You heard me. Let’s pay college athletes? Pay them with what? Pay them how? Let’s face it, this will never happen and the perceived greed of the NCAA is not even the biggest obstacle keeping college athletes from reaping the financial benefits of their talents. There are legal and business issues that stand in the way that most people don’t consider when asserting that college athletes should be paid for the work they do on the courts and fields.
The most popular argument for paying players is that top schools are making billions of dollars off of the athletes and should reward the players as such. Universities are businesses, both academically and athletically.
For every revenue stream, there is a cost. And beyond that, Title IX restricts athletics departments’ budgets in dictating the number and amount of available scholarships and other resources a department must dedicate to men’s and women’s sports.
So while the University of Texas football program showed a nearly $68 million profit, the money is being used to keep the university’s other sports programs afloat. If the money that is left over after operating expenses are paid, is split evenly over each student athlete at a university, you’re looking at small compensation. There are those that would say then that only players that are part of the surplus of revenue should be paid. That argument won’t stand against Title IX which would stipulate that athlete’s get paid equally.
If you think college sports are corrupt and the fix is for Universities to pay their students so that agents wouldn’t have to then I suggest you reconsider. Even if the NCAA or the government would allow schools to compensate athletes, it’d never be enough. Agents would still swarm around these impressionable kids.
Once you start paying athletes, the NCAA is no different from other leagues. And think of it what you may but keeping money off of the table has kept college sports somewhat entertaining. There is some semblance of parity when athletes have to base their decisions on what schools have to offer outside of money. With students looking for their pay day, stories like Butler, Boise State and VCU don’t happen. And what would college sports be without a Cinderella story?