Originally Posted by dougdirt
Then someone needs to sue the NCAA so athletes can become employees, so just like in the real world, they can be "paid" what they are actually worth because in no world is the field hockey team as valuable to the school as the football or basketball team, no matter how good that field hockey team is or how bad the other two teams are. It's a joke.
It will probably come down to the TV contracts and bowl revenue. As long as the NCAA and member institutions continue their classification of being primarily for an "educational purpose," then they can justify athletes being loosely treated as unpaid interns. But that is obviously a weak argument considering all revenue brought in is directly for entertainment to see the athletes compete. Nonetheless, if the BCS/playoff system is deemed to be in violation of the Sherman Act, then the entire non-profit status of the organization will be in question due to the "educational" nature. If the non-profit status is taken down, then the athletes would be considered employees and they'd have to be paid.
What's interesting is that there have been opinion pieces in academia noting that the NCAA could actually consider paying athletes as part of the Federal Work Study program. By doing so, all athletes could be paid an equal stipend at Federal minimum wage standards up to the 20 hours of practice time a week, and the FWS program could cover as much as a quarter of the overall cost nationally. This would save the 'amateur' label while still recognize the time commitment involved with athletes.
The fact is these athletes have to be full-time students and commit over 30-40 hours a week during their season to being an athlete, while being required to abide by additional standards because of team and athletic department policies. I definitely have never understood why that shouldn't justify being paid a stipend in the form of a job without being coined a 'professional.'