Monday, March 28, 2011

Should college players get paid?

Tomorrow night on PBS.

"[FRONTLINE] takes a hard look at the economics of the annual NCAA tournament—a cash cow for amateur athletics that generates enormous dollars for everyone except the players themselves, raising basic questions of fairness that are now leading a handful of influential figures to challenge the way the NCAA operates."

  • Athletic departments get a generous supply of sponsor's products and apparel. For example, Nike’s allowance to supply Alabama is valued at $2.3 million per year.
  • Colleges get an average 10-12 percent royalty on sales of co-branded apparel and merchandise and local media and advertising
  • Perks. Michigan got a $6.5 million signing bonus from Adidas after being lured away in '07 from Nike. Teams and coaches get first class hotels/air travel, expensive club memberships, etc.
  • Performance bonuses. These can amount to millions a year for tournament wins, championship games, coach-of-the-year titles, etc.

"A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released in 2009 warned that the NCAA was endangering its tax-exempt status as a voluntary educational organization because of the exploding commercialization of NCAA Division I college sports. The CBO estimated that 60 to 80 percent of the money made through NCAA Division I football teams came from just commercial deals and crossed an educational line."

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