What Time Does The Ncaa Football Championship Game Start March Madness – Should College Athletes Get Paid?

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March Madness – Should College Athletes Get Paid?

The NCAA Basketball March Madness tournament is now in full swing. Matches are filled with riots, fans young and old rooting for their team, challenges are everywhere. America loves this tournament.

The NCAA, colleges and universities, college coaches and TV stations and advertisers also love this tournament. The tournament brings in huge amounts of money for all parties. In 2010, the NCAA signed a 14-year media rights deal with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting for $10.8 billion. For 2012-13, NCAA revenue is projected at $797 million, with $702 million coming from the Association’s new rights deal with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting and the other $95 million in ticket and merchandise revenue.

According to the NCAA, college athletic programs bring in a lot of money for colleges. Ticket sales, television, radio, alumni donations, royalties and NCAA distribution, together generate over $6.1 billion in annual revenue for colleges. This is a lot of money for schools. It is also a great marketing tool for colleges.

The opportunity to bring big money to participating universities with winning programs pushes colleges to hire the best coaches to create winning athletic programs. A winning record means more national exposure, which in turn brings in big money and is a huge marketing campaign for colleges. Unlike paying for national publicity, colleges are actually paid for this massive national exposure.

Therefore, finding a coach who can bring a winning college program is extremely important. Many schools are now offering multi-million dollar coaching salaries to attract the best. These multi-million dollar salaries are small investments that can yield huge returns for winning college programs.

With all this money being made by colleges, TV stations, marketers, advertisers and coaches, many college players are asking the question, “Where’s my cut?” After all, the players are, so to speak, the main attraction of these athletic events.

Many college athletes believe they should be compensated for the roles they play. This was highlighted years ago with the “Fab Five” at the University of Michigan. The entire starting team consisted of freshman players, and they were able to lead Michigan to the championship game in their first year.

This almost mythical group of young athletes became a national sensation. Merchandise with the Fab Five on it, TV, radio, print media, college, etc. all brought in incredible revenue. The five freshmen, who were the Fab Five, received no income from their national fame. Does that seem fair when many were impoverished children with families who could barely eat?

Is it true that none of the Division I college players share in the huge income that so many other people and entities enjoy from the players’ stellar performances?

While the potential for media exploitation of these young student-athletes is a problem that needs to be addressed, I actually think the system as it stands now is fair. Colleges recruit young men and women to play for their schools by giving them athletic scholarships.

The reason we have colleges and universities is to educate our young people. Colleges expect top performers for their initial investment, rewarding college players with a fully paid four-year college education. In return, their education is free.

While many others, again, TV stations, radio stations, colleges, universities, coaches, etc., earn huge sums of money from excellent college athletic performances, athletes receive nothing but their athletic scholarships. That is their compensation and I don’t think students need anything else. The system is not perfect, but it works. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Enjoy performances through the end of March Madness by our young college athletes who we hope will receive great educations and go on to wonderful careers.

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