College students should be compensated for their labor
Deborah Graham, Online Editor
May 11, 2012
Filed under Opinion
This has been a widely contested issue for years in the world of college sports. The primary argument is that some colleges are making money through their football and basketball programs. There are those that feel the student athletes are being exploited because they are not given a cut of this revenue. I am one of those people.
According to, Mike Wilbon, ESPN sports last year CBS/Turner Sports cut a deal with the National Collegiate Athletic Association to air March Madness between 2011 and 2024 to the tune of $10.8 billion for three weekends of televised conference play per year. How much is the average college basketball player seeing of this money? Nothing.
Athletes are suppose to perform, and, if they are lucky, get drafted into major league sports or retire to Kissmyass, Wisconsin flipping burgers.
Let’s look at this from a marketing standpoint. Everyone knows that companies pay big money to have their advertising spots run during the Superbowl. They know that this event has heavy viewership. Heavy viewership transcends into a big payoff for these advertisers. Wilbon goes on to state that college conferences like the S.E.C and the Pac 12 have also signed with various television networks to the tune of millions of dollars. So what does the labor force behind these deals get? They get nothing.
Many athletes feel justified taking the bribes that some scouts or other sports officials throw their way. A large majority of these athletes are below the poverty line and know that the schools are making money off of them. I feel that if we paid these athletes they would be less tempted to take the bribes these scouts hand out.
Chris Isidore of CNNMoney says even though the the recent scandal surrounding Penn State hurt their ticket sales, the college still ended last year No. 6 in revenue of $72.7 million and No. 2 in profit with $53.2 million. I bet Penn State was smiling all the way to the bank (despite the negative publicity). The players, all they received was negative publicity and paparazzi hounding them.
Earlier this year NCAA president Mark Emmert , at the NCAA Convention, pushed a package that would give multi-year scholarships and raise the scholarship cap by $2,000. I feel this is a step in the right direction. If you give these athletes more compensation for their hard work then perhaps you would not see them accepting gifts from outside sources.
These are unpaid workers. In basketball and football from a collegiate level I don’t believe in the term “amateurs.” Whenever you get something of value for performing athletically you are a professional player. Books, scholarships, adjusted fees, tuitions are not just not enough.