College Players Shouldn’t Get Paid, They Already Are

Two weeks ago, Bob Stoops, the University of Oklahoma football coach, went on record saying that NCAA college athletes should not be paid while in college.  His comments stem from the revolving controversy that surrounds the NCAA profiting from college sports while not paying the very students that actually play the game.

College football has been controversial with regard to how much money it generates for their respective institutions and how the football players that play the game are unfairly uncompensated.  Revenue among FBS football programs during the 2011-12 season ranged from a high of $103.8 million at Texas to a low of $3.6 million at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.  The average FBS football program brought in $25 million, with a median of $19.9 million.  In fact, Texas generated a total of $77.9 million in profit during this season.  Texas players did not get paid a dime of this money.

Bob Stoops (who by the way signed a contract to coach the Sooners receiving $39.4 million for 8 years [plus incentives]), thinks college players are paid enough.  I never thought I would say this but Stoops is 100% correct.  Here are some of his comments:

“You know what school would cost here for non-state guy? Over $200,000 for room, board and everything else,” Stoops said. “That’s a lot of money. Ask the kids who have to pay it back over 10-15 years with student loans. You get room and board, and we’ll give you the best nutritionist, the best strength coach to develop you, the best tutors to help you academically, and coaches to teach you and help you develop. How much do you think it would cost to hire a personal trainer and tutor for 4-5 years?”

Stoops is right on the money (no pun intended).  Students who wish to attend college for free are able to do so because they are given free college tuition, room and board, books, etc.  Take Duke University as an example.  The estimated cost of attendance for Duke is in 2012-2013 was the following:

  • Tuition and Fees $43,623
  • Room $6,140
  • Board $5,630
  • Books and Personal Expenses $3,472

As you can see, these expenses add up.  Over the course of 4 years, a student can easily owe over $200,000.  Students who attend college on an athletic scholarship however can earn a degree at this great institution free of charge.  Sounds like payment to me.

Furthermore, students who intend to make it to the NFL have access to coaches, trainers, physicians, and specialists that all help develop them into great athletes.  Players like Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State) and Trey Burke (Michigan) were unknown and not highly ranked high school prospects who, through the training and coaching efforts of their colleges, climbed their way to the top of NFL and NBA top 10 draft boards, respectively.  Both will make a ton of money playing professional sports thanks to the free training that they received while in college.  Sounds like more payments to me.

Finally, college football offers athletes one of the most underrated, underappreciated values:  Marketing.  The NCAA is better at marketing players than any professional league.  Players like Jadeveon Clowney, Johnny Manziel, and Geno Smith are all players that have been sensationalized this past season and, because of it, their future draft stock (which can determine how much money they will make) will increase drastically.  Players like Michael Crabtree and JaMarcus Russell benefited greatly from college footballs marketing scheme, and their pocketbooks certainly feel this impact in a positive way.  Marketing certainly has great value and, once again, seems like a formidable payment that college players receive.

It is clear that although coaches and institutions are profiting from players who don’t necessarily receive a paycheck, players still are benefiting greatly from the NCAA system.  It seems unfair that the players (who are the ones fans go to see and the ones generating the revenue) don’t receive the kind of compensation coaches and athletic directors receive (like Bob Stoops salary).  However, that’s America, that’s capitalism.  The higher you go up in any company, the less work is done.  Employees at a shoe factory get play squat while executives at the factory make money hand over fist without doing any of the work.  That’s just how it is, that’s how capitalism works.  Everyone in NCAA is fairly compensated; no one should argue a system wherein everyone benefits in such a manner.

-Deshawn (@ShonJay714)

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    • Ty
      April 24, 2013

      good points…there are two sides to every story. Yes the Colleges make millions of dollars but the Athletic scholarship saves them from a long-term relationship with Sallie Mae, which btw I can’t stand her. In addition to that….free training!!..not to mention all the social perks. Do I think players should get monetary compensation?? naw…

    • Derek
      April 24, 2013

      Yea I feel u on that one college players should get paid. They just put in there dues for 4 years. Then they are basically set for life! Providing that they do it right!

      • Chris
        April 24, 2013

        I absolutely disagree. You’re only looking st the best case scenarios. These kids have to spend all their time training and playing games so these institutions can get paid. Not to mention that their scholarships are NOT guaranteed but renewable. I didn’t see it mentioned about the students who get academic scholarships with all those perks you listed AND get paid stipends and in some cases salaries. Also, I think you’d feel differently if your likeness was used to make billions if dollars a and you saw nothing from that. These schools get something tangible, players when it all boils down, don’t.

        • shonjay714
          April 24, 2013

          sholarships Are Not guaranteed, But That’s Capitalism Too. No Job At The Bottom Is Guaranteed

        • Erik
          April 25, 2013

          As usual, Chris and I agree here. Offering someone a full-ride scholarship is not equivalent to payment. It just means that they’re getting a free ride. It’s not money in their hands, it just means that there will be no cost. Also if an athlete is good enough to make it to the next level, he/she has likely forgone some of those free years of college and likely chosen a less-involved and less-than-useful major to give him/herself the time to train to be the best. So let’s say an athlete chooses a major he can’t use and trains to be the best. He has a great college career, winning all four years, and makes the university tons of money. In the end his pro career doesn’t pan out. What does he have to show for it? A degree in University Studies? He’s given his time (which kept him from a more challenging major) and his body to make someone else rich while he gets nothing in return. That’s crazy.

        • Deshawn
          April 26, 2013

          Thats the kids idiotic fault. How about you do pre-med or enginering or something else. Free education is payment. They PAY for you to eat, somewhere to live, health care, pay for your books, etc. Board is money in hand

        • Erik
          April 27, 2013

          Are you serious? You and I both know how hard it is to major in a major like that without being committed to college athletics. I barely had the time to go to games. I can’t imagine trying to do it AND practice AND travel AND play in games. That’s incredibly difficult.

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