College basketball and football make billions each year, but the student athletes see none of that money.
According to the New York Times in 2011 the 15 highest paid NCAA coaches made a combined 53.4 million, while student athletes who played in college sports in 2011 combined to make $0.
The athletes who do all the training and play in the games don’t make money off any of their work. However the NCAA, universities and coaches make billions of dollars off TV deals, jerseys and ticket sales.
A survey done by the NCAA in 2006 found football players spend an average of 44.6 hours a week doing activities related to their sport. That clocks them in at more hours than a full time job. On top of this, players are also responsible for going to class and getting all of their schoolwork done.
Many of the arguments against paying players cite player get scholarships, which sometimes are worth up to $200,000 over four years.
There are a couple of problems with this argument. First of all, many players bring in way more then $200, 000 for their schools. This year Johnny Manziel brought in 37 million dollars in media exposure to Texas A&M according to a study done by the school.
Student athletes make money for their schools in a number of different ways. First through playing in games that people buy tickets for and which TV broadcast pay millions for. Second schools make money by having fans buying gear because it has a certain player’s number on it. A third source of income is selling players’ likenesses to be used in things like video games.
A perfect example is Kevin Ware for Louisville. He was gruesomely injured during a March Madness game on national TV. Hours after the incident, Addis started selling Win For Ware T-shirts for $25. Not a penny of that money ever went to Ware, and yet he will probably never have the opportunity to become a professional athlete.
Another problem is these scholarships offered to athletes don’t cover the total cost of college. It is estimated by the NCAA that athletes spend an average of $3,500 not covered by scholarships.