Today I read an article on the ThinkProgress website. In this article, author Travis Waldron discusses the earnings to be made by the NCAA after last evening’s championship game. He reports, “The tournament will bring the NCAA somewhere north of $750 million in revenue this year alone, thanks to its 14-year, $10.6 billion broadcast contract with Turner and CBS”. The problem I have with these findings is that the collegiate players who performed in the championship will receive not one penny and they’re the individuals who earned it.
He further went on to give an account by one of UConn’s star players, Shabazz Napier, who admitted, “We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food”.
So let me get this straight. Coaches get paid a gracious bundle, universities and colleges rake in the dough, executives get so rich they’re filthy with it, but the young athletes who put in all the work get nothing but a scholarship that’s barely feeding them? Talk about pimping in its purest form. It may not be drug related but these players are definitely being hustled, and for free! How does the NCAA equate a four-year scholarship that barely takes care of the needs of the players, with a more than $750 million payday that won’t requite every player for each meal they missed. Let’s not mention these same players risk forfeiting their scholarships if they do not maintain an acceptable GPA. This type of business should be illegal.
The NCAA is an organization not a little league. Organizations hire employees they trust will continue to build their brand and bring in steady revenue. Every single collegiate player playing for the NCAA should be considered an employee. It’s time they received a payday. If they don’t get paid, nobody else should.