I know there have been variations of this argument made to death, but in light of March Madness screwing with my regular diet of Sports Center and Dr. Pepper to get through my days, I’ve been made sick by the whole process once again. I’m sorry, but if you’re going to make money off of someone putting their body at risk for injury and wear and tear, I’m never going to feel OK about that person basically doing it for room and board.
I know the argument can be made that many student athletes are in school on athletic scholarships thereby receiving an education, which could be used for potential financial gain in life, but still, the NCAA makes a fucking arseload of money off of these kids and the kids see relatively little in return.
And the system of giving them nothing, well, quite frankly, doesn’t exist. “Paying” for the play of college athletes has been something that has been an issue since the inception of collegiate athleticism itself. In the early days of Yale and Harvard, you know, when they were still broke as shit and not Ivy League material themselves, they still “paid” for their athletes.
This isn’t a situation where the system once worked and has since become broken, this is one in which the system was created to “clean things up” and in the process the system became the profiteer.
I get that there is a need for a place where not-quite-ready-for-pro-ball athletes need to play, so I can’t stand behind the theory that college athletics needs to simply be abolished. All honesty, it’s become so ingrained in our culture that to make it disappear would be completely implausible…
So, my suggestion is to make it right: If any college sport produces over 10 million dollars in ad revenue each year, at least a small percentage of that revenue needs to be shared with the athletes.
Even if it just came down to a check for a couple of hundred bucks, perhaps a thousand per semester, at least something to show that you’re not just earning ridiculous profits off of the actions of the players.
A 2010 report by Ithaca College researchers showed that the average full scholarship athlete was still responsible for $2900 in out of pocket funds for school-related expenses, some estimates at other colleges place that number even higher with five fucking digits attached to it….
Given that not a year goes by without hearing of some “pay for play” scandal, we all know that to say it’s the rarity is an outright lie. I posit that the rarity is those that are caught…
It’s going to happen one way or another, so I say either let that shit fly and get rid of the NCAA and it’s arbitrary system of “protecting the athletes” while exploiting them for gain altogether….
We make those fuckers pony up something to the students.
In this system, every student would receive the same percentage whether they play five minutes or forty five. Schools found to be in violation, (any payments made to students outside of NCAA approved “Royalty” payments), would be eligible for an immediate “death penalty”.
A student going to North Carolina would receive the same payment as a student going to Timbuktu U, as long as they are an eligible college with an eligible athletics department, every student has to be treated identically for this to work. This isn’t pro ball we’re talking about here, this is just a payment to the student on behalf of the NCAA for the right to televise said student’s likeness.
Boosters caught attempting to circumvent the system receive a ten year ban. Harsh enough penalties do have a tendency to curb the problem, but only when fairness is in play. Right now, it isn’t, and I can’t honestly say that I see what some boosters are doing as a bad thing. I mean, some of these students need the extra financial help, to say that every student that goes to school to play ball is a student that would be there purely for academia is bullshit. This is the motivator for some of these students and we need to recognize that. In at least some way. Would giving every student in a profitable college sport a grand a year to just..help..subsidize out of pocket costs a bit really break the NCAA? It’s no longer an amateur sport when it’s become this profitable. To keep the players stuck in the delusion that it is, is beyond reprehensible.
Now, bear in mind, I’m just spitballing shit here, but the point I’m getting to is the NCAA never worked. It was created to try and fix a broken system and somehow just fell into a ton of de facto power that it really never deserved in the first place. Players still receive enticements to play at certain schools. If they didn’t we wouldn’t hear about so many records being discredited…
The NCAA has become nothing more than a clearinghouse for advertising dollars…
It’s a travesty all around…
Fix it. Overhaul it. Pay the players something so that the nothing they’re receiving currently isn’t offset by the guilt of boosters. And if you can’t–Or perhaps you won’t–
Then you, my dearest NCAA, you’re the one that needs to be put to pasture.