By Ryan Velez
Monday held the College Football National Championship game in Atlanta, where Alabama beat Georgia in a thriller that went to overtime. However, in a game that made billions for many different parties, but not the individual players, author and journalist A.R. Shaw called this an example of slave labor at work. Rolling Out has more on his thoughts.
“While the NCAA wants people to believe that this is an amateur football competition, it’s really an event that will generate billions of dollars in revenue, mostly for the schools and coaches involved.
In terms of numbers, the College Football Championship will generate billions of dollars in ticket sales, TV revenue, and merchandise sold. The game will also bring millions to the city of Atlanta with hotels, restaurants, and bars benefiting. Tickets on StubHub are selling for as high as $25k.
Alabama annually generates about $100 million per year with $17 million being paid to the coaching staff. Coach Nick Saban earns $11 million annually and will see a sizable raise due to him earning another spot in the National Championship game.” Shaw explains. In addition, the NCAA has taken steps to try and ensure this arrangement.
“The NCAA has suggested that scholarships, food, and subsidized housing should be an equal exchange for the athletes and have made it a point to make sure that the players are not given anything extra off the field. In 2014, three players at the University of Oklahoma was forced to donate $3.83 for eating pasta at a school banquet. In 2000, University of Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch had to repay $22 for eating a ham sandwich,” he writes while offering another suggestion.
“The NCAA must be honest. It’s no longer an amateur event when billions of dollars are involved. To remedy this issue, the NCAA should set up trust funds for each player that is reflective of how much their team generated for the school. So if Alabama’s football team generated $100 million in 2017, the players should at least be allocated 30 percent of those funds that can be retrieved after graduation or five years after they leave school if they decided to transfer or drop out. There should be a base fund for each player and the amount can accrue in terms of the player’s on-field impact during a particular year.
It’s important for the federal courts to recognize the NCAA as a business. If not, it will continue to be an after school event that’s using its students as slave labor.” The rhetoric may be extreme, but perhaps the time has come to have a serious discussion about the issue.