The idea of rewarding college athletes with money is not foreign to this modern day society, especially to the contemporary student-athlete, coach, and fan. After all, the money that they’d be getting a percentage of is the money that they ultimately produced. This production of money ranges from multiple phases and aspects of the sports business as a whole, for example: jerseys, video-games, tickets, apparel, commercial spots, etc. Big time players, such as a ’Jonny Manziel’ can rake in millions almost immediately off of a stellar performance in a big game. Studies even support the ‘Flutie Effect’ which is when undergraduate admission skyrockets due to a great season by a sports team, not only are athletes bringing friends, but they are basically recruiting students. (Silverthorne) There is no doubt that the players put in the work, being a college athlete is in every sense a job, except for the fact that we don’t get paid. Is it not because of our sport that we can’t get an actual job? We can’t be a regular student and get a job because we have no time.
-“Despite devoting forty to sixty hours per week to their sport most of the year, Division I football players lack basic economic rights under the NCAA’s cartel restrictions.” (Nation)
We wake up early mornings to lift and watch film for hours, we have long extensive sessions about game review, and/or game preparation, we work on our technique on and off of the field, we put our bodies on the line for our university, and all we can get is a scholarship. “A typical training camp day entails mandatory meetings, film sessions and practices from 6:30 am to 10:30 pm. Sorry, but that is a job, not an extra-curricular activity.” (Nation) Even with all of this being said, some still argue that a scholarship is enough compensation, and that student-athletes are students then athletes, they argue that education is the important part. This is ironic due to the fact that most college’s athletic programs produce and bring in more money than the academics do, plus the last time I checked, no one bought a ticket to go watch a bowl game because the academics were outstanding.
WHAT THE NCAA HAD TO SAY:
This is another counterargument that many use, that college athletes are ‘amateurs’… Jadeveon Clowney, 6”6’, 250lbs+, sub 4.6 40yd dash, had an NFL ready body probably straight out of high school but, by the ways of the system, was forced to play college before getting paid in the NFL. Which raises the question, what is the difference between college and the pros? It’s definitely not the money produced. Here are some numbers: The NCAA Basketball Tournament known as March Madness, arguably produces more money than the Super bowl, depending on what you count. (Video) The NCAA has a deal with Turner Television and CBS for roughly $11 billion over the course of 14 years. (O’Toole) One NCAA tournament (March Madness) accounts for around 90% of the income from college sports. (Morgan) In 2012, it was recorded by Business Insider that the University of Texas produced $95-million plus, which was more than any college in the U.S. (Morgan) “These revenues come largely from broadcast rights, ticket sales and merchandising.” (Morgan) Ticket sales and merchandising, the top tier things that athletes have a major effect on. There’s no coincidence that the variable are directly relater either, the better we play, the more they make. It’s damn near slavery, we work long hard hours for someone else to make money off of us. Are we just a tool? There are press conferences and public events, practices and meetings, and all of these various MADATORY things that we must attend. It’s not like we get a break either, ‘the off season’ they say. What offseason? As the saying goes, “Off season events may not be mandatory, but neither is your playing time.” Isn’t it mind blowing how athletes get recruited to go to certain universities and some get in trouble for taking money and offers? These things could easily be eliminated if they could legally offer money, this would concurrently remove the rules of suspension due to ‘corrupt’ deals. Athletes like Reggie Bush, Cam Newton, and many more could be paid what they actually deserved vs. facing accusations for making mistakes as ruled by the NCAA. But let’s be real here, anyone with the real power to change these things is capitalizing off of this system whether it be the board, the commissioner, or even coaches; money is hard to turn down, but only when you’re not an athlete.