Lance 8.8 billion dollars will guarantee the Columbia

Lance ReidProfessor Theresa SheaEnglish 10114 December 2017When Does This Become Illegal? : Players Must Be CompensatedThis will generate over 10.8 billion dollars in revenue by year 2024. At least this was thought to be true, a 8 year contract extension adding an additional 8.8 billion dollars will guarantee the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS)  media rights over this event until 2032. What event you might ask? March madness! This is a college basketball tournament managed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). It’s held every year in March with 68 NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams facing off. With all this money, you might think players are generously compensated. Well not exactly, players don’t actually take a cash salary like coaches or managers. Players receive scholarships to attend these schools, and in return will play for free. Seems like a great deal if your the NCAA or a school benefitting off these players. College basketball being such a lucrative business, it’s insulting not paying the players people pay to watch. Division I basketball prospects with potential million dollar earnings should be paid a reasonable amount a semester. Doing so would show them how to manage money at a young age, increase exposure to the business side of sports and provide a smoother transition from highschool to college. There is a dream only 1.1% of male college basketball players will get to fulfil. Making basketball the hardest sport to receive a professional contract.  The easiest being baseball with a 9.1% chance, it puts in perspective how competitive a career in basketball can be. The National Basketball Association (NBA)  which drafts these young players is comprised of 30 teams. Each of which can have a maximum of 15 players on a roster. It wasn’t until 1971 NBA teams could  draft players before their college class graduation, making prior rookies in the league much older and the time spent playing college basketball much longer. This was all made possible by Spencer Haywood who won a supreme court ruling prohibiting the NBA from enforcing this rule. Known as the hardship rule this  ” … permitted teams to draft athletes from low-income families–a category that could be (and was) interpreted to include virtually every player who wanted to enter the pros before exhausting his college eligibility.” (Barbash) . Recognizable NBA players such as Kevin Garnett, Lebron James, and Kobe Bryant never attended college and were drafted straight from high school. As of 2005, a new rule required players to attend at least 1 year of college. This rule would kill two birds with one stone. It would continuously supply the NCAA with the best players in the country. While also providing a place potential NBA players could be developed, scouted and examined without it costing them. Essentially creating a year long tryout. In the past 12 years this rule has been implemented, a college freshman has been drafted as the number one overall pick ten times. This prompts a question, why wouldn’t more upperclassmen be picked? Wouldn’t they be better skilled and more knowledgeable of the game? The reason being if a player had such talents, it wouldn’t be logical staying longer and playing for free. Doing one year and playing professionally would guarantee yourself a minimum salary of $500,000 for rookies and just under 1 million dollars the next year. Staying in college can actually decrease your chances of signing with a NBA team. Injuries are not uncommon in sports and for a college player being healthy can be the difference in receiving a NBA contract. Having a great season and being a projected pick in the draft, players tend to follow the money. The NBA draft is comprised of the best basketball players not only in the United States but the entire world. There are two rounds, each round consist of thirty picks. Theoretically the earlier earlier your name is called the better you are.  This year in the 2017 NBA draft, sixteen college freshman were drafted in the first round and only two college seniors being Derrick White and Josh Hart. Meaning more than half of the best players at a collegiate level are freshman who have decided another year would have no benefit.Not only won’t the NCAA pay basketball players. The NCAA rules also prohibits athletes to monetize themselves in anyway. Meaning college athletes can’t sign endorsement deals promoting any product. Their name can’t be associated with anything for them to make money off of. Like how professional athletes can sell jerseys with their name attached to the back, this is not allowed in college. Universities however can negotiate endorsement deals putting a brands logo on a jersey or in the arena but of course players would never see this money. The rule requiring players to complete one year of college before being eligible for the draft has a loophole many players find themselves now taking. Officially you only have to be one year removed upon your high school graduation to be eligible for the NBA draft. One example being Brandon Jennings. Jennings was a high school basketball star who played for Oak Hill academy and averaged over 35 points per game. Bound to the new rules instead of attending college, Jennings opted to play in Europe for one year. Doing so Jennings would be getting paid and the following year be eligible for the NBA draft. He would be drafted 10th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks and now is having a promising career. Situations like this are created by the simple fact players want to get paid and the NCAA is saying no. The NCAA has no problem attracting talent, but the talent it could potentially maintain would be much greater by just paying players. ” The departure of so many high-performing players has taken its toll on the NCAA’s product, intercollegiate basketball. College basketball “this season has been a long, fitful snooze,” wrote columnist Dave Kindred in the Washington Post. The departure of players who left for the pros after their freshman year, Kindred wrote, “left spaces filled by lesser players.” “Put bluntly, college basketball stinks,” wrote the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Mark Bradley. “After nearly two decades of descent the sport has hit bottom.” (Barbash). Exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market, or a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices. This is the definition of a monopoly which is what the NCAA has over college basketball. In the United States every Division I and Division II schools are managed by the NCAA and must comply with their rules. These are also the only schools capable of generating enough money to pay players and are the only schools that give out athletic scholarships. “Like many a monopoly and oligopoly before it–like Standard Oil a century ago, like Detroit’s Big Three, like IBM, like Polaroid–the central tenet of the NCAA’s dominance, the unpaid student-athlete, has been undermined. Like them, it can learn to compete under the new rules, or it can dig in its heels and risk irrelevance.” (Barbash). History has shown monopolies never end well. As this topic becomes more controversial, higher caliber players hold the NCAA’s fate. If less players come, the NCAA’s rules would have to reflect the competition of the market. “Will they adapt and survive, like IBM has? Or will they hold on, like Polaroid, until they go into bankruptcy and are sold for their parts and brands?” ( Barbash).Arguing the point if a college player should get paid, first one must ask is a college player actually a employee? Does that player get assessed on his performance and reliability? Can he be fired or is his position solidified? Division I schools can offer multi year athletic scholarship but most athletic scholarships are one year and have to be renewed. In other words if you are not performing at the desired level, your scholarship can be given away to another player who can. Still a NCAA basketball player could not be classified as an employee for the simple fact a employee by definition gets paid by an employer. While also not a slave because players are not legally owned by the NCAA, players are in a sense volunteering to play. Life as a Division I basketball player finding a job is near impossible. “With respect to time commitment, college athletes fall somewhere between medical interns and graduate assistants. Based on the interviews conducted by Professors McCormick and McCormick, college football and basketball players spend approximately fifty-three and thirty hours per week, respectively, on their athletic activities”. (Parasuraman). College being so expensive, if a athlete is not on a scholarship it makes finding and holding a job if not impossible very difficult. Even having sport agents while in college are against NCAA rules. In 1995 UCLA linebacker Donnie Edwards was caught accepting $150 worth of groceries from a agent and was suspended a game. If players were paid this situation would be entirely avoided. The transition from high school to college can be extremely rough. You are now away from home surrounded by new people and if you are a athlete, spending a average of thirty hours a week practicing. “If colleges believe that having a basketball or football team contributes to education, let them keep them. But let them run their teams like they do other campus-based enterprises, like public radio and TV stations or hospitals. Program producers and station engineers at college-based NPR and PBS stations don’t work for nothing. Neither do doctors and nurses at university hospitals. Neither should athletes playing for college-sponsored teams. So pay the players. Pay them what the market will bear–maybe in the low-five-figure range of the salaries now paid to players in the NBA’s Developmental League. Allow them union representation like NBA and NFL players have. Provide a free college education–a real college education–for players who want one, as a fringe benefit. Players could pursue their degree while they’re playing, during off-seasons, or after their playing careers are done”. (Barbash). In recent news Louisville a Division I basketball school is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for paying players money to attend their school. Involved in this scandal are also the athletic apparel company Adidas. It has been reported Brian Bowen was given $100,00 to play at Louisville. Brian Bowen was ranked the 14th best high school basketball player in the country. Adidas who sponsors Louisville would benefit by having these top recruits playing in their sneakers and in the apparel. Louisville gaining good players would increase their chances of winning and the more you win in college basketball, the more money the NCAA will give schools. ” President James Ramsey paid coach Rick Pitino $7.7 million and athletic director Tom Jurich $5.3 million last year despite a prostitution-for-recruits scandal. Those salaries and bonuses are more than the university budgets for the departments of biology ($3.3 million), English ($4 million), history ($2.4 million) or mathematics ($3.5 million) according to the Louisville Courier-Journal”. (Jenkins). The FBI is involved because schools receive federal money. Head Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich have been fired and could face up to 80 years in federal prison. This would also be avoided if the NCAA would just pay players. A college education can be considered more valuable than money. As knowledge is power and money is only relative. Being wealthy does not make one more capable. Money can come and go, your education is something that can enhance your life far beyond imaginable. With colleges not paying players, maybe the tradeoff really is worth it? College is said to be the best time in your life, maybe that time should be spent having fun and getting a great education. The NCAA being founded in 1906, it has never paid players. “The NCAA membership has adopted amateurism rules to ensure the students’ priority remains on obtaining a quality educational experience and that all of student-athletes are competing equitably.” (Jcoram). The NCAA amateurism ideal would be more logical if players were under 18. Also if there wasn’t so much money to be made off the backs of these players. While education is important, it’s had to justify not letting grown men financially capitalize off their talents. Especially when there have been so many cases of corruption inside the organization. Essentially paying players their true value is critical. Louisville was not the first and won’t be the last school to desperately bribe players to attend. It’s scary knowing in today’s society such rules can still be justified. When you are knowledgeable on the amount of money schools make off of sponsorships, ticket sales and apparel it’s disturbing to hear none of it goes to players. The NCAA has even gone far as to sell video games with images of it’s athletes and not give players a dime. It’s evident the NCAA is tapping into every possible market in order to exploit it’s players. In no other situation would this be allowed. Was this money not given on the rule of amateurism? Players are put in a system that enriches everybody around them except themselves, and there is nothing they can do about it. I think it’s about time the NCAA pays up! Works CitedBarbash, Louis. “Pay or Don’t Play: Paying College Athletes Isn’t Just Fair to Players; It Could Improve College Basketball.” Washington Monthly, 2013, p. 13. General OneFile, Accessed 2017.”College Sports’ Real Criminals: Those Getting Rich under the Guise of ‘Amateurism’.”, 22 Nov. 2017. General OneFile, Accessed 2017.Jcoram. “Amateurism.” – The Official Site of the NCAA, 24 Apr. 2014,, Myron. “Rick Pitino’s Reputation — and Future — Are Again in Question.” ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, 26 Sept. 2017, “Turner, CBS and the NCAA Reach Long-Term Multimedia Rights Extension for NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.”, 12 Apr. 2016,, Rohith A. “Unionizing NCAA Division 1 Athletics: a Viable Solution?” Duke Law Journal, Dec. 2007, p. 727. General OneFile,


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