College Athletes Should Be Paid
The short answer, the correct answer, the reasonable answer, the only fair answer is a resounding YES!
Back in the day, in a land far, far away college athletics was not the multi-million dollar gravy train that it presently is. Back in those bygone days, it might have been reasonable to expect a young athlete to play ONLY for the school. To play ONLY for the glory. To play ONLY for the experience. To play for NOTHING. Those days are long gone. Any coach, any administrator, any director that says otherwise is passing on the glory and earning the money. If you’re a college athlete, ask your coach what he’s earning and then ask him why you shouldn’t be earning as much.
A recent Fox Sports compilation presented what the top 20 earning universities earn from college football alone. Just those top twenty schools earns well over three quarters of a BILLION, with a “B”, dollars per year. Click Here
Per Fox Sports, this is what the 20 most profitable college football teams in the country made for their schools in 2014:
- Texas $92 million
- Tennessee $70 million
- LSU $58 million
- Michigan $56 million
- Notre Dame $54 million
- Georgia $50 million
- Ohio State $50 million
- Oklahoma $48 million
- Auburn $47 million
- Alabama $46 million
- Oregon $40 million
- Florida State $39 million
- Arkansas $38 million
- Washington $38 million
- Florida $37 million
- Texas A&M $37 million
- Penn State $36 million
- Michigan State $32 million
- Southern Cal $29 million
- South Carolina $28 million
Tennessee made $70 million in football net profit from gross revenue of $94 million. That’s insane.
Now we know why the coaches, administrators and directors want to keep the athletes playing for peanuts.
When we do a Google Search to learn how many players there are on a typical college team we learn:
There are 115 colleges with NCAA Division I football programs, give or take half a dozen in any given year. These colleges can offer up to 85 scholarships per year, but every team has some non-scholarship players, so let’s estimate that there are an average of 110 players on a Division I team.
If we use the Tennessee net profit number of $70 Million and arbitrarily assume that we’re going to pay the athletes only 25% of the net, then we assume there are 110 players, we get an average earnings per player of over $159,000/year. The twenty-five percent payout to the players is totally arbitrary and probably too low. If the players weren’t there, the school wouldn’t earn anything. But, even at a very, very low 25% disbursement, the player can pay for his education, the player can pay for his car and, if he’s smart, the player can pay for a new house before he graduates. The only reason the young athlete can’t do so immediately is because of a hidebound practice that should have been terminated decades ago.
Can you say, Players Union?
Occasionally you’ll hear from a greedy administrator or an out of touch college coach or a confused director claiming that the athletes should continue to play for the “Love of the Game.”
Can you say, “Do as I say and not as I do?”
These same folks will attempt to placate athletes with assertions that they’re going to graduate from school debt free. A recent study indicated that the average US student will graduate with over $32,000 in student loan debt. I’m sure that’s true, but that non-athlete Sociology Major, non-athlete Art History Major or non-athlete Accounting Major didn’t just earn the university a cool $70 million dollars. HOWEVER, the student athlete majoring in Sociology, Art History or Accounting did earn the university a cool $70 million dollars. Why should that same athlete be satisfied with only tuition and books? He shouldn’t!
These rapacious administrators will attempt to tell students that their scholarships are their compensation and a fair one at that. They maintain that athletes receive a free education and in return they represent the school in a certain sport. College athletes don’t have to worry about student loans, paying for textbooks, the cost of on-campus living, and meal plans.
According to these ravenous universities, the coaches, administrators, directors and professors should earn salaries permitting the purchase of high end automobiles, luxury travel, elegant housing and a fully funded retirement plan while the student athletes should be satisfied with “three hots and a cot.”
The schools are insatiable. They will continue their miserly treatment of student athletes until they’re forced to stop.
We’ve abolished slavery in 1863.
Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. It’s high time student athletes received their own Emancipation Proclamation through negotiation and a fair distribution of the millions of dollars the athletes earn their universities each and every year.
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