The Instigator
Alex21
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Saska
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Should professional athlete's pay be based on incentive?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Saska
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/6/2014 Category: Sports
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 804 times Debate No: 60065
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

Alex21

Pro

When I see athletes not performing their best, I disagree to allow them to their multi million dollar contracts. Their pay should be based on how well they do. If they do well, then they get paid more. If they're not performing to standards, they should not be able to be paid the same.
Saska

Con

I will start by noting that many professional athletes are paid partially on incentives already, but what I think that my opponent is saying is that they should be paid almost as if they were on a commission-based salary; getting paid per goal or per tackle or per some other measurable statistic. I believe that this would be problematic because not all athletes play sports or positions where a measurable output is easy to record. Much of the salary would be based more on opinions and would make many more difficulties for the team management.

Professional athletes sign contracts with teams, and in those contracts various things must be considered. How much the team is willing to pay the player, how many years they are willing to pay the player for, how they plan to break up the total money per year, what amount of the salary is guaranteed, what sort of bonuses are included in the contract for various achievements, etc.

I think I would agree with Pro in the sense that teams should be smarter about signing players to massive contracts for long periods of time because they can very easily get stuck in a situation where a player is performing poorly but is locked into a massive contract that they have to keep paying out.

The NHL has been going through a phase where players have started signing absurdly lengthy contracts for large amounts of money and Rick DiPietro (former goaltender of the New York Islanders) is a great example of how wrong this can go. HE signed a 15 year contract paying him $4.5 million per year in 2006. He started for a couple years before having some injury issues. For about 5 years he was on again off again the injured reserves list and in 2012 he was finally waived by his team to the AHL. They have since released him completely and have come to terms to pay him out $1.5 million per year until 2029, rather than $4.5 million per year until 2021. [1][2]

I do not believe that this example supports pro's arguments though. Should players be paid purely based on a positive output? No. The teams have to be smarter about the contracts they sign. Any large dollar value contract longer than 3-4 years is a massive risk for a team. Most leagues now have rookie contract limitations, so for the first ~3 years players are limited to a smaller contract. That is the players chance to prove what they can do. That is their test. If they pass the test, teams will be willing to sign them to larger contracts. If players show signs of injury problems or inconsistency, then the teams should be wary of long-term deals with the players.

Ultimately, athletes are in a field where they can make a ton of money when they are young, but they generally put their health at risk and they are out of a job before the age of 40. The money they make there is important to cover medical expenses following their careers and, for the smart ones, helps them live comfortably after retirement without having to go find a new career path. Forcing players to get paid purely on "pay for good performance" basis would be far too risky for the players because an injury or a slump could wipe out a pay check.

The teams agree to pay the players the money they are giving them now. If they don't want to be paying millions of dollars to players who don't deserve it, it is up to the teams to ensure that they are being smart about the contracts to which they agree. Sometimes the market just isn't in their favor though, and a team is stuck being forced to sign a mediocre player to a massive salary rather than to let him go and be completely lacking at that position. Such is the case with Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens following their 2012 Superbowl victory. [3] That is just basic economics though. When there is a high demand for a certain position and little supply, the value of the product in demand will rise, with less regard for the quality.

Past performance and future outlook are the things that should most determine a players contract/salary. Contracts are important to ensure some level of consistency over time [4]. If players didn't have contracts and were just paid on a game by game basis. Teams would be more inclined to dump players who are injured or in a slump, players would be less inclined to put their bodies on the line for a job with no long-term stability, the level of talent would drop severely and many sports would become much less entertaining.

[1] http://www.capgeek.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://www.baltimoresun.com...
[4] http://sportslaw.uslegal.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Alex21

Pro

Alex21 forfeited this round.
Saska

Con

Given my opponent's forfeit, I will leave my arguments to carry over to the next round.
Debate Round No. 2
Alex21

Pro

Alex21 forfeited this round.
Saska

Con

That was a fun debate.. I will leave my arguments to stand as my conclusion.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
Alex21SaskaTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments were sufficient and required counter-arguments, of which none came, so arguments to Con. Conduct to Con for Pro's round forfeits. Con was the only side to use useful sources, so source points to Con.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
Alex21SaskaTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: The forfeits make this simple. Con's arguments are far better on every level.