Posts Tagged ‘pay student-athletes’

Every fall during college football championship games, and every spring during college basketball “madness” a discussion comes up about how much money colleges make from these sports, and how there is no doubt that this is business not athletics.  Some numbers for you: CBS paid $6 billion to the NCAA for the tv rights to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament through 2103 – The University of Texas grossed $60 million from their 2005 National Championship football squad – This year the North Carolina Tarheels basketball team is valued at $25.9 million.  These are big numbers for big programs… not the definitive for everyone.  Many schools must shut programs down because of lack of money (or many times because Title IX requirements make it unfeasible to fund all sports offered).  There’s an interesting discussion at the NY Times blog about paying student-athletes and whether it would be good or bad, or whatever.  The argument that college athletes should at least have the opportunity to seek endorsements seems pretty compelling to me.  Arguing that this is amateur athletics and paying of athletes should not occur is ignoring the amounts of money previously referenced… at least here the athletes doing the “work” can try to be entrepreneurs as well.

I’m not suggesting that student-athletes have it tough.  They are pampered, sheltered, and basically given every possible advantage over a normal student while at college.  Though their life is not tough it does come with heavy responsibility and scrutiny that the average student doesn’t have to bare.  But still every year their is scandal over boosters giving money under-the-table to athletes, buying cars or homes for the parents to get the kids to come to the school of choice.  These “donors” obviously see college athletics as the business it is, rather than an amateur amusement… plus their legal donations are tax-deductible (see T. Boone Pickens $165 million donation to OSU athletics).  This article, that started my thoughts going on this post, talks about college basketball coaches that hire the fathers of athletes into positions on the coaching staff in order to secure the services of their sons – though the coaches claim it is a coincidence that the person perfect for the job just happens to be a parent of a star player.

All this is not to say there is something wrong with college athletics (though that argument can be made), but rather to say that the bull-parade about amatuerism and athletics could really be ended since everyone knows what’s what.  Food for thought for the weekend – as usual, love to hear the thoughts of the CAI readers.

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