Writer: Andrew Martin
Ever since the one and done era began in college basketball, the notion of paying college athletes began to gain steam. Every year there seems to be new allegations brought down on universities for paying their athletes to either come to school there or stay there. With the recent news of a 5-star recruit being payed $100,000 to play at Louisville I decided to write this article, to show why it’s time to pay college athletes.
Many people’s main problem with paying college athletes is the fact that its school and their receiving a free education at their university. While I understand this, you have to look at just how much money these players are making for their schools. We’ll use Grayson Allen for example, while most of the country can’t stand Allen, he is Duke’s fanbase adopted son. The Duke culture absolutely adores Grayson and because of that ticket sales go up to watch him, with ticket sales come TV deals, and with TV deals come jersey sales. This not only makes money for Duke University, but it makes the NCAA money, the corporation that refuses to pay athletes is constantly making more and more money off of their names. In 2016 the NCAA made $1B in revenue from TV deals, ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, and TV ads during the NCAA tournament. ONE BILLION, and the players, the reason the NCAA is making all of this money are getting absolutely none of it. It’s time college athletes see some of this money, and there are multiple ways the NCAA could make the payment happen. The first payment possibility is the most obvious one, the NCAA sets aside a percentage of their revenue each year to pay the athletes. The second option is to leave it up to the universities or conferences to pay the athletes, that way it’s out of the NCAA’s hands for the most part, and the payments can be handled more individually. Lastly, you can allow college athletes to sign shoe deals with brands, allowing the brands to pay the athlete for their shoe deal. With the shoe deal, their contract can carry over to the NBA eliminating the possible cheating allegations like what we’re seeing at Louisville right now.
To sum up, now is the time to start paying college athletes, no matter how they plan to pay them it needs to happen. Paying athletes can only help the college game. For example, in college basketball right now, many players leave after a year to pursue a large contract and shoe deal, but if you pay them now in college then there’s less of an incentive to leave college early. We continue to see more reasons to pay the athletes every year, and with the news of everything going on with Louisville and other universities, now seems like an ideal time to seriously introduce the idea.