Seattle Sounders Women (W-League, 2012)

Discussion in 'W-League and WPSL' started by GOALSeattle, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. Ben James Ben

    Ben James Ben Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Clarification on "playing with pros". I'm not sure what the situation was with the Whitecaps or will be with the Sounders, but the rule seems pretty clear, if I'm interpreting it correctly. NCAA amateur student-athletes can play on a non-professional team that has professional players (that is, players who no longer have amateur status) only if those professional players aren't being paid. The text of the Division 1 version of the rule is below.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong. I've just started to learn about NCAA eligibility as it pertains to leagues with professional teams.

    http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/D112.pdf
    I note that the rule says "paid by a professional team or league". Perhaps the professional players instead get paid by a third-party as a loophole?


  2. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006

    Read the NCAA publications carefully, the key is always whether the TEAM or LEAGUE is considered professional, not whether other players on the team or league get compensation beyond what is allowed for amatuer status.

    From the USSF wiki entry:

    Those "quality opponent" mentioned get paid. Note the term " semi-professional"
    Some players are not amateurs.


    Amateur status varies a little by sport. When it comes to soccer, the NCAA pretty much accepts the FIFA definition of amateur status ( else college players couldn't play in Word Cups) the FIFA definition only concerns itself with the actual contract and compensation a player does or does not receive. Stephanie Cox gave up an Olympic bonus and victory tour money to stay NCAA eligible her senior year.

    The only thing different is the wording about "professional team", which I think is a carryover from how American "traditional" sports are organized. Most are for-profit corporations. W league teams are 501c3 or similar non-profit entities. I think WPS was by definition professional, so college players couldn't play there. Moreover, entry in the league was through a draft, which is not allowed by the NCAA. As soon as a player declared herself eligible, she lost amateur status.


    It used to be a little different with NCAA basketball and FIBA. There, for a while, college bound Europeans could be penalized if they played for mixed teams. UP had a player (Robin Smeulders) who was Dutch and played on the Dutch NT, but played just across the border for a German club, and lost a year when he came to the USA to play in college. Under the current rules, he could now have come without penalty, and could have gotten the year back if he appealed since the change happened while he was playing in college. But he went pro in Europe instead.

    That is one of the reasons for the recent influx of euro basketball players. The ncaa now accept the FIBA amateur definition as well, and here is no longer a penalty for playing on mixed teams. In Europe, there arent for the most part school teams, the only way for European kids to get experience in either soccer or basketball is through clubs.

    Hockey players in the NCAA go through s similar vetting. It depends on what their youth contracts were in Canadian or USA leagues when they go to college.

    This of course brings up the interesting conjecture that if Messi had signed an amateur contract with FC Barcelona as an 8 year old instead of the pro contract he did sign, he could be playing college ball now. His compensation would be a little different, of course.:p
  3. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
  4. NukksC16

    NukksC16 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Club:
    --other--
    These three USWNT players that just signed with the Sounders.. How many games are they going to miss? With games, camps & Olympics??


  5. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    They'll be missing a good chunk of the season from what I've seen. However, they were able to get the home games front loaded, so they'll be making most of the home games.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/soundersfcblog/2017513089_sounders_womens_schedule_relea.html

    They'll be at all three of the pre-season games and then 3-4 of the regular season home games. So that means they'll catch 2 of the away games for a total of 8-9 of the total 17 games, or 5-6 of the 14 regular season games.
  6. NukksC16

    NukksC16 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Club:
    --other--
    Thanks for the link. That's a decent amount of games, I was skeptical at first but I think it's a great opp for the girls to stay fresh in between camps & national games!
  7. badmamajama

    badmamajama New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
  8. MiguelNajdorf

    MiguelNajdorf Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
  9. MRAD12

    MRAD12 Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    My company is sending me out to Seattle for a while. I'm looking forward to watching some Sounders women.

    As far as Sounders MLS, I will go to the games but I'm a Chicago Fire fan and would be respectful but will never cross over from Fire to Sounders.
  10. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    If you are going to be in Seattle prior to June 20, you might want to buy your tickets to see the women now. It sounds like those tickets are going "fast". The sections are GA, but you do have to spend extra to sit in the covered granstands. After June 20, the WNT players will most likely be gone.
  11. newsouth

    newsouth Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Club:
    Santos FC
    Country:
    Brazil
  12. Katreus

    Katreus Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Country:
    United States
    http://www.sounderatheart.com/2012/3/27/2902635/Sounders-Women-Play-For-Free

  13. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    First off, the characterization of the W league as strictly amateur is not quite accurate. Players have in the past been paid to play there alongside college players. I will cite that before the WPS, Sinclair and Milbrett were paid players For the Whitecaps and Sophie Schmidt was an amateur player along side them in the summers while she went to college. This was in keeping with the FIFA model for amateurism where it is an individual player' s compensation or lack of it that determines a player's amateur status. The league is more in keeping with the Euro model (Sweden, for example) where pros and Amateurs play along side each other. FSU's Talonen played in the same league Marta did before she went to college.

    Wikipedia, for example, characterizes the league as semi-pro where the level of play is driven by professional players.The latest USSF AGM report also classifies them and the WPSL as second tier pro-am leagues.

    The idea that players are playing for free is also a bit disigenuous. Lost in this is that the players in question most likely receive more money by turning down any money from the W league.

    Most of those players who signed are residency players for one of the three North American countries. USWNT players in residency get USSF money under their 2006 player contract (due to expire after the Olympics).

    http://www.soccertimes.com/usteams/2006/women/jan04.htm

    Read the terms. They actually get more money from the USSF in that contract if WPS or other paying league is not around. Up to $70K plus room and board at the start of the contract, more now. With normal inflation over 6 years, probably in the $90K range. If they are salaried in a pro league, the USSF compensation is reduced.


    they are STRONGLY told they have to be playing somewhere if they expect to keep those residency contracts. They are players. I'm sure they want to play anyway. Their alternative is USWNT residency camps - surely not much fun. Even when the WPS paid them, the USSF contract took precedence. Residency players were on a higher base level than other players, and that was because the difference was picked up by the USSF player contract.

    Canadian players not attached to teams will also enter residency camp after this round of friendlies, so I think they are in a similar position. I have no idea about Mexico. The Sounders may actually be having to provide little more than living allowances, but the players are still salaried.

    They are in Seattle because they don't want to go overseas and there are no leagues in this country that can make up the difference in the Two tier USSF player contract. Most of them have ties to the area, and they need to play to fulfill their USSF contracts. If they took money from the W league, their USSF pay reduction they negotiated if there was a women's league would probably kick in. (the w league is not presently geared towards the higher salaries) The cost of living in Seattle is probably at least as good as most alternatives. And joining a foreign team right before the Olympics sounds like a bad idea.

    I suspect also that they have lost faith in the WPS's ability to survive and are perhaps looking to grow the W league as a viable business model. Most W league teams are backed by larger organizations. Some, like the Sounders, are attached to MLS clubs. If they get great attendance, that may indeed be possible.

    I'm happy they are in the NW and I will get a chance to see them play, but they refused salaries for good business reasons.
  14. StarCityFan

    StarCityFan BigSoccer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2001
    Location:
    Greenbelt, MD
    Club:
    Washington Freedom
    Country:
    United States
    Currently the NCAA does not allow amateur players to play on the same team as professional players. Possibly there's some sort of Canadian exemption, but an American college player who joins a professional team (which in NCAA terms means a team that pays any of its players anything more than expenses) loses their eligibility to play for their college team.
  15. badmamajama

    badmamajama New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    USWNT defender Stephanie Cox has signed, it's going to be a memorable season for the Sunders Women.:cool:
  16. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
    Well, half a season. They better win all of their first games, because it there is going to be a night and day difference between their quality at the start and their quality once all of these women head off to Olympic camp.
  17. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Not so.

    If it were the case, there would be no players from College on National teams. By far the Majority are pros. If you think there is a National team exemption, I challenge you to show me where it is. The NCAA D1 Manual is about 500 pages long.

    I refer you to the following NCAA document

    http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect...ion a snap for most, but cases can be complex


    Which includes this little snippet. You can read the whole thing for context.


    Soccer is a little different. It appears that the NCAA accepts the FIFA definition of amateurism I outlined in a previous post, just as in the last year and a half they have accepted the FIBA definition of amateurism for Basketball.

    I know that there is verbiage that says you can't play with pros, but as you see, that is not quite the case.

    The proposal, by the way, was introduced by Ice Hockey folks, and it is being extended to other Olympic sports as reason allows.

    If you think otherwise, please explain how Schmidt and Talonen stayed in the NCAA ranks. For starters, I'll tell you the words Canada and Sweden don't show up in the document in the context of amateurism.
  18. bythesea

    bythesea Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    This is about prospective student-athletes. I thought this proposal was discussed at the time. It means that Development Academy players can play alongside MLS roster players in Reserve League games, for example, without losing their future eligibility.
  19. Ben James Ben

    Ben James Ben Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    I believe that StarCityFan's interpretation of the rules is correct. An NCAA-eligible player cannot play on a professional team with non-eligible players if those non-eligible players are paid. That is according to rule 12.2.3.2.2 referenced above.

    The rules specifically call out the exception that National teams are not considered the same way that professional teams are. I believe that the relevant rule is 12.2.3.2.5.

    (The emphasis on "prospective" is mine.) NCAA Division I Proposal No. 2009-22 does not apply to most situations. It only covers players who play on professional teams before they enroll in college. You can read the full supplement, and I've quoted the relevant portions below. (I also believe that this change in the rules was subsequently codified as 12.2.3.2.1 and 12.2.5.1)

    http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/DI_Amateurism_Cab/2010/June/Supplement No. 11.pdf
    It may be that there is some other rule, proposal, or interpretation that supercedes 12.2.3.2.2 and allows amateurs to play on teams with paid teammates, but I haven't been able to find it. Perhaps there is some unwritten interpretation we don't know about.
  20. StarCityFan

    StarCityFan BigSoccer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2001
    Location:
    Greenbelt, MD
    Club:
    Washington Freedom
    Country:
    United States
    12.2.3.2.4 Exception—Olympic/National Teams. It is permissible for an individual (prospective student-athlete or student-athletes) to participate on Olympic or national teams that are competing for prize money or are being compensated by the governing body to participate in a specific event, provided the student-athlete does not accept prize money or any other compensation (other than actual and necessary expenses). (Adopted: 8/8/02)

    from http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/D110.pdf (page 67)

    I can't say I understand the Schmidt and Talonen instances, but I personally am not aware of any instances where a college player has played on a team with professionally compensated players in either the W-League or WPSL.
  21. Ben James Ben

    Ben James Ben Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
  22. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    (I added the emphasis above)


    The ncaa manual is an incredibly twisted piece of writing, and ncaa comentary on it is often not readily available or clarifying.

    (For example: can rowers trade shirts? Good luck with that one)

    Let's key on a specific college player on the Sounders and her relationship with the professional players around her as it relates to the section you quote. Let's also key on the phrase "specific event" in the paragraph you quote. It is key to what the NCAA appears to accept for playing with professionals.


    Every USSF contract player on the Sounders is professionally compensated by the USSF. They will continue to draw USSF paychecks for their work on National teams and as club players until the contract runs out after the Olympics. The description of the National team contract makes it clear that part of that compensation is for work outside competition with the National team, including professional club play if it is available, and an added amount if it is not. I assume it is so that players can devote their lives to the sport fully. Whether they are paid by the Sounders or another entity for their Sounders play seem irrelevant to their descriptions as proffesionals. They are being paid above expenses, and according to the NCAA, that makes them pros. They are also professionals by NCAA standards by virtue of their outside shoe and clothing contracts and whatever promotional and appearance money they get. Hope Solo has deals with Nike, Gatorade, and Bank of America.

    It would be a huge stretch to call the Sounders a national or Olympic team, or any part of the Sounders schedule as a specific Olympic or National team event, or to say that a Sounders game is one of the "specific events" the manual refers to in the section you quote. They aren't even fully accepted as the National team for the Republic of Cascadia (yet).

    That would make at least Julia Roberts inelligible at Virginia because she will be playing with professional players not at a specific USWNT event. She isn't even in the full USWNT team pool, so that exception can't possibly apply to her. I still don't see any exception for playing with paid club players ( whatever the source of the check) getting a special exception. The 2011 roster lists her as a Junior. has she forsaken her final year of eligibility? I wonder if her coach at Virginia knows?

    Roberts has ncaa status and the people around her are getting paychecks NOT for specific Olympic or National team events. They are getting paid to stay fit.

    The only conclusion to draw is that the NCAA accepts the FIFA version of amateurism, or that the compliance officers are incredibly incompetent. I don't know anything about the Virginia compliance office, but I bet they asked the NCAA.
  23. StarCityFan

    StarCityFan BigSoccer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2001
    Location:
    Greenbelt, MD
    Club:
    Washington Freedom
    Country:
    United States
    That's completely irrelevant. "Playing with professional players" is not an NCAA violation. Playing on a professional team is a violation, where a professional team is defined as (among other things) a team that pays at least some of its players above and beyond expenses.

    EDITED TO ADD: I reread some of my earlier posts and realize that my sloppy phrasing may have inspired this discussion. I did say above that "Currently the NCAA does not allow amateur players to play on the same team as professional players," but in fact that only applies if the professionals are being paid by that very same team.

    12.1.2 Amateur Status. An individual loses amateur status and thus shall not be eligible for intercollegiate
    competition in a particular sport if the individual:
    (a) Uses his or her athletics skill (directly or indirectly) for pay in any form in that sport;
    (b) Accepts a promise of pay even if such pay is to be received following completion of intercollegiate athletics
    participation;
    (c) Signs a contract or commitment of any kind to play professional athletics, regardless of its legal enforceability
    or any consideration received;
    (d) Receives, directly or indirectly, a salary, reimbursement of expenses or any other form of financial assistance
    from a professional sports organization based on athletics skill or participation, except as permitted by NCAA
    rules and regulations;
    (e) Competes on any professional athletics team per Bylaw 12.02.4, even if no pay or remuneration for expenses
    was received; (Revised: 4/25/02 effective 8/1/02)
    (f ) After initial full-time collegiate enrollment, enters into a professional draft (see Bylaw 12.2.4); or (Revised:
    4/25/02 effective 8/1/02, 4/24/03 effective 8/1/03 for student-athletes entering a collegiate institution on or after
    8/1/03)
    (g) Enters into an agreement with an agent. (Adopted: 4/25/02 effective 8/1/02)
  24. newsouth

    newsouth Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Club:
    Santos FC
    Country:
    Brazil
    I'm glad you made this post.
  25. badmamajama

    badmamajama New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012

Share This Page