By Chris McCormack ’18
The NCAA has a severe money problem. In 2016, the collegiate sports organization posted a revenue of $995.9 million. Meanwhile, the athletes, who are to thank for this revenue, do not see a dime of this.
Many argue that they get paid with a free tuition, which should be enough. However, many of the athletes are not there for the education. As disappointing as this may sound to some, this is the sad truth.
For example, many of the top athletes in college basketball are there for one year and leave for the NBA, either because they have the skills necessary or they are in desperate need of the money. Plenty of athletes come from lower-income areas and families which makes the money that much more appealing. If the NCAA paid their athletes, more players may stay longer because they no longer have the desperate need for the money the NBA has to offer.
Both college football and basketball are multi-billion dollar industries and possess the ability to pay the coaches large million-dollar contracts. Why does it make sense for the coaches to bring in large sums of money to support their families and lifestyles but the athletes, who are the ones drawing the attention to the sport, do not have this benefit?
A study came out this year that put a value on the athletes of many Division I schools. Texas had the highest value per player at $670,000, and Alabama came in second with a value of $536,485. The Division I-A average came in at a substantial $163,689. None of these amounts are small to the average athlete.
However, the NCAA thinks paying players is unethical because the athletes are there for the education. At the end of the day, it is not going to be easy for the current rules to change. The people running the NCAA love the paychecks they get from the money that is brought in by the players, and the head coaches are not going to complain about the millions of dollars they get from the institutions. However, until changes are made, I would not be surprised to see more corruption scandals pop up like the one we saw earlier in the year.