The NFL Couldn’t Play By Teachers’ Rules


Fran Tarkenton has an interesting op-ed in The Wall Street Journal in which he envisions the NFL being run like American public schools.

Each player’s salary is based on how long he’s been in the league. It’s about tenure, not talent. The same scale is used for every player, no matter whether he’s an All-Pro quarterback or the last man on the roster. For every year a player’s been in this NFL, he gets a bump in pay. The only difference between Tom Brady and the worst player in the league is a few years of step increases. And if a player makes it through his third season, he can never be cut from the roster until he chooses to retire, except in the most extreme cases of misconduct.

Read the whole thing, he segues from the football analogy to point out how the current model isn’t working.

But what if the NFL played by teachers’ rules? Unless it was nationalized, it would go out of business. Watching football is voluntary. It’s funded by the market. People will stop buying merchandise and game tickets. Advertising sales will dry up as fewer people watch the games on television. They would run out of funding in no time. Professional football in America would become like soccer – a game hardly anybody watches.

The only reason the teachers’ unions get away with their scheme is that funding public schools is involuntary; and unless parents have the means to home school their children or send them to private schools, attendance is also involuntary.