Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Shady Business; NCAA should pay players to correct its system

In the wake of  NCAA investigations at the University of Miami and Ohio State, the powers that be are scrambling to remedy corruption in college athletics. The answer really isn’t that hard to come by when college presidents and cooperate sponsors stop skating around the subject. Universities are cashing in big time off of these athletes and it’s time that schools start being obligating to compensate them.

I can already hear the holier-that-thou fans who went to schools that never compete sitting in their offices screaming “these guys are being paid with a free education!”  Well a free education is a minimum of what these athletes should be receiving. You never hear of Fortune 500 companies asking people to use their abilities for company gain and offer them free internet access, office supplies, and medical benefits in return. Why? Because that’s the bare minimum and we all want to be paid for what we do well. College athletics is one of the only businesses, and it is a business, that expects  most of it’s workers to be happy not getting paid.

CNN money reported that football programs in BCS conferences raked in 1.1 billion dollars in profits, led by the University of Texas’ 68.8 million dollar gain. That’s an average of 15.8 million dollars for 68 schools. So let me get this right. After schools pay the coaches, training staff, player scholarships and other expenses they still are almost 16 million dollars in the black. It’s not just football either. Men’s college basketball programs in the six major conferences profited 207 million dollars, led by the University of Louisville gaining $16.8 million.  The fact that schools don’t dedicate a portion of their profits to pay the athletes is exploitation in the purest sense.

What’s the problem with the University of Texas taking 2% of that $68.8 million and paying the players with it. That’s $1.26 million that can be divided up by the 100 players into bi-weekly stipends of $630.00 for the 10 months they are in school. And yes football and basketball players should be the ones that get paid because they are the sports that make money. When people start sleeping outside for gymnastics tickets, then they can have an argument.

People are so quick to accuse college athletes of abusing the system without understanding that the system is corrupt and needs to be fixed. It’s time to stop taking advantage of the players and give them what they’ve earned. A piece of the pie.

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