Football Scoop: Minnesota is putting spring football behind a paywall

BleedGopher

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Per Zach:

-- But more than that, Minnesota is not really a football team anymore. It's a media property that happens to play football. Football is now content and subscriptions pay the bills.


As such, it makes more financial sense to put (part of) spring ball behind a paywall.

Minnesota will hold two practices open to members of the public. One, on April 11, will be open to the public and the other, on Saturday, will be open exclusively to members of Minnesota's Dinkytown Athletes collective.

"Being able to have our fans understand the changing of college football. We have a Dinkytown Athletes practice that will be open to Dinkytown members. I urge our fans to be a part of Dinkytown Athletes, which is going to give you a chance to be part of more things that we do. As college football changes, we have to continue to adapt as a university as well to fit that change. Just as some of (the media) have exclusive members, different things you can only look at (if you subscribe), it's the same thing -- to urge more people to be a part of Dinkytown Athletes the best we possibly can."

Dinkytown Athletes offers five membership tiers, ranging from Club ($10 a month/$110 a year) to Champions ($500 a month/$5,500 a year). All membership tiers provide access to exclusive events, but All-American and Champion members buy themselves "complimentary" access to exclusive events, which implies the three lower tiers have bought themselves the opportunity to buy their way into practice.

If Saturday's practice is successful in driving membership, here's betting that Minnesota has held its last spring game, and other programs will soon make their spring practices and even games -- err, content -- available only to their subscribers.


Go Gophers!!
 

I can’t wait to see the other purchase access opportunities.
Go to class with a player $54.99.
Help PJ tie his tie on Gameday $62.50.
Shower with the team after practice $119.75.
Be the salami in the PJ/Heather onfield postgame hug sandwhich $358.99

The ideas are endless
 

And the issue with having a practice open only to Dinkeytown Athletics subscribers is what exactly?

You need donations to help keep players in this screwed up system, you need perks for people to help get donations....makes a lot of sense to me.

Feels to me that Zach (whoever the F that is) is really reaching on this one to try and make an issue out of somthing that really isn't.
 

I have no problem at all having an open practice for DTA members. It’s a good idea, actually.

My problem is having no spring public event, at the stadium. Doesn’t matter if it’s a practice, scrimmage, modified game, or game. It’s wrong not to have anything.
 

And the issue with having a practice open only to Dinkeytown Athletics subscribers is what exactly?

You need donations to help keep players in this screwed up system, you need perks for people to help get donations....makes a lot of sense to me.

Feels to me that Zach (whoever the F that is) is really reaching on this one to try and make an issue out of somthing that really isn't.
I guess my annual $600 scholarship donation doesn't count.
This may turn into a country club. I belong, but can't play golf unless I pony up more dollars.
The outside noise of college football gets less tolerable every year.
 


I have no problem at all having an open practice for DTA members. It’s a good idea, actually.

My problem is having no spring public event, at the stadium. Doesn’t matter if it’s a practice, scrimmage, modified game, or game. It’s wrong not to have anything.

Makes me wonder what they don't want us to see.
 

I guess my annual $600 scholarship donation doesn't count.
This may turn into a country club. I belong, but can't play golf unless I pony up more dollars.
The outside noise of college football gets less tolerable every year.
And therein lies the rub. I am forced to donate money for the privilege of paying for my seats. However, that money goes to the school. Now they want me to also donate to DTA, which goes to the players.

DTA is a private entity that is not a subsidiary of the U of M, but completely separate. So when the players are playing on a field that is owned by the U of M, how can DTA have exclusive access to that while charging money for the right to view when none of it is going to the U of M? Meanwhile I am donating money to the U of M with no such access.

I honestly wouldn't have a problem with this, if they had an open and public spring game and maintained the same open practices that they've had in the past. They could have had the same setup in years past and just added a DTA-exclusive practice that also has some exclusive things like a meet and greet, autographs, etc. But they aren't. This whole thing reeks, and is just the tip of the iceberg. The whole thing has turned me off to the cloak and dagger relationship between DTA and the public and partially tax-payer funded U of M, and will not be renewing my DTA membership.
 
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I have no problem at all having an open practice for DTA members. It’s a good idea, actually.

My problem is having no spring public event, at the stadium. Doesn’t matter if it’s a practice, scrimmage, modified game, or game. It’s wrong not to have anything.
This. If some people want to spend their money to pay college players already on scholarship, I don't get it, but it is their money. And if getting to see a secret practice makes them feel even more like an insider, all the better.

But the point that was always talked about was trying to expand Gopher football interest to the masses. No spring game? Insider only practices? Not exactly growing the interest in the Gophers, just trying to milk some more money out of those already interested.
 




And therein lies the rub. I am forced to donate money for the privilege of paying for my seats. However, that money goes to the school. Now they want me to also donate to DTA, which goes to the players.

DTA is a private entity that is not a subsidiary of the U of M, but completely separate. So when the players are playing on a field that is owned by the U of M, how can DTA have exclusive access to that while charging money for the right to view when none of it is going to the U of M? Meanwhile I am donating money to the U of M with no such access.

I honestly wouldn't have a problem with this, if they had an open and public spring game and maintained the same open practices that they've had in the past. They could have had the same setup in years past and just added a DTA-exclusive practice that also has some exclusive things like a meet and greet, autographs, etc. But they aren't. This whole thing reeks, and is just the tip of the iceberg. The whole thing has turned me off to the cloak and dagger relationship between DTA and the public and partially tax-payer funded U of M, and will not be renewing my DTA membership.
While I don't have a problem with the team doing this I totally agree that the whole thing sucks. What is happening in college football right now is really unfortunate and is understandably turning a lot of fans off to the sport as the focus keeps getting shifted more and more towards money/greed and away from the fans.
 

This is just the beginning changes to college atheltics. What does the future hold? Will Gopher fans adapt or be left behind? Money talks and BS walks to FCS. Teams that will not or can not step up to the plate may be asked to leave the B1G. Remember St. Thomas.
 

They have to subsidize the many non-revenue (low or no interest) generating sports somehow. Looks like at the expense of Gopher football fans. Buckle up buttercups they are coming for you.
 

I can’t wait to see the other purchase access opportunities.
Go to class with a player $54.99.
Help PJ tie his tie on Gameday $62.50.
Shower with the team after practice $119.75.
Be the salami in the PJ/Heather onfield postgame hug sandwhich $358.99

The ideas are endless
Only $358.99? I'd buy.
 



Hmm. Some hot takes to follow.

1) If, say, the school mandated DTA membership for season ticket buyers or package buyers or gate buyers would that cross a line in terms of the school indirectly paying players via a laundering mechanism, ie DTA. Does this scheme inch up to that line? Particularly when the DTA event hours are much, much better than for general public.

2) If player poaching is a legitimate reason for not holding a spring event…teams can still send coaches or even pay the princely sum of (little finger to mouth) one hundred twenty dollars.

3) This scheme is way more controversial than it ought to be. I think they outfoxed themselves when even on a board full of diehard fans there is less than a ringing endorsement of the decision. First create the fans, then shake the tree. Not the other way around.
 
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And the issue with having a practice open only to Dinkeytown Athletics subscribers is what exactly?

You need donations to help keep players in this screwed up system, you need perks for people to help get donations....makes a lot of sense to me.

Feels to me that Zach (whoever the F that is) is really reaching on this one to try and make an issue out of somthing that really isn't.
Agree, huge nothing burger imo!
 


I don't believe Paywall is the motivation. I think that schools on the lower end of the NIL spectrum are beginning to rethink the advisability of publicly showcasing their young talent just as the Spring transfer portal opens up. The "haves" are in a predatory, poaching mode in our current environment; no need to invite them in and give them a menu.
 

I don't believe Paywall is the motivation. I think that schools on the lower end of the NIL spectrum are beginning to rethink the advisability of publicly showcasing their young talent just as the Spring transfer portal opens up. The "haves" are in a predatory, poaching mode in our current environment; no need to invite them in and give them a menu.

You think they want to recruit kids (illegally) based on their spring practice…hope you have a nice tinfoil hat.
 

You think they want to recruit kids (illegally) based on their spring practice…hope you have a nice tinfoil hat.
Portal is open again the last half of April. PJ would have several nice tinfoil hats in various color combinations of maroon, gold, white, and anthricite.
 


Portal is open again the last half of April. PJ would have several nice tinfoil hats in various color combinations of maroon, gold, white, and anthricite.

I realize it’s open. But no one is watching our spring practices to identify players. They have film of the actual games. They aren’t like “wow, that kid was terrible for 9 games last fall but he looked pretty good in indoor non-contact spring ball so we should illegally contact him and try to get him to come here”.
 

Happy to bring any non-members as my guests to the DTA event. We can pregame in my truck. I’ll cover parking. It’s an F-150, base model. Pretty messy (2 kids) but I’ll have a great selection of craft beer and Busch light. I come from the west so will pick you up if it’s on my way.
 

I realize it’s open. But no one is watching our spring practices to identify players. They have film of the actual games. They aren’t like “wow, that kid was terrible for 9 games last fall but he looked pretty good in indoor non-contact spring ball so we should illegally contact him and try to get him to come here”.
I guess that we lost an up and comer like Booker because of all that game film there was to review …
 


You think they want to recruit kids (illegally) based on their spring practice…hope you have a nice tinfoil hat.
I don't think this is the issue....but IIRC, we lost guys to the portal after the spring game in the past, correct? Is it possible that guys who don't play in the spring game, or not play as much as expected, are more likely to enter the portal? There's no such thing as playing time in a practice.....Just spitballing...
 
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I don't this is the issue....but IIRC, we lost guys to the portal after the spring game in the past, correct? Is it possible that guys who don't play in the spring game, or not play as much as expected, are more likely to enter the portal? There's no such thing as playing time in a practice.....Just spitballing...

This is significantly more logical than our spring game or practices being scouted.

Could be the case. Could be it’s a useless game and provides nothing for the team? I dunno. I’ll ask at the DTA insider big time boosters super secret practice I plan to attend.
 

I like the idea of allowing only Dinkeytown athletic subscribers to view spring practice. Maybe more will join for the perks. I’m forced to pay exorbitant amounts of money to live in this state with no improvements in the quality of my life. I get to choose donating money into Dinkeytown athletics as I’m passionate about Gopher athletics and at least get rewarded for it
 


Teams that will not or can not step up to the plate may be asked to leave the B1G. Remember St. Thomas.
St Thomas was booted out of the MIAC because they were dominating the conference at an incredible high level.

I don't think the University of Minnesota has to worry about that. Call it a hunch.
 

St Thomas was booted out of the MIAC because they were dominating the conference at an incredible high level.

I don't think the University of Minnesota has to worry about that. Call it a hunch.
St. Thomas did that with fundraising. Money makes or breaks a program. Gopher football could become the great program they once were as National Champions. Fund raising, money, leadership, sacrifices & all people rowing in the same direction. Using Capitalism, hard work, common sense, marketing & teamwork it can be achieved. "When someone says it can't be done they are usually right." Paul Bunyan
 




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