• Sumo

By Ken Reed

Major college sports programs mimic professional sports. They are revenue-generating and profit-making machines.

In a recent Forbes article by Chris Smith, just how rich our country’s top 25 college football programs are was revealed.

“So much for amateur athletics — the sport’s 25 most valuable programs combine to earn an average of $1.5 billion in profit on annual revenues of $2.7 billion,” according to Smith’s research.

Those are “b’s” not “m’s.” $1.5 billion in profit — not revenue — among only 25 schools.

College athletics, above the Division II and III levels, is Entertainment Sport, not Education Sport. Decisions are driven almost exclusively by commercial values.

This is an economic and social justice issue. There’s plenty of money to treat the athletes — most notably in football and men’s basketball, the two biggest revenue sports — more fairly.

According to a study by the National College Players Association (NCPA) and the Drexel University Sport Management Department, football and men’s basketball players at top sports schools were denied at least $6.2 billion between 2011 and 2015 under National Collegiate Athletic Association rules that prohibit them from being paid.

“America’s economic system is supposed to operate on free markets,” said former UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, an economics major.

“This is a lesson on how damaging it can be when a cartel stifles a free market and, unfortunately, college athletes are the ones on the losing end. It’s not right.”

It’s definitely not right.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans

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