By Ken Reed
It’s long amused me how the NCAA claims that they don’t have the money to pay student-athletes. How ludicrous!
Big-time NCAA football programs fill stadiums that are in many instances bigger than NFL stadiums. Seat prices are nearly similar, and in many cases, college fans are forced to pay seat license fees for the right to purchase season tickets. Additionally, and more importantly, the college media rights contracts (primarily TV) have gone through the roof in the last decade. Then, of course, there’s the millions in ancillary revenues, e.g., marketing rights such as the sale of licensed products, etc.
On the other side of the ledger, consider that NCAA player compensation, in the form of athletic scholarships, is but a tiny, tiny fraction of what the NFL pays its players.
It gets worse. As Patrick Hruby points out in his recent SportsOnEarth piece, the NCAA claims that 90 cents of every dollar goes to schools to support student-athletes. The key here is examining the fine print to see what “supporting” student-athletes entails.
“Thing is, the 90 percent support claim is the product of creative accounting,” wrote Hruby. “And by ‘creative,’ I mean the bookkeeping equivalent of duct-taping a waffle cone to a donkey’s forehead, then claiming you’ve discovered a real-life unicorn.”
What the NCAA claims as “support to student-athletes” includes head coach performance bonuses, assistant coach car stipends, country club memberships for athletic department staff members, and housing allowances for key athletic department personnel.
Fuzzy math indeed.
“Like amateurism itself, spending on college athletes is whatever the association says it is, and a depressing reminder of the real golden rule: Those who have the gold, rule,” wrote Hruby.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Order from Amazon
Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon