SHOULD WE PAY
College football analyst Lou
Holtz and Dr. Boyce Watkins
debate whether the NCAA
should provide financial
compensation for student
New rule llows players to work on- or off- campus so long as their
employment income does not exceed $2,000
Prohibits student-athletes from:
Being represented by an agent or entering into an agreement with an
agent that is “not effective” until after the last game
Negotiate or sign a contract for any sport in which the player intends
to compete or market their name or image*
Accepting expense or gifts of any kind, even meals or
transportation, from an agent who wishes to provide services to the
Receiving preferential benefits or treatment because of the player‟s
reputation, skill, or pay-back potential as a professional athlete
Receiving royalties from the use of their likeness, even after
NATIONAL COLLEGE PLAYERS
“an organization in existence since 2001
to demand reform of NCAA athletes” (Bachtell)
“Athletes from schools in the Big 10, SEC, ACC, and Big 12 have been
sporting APU on equipment during games. APU stands for All Players
United and is a project of the NCPA” (Bachtell).
“Given the culture surrounding big school sports programs, any protest
is extremely rare, which makes this all the more remarkable” (Bachtell).
“The APU protest represents a challenge to the idea that athletes have
to ask for permission to speak” (Bachtell).
Not demanding pay to play athletics…Want scholarships to match to
full cost of attending school…Also demanding the NCAA do something
to reduce concussions and pay for medical treatment of inured
athletes…including covering medical expenses for players once they
leave college, guarnateed scholarship for permanently injured players,
brain-trauma reform and establishment of a trust fund to help raise
graduation rates” (Bachtell)
“While the NFL and youth football programs have been forced to
acknowledge the impact of concussions, the NCAA has remained
silent, refusing to take steps to improve the safety of players”
“The NFL and the NFL Players Association [have] negotiated a lot of
good policy and rule changes. They‟ve redirected resources,
investing a hundred million dollars in research. The NCAA can be
doing the same things”-Ramogi Huma, founder of the NCPA
“Players are being hurt on the job and they are being stuck with
medical bills”-Kain Colter, quarterback for the Northweatern University Widcats
“I tend to be more worried about college players than NFL players in
the sense that NFL players have a union, they‟re grown men, they
can make some of those decisions on their own, and most of them
are well-compensated for the violence the do to their bodies”-President
“Much of the NCAA‟s moral authority…is vested in its claim
to protect what it calls the „student-athlete‟…Meant to
conjure the nobility of amateurism, and the precedence of
scholarship over athletic endeavor” (Branch).
“deliberately ambiguous” (Branch)
“NCAA‟s „student-athlete- formulation as a shield…The
organization continues to invoke it as both a legalistic
defense and a noble ideal” (
“Players are covered in more ads than stock cars and generate
billions of dollars, all to the roar of millions of fans for whom
college sports are tantamount to religion” (Zirin).
“The same system that spends so much on revenue-generating
sports and is the stage of the sports world‟s most egregious
scandals, from Notre Dame to Penn State, also exploits athletes to
a degree that renders such scandals inevitable” (Zirin).
“Average annual pay [for head coaches] has ballooned up to
$1.64 million, an astonishing increase of more than 70 percent
since 2006…As tuition hikes, furloughs, layoffs and cuts in
student aid have continued unabated” (Zirin).
“These are more than full-time jobs. When I played at
Syracuse in the early 1960s, it wasn‟t like that. We had a
regular season and twenty days of spring practice. Now it‟s
year-round. It‟s a more cyclical system now than when I
played…You get hurt, tough…you‟re out. And there‟s no
workers comp for injuries” –Dave Meggyesy, former Syracuse allAmerican linebacker
“Elite college athletes rarely have a chance to take advantage
of that education…The average college basketball
player…practices between two to three hours a day, plays
two or three games a week and participates in a number of
strength and conditioning sessions on top of that. There is
little time left over to pursue an education in earnest” (Scott).
“Because the NFL and the NBA both have age
restrictions, players must spend time in college before
turning pro. This forces high school athletes with no
academic inclination to go along with the ruse that they are
students…College athletes are paid in a currency that many
of them cannot or will not use” (Scott).
“There is more than enough money being made to give
college athletes a small cut” (Scott).
“The NCAA makes money, and enables universities and
corporations to make money, from the unpaid labor of young
“The popularity of NCAA sports is based on the fact that it
provides competition between amateur student-athletes. This
is what makes NCAA sports so compelling…College athletes
are not the best athletes—professionals are…It is not the
pure quality of NCAA athletes that makes it so attractive to
people, it is athletic competition involving amateur student
“The NCAA model provides enormous opportunities for male
and female college athletes beyond the two revenue sports. The
NCAA model uses the income from the revenue sports to
support the broader goal of providing the most opportunity for
the most college athletes” (Bartz). “Adding direct pay will put
financial pressure on schools to drop non-revenue
sports…Since all but a few student athletes are receiving
benefits worth more than any revenue they are generating…any
change will mainly reward only a few select players” (Dorfman).
“”Student athletes receive free professional coaching, strength
and fitness training, and support from athletic trainers and
physical therapists…Football and basketball players pay $2,000$3,000 per week for similar training…Using these valuations, and
adding in the value of a scholarship, a student athlete at a major
conference school on full scholarship is likely receiving a package
of education, room, board, and coaching/training worth between
$50,00 and $125,000 per year” (Dorfman).
“The best college athletes gain valuable publicity from
playing college athletics…This lowers the uncertainty about
their future performance and means they‟ll get larger
contracts when they go pro….[This] carries a huge economic
value…[and] could also be considered pay” (Dorfman).
“The bulk of the revenues generated from college athletics (ticket
sales, media revenue, alumni contributions) are due to the school’s
brand…not individual student-athletes” (Rishe).
“Most student-athletes go on to become professionals in an
industry outside their sport of acclaim…[They likely] (a)
would not have attended college at all without an athletic
scholarship or (b) would have attended schools with a lesser
academic pedigree…The $400,000 lifetime return is
potentially higher since many of these student-athletes
attend „brand name‟ schools with quality academic
“Athletes should play for the love of the game and nothing else”
IN THE WORDS OF
…it would be “utterly unacceptable…to convert students into
employees…I can‟t say it often enough, obviously, that
student athletes are students. They are not employees” –
NCAA president Mark Emmert in 2010
WHO IS REALLY GENERATING
Is it the student-athletes, or is it the brand name that the school has
built over time?
Major source of revenue=“ticket sales, alumni, and TV money”
How many of these result from the fans’ connection towards individual
student-athletes…or the fans’ connection towards their school?
“Most season ticket holders have had their tickets for
years…despite the constant turnover of players every 3-4 years”
“The riches associated with college athletics largely stem from the
emotional connection, demand, and tastes that fans have with and
for the school…not the student athletes themselves” (Rishe).
“If fan loyalties were tied to individual student athletes than
teams, we‟d see greater fluctuations in team attendance each time
a core group of star players move on. By and large, that doesn‟t
happen. The old core is almost always replaced by a new wave of
IF THERE IS PAY, SHOULD
THERE BE A CAP?
“If payment begins and there is no cap, the bidding war
among colleges for some players will be hard to control”
“Allowing free market financial bidding upon high school
athletes would likely exacerbate the degree of competitive
imbalance in college athletics” (Rishe).