This Institution Is Changing – For Better Or For Worse
Put yourself into the following scenario for a moment.
First. Pretend you work a physically grueling job.
The work itself is rewarding, but you work anywhere between 20 and 40 hours every week, and sometimes you do extra training after hours to make sure you’re the best you can be.
Every day, you push your body to its absolute limits.
Now, if you spend 4 or more years at this job, you have a 2% chance of moving on in this field professionally.
(Oh, and if you’re a woman in the same circumstance, you have less than 1% chance to move up.)
The industry you work in is worth a collective $14 Billion each year.
And for all your hard work, at the end of the day, you earn…
Sounds like a pretty bad gig, right?
Who would agree to this?
That’s The Deal You Sign Up For When You Play College Sports
Sure, many college athletes receive scholarships, but did you know that the average college athlete only receives about $18,000 a year?
That’s not even enough to cover tuition at the vast majority of universities…
Further, those scholarships are granted at a negligible cost to the schools themselves.
They’d still have to keep their doors open and the lights on and pay the same relative costs even if they didn’t grant those scholarships.
The net effect is similar to working at a software company where your payment for working there is… a copy of the program you work to sell.
You may be thinking, “Well, the main point of college is to get a degree, and that’s what these athletes should focus on first…”
But when the schools are making money hand over fist because of these athletes, is that really fair?
Or do the student athletes deserve to earn some monetary recompense for their work, too?
The governor of California certainly seems to think so…
But the NCAA and other colleges aren’t so sure…
Talent Agents In College?
Just a few weeks ago, Gavin Newsom, governor of California, signed a new bill allowing college athletes to work with talent agents and earn money from endorsement deals.
Although this measure wouldn’t go into practice until 2023, opponents of the law are already up in arms over it, saying it threatens the very institution of college sports itself.
Up to this point, student athletes haven’t been allowed to earn anything more than the costs associated with attending school.
Because this was the rule across the board, it kept the recruitment process relatively fair to the schools…
But as the industry grew and grew, athletes and their parents started to wonder…
Was this really fair to the students?
After all, they’re the ones whose blood, sweat, and tears made the whole program happen. Shouldn’t they be entitled to compensation for their efforts?
And if it doesn’t cost the schools themselves a dime, why should they care? Why block these kids from making a living with sports just because they’re enrolled in a university while they play?
Here’s The Catch
Because it only applies to schools in California, the recruitment playing field would no longer be level.
As such, there are three possible outcomes.
Option one, California schools could be ousted from the NCAA. That would mean removing fan favorite schools like UCLA, USC, and Stanford from competition. If that were to happen, the fans, the NCAA, the schools, and the students would suffer.
Option two, the new law goes into effect, California schools stay in competition, and the recruitment process becomes completely skewed in their favor. With big money on the line, what promising student athlete would pick a non-paying college experience over one that offers a chance at a competitive wage for their efforts?
If this option happens, the California schools will likely dominate, and any school outside California will suffer in terms of enrollment and stats. Games would no longer be fair, and they probably wouldn’t be all that interesting to watch…
That brings us to option three…
In option three, the other schools will make changes in order to keep up with California. They’ll have to bear the idea that students and their agents might make deals with companies they might not jive with in order to earn a buck.
That leads to a whole different kettle of fish, but at the end of the day, the student athletes would get paid, the schools would continue to receive their cut of a fourteen billion dollar pie, and the viewers would get to watch the games and buy a pair of UnderArmor sneakers or box of
Wheaties with their favorite player’s name on it.
While that sounds like a win/win solution, this last option seems unlikely as of now. The NCAA has called California’s new rule, “unconstitutional” and it seems that they’re more likely to deem California schools ineligible to compete.
So here’s the crux of the argument.
Is It Fair For Student Athletes To Get Compensated For Their Work?
One side says yes, we live in a capitalist society, and those who do the work should see the benefits of their labors.
The other side says no, the main point of college is to gain an education, and anything you do in your free time is just gravy.
If we agree with the opposition, then it’s probably time to ask ourselves…
Is it fair for the colleges and the NCAA to use student sports as a cash cow?
And can we somehow reconfigure the programs so the athletes themselves can indeed focus on education instead of pushing themselves physically while doing the bare minimum to stay eligible academically?
As it stands, the system seems hopelessly lopsided – and it’s not in favor of the students.
We need to make better decisions for our youth and their futures – they deserve it.
Editor, Brian Rose Uncensored