March Madness now brings in a Billion dollars in TV advertisement revenue. That is more than the Super Bowl and almost as much money as the entire NFL Post season combined. The games pack in an enormous amount of advertisements for many companies and products. Everything about the NCAA Tournament is branded .Even the famous where players cut the net off the hoop, you will hear the announcer give a shout out to the company who donated the ladder. Warner ladder is the official ladder company of the tournament. When will the madness stop?
There is nothing wrong with a sporting tournament making lots of money but there is something wrong when their main players reap no benefits from the money found. The President of the NCAA, Mark Emmert doesn’t want that to change. He keeps saying they are students and students don’t get paid. I compare his logic to the sweat shop and calling it a summer camp where the kids like to sew lots of T shirts over and over again for no pay. At least reward these players with some kind of trust fund for when they get out of college. Some of these kids are great ball players with a scholarship to school but they come from very poor families that cannot even afford food on their tables.
The NCAA says their players can’t be paid because they are amateurs yet they spend much of their time in lavish gyms equipped with hot and cold tubs the size of pools and expensive gyms at their disposal not to mention that these kids play very well. The administration own the kids. Before they are allowed to compete they must sigh releases that say they are amateurs and give up any compensation and promise to follow all the rules in a 400 page manual of rules. Who the hell is going to read that? These are just kids who play a good game of basketball!
Athletes are compensated with scholarships to the schools. Yes it is valuable assuming you don’t get hurt and lose your scholarship, hoping that you have time to study and assume you can get a good paying job holding a basketball in your hand 4 years later. When they interview these scholarship given college students, you are lucky if you understand a single word they say. How many English papers did they actually write to still speak so purely? It must be difficult to maintain super athletic skills and pass classes too. I wrote in a previous blog about how the University of North Carolina offered water downed majors and stupid subjects to its athletes who learned nothing but somehow got their grade point averages up.
So student athletes don’t get paid and sometimes don’t get educated either. The coaches who berate them daily earn $3 or more Million dollar salaries, the schools get brand new buildings. The NCAA makes money off the players’ even years after they are gone from the universities by putting out videos and video games featuring some star games and players. Ed O’Bannon who now works at a car dealership was once a Basketball star for UCLA from 1991-1995. He found himself recently on a video game some kid showed him. He sued the NCAA and won but they are currently appealing the decision which would allow players to be paid.
To keep in their non-profit status, some schools spend a lot of money. This is why the 10 largest football stadiums in this country belongs to colleges. Coaches like Alabama’s coach Nick Sabin will be taking home $8 Million dollars a year for the next seven years. University of Kentucky head basketball coach John Calapari just got a $52 Million dollar seven year extension contract. Should aging white people get paid all this money for screaming at students? The coach’s contracts say they are free to pursue endorsements or consultation contracts. Less than 2 percent of college athlete’s go professional. There is no workman’s compensation for their injuries. Tonight is the last championship game. Enjoy!