College football and basketball players across the nation finally took action in their own hands to confront the NCAA in regards to revenue that their respective universities are making from their play on the field or court.
This week, a petition traveled around various universities and was signed by over 300 college football players and eventually sent to the NCAA. This petition is intended to show their belief that they are inclined to a piece of the television revenue that universities make while televising the games each week.
Now I have already gone into the college football industry and how much it is broken so I will spare you of listening to that rant again. But this petition is a very reasonable one, and I fully back the players’ beliefs on this one.
The fact is that the universities are making a boat-load of money from televising these games each week. Lets first take a look at a new deal which will be used as a precedent for future deals.
Earlier this year, ESPN announced that it would be starting a new channel, The Longhorn Network, which was dedicated solely to covering the University of Texas athletics. For the ability to cover their athletics 24/7/365, the University of Texas is “receiving $11 million annually plus another $4 million to their marketing agency IMG,” according to a USA Today report.
This means the University of Texas is getting $15 million a year just for allowing ESPN to televise their games and their coverage. Because the deal is a 20-year deal, the University of Texas will have made $300 million dollars by the time the deal expires. And not one penny of that money will have gone to the athletes, which are the stars of the Longhorn Network.
The same kind of money can be found in the college basketball industry.
Just recently the NCAA signed a new contract with CBS and Turner Broadcasting to televise the March Madness Tournament, which decides the NCAA Basketball Champion every year.
Here are the logistics of the new massive deal: The deal reportedly runs from 2011 to 2024 and the NCAA will earn $10.8 BILLION, or $770 million a year.
So, this entity is making $770 million a year by allowing the televising of a MONTH-long tournament, and none of this money is going to the athletes that are the stars of the tournament.
Without these athletes and the high play on the football field or basketball court, the universities and NCAA wouldn’t have the opportunity to make this kind of money.
It is perfectly reasonable for the players to be seeking at least a portion of this TV revenue since the universities are making so much off of their play. The recently signed petition is an attempt to just receive a portion of TV revenue, and they aren’t even going after any of the ticket revenue or jersey sales or any other revenue.
But the NCAA clearly does not see that the system is broken. Instead of taking a look at the petition and realizing that it supports the idea of a broken system, the NCAA’s board of directors has said that they won’t discuss the idea of distributing a piece of the TV revenue.
What is the reason for this? It's simple: People are inherently greedy and "money makes the world go round."
The NCAA needs to realize that without these athletes on the court or the football field, they would have none of these monster deals worth so much. They are the stars of the games, or “episodes” if you may.
The televising of these games is no different then the televising of a sit-com, a drama, or any other TV show, and in the world of television, the actors and actresses get paid for their work. In the world of college athletics, the athletes are the “actors and actresses”.