The NCAA had $841 million in revenue last year, with most of that coming from TV contracts. The largest contract, CBS Sports and Turner, to broadcast March Madness, is worth approximately $10.8 billion dollars over 14 years. 10,800,000,000 dollars, yes that is 8 zeroes. In 2012, the total revenue of the member institutions was estimated $11.4 billion. The school with the highest football revenue is Texas, with their total coming in at 109,000,000 dollars. The total Texas athletic department revenue was 163,000,000 million dollars. There were 13 athletic departments with revenue cracking the 100 million dollar barrier.
Who is actually earning the NCAA and colleges all that money? It sure isn’t the people who are getting it.
The fact that athletes aren’t considered workers while they are the heart of a multi-billion dollar industry is fundamentally wrong. The attempt of a group of Northwestern athletes, led by NFL prospect and former quarterback Kain Colter, to create a union, the National College Players Association or NCPA, and obtain status as workers is entirely justifiable. They aren’t attempting to unionize simply in an attempt to be paid. They have 11 goals that the union would attempt to accomplish if formed, they are: 1. Minimize college athletes' brain trauma risks. 2. Raise the scholarship amount. 3. Prevent players from being stuck paying sports-related medical expenses. 4. Increase graduation rates. 5. Protect educational opportunities for student athletes in good standing. 6. Prohibit universities from using a permanent injury suffered during athletics as a reason to reduce/eliminate a scholarship. 7. Establish and enforce uniform safety guidelines to help prevent serious injuries and avoidable deaths. 8. Eliminate restrictions on legitimate employment and players’ ability to directly benefit from commercial opportunities. 9. Prohibit punishment of student athletes that have not committed a violation. 10. Guarantee that college athletes are granted an athletic release from their universities if they wish to transfer schools. 11. Allow college athletes of all sports the ability to transfer schools one time without any punishment. I don’t have a problem with any of those goals, and I don’t really know that many people who would.
A popular argument against college student athletes is that they compensated well enough by, and should be happy with, receiving a scholarship. The truth is that scholarships do not cover the full cost of living for students, in fact according the NCPA “The NCAA admits that a ‘full scholarship’ does not cover the basic necessities for a college athlete, but it refuses to change its rules to allow schools to provide more scholarship money.” The underlying, indisputable fact about this particular facet of this issue is that the student-athletes are being compensated which implies that they are workers.
Another argument is that the hours you can do anything sports related are restricted by the NCAA. You can...