By Ken Reed

According to a new study conducted by Ryan Brewer, an associate professor of finance at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, and published in the Wall Street Journal, Ohio State’s football program is valued at $1.5 billion. $1.5 billion!

Brewer’s analysis was based on what a college football program “would be worth on the open market if sold like a professional sports franchise.”

The rest of the top five included, Texas at $1.24 billion, Oklahoma at $1 billion, Alabama at $930,000 and LSU at $910,927.

Brewer said cash flows (a 24 percent increase) and revenues (19 percent) for college football programs are up since his last study in 2015.

Meanwhile, the athletes that produce the product on the field are still considered “amateurs” by the NCAA and thus, not allowed to receive financial compensation beyond the cost of attendance at their respective big-time universities. Millions of dollars flow into Power Five conference football programs. But unlike the NFL, very few of those dollars make their way to the players.

Everybody involved with big-time college football is making big-time money … that is, except for the athletes themselves.

How can this not be a classic case of economic injustice?

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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