in 2014 the Big Ten commissioner stated under oath that college player pay would ruin the sport; however, he was quick to draw criticism because of his 2 million dollar salary plus an additional 20 million in bonus payments. On the other hand, many believe that college athletes are employees that should have minimum wage. Colleges claim they cannot afford it, but at the same pay their coaches millions. This debate seems to show no signs of stopping and college athletes have a long way to go before they recieve pay
The solution to college pay has no best solution, so people are trying to find a solution that has the most pros. The solution to college athletic pay could be residing in the Olympic pay model. The Olympic model is that athletes share the wealth created by their efforts on the court. Another possible solution is for athletes to have contracts and salaries. This, however, has huge implications. Would that imply a college athletes union that protects players and negotiates their contracts? The answer may be more simple. Currently athletes are not allowed to sell branded merchandise, but many believe that this may be the solution to the issue. Letting an athlete use their own fame to make money would allow the responsibility to be entirely on the player. If the player sells a branded hat with their name on it they should be able to keep the profits. It also means if a player does not want to make money they can simply not sell a product. This solution also allows for more famous athletes to make more than worse players without putting any of the responsibility on the player.
One transgression that athletes are making is accepting bribes from large companies for a promise that once they graduate they will sign with that company. This is in fact a federal crime which can result in sever punishment. To possibly counteract this the colleges should provide healthcare and benefits to the athletes that make their welfare better. There should also be a punishment on taking bribes such as a delay on draft participation by a certain number of years that will hurt athlete prospects.
A television contract for collegiate sports can be worth millions for a school. Attorney Jeffrey Kessler believes that they are pros that are not payed. He is a sports attorney who is suing the 5 power conferences for anti-trust. He believes that colleges should have the option to pay students with salaries outside of their regular scholarships. Despite the large scholarships, many athletes do not get their degree, with the allure of large NBA money enticing them away from a degree. The scholarships provided for them are not enough to keep NBA prospects on their degree paths. On average a scholarship is worth $23,000 dollars; however, the average worth of a college football player is $120,000 and the average college basketball player is worth $265,000. Former NFL commissioner, Paul Tagliabue, believes that education should be more important than the sport. Attorney Kessler stands by that education took the backseat a long time ago.
In some sports divisions, like the Big East, pay is allowed, but only in stipends. A stipend is a set allowance that is constant. This stipend allows the students to better handle living costs and cellphone bills. Many schools worry that if one sports program recieves pay it may create a rift between the different sports programs. Another issue is that while it is no issue for a multi-million dollar sports program to pay athletes, smaller schools may have trouble paying athletes.
A main argument is that paying students is too expensive, but how much do colleges make. Currently college athletics is an industry worth $9.15 billion dollars. The highest rating college in athletics revenue is Texas A&M with a large 192.6 million; however, most schools make less than 20 million. Another problem brought up is that if some athletes are payed, all athletes must be payed.