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National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, Supreme Court of the United States, College athletics, College Over How College Athletes Should Be Paid | WSJ

In 2019, the National Collegiate Athletic Association raked in 1.1 billion in revenue with most of the money coming from the men’s basketball tournament in the form of TV rights and ticket Sales., The revenue is doled out to conferences in universities, but none of the money goes to the players. That’s, because the NCAA bars student athletes from being paid to play. In recent years. This has sparked an intense debate. With the amount of money that the athletes are bringing in, in particular, basketball and football. They should be compensated something.. It changes what’s special about college football. Can we turn it into the NFL or who has the most money That’s? Where you go. Narrator A combination of court cases, state legislation and public pressure, culminating in a hearing before the Supreme Court, have expanded the scope of what is acceptable athlete compensation, potentially redefining what it means to be a college athlete.. The influx of money into college sports can be traced back to a 1984 Supreme Court decision. At the time. The NCAA negotiated broadcast rights with networks, and it had rules that limited the amount of football games each school could have on TV.. The Supreme Court ruled this arrangement violated federal antitrust laws by fixing higher prices for fewer televised games. And, as a result, universities were free to negotiate individual contracts with cable networks, increasing the number of college football teams on TV.. This meant that more teams could reach a larger audience, increasing their national profiles and elevating their brands.

. This trend continued and since the turn of the century, revenue generated by college athletics has grown significantly. During the same period, salaries in professional sports increased., For example, a rookie in the NBA made close to 900000 in 2020., But college athletes have been limited to receiving scholarships That cover the full cost of attendance. All the money flowing into sports increased the pressure on the NCAA to maintain amateurism a core tenant of college athletics.. It wants to ensure that college athletes are focused on their education as much as they are their athletic. Talents. Narrator Laine Higgins covers sports for the Journal and has followed the ongoing debate on college athlete compensation. On top of that there’s. This broad fear that if athletes are allowed to make money, the most talented athletes will go to the schools with the deepest pockets. And that will forever tilt the competitive balance in sports towards the schools that are the wealthiest.. This is not amateur athletics, it’s, professional athletics and that’s okay.. In America we celebrate professionalism in all walks of life, but somehow the NCAA’s turned that word into a bad word. Narrator Ramogi Huma is a former UCLA football player turned advocate for athletes’ rights.. You know whatever they want to define amateurism as they have the power to do that in their eyes.. They see it as a moving target. Narrator, A 2006 class action lawsuit against the NCAA contended that athletic scholarships alone did not cover all the costs of attending school.

. The NCAA settled in 2008 agreeing to provide funds to cover some other costs., But as college sports revenues rose, so did attention to the hardships felt by players trying to make ends meet while competing.. It may not have your last name on it, but when you see a jersey for sale, things like that, you know to some credit, you feel like you want something in return. There are hungry nights that I go to bed and I’m starving., So something you know Something can change something should change. Narrator. These comments made by 2014 Final Four Most Outstanding Players, Shabazz Napier, highlighted one of the NCAA’s most controversial rules.. In addition to not being allowed to be paid directly, student athletes are not allowed to profit from their name image and likeness. Like, for example, by selling their jersey.. Another case brought by former athletes, challenged this rule around the same time.. The court decision paved the way for colleges to offer around 5000 annually in deferred money to players for the use of their likenesses., But it preserved the NCAA’s power to set limits on player compensation.. This was followed by a 2019 court ruling that slightly expanded acceptable compensation to include education, related materials like computers and musical instruments. College athletes have found a successful legal strategy in bringing antitrust cases against the NCAA, arguing that the association engaged in anti competitive behavior by arbitrarily Limiting their compensation and market value., The NCAA believes that if athletes are allowed to make money, the majority of the dollars will flow to those in revenue sports such as football and men’s basketball.

. There is concern that sports that are lower profile, such as soccer swimming or tennis, might be hurt as a result.. However, critics of the NCAA argue that there are schools on the division, two and three level whose athletic departments sponsor non revenue, producing football and men’s basketball teams and still have those lower profile. Sports., Narrator And critics say restricting players’ ability to be compensated. Disproportionately affects athletes of color.. You look at the demographics, the coaches, athletic directors conference. Commissioners, 70 80 of them are white.. If you look at the players that produced the lion’s share of the revenue, which is football and men’s basketball, those forests are lined with predominantly black players. And so there’s. You know there’s an underlying kind of racial question as to how is it okay for money, for individuals to profit that dramatically on one level, but not on the player level? Intriguing music Narrator In response to the 2019 court decision. The NCAA has said allowing student athletes to be paid for athletics performance would undermine the balance between academics and athletics. And that changing the rules would erode the appeal for fans alumni and students.. Despite the gradual moves of the NCAA, six states led by California, have passed laws to allow some form of athlete compensation. And the Bipartisan Congressional Coalition also supports allowing players to earn money from endorsements, as well as two thirds of the American public. intriguing music Here’s Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut at a Senate hearing on college athlete compensation.

To me, it’s, just pretty rich, to listen to a coach who’s, making 5 million a year tell his athletes that they should be okay with simply the cost of tuition. Public opinion has swayed in favor Of allowing college athletes to be paid in the wake of several scandals in which the NCAA has barred athletes from competing for infractions as small as receiving free tattoos., And these scandals have largely brought attention to how imbalanced the economic optics of college sports, are. Narrator. In response to mounting legislation and criticism, the NCAA has proposed rule changes that will allow athletes to profit from their name image and likeness.. The changes are expected to create opportunities for financial gain, large and small for a wide range of athletes. Athletes could offer paid lessons. Monetize a YouTube channel or be featured in a video game. NCAA president Mark Emmert said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the member schools want to support students being able to monetize their name image and likeness., But they also want to make sure that They’Re not inadvertently, being converted into being employees, because the relationship with students is really important.. The NCAA is terrified of college sports. Turning into a pay for play model where athletes become employees of their universities or athletic departments.. There is a broad fear that name image and likeness reform would open the door for athletes to eventually receive salaries. Narrator, But with the Supreme Court reviewing the 2019 decision, the lines around acceptable compensation may be redrawn yet again.

. The NCAA is a little bit like an albatross., And at this moment we don’t know who is going to be writing the rules that govern this space.. It could be the federal government, it could be state legislatures, it could be the NCAA and the Supreme Court is also putting its finger on the scales., But advocates like Huma say they recognize. The debate will continue to be contentious. It’s been 20 years to get incremental. Change. That’s been frustrating. And, in the meantime, generations of athletes and being exposed to all kinds of injustices. Narrator Sports are defined by the idea of winning at all costs. And as the landscape of college sports continues to change the question of what those costs are and Who they get paid to will remain.

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