NCAA: The Profit Machine

By Jake M.

I’ve been a big fan of college sports since I was eight years old. I always supported Arizona State University (ASU) athletics. There are many reasons to watch college sports from atmosphere to hot dogs but my favorite part of college sports is the purity of sports. Student athletes play for the love of the game and the fans rather than money. Unfortunately, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) doesn’t share the same view. The NCAA has turned from student athlete driven to profit driven.

In the 2015 fiscal year, the 231 Division one (D-1) programs amassed a total $9.15 billion. 24 D-1 schools make upwards of $100 million compared to most programs that make $50 million or less. The NCAA March Madness produces roughly $900 million making it the most profitable. Most of the money for March Madness comes from CBS and Time Warner.

College football is also a good avenue. The top six college bowl game payouts per team ranges between $4 million to $6 million. The universities receive this money so there is no guarantee that all profits will be put back into the athletics department.

Just because college sports is a multi-billion dollar industry doesn’t mean everyone wins. In fact the biggest losers are the athletes. The athletes play for free due to the “students before athletes” ideology while they are being coached by men who earn multi-million dollar salaries. The argument is further extended by the emphasis on the word “scholarship” in athletic scholarship.

Another reason why people are against paying athletes is for the concern of bribery of players and other incentives that could manipulate the recruiting process. While this is a legitimate concern, with the right regulations in place we can protect the integrity of the recruitment and provide fair compensation to the players.

The farther a team advances the more money they make. Championship teams make the most. Fair compensation for student athletes should be dependent on a team’s success. Teams in college basketball, for example, should give athletes a 10% share for advancing through the first and seconds rounds. A team that advances to the third round should compensate athletes 15%. Finally, teams advancing to the quarterfinals or beyond should give athletes a 20% compensation. In football, each of the four teams selected to compete in the playoffs should award athletes 10% of the profits and the runner-up should payout athletes 15% and the Champion should payout 20%. Players deserve their fair share. Those who’re resistant to this concept are making it sound more complicated than it really is.

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