Before we begin, the picture above is a chart of the highest paid public employee per state. As you see, A LOT of those are coaches in the NCAA. Seems a little off when the guy coaching you is a multi-millionaire and you gotta ask your boy for five dollars to eat tonight. With that being said, lets begin.
It’s 2015 and the NCAA is still not compensating their “student-athletes.” Let’s be real here, those NCAA players are employees and need to be treated and compensated as. If you don’t agree with me then you need to go back to the 1960’s because that’s where you belong. How is the NCAA getting away with this??? In 2014, the NCAA brought in a total of $989 million. The only thing crazier than that lump of cash is how much the “student-athletes” received in cash compensation, $0.00. Any logical thinking human being would seem that unjust, right?
I do know a couple of people who don’t agree with me and boooooooy do they make my head spin. Their argument is always the same old tired one, “They get a full scholarship and get to be famous.” One, last time I checked being famous doesn’t buy food or pay the bills your “full ride” scholarship doesn’t cover. That scholarship also won’t pay those medical bills when you’re crippled and beat up for life. Who else remembers a couple of years ago when UConn guard Shabazz Napier told the media that sometimes he goes to bed hungry at night? Does that not seem a bit unfair when the eventual Most Outstanding Player of the 2014 Men’s Basketball Championship isn’t being fed adequately? Two, if you get hurt, the University has the ability to pull that scholarship they promised you. Basically they use you, abuse you, and if you get hurt it’s see you later, playa.
Now, I’m not saying let’s pay these guys hundreds of millions of dollars but SOMETHING is better than nothing. How would you feel if every day you wake up at 5 am, go workout, go to class, then it’s practice, topped off by a night of studying and trying to catch up for all the class time you missed. What would that feel like? A job, right? To top it off, when you walk to the billion dollar stadium your hard work help pay for, and walk past your coaches $100,000 brand new Mercedes Benz it slowly starts to hit you that something isn’t right. Imagine blowing out your knee and your millionaire coach comes into the hospital room and tells you that you no longer have a roster spot on the team. This is a very real scenario for many college athletes.
Mark Emmert, President of this dictatorship called the NCAA, made $1.7 million last year. You figure he’d do it for free, right? It’s only right? If you know who this guy is then you know where I’m going with this. He is adamant that these players are “student-athletes” and are compensated enough. Please, I spent Final Four weekend this year in Colorado and one of my adventures out there led me to stumble into a drunk guy at the bar who made the best point I have ever heard for my case. We were at the bar watching Wisconsin vs Kentucky and some how the topic of paying the players came up. He told me, “Are you kidding me? These guys are professional athletes; the NCAA is a farm system like the Minor Leagues are for MLB. The only difference is they don’t pay these guys. Think about it, they’ve missed the last couple weeks of school. The NCAA is going to make half a billion dollars in this month alone. It’s highway robbery.” I sat back and just looked at him as I took everything he just said to me all in. I couldn’t believe this guy who I’d never met before, and who was way past sober had broken it down to its simplest form.
If it were up to me, I’d have a salary cap and I’d let the Head Coach and AD decide who to pay what amount. You put money in the athletes pocket is the last thing needed to make this a all around professional system. Or, since the athletes are already rockin’ Jordan, Nike, Adidas, Reebok. etc, why doesn’t a percentage of that money go to the players? C’mon guys, this isn’t that difficult. It prepares the athletes for the business like format they aspire to achieve one day, whether it be NBA, NFL, MLB, etc. Sure, a lot of people wouldn’t like it, but in what other field are you limiting someone’s potential earnings? If the star English student at a University wrote a book, who in their right minds is going to object to them not benefiting financially for their talent? No one, right? It’s time we start allowing college athletes to benefit financially from their talents, too.