Originally Posted by Scrap Irony
Personally, I think you undervalue how much NCAA programs make on basketball and football.
Sure, a scholarship can be a good deal, but, really, is it that good a deal when we're talking billions?
It's similar, IMO, to the MLB, in that the salaries are out of whack because the money is out of whack. Does Albert Pujols deserve $20 million a year? Of course not. But if the Cardinals make $500 million, he should make at least that much.
Now, I'm sure you're saying that would destroy amateur athletics. My reponse is that it's professional in all but name only right now. So blow it up. Blow it up real good.
Paying those players a salary for their work, especially considering the amount of money they bring in to the school, is only right. Sure, it would make amateur athletics a thing of the past. (It already is.) Sure, it would be a nightmare to check.
But it's the right thing to do.
And you should always try to do the right thing, no matter the cost.
You overestimate the money brought in by these schools. Sure Ohio State rakes in the money, but do you think Kent State or Akron or Bowling Green makes huge piles of cash getting 15,000 a game @ $5 to $20 a pop and many getting in for free on a student ID? Season ticket holders at Akron pay something like $60 for the whole season.
If D1 schools had to pay players for football and basketball, because those are the sports that people think should pay players, I would bet you'd see a lot more schools either dropping to D3 with pure amatuers and no scholarships or moving scholarships to sports like soccer so they wouldn't have to pay players. The end result would be fewer scholarships for kids from poor backgrounds, who reap the benefits of athletic scholarships way beyond their proportion of the general population, or more kids choosing soccer or other sports over football and basketball for the chance to go to college. Because other than major conference schools and a few well-situated mid-majors, I don't think most of these schools could afford to support a fully professional sports teams. Even some that could might drop those sports when their boards of trustees decide that running an openly professional sports team does not fit within the school's mission (think Stanford or Cal).