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The Money Making Ponzi Scheme

According to the NCAA website, the NCAA has over 444,000 college student athletes. There are scholarships for some athletes but not all student-athletes receive scholarships. I myself am a scholarship football player here at Kutztown University, which means I receive a partial athletic scholarship for my athletic achievements in high school. There are many athletes around the world who do not receive scholarships, and those who do are not getting paid what they should be for the talents. Universities make millions of dollars off of student athletes, so why do we not get to see the money we bring to the school.

The argument could be made that student athletes receive scholarships and that could be their payment. Those scholarships however are not really compensating athletes for the money they bring in for the school at all. In 2012 UCLA basketball and football programs made $71 million dollars, this money pays for 19 other sports, and gives a $1. 9 million-dollar salary to the head coach (Schooled). The average NCAA Division 1 scholarship is about $10,400 dollars, in 2012 UCLA had 91 players between two sports on their roster. This would mean if every player were to receive the average scholarship amount it would cost $946,400 dollars.

Those players are receiving 1. 3 percent of that $71 million dollars. The rest of the $70 million dollars go to the university and the coaching staff. (Schooled) At a division three level sport, student athletes are not allowed to receive scholarships, and there are plenty of walk on players at division one and two sports who do not receive scholarships. During the season of our corresponding sport, it is a NCAA violation to have a legal job to work for money. We are receiving no money for putting in our hard work, dedication, and time into a sport while the university is collecting the money for that work.

This is essentially like a boss not paying their employees for their work. If we are receiving no money, some athletes will resort to illegal activities to make their own money. How else will they pay for college or food or anything they want for that matter? We need to advocate the NCAA and universities to pay their athletes because of how much athletes do for these schools versus what we receive in return. My proposed suggestion to fix the issue is, pay the athletes during the season weekly. A compromise can be made that in the offseason we should work a job for our money.

During the season, however a weekly pay to athletes of their respected sports should be in order. At least 20 percent of earnings should go to the athletes and spread out amongst them. The percentage will have to differ from sports due to roster sizes. With this idea athletes are being compensated for the work they do for the university. With this idea both universities and athletes can be satisfied. An example of how this would work is if Alabama University made on average $20 million per a football game and every player has the average scholarship amount, there would be $19,064,000 dollars left to the university.

If 20 percent was taken out to pay the athletes it would cost $3,812,800 and dispersed through a 90-man roster, each player will receive $42,364 weekly. The university will receive $15,251,200 which is still a large sum of money. This solution is good for both the athletes and the university. The athletes will receive some of the money they make for the school and the university still receives a large amount of money for the sport. Now put yourself in an athlete’s shoes.

On average, you’re spending 4-6 hours a day on your sport, whether is meetings, practice, or required study hall. You’re competing in games that generate millions of dollars and you’re working your hardest every day. Would you not want to be paid as well? I myself, as a football player, am constantly working my body to perform the best I can on Saturdays. I receive a small scholarship compared to other schools to play football but I know the school is making money off me. It’s a lonely feeling not having money to go out and do things, or even get groceries despite the work I do.

One of the big cases in the last couple of years had to deal with not having enough money to get groceries, this case regarded Jameis Winston, a quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While he was attending Florida State University he got in a little bit of trouble for stealing crab legs from a supermarket. The reason he said he did it was because he simply didn’t have enough money to buy food for himself. What kind of sense does that make? He is a football player providing millions of dollars for his university and he doesn’t even have money to buy his own food? To me it is pretty astonishing.

The NCAA suspended him one game. (Machado, Alina “FSU’s Jameis Winston Accused of Shoplifting Crab Legs. 2014”) Now although you don’t see it on campus here, mostly all division 1 schools sell their best athletes jersey in the school store and they sell it over the internet as well. To me it doesn’t make sense why that athlete can’t just receive some sort of payoff for that. He was to walk by the school store seeing people wearing his jersey to games, parties, and other events knowing that the work he put in is just going on other people’s backs with no sort of compensation.

Now I know the flip argument is “well his compensation is the scholarship he’s receiving” and although that’s a great point, I still believe that the millions of dollars that jersey may bring in to the university could still be given to the athlete. We’re not even talking that much, just a little something for him to go out and get something to eat. One of the other problems the NCAA has with they’re athletes is that they don’t pay for their parents to come to their games, to me that is a huge problem, and I’m sure with division 1 athletes it’s even worse.

Why should parents of College athletes have to pay for tickets and plane flights to go see their kids play? A lot of these kids come from poverty and not much opportunity, leaving their support system (parents) not being able to watch their kid play. If you’re a parent wouldn’t you love to see your kid play any chance you could because that could be the last 4 years you have to see them play? Although the NCAA says you are a “Student Athlete” they really don’t mean that at heart. In the eyes of the NCAA you are not there for school, you are there to make them money!

A NCAA run tournament (March Madness) requires players to miss tons of class during the month of march and beginning of April. So how again, do they really care about the Student aspect of it? On average, the students miss 6 classes during this tournament, but some teams who make it far enough miss a whole quarter of a semester while still being responsible to do the same work as the students back at their respected universities. (Edelman, Marc, 21 Reasons Why Student-Athletes Are Employees,2013) It is honest to say that a college athlete has less rights than a convicted felon, because you barely have a first amendment right.

You’re constantly told what you have to say to reporters, you’re constantly being watched on what you put on social media, and if you slip up and say one wrong thing to a wrong person you could be in deep trouble with the university just because you are an athlete. That in itself makes me sick to think we can’t say anything bad about the NCAA even though they are taking money right from underneath of us. One of the craziest stats I’ve heard was that Division 1 Football players spend 43 hours a week doing football related activities, which is 3 more hours than the typical American work week.

So, how are we not doing a full-time job? Why aren’t we getting paid? (Edelman, Marc, 21 Reasons Why Student-Athletes Are Employees,2013)The tiredness you feel, the mental stress you have, and the overall aches and pains you have in your body is way more than I think anyone does who works 40 hours a week. don’t mean any disrespect to those people, I respect them a ton. But I could guarantee they would agree with that statement I just said. Now for the argument that NCAA college players are getting just enough for their tuition I understand.

But think about it this way how many universities are applied to through admissions because of their football team, basketball team, etc.? there are a ton of them! Take Temple for example, last year their admissions sky rocketed because their football team finally became ranked and won their division. The universities making more money off those kids than they would with 34 full ride scholarships. Penn State has been a big school with doing that for years now. You always see them advertising their school with the football team or football logo in some sort of way.

That to me is pretty cool because it shows that schools are being applied to just for their Football Team and its legacy. “The year Doug Flutie won the game with the big throw, Boston college’s caliber of admission went up 25 points and its SAT scores of students applying went up a crazy 110 points. ” (Edelman, Marc, 21 Reasons Why Student-Athletes Are Employees,2013)That to me goes to say a lot about the influence of college sports. Lastly, I want to bring up is the coach aspect of it. “Last year, the average salary of a BCS qualified coach was 3. 2 million dollars. A lot of college basketball coaches exceed 1. million dollars. And in 40 of the 50 states the highest paid official was a collegiate football coach or basketball. ” (Edelman, Marc. 21 Reasons why student-athletes are Employees, 2013)

That is crazy! Nick Saban, the Alabama head football coach, will reportedly make 7 million dollars a month on his next coming contract. While the coaches of these universities work their tails off day in and day out, the athletes also do the same thing. I’m not saying the coaches should be paid less, I’m just saying if you have the money to pay them that much, then you obviously have the money to compensate the players.

The solution I think we could make for this whole issue is to split a portion of the money the universities make among the major sports that make the universities the most money. Like the example I gave in the beginning of how this would work is if Alabama University made on average $20 million per a football game and every player has the average scholarship amount, there would be $19,064,000 dollars left to the university. If 20 percent was taken out to pay the athletes it would cost $3,812,800 and dispersed through a 90-man roster, each player will receive $42,364 weekly.

The university will receive $15,251,200 which is still a large sum of money. Again, this is a hypothetical situation which would not likely happen, but the numbers I came up with are somewhat accurate if you look at it. At the end of the day the question at hand is still, “why is it fair for them to receive extra money, even though most of them are receiving a full scholarship? ” I would love to see the people who are saying that endure the schedule we have for 2 semesters straight and still see if you think you’re an actual student.

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