…out of the 50 states, a college football or men’s basketball coach was the highest-paid public employee in 39 of them in 2016
I’m a weird guy at times. When I start looking for topics to write about I don’t take the conventional route. I get on WorldStar, I’ll watch Breakfast Club and Desus & Mero YouTube videos, or I’ll just get on Wikipedia and start looking up random things until that little spark happens and I type away for a few hours.
What I came across yesterday took me back for a second. I was left speechless, I didn’t know what to think. It was almost like seeing a girl naked for the first time. Not really, but you get what I’m trying to say.
I came across the definition of indentured servant and this is what it says.
Indentured servant – A person under contract to work for another person for a definite period of time, usually without pay.
The FIRST thought that came to my mind was, “Yo, that’s the definition of an NCAA athlete.” Student-athletes must sign a contract with the NCAA basically stating that they give all rights to their likeness to the NCAA. They also agree to abide by all 395 pages of rules inside the NCAA handbook, illegal immigrants in the United States have more rights than student-athletes do working for the NCAA. I could sit here and list all the asinine rules and regulations the NCAA has in place, but no one has that kind of time so I’m going to focus on one of the most ridiculous ones. That of course is amateurism, or how I like to call it, highway robbery. The rule on amateurism states:
You are not eligible for a sport if you have ever:
- Taken pay, or the promise of pay, for competing in that sport.
- Agreed (orally or in writing) to compete in professional athletics in that sport.
- Played on any professional athletics team as defined by the NCAA in that sport.
- Used your athletic skill for pay in any form in that sport.
It short, you can’t make any money for yourself, it all comes to me. Don’t you dare think about trying to profit for all your hard work. We own you, take it or leave it. Plain and simple.
Would you tell the superstar English student not to write a book and profit off it? Why can the talented painter on campus make money of his master pieces but an athlete who puts on a show in front of thousands can’t go sign autographs and get a few hundred bucks for the weekend? Something is very wrong here.
Doesn’t it feel like the NCAA should have stopped labeling its athletes as amateur’s a while back? They were no longer amateur athletes when Sonny Vaccaro came around and revolutionized the sneaker industry in 1977 when he started paying coaches to outfit their student-athletes in Nike gear. At that point and time is when it all changed. Those athletes became spokes persons for Nike, they were being used as marketing tools. And maybe there wasn’t enough money back then to go around, but in today’s world you have brands like Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, Converse and Jordan throwing millions of dollars at Universities yearly. Not to mention the billions of dollars being thrown at the NCAA by major networks just to broadcast their games. In 2012, the NCAA and ESPN reached a 12-year deal worth approximately $5.64 billion, or $470 million annually. In 2016, the NCAA and CBS/Turner reached an eight-year extension worth $8.8 billion and you can add that on top of the original deal of $10.8 billion over 14 years. Notice how those last few figures were billions with a B. So, to anyone who says there isn’t enough money to go around all I can say is you need to brush up on your math skills.
In 2016, the NCAA brought in a record… are you sitting for this? Because my heart almost jumped out of my chest when I saw this number.. $996 million dollars. Yup, you read that right AND it’s a non-profit organization so you know they’re getting all the tax breaks allotted. So, what did the NCAA do with all this money? Let me break it down for you. They paid their President/Dictator Mark Emmert $1.9 million dollars in 2015. This is the same guy that is adamant that these student-athletes should not be compensated and should do it, “for the love of the game.” It wouldn’t sound so hypocritical if he practiced what he preached and didn’t seem so hell-bent on not taking care of the athletes that make him a very rich man.
Alabama Head football coach Nick Saban is scheduled to take home $11.25 million dollars by seasons end. Now, I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve it because he does, my point is that there is something morally wrong when the head coach is a multi-millionaire while players on his team go home at night without enough to eat, or even worse no money to buy food. And if the coaches give the players money to buy food it’s a violation. Do you see how ridiculous that sounds? And people wonder why so many college athletes do stupid things like steal laptops or crab legs. Not because they’re hoodlums or delinquents, they simply need more money than their scholarship offers. It’s a sad thing to think about really.
Per ESPN, out of the 50 states, a college football or men’s basketball coach was the highest-paid public employee in 39 of them in 2016. I’m not even going to expand on that. If I have to explain it to you then maybe this conversation isn’t for you.
In his book, Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Exploiting College Athletes the first President of the NCAA Walter Byers spoke out against the monster he had helped build. He wrote that he invented the term student-athlete to prevent the NCAA from having to pay long-term disability to players injured at the collegiate level. Even though he was a despicable man for coming up with that term the fact that he realized his wrongs should speak volumes to anybody who opposes player compensation. “Collegiate amateurism is not a moral issue; it is an economic camouflage for monopoly practices.” It sums everything up perfectly. This isn’t a moral issue; it never has been. This is about greed. This is about power. This is about the root of all evil, and that’s money. Lets make this an issue that we focus on going forward. The money is there. It’s time to pay up.