College sports in this day and age

College sports in this day and age

College sports in this day and age
April 04
22:15 2017

Nate Jackson | Staff Writer

We spend countless Saturdays of the fall in the backyards and living rooms of friends and family members. Grilling food, drinking brews and making memories. We indulge in what has become an American tradition: college sports. Whether it be alumni from local, national or our own universities, we schedule our weekends around kickoffs and tip-offs.

College sports represents the nostalgia of an unworried time of less financial responsibility. But have you ever stopped to ponder how the NCAA benefits fiscally from giving college sports its platform? If not, what better time to do so than the conclusion of March Madness?

There have been lingering arguments over whether or not the NCAA should pay the athletes of revenue generating sports. Some argue that they’re paid plenty, because through athletics they’re able to obtain a world-class education for free.

These are the same people who would also argue that they’re playing the game “voluntarily” and that no one is putting the proverbial gun to their head to force participation. But if we were to use that logic, no one forces you to go to work either, you go to work in order to get paid. So that means just because you showed up to work, you’re entitled to be paid. That logic doesn’t hold water. In no other avenue of life would they accept this.

Others are proponents for the NCAA paying the athletes of revenue generating sports. One of the most recognizable advocates involved with the issue is Jay Bilas, ESPN college basketball analyst and former basketball player for Duke University.

“In any facet of college life, only one class of people have any financial restriction on them at all and that’s the athletes. So the idea that it’s based on education is a lie. No other student is told what they can and cannot make,” said Bilas.

I happen to wholeheartedly agree with everything he said. Musicians aren’t told they’re not allowed to release and sell music. Drama students aren’t told they can’t participate and be paid for productions. So why are the athletes being marginalized? History tells us that in America, when the stakes are high, the suspicion of fraudulence should be higher.

Just to give you a little more context as to how big business college sports have become, the NCAA has an 8-year, $8.8 billion multimedia rights agreement with CBS and Turner Broadcasting System. That’s just for the rights to broadcast the Men’s Basketball Championship. So if you think that college sports don’t retain much revenue, think again.

The reason this is relevant is because there are coaches in this “amateur” profession who are paid quite handsomely. For example, John Calipari rakes in $7,435,376 annually. Rick Pitino also makes an annual killing at $7,769,200. People like to cling to the idea of college sports being nonprofessional. But can you really look at those salaries and tell me those are salaries of coaches of amateur teams? Chill, bro.

The NCAA is the only organization that doesn’t compensate the people who produce the product, which has perpetually permitted them to advance their commercial interest. I don’t believe that restructuring the system would be as complicated as NCAA executives make it seem. Honestly, they’ve gotten away with the biggest fraud in modern American sports history.

So next season, when you’re in the backyards or living rooms of your loved ones, grilling food and drinking brews, throw a couple back for the disenfranchised heroes of the NCAA.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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