Are College Athletes On The Way To Finally Getting Paid For Playing?

College athletes not being allowed to receive compensation for their competing in sports while being in school has long been a divisive and contentious thorn in the back of the NCAA. It wasn’t until April of 2020 when the NCAA finally caved to public pressure and took a small step moving forward by announcing its support of rule changes which would allow athletes to be compensated from the using of their names, images and likeness. College sports, like basketball and football draw the attention of millions of sports betting fans season after season with athletes becoming superstars even before turning pro. So what is it going to take for these young up and coming stars to see revenue because of their performances?

Time for a Change

While the NCAA has been fighting the idea of having student athletes profit while playing in college level, as time goes by and with the always growing revenue streams being collected by the schools a time for change has been looming. 2019 saw a change starting to happen as California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that clears the way for college players to be paid from endorsement deals. The understanding that the regulations on amateurism of student athletes have become an obsolete model of business has become more and more evident as time passes.

The need for there to be a negotiating effort from both the NCAA as well as the student athlete bodies is ever so more present with colleges earning billions of dollars because of their sporting activities while the athletes themselves get zero dollars. The understanding that the current model of work, in which universities thrive with the earnings from the students’ sacrifice and success just makes the understanding that the institutions put themselves ahead of the students they are supposed to serve is a disruptive model that needs to end.

How Much Money Is There To Be Made?

Just to get a ballpark figure in the mix, it is estimated that the top NCAA Division 1 schools earn approximately $8.5 billion in annual revenue from their sporting activities. Yes, it’s a lot of money, especially more if you take into account that the combined revenue from the NCAA Power 5 Conferences grew by nearly 260% in the past 12 years. The NBA and NFL in exchange have grown between 90% to 110% in the same time period. Since 1999, the total ticket revenues for NCAA sports like football and basketball has exceeded the total ticket sales of pro baseball, football and hockey. 

With all these numbers at hand it’s hard to not understand why allowing student athletes to be able to profit from their image, one which their respective schools definitely profit from is such a problem. 

A Win For Athletes Is a Win For Everyone

The first hurdle to get over with is the understanding that paying athletes for their efforts and sacrifice does not mean they will become salary earners from their respective universities. Colleges under no way will be obligated to pay their athletes to compete. Scholarship programs as well as other benefits that student-athletes receive from their universities can be considered enough pay. With that said, the idea of athletes profiting from the usage of their name and image is a whole other playing field.

Under the proposals that have floated around and have been discussed athletes will be able to make money from endorsements as well as other ventures like sports camps and sports related businesses. Athletes would at the same time be forbidden from using school logos or school trademarks in their deals. Said deals, too, would be handled and developed by third party investors without including college authorities, keeping the relationship from A to B, A being the athletes and B being the endorsers. 


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