College Athletes Vs College Sports

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National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball and football programs generate billions of dollars through television rights, corporate sponsorships, and merchandise sales. The largest of which is attributable to television rights. According to Green, CBS and Turner Sports paid the NCAA $10.8 billion for the rights to televise the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament from 2010 through 2024. This is just for the men’s basketball championship tournament and does not include television rights for other regular season basketball games. When the NCAA introduced the College Football Playoff (CFP), ESPN paid $7.3 billion for a 12-year contract to air the CFP games. In 2015 the CFP and bowl games paid out over $500 million…show more content…
According to Cornell ‘“One of the things that is crazy about the system as it is, is that players are risking injury and hoping to get through college unscathed to get these huge contracts,’” (“At Risk”). This is in part due to the NCAA being a training ground for the National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) due their specific age limitations. Football players cannot enter the NFL draft until after being out of high school for three years and NBA draft requires players to play one year of college basketball (Entman). This requires athletes to play at the collegiate level for a specific period of time with a greater potential of injury. If an athlete does sustain an injury, they run the risk of losing their scholarship as four-year athletic scholarships do not exist and are renewed annually (Deutsch). A college athlete can contribute to a team’s performance for years, generating revenue for the university and athletic department, sustain an injury causing him to lose his scholarship, and not be able to afford to finish his education. Those opposing paying college athletes make the following three arguments. First, people who oppose paying college athletes claim that receiving a free education is payment itself. Next, those in opposition express concern about the legality of paying male athletes and not female athletes saying it violates Title IX,…show more content…
If a scholarship is considered payment, then college athletes would be substantially underpaid compared to the money they generate and potential income they could earn at the professional level. Questions can also be raised concerning the value of some degrees earned by college athletes. Deutsche stated “student-athletes often receive a notoriously watered-down education, cheapening the true value of that scholarship”. The average value of a full scholarship for a player is $23,204, while the estimated annual market value for players in football and basketball is $137,357 and $289,031 respectively. Over a four-year college career, a football player would lose approximately half million dollars and a basketball player more than $1 million (At Risk). The Title IX argument is based upon the premise that football and basketball players are student athletes. However, college football and basketball programs have become a business in themselves and athletes are a part of the business and should be seen as employees (At Risk). Wilbon carries the point even further and states, “The players have become employees of the universities and conferences as much as students - employees with no compensation, which not only violates common decency but perhaps even the law.” The argument concerning the ability to pay players fairly,

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