As the players lace up for yet another NCAA Final Four championship game, they must know that their hard work and talent generates billions (with a “B”) of dollars for their respective schools, TV networks, coaches, sponsors, local economies and just about everyone except for themselves. NCAA players can’t be paid because of an old, obsolete (and I would argue illegal) rule which requires athletes to remain amateurs. Meanwhile, everything else about major college sports (football and basketball) are treated like the huge professional / commercial occupations they really are.
It’s flat out un-American to prevent people from being properly compensated for their hard work and talent. Fifty years ago, some free cafeteria food, a cot in a crowded dorm and a scholarship may have sufficed. Today, given the obscene amounts of money generated, it’s long overdue that the players are given a raise. Let the market decide who gets what, but it would be nice to see these uber-talented young men and women get their fare share of cash, 401k benefits, health care and dental. Let’s give the most important employees the respect that they’ve earned. Pay the players! John Oliver hit the nail on the head: