Ultimate Exploitation Essay

1708 words - 7 pages

Only a few elite individuals are fortunate enough to play football or basketball at a division one university. Most people have a perception that these athletes are on full ride scholarships and can afford everything they need in college. Well this is incorrect; in fact these division one athletes have to pay to live comfortably, even though they are making their schools millions of dollars from their talents being showcased. They are being taken advantage of and a change must come. College athletes, who play football and basketball at the division one level should, be paid for their talents since the money and notoriety they earn for their school far exceeds the money they are given in scholarships.
College football is a multi-billion dollar industry in which the sole generator of its profits are not paid. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) states “You are not eligible for participation in a sport if you have ever taken pay, or the promise of pay, for competing in that sport” (“Remaining Eligible: Amateurism” 2). The athletes are sacrificing their time and bodies for their school’s division one football team. To be specific, the eight major conferences which are the American, Pac-12, Big 10, Big 12, Southeastern Conference, and Atlantic Coastal Conference have an eight year contract with ABC worth 930,000,000 dollars to televise the Bowl Championship Series games. There are only five of these BCS games per year; each team that plays in a BCS game will receive 17,000,000 dollars. Since these schools share that money equally with its conference members, sixty-two division one teams will share the money with their conference members. This equates to each team dividing up 116,000,000 dollars (Eitzen 1). Ironically the athletes responsible for getting their team to these high profile games w¬¬¬¬¬¬ill not see a dime of this money. This is the only industry in the United States where its prime producers are not paid a wage or a salary. Brian Hernandez, a former division one football at the University of Utah said, “The school made billions of dollars off of the football team and that money also supports other sports” (Personal interview). Coaches are able to sign endorsement deals and have million dollar contracts, while their players are restricted since they are classified as “amateurs”. Most coaches receive these deals since they have the best players and the companies know their product will receive recognition. A top-level college football player generated a net gain of more than 2,000,000 dollars over a four year period (Meshefejian1). College basketball is similar to college football due to the athletes being exploited.
Division one college basketball is also a billion dollar industry. Its “March Madness” tournament creates 771,000 dollars in revenue annually. The NCAA also makes money off of tickets and advertising for this event. All of this money is generated in about twenty-five percent of the season. The University of...

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