The Game’s worth a billion dollars. So why aren’t the players profiting?
Are you upset that college athletes don’t paid? Do you believe that this antiquated rule should be changed? Well, it will change sooner or later.
Compensating college athletes for participating in their sport of choice will bring joy to many college sports fans, but not to the NCAA, collegiate sports’ governing body. The NCAA has been staunchly against the practice, arguing that the simple act of letting these student-athletes get a college education virtually free of charge is payment enough. As of March 2018, 59% of Division I college athletes received some form of financial aid thanks to athletic scholarships. If collegiate sports were simply a form of healthy competition, this line of thinking would probably be fine, but the reality is far from that.
College sports have always been a hotbed of debate. Who’s the best college player? Who will stand out professionally? However, the past five to ten years in college sports has been dominated by a single question: Why aren’t these men and women getting paid? The argument’s raged for a long time, with compelling reasons on both sides. However, the NCAA has addressed this issue in a very stubborn and defiant way.
College sports is one of the most profitable sports competitions in the United States, plain and simple. For example, March Madness, officially known as the NCAA Men’s/Women’s Basketball Championship, produced over $1 billion in revenue in 2018, a number which certainly rose this year with the introduction of the sensational Duke forward, Zion Williamson, who famously sold out Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium with tickets starting at $2,000.
But Williamson didn’t see a dime of that money, while his coach, school and television networks made millions. The injustice of this is something that must change across all college sports.
The question that remains is how to do it. Herein lies the problem: How can schools compensate these student-athletes? Does everyone get paid the same amount or should it be staggered according to various criteria such as ability or class standing? If it’s staggered, how do the schools make those decisions?
These questions are going to be subject to heavy debate over the coming years. One thing that is certain is that these young men and women, these wonderful college athletes, will start getting paid someday soon.