there could be any merit in it.
 

RFC97

Well-Known Member
#6
The Pro-youth system is ruthless and leaves a lot of lads very disadvantaged if they fail to make it.

I know a boy from school who went to school one day per week and spent the other days training with Rangers, a few years above his age group. Celtic paid a fee for him when he was still at school. Sold to Dundee United where I'm not sure he played, then to other teams gradually going down the divisions. As far as I'm aware he's now without a club, so he never made it at all.

This was a sought after player training full time whilst still at school.

He has very few qualifications as he gambled it all on football - and keep in mind he was very highly rated, so we all just expected him to be a full time pro for his career.

Anyway, the point is that the youth system is ruthless and even the best prospects can fail at the final hurdle.

The US system is much more forgiving in this respect and is maybe a model that we could learn from.
 
#7
The 7 stadiums in the US that hold over 100,000 are all used by college football teams. They are filled regularly. Nebraska has sold out every home game since 1962. It holds over 85,000.
 

steve1873

Well-Known Member
#8
I'm wondering why we can't.

Obviously the money wouldn't be the same but the levels of support at local level and participation could easily work on a smaller scale.

A lot of us live in the same area for our entire lives and have an affinity for it. If someone told me tomorrow that the secondary school I went to were playing the 'rival' one down the road, I'd still be a bit interested in how they got on and want them to win.

I can't stress enough that I'm only going on Friday Night Lights and things like Remember The Titans but these shows/films makes it a family and community event. My own experience of it was one that was basically an exercise in hungover teachers earning a bit of pocket money and parents dropping their children off for a few hours to get some peace and quiet.

It seems like a pretty good feeder system for the colleges and universities that we have here and a pretty good feeder system from there into the clubs. Obviously, it isn't the same thing but I'm asking if people think that there could be any merit in it.
That's good that you would be interested in your old school playing a rival. You would be in a crowd of about 20 though.

High school and college sports in America are a huge part of their culture and have been ingrained in to the way their sports work, with the draft system etc.

It works for them, but that model absolutely wouldn't work here.
 
#9
High schools and especially colleges fill a role that professional teams fill here for fans. The vast majority of American cities don't have professional teams to support, so colleges and high schools fill that role. Here, there are 42 professional sides in a nation of around 6 million people - people have no motivation to be invested in their school or universities success, when their communities have often a hundred years plus affiliation with a professional side in the area, and that's even before listing junior sides that draw big crowds.

Agree that schools and universities probably could play a bigger role in the development of young players (especially secondary schools) but a like-for-like replica of the American model is a non-starter here. Aside from the general lack of interest in these sides from the public, not sure the attraction would be there for a player either - in America one of the main things a college can offer is a discounted or even free education through scholarships, which is useful in a country where college education is very expensive, but less so in a country like here where higher education is heavily subsidised by the government.
 
#10
The 7 stadiums in the US that hold over 100,000 are all used by college football teams. They are filled regularly. Nebraska has sold out every home game since 1962. It holds over 85,000.
Students are free, alumni pay a modest ticket price. TV generates the big money.

By the way, the head of Nike, Phil ?, Recently donated $400 million to Stanford. Their endowment is around $25 Billion.
 
#11
It's an absolutely disgusting system.

They charge the student athletes hundreds of thousands in tuition over 4 years and force them to do some bullshit course alongside their sport, have someone paid in the 7 figures telling them what to do despite never being paid for their service, giving them a grueling training and game routine dictated by TV companies that make money off them and if they ever accept a free meal from a company or a fan they are kicked out of the "college" and sued for breach of contract because, after all, they are Amateurs doing it for "the thrill of the sport, not payment".

All for what? Some small chance of making it in the "big leagues"?

"March Madness" the Basketball tournament in March brings in over $900m alone. How much do the players get?

Nothing. Not a single penny.

Repulsive.
 
#12
It's an absolutely disgusting system.

They charge the student athletes hundreds of thousands in tuition over 4 years and force them to do some bullshit course alongside their sport, have someone paid in the 7 figures telling them what to do despite never being paid for their service, giving them a grueling training and game routine dictated by TV companies that make money off them and

Repulsive.
Don't the students get their education free under a scholarship? Are the scholarships not applicable for everyone?

if they ever accept a free meal from a company or a fan they are kicked out of the "college" and sued for breach of contract because, after all, they are Amateurs doing it for "the thrill of the sport, not payment".

All for what? Some small chance of making it in the "big leagues"?

"March Madness" the Basketball tournament in March brings in over $900m alone. How much do the players get?

Nothing. Not a single penny.
I believe this was the reason Electronic Arts stopped making the NCAA football game, the students wanted paid for image rights Etc. The colleges were already taking money for the image rights and didn't want it reduced due to amounts going to the players, in the end EA cut the game.

It was a big seller too.
 
#13
It's an absolutely disgusting system.

They charge the student athletes hundreds of thousands in tuition over 4 years and force them to do some bullshit course alongside their sport, have someone paid in the 7 figures telling them what to do despite never being paid for their service, giving them a grueling training and game routine dictated by TV companies that make money off them and if they ever accept a free meal from a company or a fan they are kicked out of the "college" and sued for breach of contract because, after all, they are Amateurs doing it for "the thrill of the sport, not payment".

All for what? Some small chance of making it in the "big leagues"?

"March Madness" the Basketball tournament in March brings in over $900m alone. How much do the players get?

Nothing. Not a single penny.

Repulsive.
I kind of agree, but at the same time wouldn't make it out as bad as you say. I did a 4 year degree in the NCAA system for football (soccer) and am a strength and conditioning coach (hockey) in the same system.

As a player to earn my degree I was given a scholarship. The "bullshit" courses i was forced to do whilst playing football allowed me to earn a sport science degree. I don't make 7 figures but I learned a lot science wise, but most of all I learned how to coach and be accountable. My point is, I learned a lot of life skills that maybe teenagers in Europe in academy might not have the chance to learn."
 
#14
It's an absolutely disgusting system.

They charge the student athletes hundreds of thousands in tuition over 4 years and force them to do some bullshit course alongside their sport, have someone paid in the 7 figures telling them what to do despite never being paid for their service, giving them a grueling training and game routine dictated by TV companies that make money off them and if they ever accept a free meal from a company or a fan they are kicked out of the "college" and sued for breach of contract because, after all, they are Amateurs doing it for "the thrill of the sport, not payment".

All for what? Some small chance of making it in the "big leagues"?

"March Madness" the Basketball tournament in March brings in over $900m alone. How much do the players get?

Nothing. Not a single penny.

Repulsive.
Most college football and basketball players are on a scholarship. This would cover all classes and any related costs (books etc.)

They don't "get sued" if they "accept a free meal", there is no contract.
However there are many cases when players are suspended or in extreme cases, kicked out of school if they accept gifts from boosters. These gifts are not a meal. There's been plenty of high profile cases where it was cars, money, houses for parents, paying summer jobs (without any actual work) etc.

Technically you are correct that they are not supposed to accept gifts, but e=it's pretty common knowledge that it happens all over the place.

There are major issues with the system in college sports. The coaches and schools are pocketing a combined billions through college football and basketball. The kids are supposed to be content with that "free" education in exchange, which doesn't seem balanced. Things will come to a head soon, but it's not what is stated above.

The bigger issue is still those kids who go to school and after 4 years, still can barely read and certainly aren't prepared for life after football. Too many living that Friday Night Lights dream.

As far as Scotland implementing such a system. There's no TV money in it. US has about 1.2m high school football players; 60,000 college football players and less than 2,000 NFL players. The chance of succeeding from one level to the next is minimal to miniscule.
 
#16
Student tickets aren't even free at high school games. In college, the football season ticket was part of my kids tuition payments. Unfortunately for me, my son was at Texas A&M when Johnny Manziel was there. He never missed a game.
:($$$:(
 
#18
It's an absolutely disgusting system.

They charge the student athletes hundreds of thousands in tuition over 4 years and force them to do some bullshit course alongside their sport, have someone paid in the 7 figures telling them what to do despite never being paid for their service, giving them a grueling training and game routine dictated by TV companies that make money off them and if they ever accept a free meal from a company or a fan they are kicked out of the "college" and sued for breach of contract because, after all, they are Amateurs doing it for "the thrill of the sport, not payment".

All for what? Some small chance of making it in the "big leagues"?

"March Madness" the Basketball tournament in March brings in over $900m alone. How much do the players get?

Nothing. Not a single penny.

Repulsive.
A large amount of college athletes are on scholarships so are not paying hundreds of thousands for tuition. Athletes at D1 schools also have more than a small chance of making it pro - if they are at a high level through high school and go to a good college they have a good chance of being drafted!

Amateurs compete for no fee to get recognition - it's their choice to pursue their dream and like in most professions - you have to prove you are capable before you get paid for it!
 

usbear

Well-Known Member
#20
It’s in interesting debate in regards to football (our football).

There are some over here who think that when players go from college to the MLS they lack a cutting edge because they have not trained with the pros, like they would in Europe. Case and point being Pulisic.

The MLS is trying to have academy’s where the select players train together from an early age but still go to school.

American high school soccer is painful to watch at least in my community. I have been involved in academy coaching and I can see that changing.

Our 12 year olds have a better grasp on possession and counter attack football than the high schoolers.

Overall the coaching standard is getting better but they are still trying to figure out how to balance the academy experience, education and competing with Europe to develop players. The MLS academy coaches regularly travel to European club for education on coaching kids.
 
#21
You would basically be looking for the support of Rangers and Celtic to give up and go support Strathclyde Uni or something. Also a lot of the cities only have one major uni. In Glasgow we would end up with inter city rivalries due to the number of universities, rather than county or inter county rivalries.

And of course very few of the cities with huge college supports have a pro team anywhere near them, so it replaces that.

32 NFL teams for 65 million folk. We have 42 senior football teams for 4m folk.

There is also the other issue of volume of games. There are very few home games in a college football season, maybe 8 max so its much easier to make a huge event out it rather than the 16-20 home games in a "soccer" season. And the football is often secondary to the event. The entire day is a proper party day out.... tailgate, bbq, bands etc
 
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Mancbear

Well-Known Member
#24
There are now university teams in the league pyramid, Edinburgh Uni, Stirling uni play in Lowland league and Herriot watt in the East of Scotland. In fact Stirling uni were not that far off getting into league two.

Marketed correctly, I would think these sides could get quite decent crowds considering the massive student populations, many non Scots with no local affiliation. There is potential there for an American style college sport system but obviously not on the same scale. Stirling uni give out sporting scholarships for example.
 
#25
Slightly off topic OP but watch QB1 on Netflix if you like FNL (if you haven’t already)
Their High School sport is incomparable with anything here.
They analyse every play on screens and iPads during the game.
ESPN televise games live bringing truck loads of cameras.
They have thousands of folk turn up to watch a player commit to a Uni.

When I played fitba at High School I was delighted to get through a game without doing a slide tackle through a dig shite!
 
#26
The system in the US is flawed, whilst the students end up with a paid scholarship most of them declare for the drafts before completing their degrees. In basketball one and done players are everywhere and now the NBA are going to allow players to go through the G league you'll see players skipping college all together.
 
#27
A large amount of college athletes are on scholarships so are not paying hundreds of thousands for tuition. Athletes at D1 schools also have more than a small chance of making it pro - if they are at a high level through high school and go to a good college they have a good chance of being drafted
Just using American football as an example, as above, $1.2m high school players, 60, 000 college players, 2,000 NFL player. That's a 5% chance of going from high school to college. It's a 3% chance of going from college to pro. That's a .17% chance of going from high school to pro. 1 in 600. Even if they make it from high school to college, it's much less than a small chance they'll make it.
 
#28
The Pro-youth system is ruthless and leaves a lot of lads very disadvantaged if they fail to make it.

I know a boy from school who went to school one day per week and spent the other days training with Rangers, a few years above his age group. Celtic paid a fee for him when he was still at school. Sold to Dundee United where I'm not sure he played, then to other teams gradually going down the divisions. As far as I'm aware he's now without a club, so he never made it at all.

This was a sought after player training full time whilst still at school.

He has very few qualifications as he gambled it all on football - and keep in mind he was very highly rated, so we all just expected him to be a full time pro for his career.

Anyway, the point is that the youth system is ruthless and even the best prospects can fail at the final hurdle.

The US system is much more forgiving in this respect and is maybe a model that we could learn from.
So many stories like this coming out of football in Scotland. There was a guy in the summer interviewed on Rock Sport radio (can't remember his name), but he has set up an organisation to try and help these ex players get qualified or get a trade etc to help them in life. Sounded very worth while and it's a real shame how life pans out for these kids.
 
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