NCAA and Its Billions

Gianni Libero
Photography Editor

Sports are a huge part of college life an have grown to be extremely profitable. Despite their demand for a students time and energy, college sports often don’t help with the high cost of college. Also these same students, struggling to pay for college as it is, don’t even have the time to study for college. Being a college student be begin with is difficult enough, and with the minimal sum of scholarships, are college sports even worth playing?

Being a college student is hard enough, but imagine adding playing a full time sport to the mix. The average D-1 Baseball player devotes 42.1 hours a week to baseball (10 more than academics) said CBS News. These numbers are similar across all sports in all divisions, with most sports requiring at least 30 hours a week in commitment. This enormous load has major affect on the student part of student-athletes. A study of Pac-12 athletes (conference in D-1) shoed that many student-athletes felt stressed and often don’t get enough sleep. 55% went as far to say they felt they didn’t have enough time to study for tests said CBS Sports.

Money is quite possibly the single biggest thing on the mind of a college student. The NCAA is the organization who runs college sports money. In 2017 the NCAA became a billion dollar company (1.1 billion to be exact) said USA Today. This alone is crazy amount of money, considering that this is just what the NCAA made. Think of the NCAA as the Federal Government and colleges like taxpayers, the 1.1 Billion dollars is basically taxes. The NCAA has over 1000 schools in 3 divisions. Of the 2 divisions, D-1 is the most premier. There are 351 colleges and universities in D-1, and Business Insider said the average D-1 team has a revenue of over 40 million dollars a year. Larger colleges dwarf even this. USA Today said Texas A & M makes over 200 million from its combined athletics. The final, and largest money maker is the playoffs. The NCAA said the D-1 Basketball championship pulls over 900 million dollars in revenue, and that’s just one of the playoff series that college compete in. Private games, like the Rose Bowl, earn millions as well.

To summarize, college athletics make a lot of money. So much money you would think that the average college athlete wouldn’t have to worry about college tuition. But, unfortunately the average student athlete doesn’t get enough money or time. According to the numbers provided by the NCAA, the average scholarship totaled to 18,000 dollars, about $3000 less than the average out of state tuition for public colleges, and over $17,000 less than average tuition for private colleges said U.S. News. On top of this, ScholarshipOwl said only about 59% of D-1 and 62% of D-2 students receive athletic scholarships (D-3 cannot give athletic scholarships).

This is a common problem for a lot of college students, and many people find ways to fill holes their scholarships leave, such as working jobs or work studies, but the NCAA is a little different. The NCAA rules do not allow students to have jobs while their sport is in session, and they must seek approval from the NCAA to have a job outside of the sports seasons. On top of this, the he NCAA does not allow Students to be compensated in any way other than scholarships, and they even limit the number of scholarships colleges can give. And the cherry on top is the lack of financial security student-athletes have. Should a athlete get injured in his or her sport, the college and NCAA are not liable for medical exepences and they can remove the students scholarship.

So where does the money go? Its all shrouded in mystery. The NCAA and colleges keep close watch over there finances. The one place we know that a lot of money goes is into coaches and athletic directors pockets. USA Today said the average coach salary at a major college is 1.64 million dollars, with the more higher regarded coaches, like Alabama’s Nick Saban making upwards of 5 million big ones. This is just one of the ways colleges spend the hard earned money of student athletes.

Knowing all this, it’s no wonder the NCAA is a billion dollar organization. The NCAA said only about 2% of there half a million students “go pro”, or reach professional status in their sport, and it is important for students to consider what they put into college sports, might not come back to them in the end.

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