The NCAA invented the “student athlete” moniker to differentiate their players from professionals who get paid to do almost the exact same thing.
The NCAA didn’t want them mistakened for employees and thus entitled to a wage. From a practical standpoint, most college athletes have one job: perform. Even in the off-seasons, players are working out, studying plays, and practicing all they can to get better, all the while supposedly working on a college degree.
Instead of getting paid, many receive scholarships. Those that don’t are there by choice and participate for the experience and the fun. But no student receives any kind of direct benefit from all the money they generate for the school.
The most elite players generate a vast amount of money for the school than it costs the school to have them. Many times the return on investment is direct. Schools can sell jerseys with the athlete’s number and use their likeness in marketing materials.
These players make schools a significant amount of money through not only jersey sales but through TV revenue and ticket sales. Notre Dame in particular generates a cool $64,163,063 in yearly revenue from football alone. With all this money being brought in, it brings the up the debate whether students are being properly treated or if they are just being exploited for their talents.
Sure, student athletes all over the nation are being given scholarships left and right, yet not every student receives money to play in college. This seems to be unfair that schools bring in all this money yet the players and athletes don’t see a penny of it.
It also raises the question as to where the money is actually going. While the revenues certainly help build the school up, coaches seem to be benefiting as well. Mack Brown from Texas makes upwards of 5.2 million dollars a year and that isn’t even including the max bonus he can receive for leading Texas to a bowl game which is $850,000.
With all this money being thrown around in collegiate sports, it raises the question; what would happen to these colleges without the large sums of money generated through sports? Many college athletes feel as if they are being used in college and in conclusion, these players should in fact receive some type of monetary reward during the year or even after graduation.
Rob Hausler | Elite.