The Argument For Paying Ncaa Football Players

2574 words - 11 pages

Even the waterboy gets paid! NCAA football is a billion dollar a year empire, in which coaches, executives, school presidents, board members, athletic trainers, athletic directors, equipment managers, Waterboys, towel boys, ball boys, and even team mascots all receive a chunk of the revenue. Everyone gets paid except the athletes, who don’t receive a dime of the money. That’s because it’s against NCAA rules to pay college athletes with anything other than an athletic scholarship; anything else, and it’s deemed as an improper benefit, thus making an athlete ineligible if he/she were to accept. The NCAA defends its rule of “no-pay” by claiming that all its student-athletes are “amateurs” and not employees; therefore, they’re legally not compensated. The argument over whether student-athletes should be paid or not, is particularly unsettling within the sport of football, because NCAA football is the most popular and profitable sport of all college athletics. The NCAA’s discrepancy over whether it should pay its players or not, currently has the association fighting a lawsuit filed by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, who’s suing for compensation on behalf of former Division I football and men’s basketball players. The lawsuit challenges the NCAA’s use of student-athletes’ images and likeness for commercial purposes (PBS.org). In recent months the argument has been geared more towards whether current student-athletes should be paid or not, particularly football players, who like former Texas A&M star quarterback Johnny Manziel, provide the athleticism and entertainment that makes NCAA football the million dollar empire that it is. So, should college football players be paid?
If there is any argument to be made for college football players being paid, it is college football programs certainly have the money to do so. This is due to the fact that NCAA football is very popular in America; only behind professional football (NFL) and baseball (MLB) in popularity. Television networks like CBS, NBC, FOX, and ESPN, reported their combined views of college football games in 2013 was 23, 491, 000 viewers (Karp). And that’s just the fans who stay at home to watch the games; every year, millions of fans jam-pack stadiums across the nation, paying anywhere from $50 - $270 for a ticket to watch their favorite team or player play. Ticket sales, along with money from away games, subsidy from university coffers, student fees, donations (outside contributions), media rights (TV, radio, and internet broadcast deals), and branding (sales of branded items, sponsorship, and ads) all help contribute to the loads of money college football programs generate annually. The Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) is looking to generate even more revenue with the new implementation of a College Football Playoff, which looks to generate about $480 million annually; while the—now defunct—BCS era only generated about $170 million a year (Mahler). Mitchell and Edelman,...

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