Saturday Oct 23, 2021

March Madness – Should College Athletes Get Paid?

The NCAA Basketball March Madness tournament is now in full swing. The games are full of surprises, fans young and old cheering for their team, support challenges are everywhere. America loves this tournament.

The NCAA, colleges and universities, college coaches and television stations and advertisers love this tournament too. The tournament is a great source of income for all parties. In 2010, the NCAA signed a 14-year media rights agreement with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting for $ 10.8 billion. For 2012-13, NCAA revenue is projected at $ 797 million, with $ 702 million coming from the Association’s new rights agreement with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting and the other $ 95 million in revenue generated from ticket sales. and the sale of merchandise.

According to the NCAA, college athletic programs make big money for colleges. NCAA ticket sales, television, radio, alumni donations, royalties, and distributions combined generate more than $ 6.1 billion in annual revenue for colleges. This is a lot of money for schools. It is also a wonderful marketing tool for universities.

The opportunity to contribute big money to participating colleges with winning programs pushes colleges to recruit the best coaches to create winning sports programs. A winning record means more national exposure, which in return generates a lot of money and is a tremendous marketing campaign for universities. Unlike paying for national advertising, universities are paid for this huge national exposure.

Therefore, finding a coach who can bring a winning program to a university is extremely important. Many schools now offer multi-million coach salaries to attract the best. These multi-million dollar salaries are small investments that can generate huge returns for winning college programs.

With all this money being made by universities, television stations, merchants, advertisers, and coaches, many college players have asked themselves, “Where is my share?” After all, the players are the main attraction at these sporting events, so to speak.

Many college athletes believe that they should be compensated for the roles they play. This was highlighted years ago with the “Fab Five” at the University of Michigan. The entire starting team was made up of freshmen, and they were able to lead Michigan to a championship game in their freshman year.

This almost mythical group of young athletes became a national sensation. Merchandise featuring the Fab Five, television, radio, print media, college, etc. all generated incredible income. The five freshmen, who were the Fab Five, received no income from their national fame. Does it seem fair to you when many were impoverished children with families who could barely eat?

Is it correct that none of the Division I college players share the massive income enjoyed by so many other individuals and entities generated by the stellar performances of the players?

While the potential for media exploitation of these young student-athletes is an issue that should be addressed, I actually believe that the system, as it stands now, is fair. Universities recruit young men and women to play in their respective schools and award them sports scholarships.

The reason we have colleges and universities is to educate our young people. Colleges expect star performances for their initial investments, giving college players a 4-year college education with full pay. In return, their education is free.

While many others, again, television stations, radio stations, colleges, universities, coaches, etc., are making huge sums of money from great college athletic performances, athletes receive nothing besides their athletic scholarships. That is their compensation and I don’t think the students require anything else. The system is not perfect, but it works. I don’t see it changing anytime soon. Enjoy performances during the remainder of March Madness from our young college athletes who we hope will receive a great education and pursue wonderful careers.

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