We have all seen news reports of the professional sports figures doing various
things over the years. The reports on the front pages are usually rather embarrassing.
Usually there is money involved in some way in those embarrassments. Players
gambling on games, players taking money to shave points, referees taking money
to shave points, players holding out for more money from management, management
locking their teams out for more money, owners demanding free stadiums and
other perks for keeping the franchise in the city and on and on.
These things would cease to happen of course in a non-POM economy. Players
couldn't be bribed with money. There is no organized crime gambling. The team
owners wouldn't be the ones paying the players. In short, lots of these issues
simply would not exist if we were using a non-physical object form of money.
So how would a professional sports franchise function in a non-POM economy?
To begin with, those who do the paying would recognize that professional sports
is show business. Therefore, these franchises would be paid for entertainment.
Being physically present in the stadium to see the teams play would be a luxury
as would concessions, and programs so one would have to pay for those things.
Players would be paid after they performed rather than having a contract which
set pay terms before they performed. Those who did the most to improve the
fans' enjoyment of the game would be paid the most. Naturally, this extends
to all those who participate in providing the show from the janitors through
the secretaries and on to top management.
The professional leagues would not be in charge of advertising and could not
pay for it in any event. The teams could agree to hold drafts of new players
or not. Rival leagues could appear. In short, the providing of professional
sports to the public would be a completely free market at all levels.
What about colleges and high schools and their teams? The answer is that if
they choose to have teams and decide to provide their contests as a luxury
to be sold to the public then they are professional sports. Their participants,
players, coaches, janitors and all would be paid accordingly. If they make
the spectacle available to anyone who wants to attend and do not charge for
the privilege then they would be paid for any benefit which the games provide.
If the players appear to benefit, then the coaches and school administrations
would be paid. If the players appear to suffer, then not only would the adults
(in the case of the high school players) not be paid anything for their efforts
but any other pay they might have earned would be reduced.
Injuries would be extremely expensive for those who contribute resources to
such affairs. Those who provide equipment would be paid for doing so but could
lose money if those who used that equipment were injured. This applies at all
levels of sport from the individual recreational sport participants through
the highly-skilled school players in high school and college through the professional
athlete. This means that the quality of equipment and the issuance of equipment
would be much more controlled and regulated by the owners of equipment. As
a result of injuries to players, coaches would lose money they might have had.
also applies at all levels from the earliest pee-wee leagues through professional.
Thus, the games would tend to be far less violent.
Colleges today in a POM economy recruit players. There are a host of rules
provided by the NCAA in the U.S. and cheating in various forms is rampant.
Most of the forms of recruiting in use today would cease to exist in a non-POM
economy. Coaches would probably not want to spend their own personal money
to fly all over the country to scout and recruit players. Coaches would not
be able to pay anyone else to help. Since all education and necessities are
free anyway at all schools there would be no scholarships since everyone attending
would be on the same "scholarship." Players would be paid in college
as they are on any other sports teams for the entertainment they provide the
fans. If college teams continue to be as popular as they are today, many players
could earn more pay in college than they would earn on professional teams.
Therefore, many more would stay in college for the full four years.
The use of drugs such as steroids and other performance enhancers would not
be regulated by the leagues but by those who manufacture such drugs. Any harm
done by the inappropriate use of their product would cost the manufacturers
and all their workers and suppliers money. Therefore they would be very careful
as to whom they gave their products. They would not want to have some rogue
doctor misusing the drugs. Though such abuse would undoubtedly occur, it would
be far less common than it is today because there would be no way to gain money
from supplying such drugs.
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