The state of subjection like that of a slave has been re-defined in collegiate athletics. College athletes deserve to be paid.
It is obvious that a university’s ultimate objective is to advance the education of its students, and further prepare them to become effective in their pursuit of success in the world they face after the completion of school.
The so-called contention of “common sense” in relation to fair compensation promotes the concept that student-athletes are fully benefited to the point of satisfaction. However, those who discern tuition, room and board, books, and education as compensation are not coherent to the point of which must be understood.
Collegiate athletes are not consummated through the idealistic notion of education. America does not celebrate its greatest students with the same grandeur as it does with its future professional superstar phenoms in the likes of the NFL and NBA. In retrospect, the distinction of imminent celebrity status in the collegiate sports world is created through the most powerful medium known to man: television.
In its agreement with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tells us that $680 million of their $757 million of total revenue for 2009-2010 stemmed from television and marketing. That’s 86 percent.
Now, consider the legitimate, economic ramifications of fairness in terms of the relative value of a collegiate scholarship in comparison to $680 million of annual revenue, for which is generated from extreme media demand to broadcast certain collegiate sports. The association generates an insane amount of profit from the tremendous demand to broadcast certain collegiate athletic events, and therefore capitalizes on its athletes.
It must be further realized that most of the revenue generated in collegiate athletics stems from two sports: football and men’s basketball.
The purpose in this declaration is to dissolute the distorted realities of collegiate athletics, and decipher the dominance that the NCAA has established over its apparent product: the athletes.
In its new contract with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting, the NCAA will generate $10.8 billion of revenue from 2011 to 2024 for the media production of March Madness. That’s almost $11 billion that the association will pocket for three weekends of media coverage on an annual basis.
ESPN also has a new $500 million deal that will compensate the association for the network’s right to televise the Bowl Championship Series on its affiliates through 2014.
In consideration of the enormous amount of revenue that the association generates from selling the exclusive television rights to NCAA-football and basketball; the question of revenue distribution should be deciphered.
The NCAA allocates upwards of 60% of its total revenue to Division-1A conferences, which contend to entrust their share in institutions that support their athletic programs. How is the revenue distributed at certain institutions?
According to its website, “At a typical Division I Football Bowl Subdivision institution, the most common uses of the money would be for salaries, financial aid for student-athletes, facility maintenance and rental, and travel.”
But, how much annual income is allocated to official salaries? The top 14 NCAA Executives totaled almost $6 million in 2009 for their work in a “non-profit organization,” which means that the association is not required to pay federal taxes on its revenue. (Don’t forget that these salaries were also increased in the midst of an economic recession).
In consideration of the enormous influx of revenue that the association and its partners generate from collegiate athletics, I am confident in declaring that collegiate athletes deserve to be paid.
The benefits in enacting a “pay-for-play” type establishment in the realm of collegiate athletics would further advance the growing popularity of certain sports, such as football and men’s basketball, and also increase the likelihood that athletes would achieve the completion of their respective degree programs. The concept of financial compensation in collegiate athletics would also virtually guarantee that fewer student-athletes would declare for their respective professional drafts before graduation.
It is argued that the establishment of such a program would, however, deplete the notoriety of the “student-athlete,” and violate Title IX, which guarantees equal federal financial opportunities for women. However, it should be noted that there is not a significant demand to broadcast and sponsor certain woman’s sports in comparison to football and men’s basketball. The woman’s March Madness tournament is televised in contract with ESPN, but does not generate the whopping figure of $10.8 billion like the men’s tournament does.
The allowance should be subjective in terms of the amount of revenue that a particular sport generates. The revenue earned should therefore be distributed to student-athletes on the basis of the popular demand of a given sport, and the given market value of their respective conferences.
The concept of utilizing the incredible athletic abilities of student-athletes to generate revenue without financial compensation is criminal. The association has created an establishment of capitalism for which its student-athletes have becomes a means of profit.