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College Basketball And Money: Should Players Get A Cut?

College basketball’s March Madness makes millions – but not for the players. We’ll tap into the hot debate over sharing the NCAA spoils.

Butler's Shawn Vanzant shoots over Virginia Commonwealth's Brandon Rozzell (32) and Bradford Burgess in their Final Four matchup Saturday. (AP)

Butler's Shawn Vanzant shoots over Virginia Commonwealth's Brandon Rozzell (32) and Bradford Burgess in their Final Four matchup Saturday. (AP)

Big upsets in women’s college basketball — it will be Notre Dame against Texas A&M in the final. Tonight, the final in the men’s NCAA national championship — Butler versus UConn.

The big money game of college basketball’s March Madness. From Sweet Sixteen through tonight’s big battle on the court, the men’s college basketball tournament alone draws $771 million in television broadcast rights.

Top college athletes pull down sweet scholarships. Should they get – somehow – a bigger cut of the big money in college sports as well?

This hour On Point: college athletes, and all that money.

- Tom Ashbrook


Pablo Torre, writer for Sports Illustrated. He’s in Houston, Texas to cover the championship game.

Kevin Blackistone, freelance journalist and a frequent guest on ESPN’s “Around The Horn.” He teaches sports journalism at the University of Maryland.

David Williams, vice chancellor for University Affairs at Vanderbilt University. He is also general counsel and professor of law.

Ed O’Bannon, former star power forward for the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team. He was on the 2005 NCAA championship team. He went on to play two seasons in the NBA. He is part of a class action lawsuit that is suing the NCAA for monetary damages for the NCAA’s use and license of former student-athletes’ identifies in various commercial ventures.

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  • Anonymous

    Should Players Get A Cut? Yes.

  • twenty-niner

    Yea, it’s called a free education, with fairly relaxed admissions standards. If you don’t like the deal, don’t go.

    • Anonymous

      Are you aware that the coaches and the NCAA are making hundred’s of millions of of these players in games and licensing deals that are using the players identities? They get nothing. Personally I think the whole college sport thing is an abomination and should be stopped as in it’s current form it’s out of control. Basketball is also the big money earner here and it supports all the other collegiate tournaments. You don’t see the equivalent of March madness for baseball or golf.

      • twenty-niner

        Yes, and I’m also aware that tuition and fees are growing way faster than the rate of inflation, leaving many students with six-figure student loans to get an education. The point of a university is to educate not be a farming system for the NBA and NFL. Whatever margins a university makes off of NCAA involvement should be used to lower costs for the student body.

  • Cory

    I attended a college with a small-time basketball program in the early 90′s. Players enjoyed many free “perks”. I remember them feeding themselves and all their family and friends with meal plan debit cards. When the card ran out, they were given another with no questions asked. These plans were $1200 per semester, and they’d go through several.

    Don’t fool yourselves. These players get paid in many ways already, just ask OJ Mayo or Reggie Bush.

    The question really is can anything stand up against money in our culture? Here is my suggestion. Seperate the big time sports from colleges. Pay them and end the charade of getting an education for those who obviously aren’t interested. Anyone who ever heard Alan Iverson speak would be stunned to know he attended Georgetown University (for one year until turning pro).

    • ThresherK

      Yes, separate.

      It’s dumb for an athlete with pro potential in football and basketball to go anywhere else for training, coaching and competition than the NCAA. Yet the square peg of many of them is pounded into the round hole of a college education, even if they were cut out for something that doesn’t start in Baccalaureate.

      Only in the USA is it this mixed up. In Canada there is junior hockey. In soccer-ruled countries, big teams have young teams/reserves/U17s or whatever they’re called. They don’t pretend to mix education in.

  • Michael

    “College Basketball And Money: Should Players Get A Cut?” nope.

    Doing so will just mess up the game(besides the point the players get theirs one way or the other).

    Can you imagine a collage trying to justify paying a freshman 1,10,50 million to play at there collage while raising tuition on the rest of the students to pay for it?

  • wauch

    SHould they get paid? Yes just look at the Fab Five basketball squad of the U of Michigan or the UNLV Runnin Rebels of the early 90s. It is amazingly fraudulent and hypocritical of us to demean what these young men and women do by simply saying they get a scholarship. Sure but in exchange they give the university thousands if not millions+ (See BCS bowl games) in return per player. A stipend would be appropriate similar to what I received throughout my graduate career. Approximately 20-30,000 would suffice. They are not like me or other students they generate huge publicity and income.

    • Cory

      Just using the two teams you named…

      Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony, Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Juwan Howard are all MILLIONAIRES. None of them recieved an official wage from the universities they attended. Did Michigan and Nevada Las Vegas REALLY need to pay theses guys for the couple of years they were in college?

    • Rob (in NY)

      The UNLV Runnin Rebels, coached by Jerry Tarkanian, were the poster child for everything that is wrong with big time college athletics. I believe UNLV graduated less only about 10% of its basketball players during the era of “Tark the Shark. While Larry Johnson and a few other UNLV players did sign lucrative NBA contracts, the overwhelming majority of UNLV players did not. They were simply discarded by Tarkanian after their playing days were over. I would contrast the UNLV program with other successful programs where the majority of players do graduate, such as North Carolina (since the days of Dean Smith), Duke (Coach K), Chaney (Temple), Bobby Knight (Indiania and Texas Tech), and Georgetown’s John Thompson. While the above named coaches had very different coaching styles ( e.g. and I despised Bobby Knight’s tactics of publicly humiliating players), these are a few examples of coaches who ran successful programs on and off the court. I believe the character of the coach sets the tone for a program.

      I do not have a problem with a small stipend being paid to college athletes to cover basic living expenses as this might help reduce the influence of boosters to some extent.

    • wauch

      Just because these guys got multi-million dollar contracts post-college doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get paid by the institutions that profit so immensely from their presence. AND to that individual that complained about his D-I swimming children I say without the school’s B-Ball and football programs your kids wouldn’t be swimming at any D-I colleges. It is well known – or at least it was blatantly obvious when I was a grad student at Va Tech – that football and basketball propped up the other sports men and women alike.
      Please spare us the pious stance when you would feel slighted and demand compensation if you were treated the way these kids are treated. Schwag and tix to games don’t exactly make up for the millions all these schools AND their coaches who promptly leave for better deals gain while exploiting teenagers!!

  • LinP

    Pay them? You’re kidding me, right? As we scape it together to send 4 children through college, you want us to accept basketball athletes at the same school earning millions? Then not graduating because they can’t hack the academics? You want MY children who swim Div 1 with NO scholarship money to think it’s OK that the student athletes next door are making millions? The perks these basketball athletes get are widely known, and already very difficult to swallow.

    There is much so very, very warped in the country.

  • Anonymous

    The college basketball teams should be divested from the College/Universities. The players should be paid as professionals with profits from the teams helping to fund the schools that hold ownership. The players would not attend classes or receive degrees. However, they would have the right to a free education after leaving the team if they met certain eligibility requirements.

    • twenty-niner

      They already have this in baseball – it’s called the minor leagues.

  • Yar

    From the Lexington Herald-Leader
    “Kentucky spent more on basketball recruiting last year than any public university in the six biggest conferences in college sports.
    Kentucky spent $434,095 in fiscal 2010. Kansas was second with $419,228; and Florida third with $326,306, according to expense reports from 53 schools obtained through open-records requests. Private schools such as Duke aren’t required to divulge the information.”
    Read more: http://www.kentucky.com/2011/03/26/1685078/kentucky-basketball-leads-nation.html#storylink=misearch#ixzz1IYrsofK5

    Kentucky is a poor state. How is it our state can afford a top notch mens basketball team? Where does the money come from? I contend sport taxes are levied on many products and services we buy, even though it is not called a tax. Only a few college programs are profitable.
    The NCAA should require profitable athletic programs to contribute 50 percent of revenue to their supporting educational institution.

    From the Lexington Herald-Leader
    “Of the five SEC schools with self-supporting athletics departments that responded to Herald-Leader queries, the University of Florida gives 6.5 percent to purely academic pursuits, such as scholarships, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville gives 5.2 percent, Louisiana State University gives 3.8 percent, while the University of South Carolina’s rate is lower than UK’s, at 1.9 percent.”

    Read more: http://www.kentucky.com/2011/03/20/1677867/uks-culture-of-athletics-will.html#ixzz1IYt9sQzP

    For an industry so obsessed with statistics, it is interesting that economic data on the sports industry is not all that easy to find.
    Is the tail is wagging the dog?

    Since you have a professor of law as your guest today, why is it that these educational institutions can’t seem to negotiate a contract with coaches and Athletic Directors that actually hold them accountable? Rick Pitino and Billy Gillispie are two individuals where their behavior leaves me questioning the quality of oversight. I would like a clause in the contract that required the coach to pay back the university if found guilty of a major recruiting violation.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t feel sorry for the players. They’re getting to participate in a sport that they presumably love, while getting a free ride toward a degree (if they finish). Athletes often get help that regular (real?) students don’t get. As a college instructor, my assessment of that help is that they are cheating.

    The best answer for colleges is to separate themselves from their athletic programs. They cost more than they bring in. They distract from the true purpose of a school. Let the professional sports organizations have apprenticeship programs, like the farm teams in baseball, for those who want a life in sports.

    Greg Camp
    Springdale, AR

    • Sara from Burlington, VT

      I agree! I don’t understand why college sports on this level even exist. I mean if a high school grad, a great athlete wants to play, they should play. Isn’t it true that many students on athletic scholarships not pay so much attention to school. If students are in school, shouldn’t school be the real focus? It seems that these players should play, they should get paid, maybe learn about managing money and investing, but why should they be in college at this point in their lives?

  • BHA in Vermont

    I’ve heard all the arguments about how you need to pay a ridiculous amount to a college coach so you have a winning team so the alumni will donate scads of money to the college and big business will fund it via TV ads.

    All I can say is: When did the universities decide that education was secondary to sports?

    How sad that the alumni and businesses don’t support education like they support sports. Wouldn’t you think that the businesses would WANT well educated kids coming off the podium with their diploma. People who can help their business?

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t this hour supposed to be about the costs of college athletics? Why are you spending time celebrating the very thing that you’re claiming to be questioning?

  • Cambervillain

    If players want to make money from their sports as nascent pros let them become professionals. There are plenty of examples of college athletes walking into pro sports with incredibly lucrative contracts.

    Other students work in unpaid internships, research and support positions where other faculty and outside businesses benefit from their work and there’s no national conversation about how they should be paid for their work; chances are these students aren’t doing their unpaid work with full ride scholaships, first-class travel and accomodations and multi-million dollar service programs and support personnel to take care of them while they do it. To me this conversation should bring up concerns over the fundamental prioritization of what colleges can, are and should be doing with their money.

    • ThresherK

      My recall of the regs is that the NFL won’t draft a player whose class isn’t 3 years into college, and the NBA won’t draft a player whose class isn’t a year into college. (Correct as needed.) About this, lawsuits have been filed for restraint of trade.

      And accountants, engineers or law students get job offers while they’re in college, and make contacts, without giving up eligibility. There just isn’t the comparison.

  • Rex Henry, Washington, DC

    If the players want money, they can go pro. If they get money, where to we draw the line between “amateur” and pro.

    All this money should go to the whole school.

    As for the pat on the back and a hat comment- NO! Football and basketball athletes get SOOOOOOO much free stuff (electronics and such) when they go to post season games and tournaments

  • Anonymous

    Should money go to college players? That’s the wrong question. The right question is whether we ought to have the sports programs in the first place.

  • http://peakvt.blogspot.com PeakVT

    I don’t see why schools of higher education should be in the business of providing sporting entertainment. The mission of colleges and universities is to create and disseminate knowledge. Running farm teams for the pro sports leagues is at best tangential to that mission.

  • Rex Henry, Washington, DC

    If they do get paid, are they still considered scholarship athletes? Does that money get freed up to spend on the school and facilities?

  • Tim_V

    The money should go to the school, not to the athletes. They receive a free education, which can cost upwards of $100,000 or more in debt. Second, I went to a D-I school for college and a 3rd string soccer goalie got a free ride for school and in his own words, he played all of maybe 12 minutes of playing time in 4 years! I say that that is more than a great deal.

  • Anonymous

    Has those who claim that student athletes are students ever taught them? Have they ever wondered if the athletes’ work is honest or the product of cheating? Have they ever wondered why their own departments are struggling for money, while the athletics program is awash in cash?

  • Anonymous

    How will paying the athletes work under title 9? The market value for female athletes isn’t comparable.

  • Heidi

    I’m tired of people acting as though the players aren’t already getting paid. The scholarships they get can go into the $50 K per year, which for other people is counted as income by Uncle Sam. In addition, the programs that actually do bring in some money give their players free trips (with spending money), to places like Europe, Hawaii and the Caribbean – again for other people this would be taxable income. All this BEFORE the illegal payment the players are taking. Furthermore, if they get paid, can the university then “fire” them, leaving them with nothing, possibly including no way to pay for their education, if they make a mistake in a big game? Then you have to address the other side of the coin. Most program lose money, and those players are still getting free educations, etc. What would happen to them if we went to a pay for performance system?

  • Sue

    If you want to play pro sports in the US, I believe there are companies you can apply to: the NBA, NFL, etc. If you want to go to college and play sports, play the piano, write for the newspaper, go ahead. It will enrich your life.

    • ThresherK

      The training, coaching/instruction and competition in the NCAA game is unsurpassed. It amounts to nothing less than vocational education for would-be NBAers and NFLers. Why anyone would saddle themselves with a lesser vocational education than their ability can get them, before entering the pros, is beyond me. (Unsurprisingly, the structure of minor league baseball and hockey exist next to much smaller collegiate emphasis on these sports.)

      Want to play in the NFL? The post-high-school road is much easier through Texas or Penn State than through the Ottawa GeeGees or Milwaukee Mustangs.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Paying the players: I can see the scenario where they refuse to play unless they get a big raise and bonus each year. Jump colleges to the highest bidder every year.

    Hmmm, sounds like they are getting the education they will need should they make it to the Pros.

  • Ben

    I don’t think college students should get paid for sports. They will have plenty of chance to make money in the NBA. But what about setting up a system that allows the winning team to donate a LARGE amount of money to some charity like education for inner city kids or something?

    • http://peakvt.blogspot.com PeakVT

      What percentage of collage basketball players gets drafted into the NBA? I think the figure is rather low, so a lot of players will never receive any direct compensation for the many hours they put into practicing and playing.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, please. Let us all weep for the abused athletes.

    How many athletes actually get degrees? I hear over and over about the stars leaving in a year or two for the professional leagues.

  • Tim Brown

    I’ve taught college at state and private universities, and I played on varsity sports teams when I was at college.

    We should a keep the athletes amaterurs and dilute the money effect by doing the following:

    1. Limit coach pay to the maximum teaching faculty salary at the institution

    2. Limit compensation for any NCAA employee to coach’s salary level

    3. Distribute all NCAA profits such that every 4-year-degree institution gets x dollars per student, based on total enrolment and let tuition costs be kept down somewhat.

    Tim Brown

  • Sparkysdad

    How about ending the tax exempt status of of college football and basketball programs. And give the tax payer some money back. When a multimillionaire “donates” to a university athletic program the tax revenue that he doesn’t provide has to be made up by average tax payers. Ending these deductible donations certainly would reduce the money in college athletics.

  • James in Ky

    I always came down against paying NCAA players until very recently. I’ve had a change of heart.
    1. Only about 1% of these amateur players make it to the pay-for-play level.
    2. The players must sign a waiver granting the NCAA indefinite rights to that players image, even after that player has left school and can not be expected to maintain amateur status.
    3. Is the NCAA sincerely granting these athletes access to a college degree when you consider the hours per week spent pursuing the athletic part of the college experience? Doesn’t it amount to a full-time job on top of 15+ hours of class work? Who could graduate in 4 years with this schedule?
    4. Is the NCAA really expecting a high graduation rate from these students who might not otherwise qualify to matriculate to a college?
    5. With the money generated by the NCAA, the athletic directors, the coaches, and the programs, is there any way the NCAA will cut the players in?

    • judy

      Perhaps the rules need to change, not the lack of pay.

  • Anonymous

    No you don’t bring money in. Balance the costs that the sports programs represent, and these athletes need to be paying to play.

    Besides which, playing sports isn’t essential to the college experience. NCAA is not school. It’s a distraction.

  • BHA in Vermont

    In reply to James in Ky:
    “Doesn’t it amount to a full-time job on top of 15+ hours of class work? Who could graduate in 4 years with this schedule?”

    The non athletes who work their way through college with full time jobs that probably pay little more than minimum wage. They probably still have loans to pay off after they get their degree (which a lot of the “can’t make the Pros” athletes won’t get).

  • KGinBoston

    I would like to see a percentage of monies the school will receive from tournaments and TV rights put aside for the student athlete who will then receive that money upon graduation. This creates an incentive for the student to finish their degree. Those that jump to a professional league before graduation forfeit their award.

  • Steven

    I don’t think college players should be paid. No one is forcing these individuals to attend college and/or play sports. They choose to play and in return may get perks and also have their cost of attending school reduced or given free. One of the callers stated that student athletes bring monetary value and should be compensated, but let’s not forget that these students in turn get a platform to develop and showcase their talents and from this are able to gain access to professional sports.

  • Chris

    If you’re going to pay Div. I basketball players, then you’re going to have to pay all Div. I athletes. You’re asking for a lawsuit. The problem is the NBA uses the college level as its de facto minor league system.

  • Gary B

    I suggest that the share of money going to the university be held in trust until the student athletes graduate. At that time, the student gets a graduation “bonus” with the remainder going to the university. If the student does not graduate, the money goes to social welfare charities.

    • Anonymous

      Why not a graudation bonus to the real students who are going to do worthwhile work in their futures?

  • Beth in MA

    As a parent that is sending a non-athlete son to college next year, I am appalled at the idea that athletes would be paid to play. We are currently looking at paying $22,000 – $55,000 per year to send our child to school. The idea that any school would allocate any of their revenues to paying student athletes rather than to improving educational activities and making school more financially accessible to all students is misplaced. I could support giving student athletes better scholarships, enforcing the limits on the hours they work, etc. But making them employees of the institution totally obfuscates what a university is all about…

    • Anonymous

      While I am sympathetic to your plight I think you are missing the point. As most others here are as well. Very few athletes make into the professional leagues. A lot of them are getting ripped off by the NCAA by not getting any percentages from the spin offs from the games they play. That’s the issue, or at least that’s what it seems to be from my understanding of it. Your son could apply for merit scholarships if he’s academically gifted. Blaming the athletes for a messed up system is kind of absurd. When I hear about coaches making 4, 5 million a year in salaries at the university and college level I’m inclined to think somethings very wrong with collegiate sports.

  • Stillin

    My daughter is at a D-1 university. Her love is sports, played in highschool at the stellar level. Her dilemma at university was, how can I do the academic work if I play? Her choice was to focus on academics..but she could have gotten college free had she chosen to go to the universities that would have covered her tuition, and she would play. She chose a university that gave her half the tution paid, D-1 but NOT playing for that school, only instramurals, the focus being academics.I think that the level college athletics has gotten to, and I am thinking of NCAA,that yes they should seperate entities and be paid as pre-professional atheletes. They are still being used to bring in income and fame to that college. When I ask her now, was it a mistake not to go with her love of sports, she says it’s a mixed bag, but she loves her university ( U of Arizoan ( WILDCATS!) and I believe it’s been good for her to put the sports as extra, not center. Last week she played 3 on 3 with an ex-NBA player during a contest and plays nightly for fun. I think defining anybody, through one avenue , is dangerous.

    • BHA in Vermont

      “She chose a university that gave her half the tuition paid, D-1 but NOT playing for that school, only intramurals, the focus being academics.”

      They are PAYING her to play intramural sports? You can’t even use the “they bring money to the school” argument for Intramural sports. HOPEFULLY, I misinterpreted what you meant which I HOPE was “she got an academic scholarship that covered half the tuition cost”.

      • Stillin

        She did get an academic scholarship that pays half of her costs, yes. Intraumurals were her choice since she is NOT playing for them on one of their teams. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. Point being, she CHOSE academics, but it was no easy choice. The girl is a born athlete, trust that.

      • Stillin

        She did get an academic scholarship that pays half of her costs, yes. Intraumurals were her choice since she is NOT playing for them on one of their teams. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. Point being, she CHOSE academics, but it was no easy choice. The girl is a born athlete, trust that.

  • Marilynhutton

    Just how many of this country’s “institutions of higher education” actually make money from their sports programs? For the significant majority the athletic programs leech money from academic programs. The idea of paying student athletes from money that would otherwise support academic programs is ludicrous.

  • jjh3

    No money for athletes! In my case, I worked three part time jobs my senior year, while the football players were being tutored, fed, and generally having their hands held through the whole process. How bout using the procedes from sports as a tution reduction that can be visualized on one’s tuition statement?

    PS I also played small college hockey for two years and managed to maintain a decent GPA.

  • Amazon

    Y’all are forgetting the most important point. The student athletes are nothing without the university franchise. Let them form a team, hire a stadium, hire coaches, hire business managers, accountants, etc., and hold a contest and see if they make any money as a minor league team. No way.

    • Hutch

      this is like saying “money is nothing without banks.” start your own bank and create you’re own loan you lazy degenerate.

  • imchuckie

    Tom, Why can’t money be put in trust for all the players, including those who spend lots of time on the bench or sidelines? The money could be earmarked, in part, for education, incl. to pay back student loans. And then earmark the rest to become available yearly, starting after some reasonable duration of time–say, age 25 thru 30? It would seem to be worthy “insurance,” especially for those who end up with career-ending injuries while playing for those schools, and who thus lose their sports scholarships.

    • LinP

      Which players get paid? Just basketball and football? What about the other Div 1 athletes like my swimmers? Does hockey qualify? How about the gymnastics team? Are only the basketball/football players worthy? Do you know that pistol teams in many universities are part of Div 1 athletics, and those students often fill Olympic teams.

      The whole system of college athletics needs to be revamped and cleaned out. It’s absurd. I don’t believe it will ever happen, however. Greed is good, as we see all around us.

  • Bob Patrick

    Why is the conversation about student athletes becoming employees? Wouldn’t it be more likely that they would become independent contractors with agents? Wouldn’t they want a free agency type of arrangement. Given their value to the school, it seems ridiculus to suggest that student athletes would be employees. It is a term used by the NCAA and others to cast the relationship as an inferior one to which no reasonable person would agree.

  • Anonymous

    If the school separated athletics, sports programs would be shown as the parasites that they are.

  • Trish Virginia Tech

    What is the profit used for at the university? Is it used academic purposes or does it just perpetuate itself?

    • Anonymous

      The profits from college sports spin offs goes to the coaches and the NCAA. The computer games are very successful and make huge profits.
      I think some colleges and Universities might get a cut but I’m not sure.

  • Edward

    As a graduate teaching assistant, I was given a tuition remission and a living stipend for what is by any other definition “services rendered” to the University in question. Combined with many of the other concerns about providing incentives for “student athletes” to follow through and complete a degree program, why not do the same ? We want to avoid the idea of basketball or football players being able to get into the revenue division issues you see in the current NFL labor dispute, but there are “third ways” in all of this

  • Anonymous

    If you pay athletes, then I’m going to demand that business majors get paid, English majors get paid, physics majors get paid, etc. In other words, pay the students who will contribute to our society.

    What we’re showing here is how skewed our values are in modern-day America.

  • Anonymous

    There is another problem: How many professors get paid $4,000,000 a year?

    • BHA in Vermont

      None, because they don’t “bring in the money”.

      • Jpanlasigui

        Educator speaking. You’re wrong. They bring in students who look to the solid educational repertoire of their professors, which boosts the reputation of the school. Professors bring the PAYING STUDENTS. If a billion dollar revenue is all it takes to convince the public that we should pay student athletes with comped tuition, then how bout this? Professors are responsible for fielding the trillions of dollars worth of students who pay to enter that classroom. They and all educators deserve more, far more, than coaches. Far more in general…

  • Glenn K.

    Scholarship? Give me a break! Colleges these days are over priced, and can’t guarantee a student a job later on anymore. This is adultism plain and simple. A bunch of adults are giving young people a line of b—-t in order to satisfy their own greed.
    Look at Europe, for instance. The price of education here just doesn’t compare!
    I predict it will all come unbundled soon enough, like airline tickets where you pay separately for baggage, meals, even the blanket and pillow.
    Well, so-called ‘college athletics’ can’t last the way it is. Eventually, we’ll find that it’s turned into a ‘minor league’ because that’s the truth.

  • Anonymous

    Notice how corrosive the idea of profit is to education. Sports are a for-profit business, while schools are a different institution entirely. Blending the two creates this mess.

    • Stillin

      oh I have to beg to differ, schools at ALL LEVELS are for profit. Ask anybody who works in them. Schools are a for profit institution.

  • Anonymous

    i think the colleges should cut all athletic ‘scholarships’ to zero, and let the NBA start it’s own minor league system. Let the educational institutions return to the business of education…athletics is an excuse to boost the reputation of large land-grant universities who have neglected educational quality

    • Anonymous

      Great idea, just like baseball.

    • Hutch

      Being an athlete prepared me for the real world much much much better than academics ever did

  • Tateybird

    Let the NBA form the pre-professional league like the baseball minor league. Then the kids with no interest in college can go there and the kids that want to go to college to learn can do so and play at the college level. Then the scholarships will be invested in students who are actually interested getting a higher education.

  • Selain

    As a theater production major, we put in countless hours working on productions on our own time. Working from 7am to 11pm to hang lights fixing cues with very little sleep. Working. All days on weekends. Why should we not get paid for our work as well? We also get used for promotional purposes. We get no special tutoring in classes, nearly nothing in scholarships, and run many of the risks that athletes do.

    • Hutch

      former d1 athlete here. you’re right i was given all of the benefits that many did not. you however should also be allowed these benefits. if you create revenue for a university you should be compensated beyond scholarships

      • twenty-niner

        And you write like a third grader.

        • Hutch

          Thank you twenty-niner for that compelling and informative response.

          • twenty-niner

            Much better Hutch. Always capitalize the first letter of each sentence. It makes your comment much easier to read; and don’t be afraid to throw a comma in here and there to break up clauses.

  • judy in CT

    My dad went to the University of Connecticut, as did I, and my daughter’s there now. None of us are/were athletes, just students.
    The schloarship athletes not only get tuition, but room & board — the best on campus, study halls and tutoring, summer school; and the big so-called money-makers like football and basketball aren’t necessarily even expected to graduate in four years. So, they are compensated.
    Also, outside the sports arena (pun intended), corporate chiefs make the salaries and bonuses on the backs of the worker-bees.

  • Hutch

    what most people do not realize is the amount of time student athletes put into creating revenue for their universities. as a former d1 athlete my days started at 5:30 in the morning with the first practice, i would then go to class all day (athletes must maintain full time student status). in the afternoon i would go to my second practice. after dinner there would be mandatory study hall. even after that i had to have a part time job to make up for what my scholarship did not. compensation makes perfect sense to those of us who have been through it.
    the people who do not agree with compensation were obviously never student-athletes.

    • MIgirl

      obviously you were not in school to get an education. I went to a Big10 school and was annoyed at the help and the adulation and the worshiping that went on with the atheletes. Don’t whine about how hard it was for you, that is the path you chose so deal with it. SOME people had to pay for their education and didn’t have “help” with our classes.
      Personally, the only sports I do watch is college because I refuse to support the outrageous salaries that pro’s get. I guess even college sports are out now…

  • Michael

    So what happens if the collages start paying the players? wouldn’t the female basketball players complain about not being paid the same to play the same sport? even know Male Basketball brings in far more money and Audiences/Fans.

    What about the other sports? would they now be required to get paided as well and who decides how much each player for each sport gets paid? and Does the pay have to be the same for males and females sports players?

    • Hutch

      the same hourly rate for all D1 players for practice and game time with heavily controlled hours per week regulations.

      Title 9 was designed to protect female athletes from being left behind in the money game

  • Sean

    School is to education as profession is to salary. Take the profit motive out of college sports altogether. In college sports, making a revenue for maintenance is one thing, constructing an entire business-for-profit model focused around the athletics department is something else entirely and should be disallowed in academia. School is where people learn, and if they happen to be athletes and have a desire to excel, let them participate in sports during their studies (this is the original purpose of collegiate sports). Athletes who are jocks (i.e. are only in it for the ego) should go straight for the money and avoid the charade of student life. Concurrently, there should be a movement in the business community to create semi-professional sports leagues where these athletes/jocks can apply their trade. The current system has obviously been designed to make rich/entitled people richer (specifically school alumni). Make these people risk their money in a professional venture instead of using their colleges/universities as fronts for their business schemes. (Oh, and why not improve the primary and secondary public education system so that knowledge, rather than the profit motive, is valued from an early age…)

  • Ladyday

    Ed O’Bannon was actually on the 1995 UCLA Championship team. North Carolina won in 2005 and O’Bannon would definitely not have been on that team as a player.

  • Dawson

    This guy David Williams is completely clueless, especially given the conference Vanderbilt plays in. His arguments make no sense. Does Auburn really care whether its players graduate? Highly doubtful. These NCAA guys are crooks.

  • Adam

    Don’t forget that many athletes who appear to be good students tend to get lenient treatment and grades from supportive professors and teachers.

  • cogin

    Where I live, people get upset if a company wants to tap into the water table and use the water for profit; people know that the water is a public resource, and they want to be compensated for its use. They don’t seem to know that the broadcast spectrum is also a public resource, and the reason for all the money problems in sports is simply that the public is vastly underpaid for its resource. It’s so glaringly obvious. The fact that vast flows of money go into the pockets of certain athletes, coaches, and institutions is simply an indication that society is not being compensated fairly for the use of the broadcast rights.

  • Lucas Zoknyi

    I don’t think people should get paid to bounce a ball into a basket. REMEMBER it’s just a silly game (as a matter of fact all Sports are). Give the athletes a Scholar ship and have the rest money go to research for things more important like,….oh, I don’t know CANCER???
    here are too many athletes out there who can’t even spell but are driving big BMWs, because they can play some silly sport no one in the rest of the real world cares about.

    • Eagles21000

      you make it seem like playing a “silly sport” is easy and if no one in the world cares about it, how are they making so much money?

      • Jpanlasigui

        Educating isn’t easy. Overall, more money is brought to colleges by good professors. Heck, their reputations bring the PAYING students – trillions of dollars worth in students each year nationally. Pay the professors more, not the athletes.

    • 123

      they’re entertainers. we pay to watch them play, why not let them enjoy that. just because you weren’t a good enough athlete to play d1 or professionally doesn’t me others shouldnt get rewarded.

    • Meganis2much

      Your comment is just so selfish and foolish its ridiculous ! You sound so inconsiderate. This kids go out and go to school, play sports to better themselves in the future. Putting all their hard work and dedication into this and you say things like that. Yes money should be put to things like cancer, but theirs money being wasted all over this world so why take it out on young adults that is trying to do something with their lives !

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