The Paid Student Athlete Dilemma (part2)

United states universities map

Some players feel the highs from being a top athlete but lows from little money

The NCAA had made regulations to insure that athlete will play for their programs and make as much revenue for the school while taking as little responsibility as possible for the welfare of the student. Student athletes spend far more of their college careers towards their sports than the educations that were guarantees within the stipulations of their contracts.

• Over USD 12 billion is produced through college sports yearly
• A small portion of larger Universities earn USD 6.6 billion.

• The largest revenues come from corporate sponsors such as Coca Cola and AT&T

For the student athlete, it can be discouraging for them to receive adulation and credit for their athletic feats on the playing field and then have to worry able everyday problems that face many students such as not having enough food to eat or clothes to wear. To make matters worse, most of these students will never see a professional career in their future. Their only option is to take their education and use their connections to find some sort of work in order to survive.

“Hey Coach, we’re hungry!”

running back RB

Fans and peers have no idea about the problems some student athletes must face

Arian Foster, who played for University of Tennessee between 2005 and 2008, remembers not having enough money for food to eat, yet his University stadium had 170,000 seats that sold out regularly. Players such as Arian would make great targets for those involved illicit sports betting or match fixing. He found it surreal to have a big game, go outside the stadium and sign autographs and take pictures and then go to his dormitory room and open the door to an empty refrigerator.

Once he called his coach and said that he and his teammates who lived with him didn’t have food and demanded that he’d do something about it or he “would do something stupid.” So the coach went and bought 50 tacos for them, which is technically an NCAA violation. Unfortunately, not providing a player with adequate food isn’t a violation. The next day Arian saw his coach pull into the parking lot in a new Lexus.

The melancholy college player mentioned that some of his teammates sold drugs in order to make money, while others sold their championship rings. Most of the players involved in these forms of activity are the ones that lack the skills required to join the elite ranks of the NFL. There was a fear by the players that if any of them spoke out, they would be openly reprimanded and their careers could be in jeopardy. Arian described it as an “evil scheme.”

Coaches have complete control over player’s eligibility to play meaning they can control whether they enter professional sports. They can also determine the quality of life a player has when they don’t enter professional teams. Sports programs are connected to many career opportunities within and outside of their Universities. Players often talk about the “unfairness” with each other, but rarely speak out. Most players don’t feel they get their fair share of what they bring in.

A look at the numbers that are associated with NCAA revenue


Could we feed the boys if they all chipped in?

Over USD 12 billion is produced through college sports yearly. And that is within the confines of US gambling laws. The stability of the college sports as an industry is strong out pacing blue chip stocks such as McDonald’s and Chevron. Unfortunately, out of all the school that generated those revenues, only a small portion of Universities earn USD 6.6 billion.

This obscene amount of money comes from ticket sales (USD 1.6 billion), donations (1.5 billion), television contracts (USD 1.2 billion), corporate sponsorship deals (USD .5 billion) and royalties (USD .5 billion), licensing (USD .5 billion) and merchandising (USD .5 billion). Most of this revenue is made under non-profit companies that legally avoid tax burdens and without shareholders to give money to.

Of all the position involved in the personnel of a sports team, football and basketball coaches earn the most. The highest paid college athletic coach is the football coach for the University of Alabama who makes USD 5.62 million a year. Even top administrators at more successful programs can make from USD 1.5 million to nearly USD 70 million. A lot of the revenue is reinvested in better sports facilities, resources and recruitment.

This zeal to win can be compared to a “sports arms race.” Although the NCAA makes USD 800 million from the NCAA basketball tournament March Madness, the largest revenues come from corporate sponsors such as Coca Cola and AT&T as well as apparel companies like Nike. It is well known to US gambling news that these corporations officially don’t release their figures, estimates show that their financial input “dwarfs” all other avenues combined. And for all of the unseen money that is made, the only thing offered to the athletes that make all this happen is a free or reduced education.

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