For those of you who remember, I was once one of those cats who opposed players getting any type of compensation.
I naively thought that the values of scholarships the players received at major institutions were efficient compensation. After all, can’t value the value of a college education, right?
And while the value of a college education was indeed valuable, it’s a rather naive point of view. It fails to take into account the big picture.
Let’s talk about college scholarships for a minute.
Again, I agree with the notion of the value of a college education. I’m a college grad myself (NC State undergrad, NC A&T grad school). But let’s be clear about one thing: it’s not a guarantee that a college degree will guarantee a student a job. And it may be not be the job said student wants.
Speaking of scholarships, they renew themselves on a yearly basis. What if some of those student athletes got hurt? Will those scholarships get rescinded?
And there are coaches who “over-recruit”. What happens to those kids who are on the wrong side of the numbers game?
So no, a college scholarship — whole valuable — is not fully equivalent to compensation.
There’s another side of this that I find so hypocritical.
One of the things that make our county so great is capitalism. Free enterprise, capital accumulation, competitive markets, the whole nine.
So why are there many folks who are against these student athletes capitalize on their likeness in video games?
Remember EA college sports games? That company voluntarily shut itself down instead of compensate those athletes.
How about their jersey sales?
All that money Clemson makes off of those orange #16 jerseys. Sure, there’s no name in the back, but we all know those are Trevor Lawrence jerseys. Why not have him profit off those jersey sales?
Ya think Clemson made lots of money off of #4 jerseys when Deshaun Watson won that national title? How about those #1 jerseys at Oklahoma?
Why are so many of us so hypocritical when it comes to applying capitalism in this instance? Wouldn’t denying those kids be the antithesis of what capitalism is all about?
And we haven’t begun to discuss those HUGE TV deals the “Power 5” conferences received. The SEC, Big Ten, and ACC is making lots of cheddar off their cable networks (Pac-12 not so much).
How about the contract the NCAA signed with CBS and the Turner Networks to cover its NCAA men’s basketball tournament? From 2010 to 2032, the NCAA will make $19.6 billion dollars.
So if we are going to continue to deny these kids the right to compensation and allow the NCAA and colleges to profit handsomely, all while continuing to pretend this is all amateur athletics, what does that say about our values?
Oh before I forget, props to California governor Gavin Newsom for signing the “Fair Pay to Play Act”…