The human body is amazing, it is capable of amazing things. We have the ability to learn, adapt and improve. We have to ability to learn a skill and become an expert in it. With being an expert, people will take in regard in what they do and will even pay a fee to be able witness first hand. This so happens to be true today where people bend over backwards to see athletes perform and many companies capitalize on this and bring in ludicrous amounts of revenue every year. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, unfortunately is no different.
The NCAA is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to maintain the well-being, fairness and academic opportunities of their students. However, this non-profit managed to rack in over $1 billion in revenue according to their financial statements. You might as how could a non-profit possibly bring in so much revenue; but, the answer is quite simple. The reason the NCAA brings in so much is because their contracts with television companies such as CBS and TNT. According to an article written by sports journalist Rodger Sherman, “In 2010, the NCAA and CBS/Turner agreed to a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal that will run through 2024.” Both parties liked the deal so much that it later received a multibillion dollar extension. The phenomenon known as March Madness is the NCAA’s bread and butter. March Madness is a college basketball tournament that is held every march and millions of people pay to see these college athletes play their hearts out for their schools. Every year the tournament is a hit and brings in about a billion dollars in revenues based off its athletes’ names and their likeliness without pay. With such high revenues, it brings up the question, “Where does it all go?”
In a perfect world everyone wins where everyone gets a fair share of the billion-dollar pie, however that is far from the truth. The NCAA claims that roughly over 90 percent of its revenue goes towards helping its student athletes through programs and other services; but upon closer inspection, over half of the money coming in goes directly to the schools and conferences. Additionally, since schools are not allowed to pay their athletes, they spend their money elsewhere such as state of the art facilities and also with paying their coaches absurd salary amounts which in turn attracts big talent both on a coach and player standpoint. College coaches are amongst the highest paid faculty members on a college campus. Out of a grand total of 64 schools that partake in the NCAA, the sum of the salaries of the top ten paid basketball coaches alone, roughly amounts to about $50 million dollars (0.5%), which is an insane amount considering the billion dollars it generates during March Madness. The debate whether or not student athletes should be paid or not is still in debate with both sides having strong arguments. Many believe that the compensation the student athletes receive from scholarship money is plenty; however, that does not take into consideration of Division III athletes, who do not get the option to receive a scholarship. The life of a student athletes is much harder as explained by former student athlete Brittany McCullough. She states, “It is expected that you perform at your highest, at all times, and show up for multiple practices a day… it really is a job”. McCullough explains that student athletes are expected to perform to the best of their abilities in their sport and in the class room respectively, let alone maintaining job to be able pay everything else and that can be taxing on the body. Because of unequal opportunity throughout the system, it puts low income individuals at a disadvantage where a school may miss out on great talent because their security in terms of food and shelter may be compromised.
With this inequality of scholarship distribution, if forces may student athletes to get jobs which further complicate their schedules. According to a Kevin Trahan, the NCAA would be able to pay its athletes with the revenue made from March Madness in not one, but several different methods. The NCAA claims that paying their student athletes would be too complicated but in reality, it is not that complicated. Trahan proposes four ways to go about paying its student athletes. First, Trahan explains a 50/50 split for NCAA tournament participants similar to that as the NFL, where the players get 55 percent of television revenues. If student athletes were to receive a similar pay structure, the pay would amount close to $400k per player which is frankly unrealistic, and many see it as too much pay and raises concern for athletes spending the money foolishly. Secondly, Trahan suggests a more likely scenario 50/50 split for every D1 basketball player. Given the math, it would amount to about $76 thousand per player which is still a good payout. And lastly, assuming that what the NCAA claims is true, that it financially does not make sense to change how they currently operate, there still is a surplus from where the schools can still pay their athletes. In 2014, the NCAA had a reported surplus of $80.5 million, and if that surplus were to be dispersed like the second scenario, each player would receive close to $18 thousand which still pretty good. Nevertheless, these are only suggestions on how the NCAA can go about paying their student athletes.
The NCAA is a money making machine that unfairly uses the names, faces, and likeliness of their star athletes and should pay the athletes that make it all happen. Changes in th
Sherman, Rodger. “NCAA Will Now Make $1 Billion from TV Rights.” SBNation.com, SBNation.com, 12 Apr. 2016, www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/2016/4/12/11415764/ncaa-tournament-tv-broadcast-rights-money-payout-cbs-turner.
Tustin, Connor. “Why Are NCAA Student-Athletes Not Compensated Pay for Play?” Loquitur, 3 Apr. 2019, www.theloquitur.com/why-are-ncaa-student-athletes-not-compensated-pay-for-play/.
Trahan, Kevin. “The NCAA Can Afford To Pay Players With Its March Madness Mega-Millions. Here’s How.” Sports, VICE, 31 Mar. 2016, sports.vice.com/en_us/article/mgzam3/the-ncaa-can-afford-to-pay-players-with-its-march-madness-mega-millions-heres-how.