Last September, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) cut a deal with CBS for a fourteen year, eleven billion dollar contract to broadcast the infamous March Madness basketball tournament. The NCAA also agreed to include sixty-eight teams instead of the previous sixty-five. Currently, there’s talk again between the NCAA and CBS of expanding the tournament to ninety-six teams- all because of money. Of the eleven billion dollars the NCAA will rake in over the coming years, the players actually playing in the games will not get a single cent profit. According to Martin Manley, a prestigious statistical sports analyst, if each player from the 346 Division I schools split the eleven billion evenly, they would receive $2 million each. Similarly, The University of Texas just made a deal with ESPN, a popular sports show, for 300 million dollars to create their own TV station. This station will showcase Texas and carry most of their football and basketball games (Hiestand). This argument is not about handing collegiate players $2 million dollars, it’s about giving them a small cut of the billions of dollars they generate. Athletes that play on revenue-producing teams should get some type of monetary reward for the millions of dollars they bring in to their school and the NCAA.
The number one argument proposed by skeptics of this plan is the fact that most athletes at the DI level receive scholarships. The people who pose this argument have no idea how much time the players at Division I level programs put into their sport, leaving them with no time to work for spending money. In the regular season, the student-athlete’s time is filled with recovering from the last game and preparing for the next opponent at the same time, on top of the same school-work as any other college student. They have practice every night and have weightlifting in the morning. After the regular season is over, the athlete has three weeks until preparation for the next season begins. They get those three weeks and a couple days off around the holidays, and that’s it.￼
Off-season training takes up as much time as in-season training, if not more. When could they work? A full ride scholarship on average is worth about $44,000, which isn’t even close to the 11 billion dollars college football and basketball players bring to the NCAA and their schools. The second most popular argument against paying college athletes is that if they got paid, they would be considered professionals. The NCAA should change this rule. It only encourages “under the table” deals where college boosters pay the top high school athletes to come to their school and dominate their playing fields. These types of deals are illegal by current standards, but there would be no need for these kinds of shady agreements if it was made legal.
Firstly, paying revenue-producing athletes would encourage the...