The report is titled Playing Senior Inter-County Gaelic Games: Experiences, Realities and Consequences and it presents a huge volume of data on the self-reported experiences of the players.* Probably my favourite picture in the report is Figure 6.26 (reproduced below). Allowing for all sorts of potential biases in the responses, it is a pretty impressive endorsement of the experience. Much of the report detailed the demands on these amateur players but the bottom line was that virtually all respondents agreed with the statement "I am glad I made the choice to play inter-county".
The beauty of Figure 6.26 is that it gets to the essence of the issue. Admittedly, it is being asked after the decision. However, as Professor Eamon O'Shea said at the launch of the report, there is a revealed preference issue here. The guys chose to play. They were prepared to pay the price.
Of course, sportspeople are prepared to haggle about the price (or other elements). Those who play Gaelic Games successfully lobbied for government funding in the form of grants to players. I have encountered a few students, from various sports, who initially seek special treatment because of the impact of the sporting endeavours on their academic performance. (They could do with remembering that Lombardi's words have wider significance - whether it is sporting or academic achievement, "you've got to pay the price".)
The value of the report is that there are concerns about the price paid by inter-county players. It is important that playing inter-county remains within the price range of most.
[* I was a member of the Oversight Committee for the Report.]