Should College Athletes Be Paid?
When looking at the revenue that is generated from sporting events, the idea that comes to mind is millions, and for college athletics, this is no exception. The revenue that is generated through the NCAA alone is quite overwhelming. “While the amount of revenue is large, little of the money is retained by the NCAA national office. About 96 percent is distributed directly to the Division I membership or to support championships or programs that benefit student-athletes. The remaining 4 percent goes for central services, such as building operations and salaries not related to particular programs.
For 2011-12, NCAA revenue is projected at $777 million, with $680 million coming from the Association’s new rights agreement with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting” (NCAA, Revenue). With the amount of money coming in as revenue for the colleges, the expenses are relatively minimal in comparison, and these expenses mostly include costs for colleges to either host or run a specific sporting event. The money that is left after expenses have been taken out is then reinstated to the colleges: “Each year, about 60 percent of all NCAA revenue is returned directly to the Division I conferences and member institutions.
For the 2010-11 fiscal year, that figure was $478 million (61 percent)” (NCAA, Distributions). This does not seem right on many levels. The member institutions are receiving 60 percent of the money and retaining it for use throughout the college. There needs to be a change in policy for college athletics at a state level to distribute this money throughout the people who actually made it; the athletes. States should adopt a bill similar to the Nebraska Bill proposed by Senator Ernie Chambers to the Nebraska business and labor committee.
The bill requires the University of Nebraska football layers to be paid a certain amount of money (Stipend), if three other states within the Big 12 Conference would also pass the bill. Each state should highly consider adopting this bill, but make a minor change and have compensation available to all student-athletes because the student-athletes’ first amendment rights are being violated (more specifically the freedom of speech and the right to publicity), the athletes would experience life in professional business, and then finally, athletes should not have to leave college with debt.
Some objections to this policy are how hey bring about issues dealing with Title IX and gender equality, the fact that amateurism may be compromised if this policy is adopted, and how the policy would be impractical for the colleges to pay their student-athletes. Background In the past, the idea of student-athlete compensation has often been debated. Colleges are reaping all the benefits from athletes’ performances and exposure. Obviously, this has some benefits for each side, the student-athlete and the institution, but it will be shown that the negatives for the athletes far outweigh the negatives that the college suffers.
Several court cases have been heard over the years to give college athletes the rights to their own image under the First Amendment and right to publicity, but they have come up short. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association and College Licensing Company. In the complaint, O’Bannon contends that the NCAA has violated his Right of Privacy, as well as the Right to Publicity of the classes by licensing their likeness and image, without permission and for profit, and that the NCAA has not shared that revenue with the classes.
After a long and drawn out process, the Northern District Court of California uled in favor of the NCAA and the CLC because O’Bannon signed “Form 08-3a” which authorizes the NCAA name or picture to generally promote NCAA championships or other NCAA events, activities, or programs. O’Bannon argued that Form 08-3a was illegal because it was very vague and ambiguous. Without signing this document, none of the players would be allowed to practice or compete in their sport (Edward C. O’Bannon v. NCAA and CLC). Another notable case is Samuel Michael Keller v. Electronic Arts. Inc. EA Sports), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA); Collegiate Licensing Company. EA Sports made their case about the video game image and name use. The video games produced by EA Sports have enhanced the problem associated with the right to publicity. Everyone has seen ads for the newest video games that EA Sports is promoting from MLB and NCAA baseball to NCAA and NBA basketball to both professional and college football and so on. The graphics of the games get better and better as the years progress, and we see that the players on each game are more and more lifelike than the year before.
This can be shown through the attributes each player hold from height and weight to Jersey number and then from the style of play hey use to even minor details like the helmet and facemask each player has. Keller made the same argument as O’Bannon saying that EA Sports, NCAA, and CLC were illegally making money off his image. O’Bannon then Joined forces with Keller along with several former NCAA players to see if the lawsuit would hold up. Instead of the court siding with either one, Keller demanded a trial by Jury.
In an interview session done by Outside the Lines, Keller was quoted saying that “I’m Just doing something that I believe is right, and it’s not about making a quick buck for me. It’s a lot bigger than me. It’s about thousands of college athletes, and it’s about changing how this whole thing works” (OTL: NCAA Mixed Messages). The lawsuit is still ongoing, and has yet to have a final say either way. Definitions/Meanings There are several terms and definitions to get familiar with and know throughout the interpretation of this policy.
All of the following are vital to understanding certain points and making the discussion relevant: Right to Publicity, Intellectual Property Law, the Sports Law’s definition of “Pay,” a stipend, and finally Title ‘X. Right to Publicity – “The right of publicity prevents the unauthorized commercial se of an individual’s name, likeness, or other recognizable aspects of one’s persona. It gives an individual the exclusive right to license the use of their identity for commercial promotion” (Cornell University).
Cornell Law School continues saying that the right of publicity is protected by state common or statutory law, and only about half of the states recognize this right. Many of the states that do not include the right to publicity include it under their own Right to Privacy laws (Cornell University). Sports Law “Pay’ – “The term ‘pay specifically includes, but is not limited to receipt irectly or indirectly of any salary, gratuity, or comparable compensation; division or Association, and excessive or improper expenses, awards and benefits.
Expenses received from an outside amateur sports team or organization in excess of actual and necessary travel and meal expenses for practice and game competition shall be considered pay’ (Berry and Wong). Intellectual Property Law – Intellectual property law is “A controversial term referring to a number of distinct types of expressions for which a set of monopoly rights are recognized under the corresponding field of law.
Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs” (United States Patent and Trademark Office). Some common types of intellectual property rights include copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights, and trade secrets in some cases. Stipend – “A stipend is payment made to students for work completed but it is not necessarily based on work performed or hours of work.
Many stipends are offered to tudents who are completing an internship or apprenticeship and used to help defray the costs of housing, food, and transportation” (Loretta). Title IX – “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance” (United State Department of Labor).
Current Policy As it is clearly stated in the NCAA bylaws regarding Amateur Status and Pay policy, no amateur athlete may be permitted to the following types of compensation: Prohibited Forms of Pay. ‘Pay,’ as used in Bylaw 12. 1. 2 above, includes but is not limited to, the following: 1 . Salary, Gratuity or Compensation, 2. Division or Split of Surplus, 3. Educational Expenses, 4. Expenses, Awards, and Benefits, 5. Payment Based on Performance, 6. Preferential Treatment, Benefits or Services, and 7.
Prize for Participation in Institution’s Promotional Activity’ (NCAA Constitution, art. 12). Of these seven general topics, there are subdivisions to Educational Expenses, Expenses, Awards and Benefits, and Payment Based on Performance; each of which oes into much greater detail about certain aspects of the rule. These in-depth subdivisions can be from National Governing Bodies to Olympic Committees, from Benefits Prior to Entry of a College to Benefits going to the parents of the athlete and anything in between.
For a more analyzing look at all these bylaws, refer the NCAA Division I Manual for Operating and Administrative Bylaws. Another source, the Law and Business of the Sports Industry Volumes I and II, provides more insight into the policies regarding the general term “pay’ as it applies to college athletes. The Sports Law and Business section includes benefits stated under the “Extra Benefits” section. The following are several examples of the extra benefits listed from the Law and Business of Sports text: “1 . A special document, payment arrangement, or credit on purchase; 2.
A benefit connected with on-campus or off-campus student-athletes’ housing; 3. Signing or co-signing a note with an outside agency to arrange a loan; 4. The use of an automobile; 5. An institution selling a student-athlete ticket(s) to an athletic event” (Berry and Wong, sec. 2. 15-2). Several sources have indicated that they would like to see the athletes be paid Players Association, Ramogi Huma, had this to say: “The $2,000 stipend approved last week [by the NCAA] was ‘a step in the right direction’ but falls short of an athlete’s full cost of attendance” (Auerbach).
Former sports agent Josh Luchs had this to say in response to the $2,000 stipend: “Someone or something will step in to fill the gap between the $2,000 and the full cost of attendance – and it could be agents with improper benefits. [Adding $2,000] is Just like throwing a guy on a 10-story burning uilding a three-story ladder, Luchs said. It makes absolutely no sense” (Auerbach). Proposed Policy Since there is no legislation for a policy like this, the Nebraska ‘pay for play policy should be slightly altered and adopted by the states.
The Nebraska Senator Ernie Chambers, who first introduced the bill stated that “Just as the Declaration of Independence spelled out a detailed bill of particulars Justifying the separation of the American colonies from England, LB 688 sets forth very precise and specific reasons that lead inexorably to the conclusion that University of Nebraska-Lincoln ootball players are entitled to compensation in the same manner that other students are compensated when they perform work for the university. Plus, they are the only category of students that produce, rather than consume, revenue” (Horn).
The alteration to this bill would simply state that ALL student-athletes are entitled to compensation. The proposed policy change would allow all student-athletes to get compensated for their efforts both on and off the field. This would make the rules much clearer and the athletes would benefit greatly from the change. Instead of aving so many lawsuits between college athletes and the NCAA, EA Sports, CLC, or whoever, this would take a lot of the bad politics out of the college athletic system.
The policy would allow the students to be paid with a certain amount of money that is decided by the school itself, and the policy would allow for the colleges to set their own criteria for the student-athletes to access the money. This is good because it allows flexibility in the colleges. (Nocera) Explanation of Technology The development of home video games has made huge strides in the area of technology over the past 30 years. This can be shown by how home video games started, how gaming console sales have increased, then finally how the games themselves have become so realistic, life-like, and interactive.
Video games became popular in Japan in the early 1980’s ; names such as Nintendo, Sega Enterprises, and Bandai Co. came to be popular. All of these products were owned by foreign countries, mostly in Japan (Kids Web Japan). This was Just the start of a multi- million dollar industry and soon took off from there. Following the original development of video games, the evolution of consoles and games began. Gaming onsole manufacturers built close ties with video games publishers.
This meant that certain games could only be played on specific games; in turn, the sale of each console and depends on the popularity of the games that can be played on it (Kids Web Japan). In short, how well the console sells depends mostly on how fun or popular the games are. Another area of interest would be how many consoles were sold which goes along with the popularity. The three major companies and their products, Nintendo – Wii, Sony – Playstation 3, and Microsoft – Xbox 360, have exploded in popularity over the past few years. In 2011, the world-wide sales from (Reilly).
So world-wide sales shows how Microsoft won the gaming battle by 800,000 consoles in 2011. New developments in each of these gaming consoles are sure to follow as the technology and gaming industries are ever changing and adapting. This leads us to the last point of the gaming industry which is the life-like and interactive abilities inside the games themselves. Part of the reason the consoles are so popular has to be because the games are as close to life-like as possible. Examples of this are the sports such as Madden, FIFA, the NBA 2K series, and not to mention all of the
NCAA sports games. The producers of these games take pride in what they do when it comes to the graphics and player likeness. Height, weight, hometown, even little likenesses such as wristbands, facemasks, and shoes are all analyzed and taken into consideration when developing these games year to year. These are Just several reasons why video games have burst on to the scene in recent years, and they will continue growing. Next, there is the example of how much money is being earned by the television stations from college athletics alone.
The numbers that follow are of revenue earned y high profile conferences annually: ACC – $240 million, Big Ten – $236 million, Big 12 – $200 million, PAC-12 – $225 million, and the SEC – $205 million (Peloqutn). Televtston stations have been making millions at the expense of college athletes. A recent petition finds the NCAA in hot water with over 300 major college football and basketball players. “The document urges the NCAA and college presidents to set aside an unspecified amount of money from what it estimates is $775 million in recently acquired TV revenues in an “educational lock box” for football and men’s basketball players.
Players could tap those funds to help cover educational costs if they exhaust their athletic eligibility before they graduate” (ESPN. com News Services). Practical Arguments Some arguments that can be made for the implementation of this bill would be how the player’s rights are being violated (right to publicity), how the athletes should be free to pursue endorsements like a professional, and that those athletes should not have to leave school in debt. Institutions are violating a form of Entertainment Law specifically in the area of Personal Rights.
A successful person’s name and image is a aluable commodity. Use of one’s name and likeness by another party can infringe on rights held by said person. These overlapping categories include the right to privacy, right to publicity, unfair competition, defamation, and First Amendment law (Lawbrain). “Other areas in law that this violates is the misappropriation of a name or likeness. All individuals are vested with exclusive property right to their identity. No person, business, or other entity may appropriate an individual’s name or likeness without permission” (Citizen Media Law).
This bill would compensate those athletes hose name and/or image rights have been violated, and thus paying the players whose rights were wrongfully violated. Not only would this make it legal for the video game industries and other forms of media to use and benefit from the players’ images, but also the NCAA would still be making money from the players as well. Having the freedom to pursue endorsements much like the professional athletes is another area that can be argued.
Michael Wilbon of ESPN gives arguments that include both personal and public endorsements such as media exposure. He In this particular article, Wilbon was originally against paying college student- thletes, but later changes his stance on the subject. Wilbon on why he changed his stance: “That $11 billion deal”OK, it’s 10. 8 billion to be exact”between the NCAA and CBS/Turner Sports for March Madness between 2011 and 2024. We’re talking $1 1 billion for three weekends of television per year.
On top of that, there’s a new four- year deal with ESPN that pays the BCS $500 million” (Wilbon). Wilbon continues, bringing up several points as to where the millions of dollars generated through the NCAA goes, then asks an interesting question: “Why can’t hundreds of millions of ollars be directed into those, [talking about assistance funds and opportunity funds] and in turn make money more accessible to athletes for the kinds of regular day-to- day expenses that regular college students pay by working Jobs that are off-limits to intercollegiate athletes? (Wilbon) Wilbon continues in the article, “Certain players’ jerseys are worth more than others, so why wouldn’t the players that are more high profile try to get some money for themselves? For example, a high profile running back vs. an offensive lineman; obviously the person who is in the spotlight will get more money. Another would be a football player vs. soccer player; this is Just another example of how our society works with people that are in the media. ” What Wilbon is getting at is not that it is necessarily correct for colleges to pay their athletes, but to let them go out and pursue their own endorsements. If the student [as] athlete can find a way, he/she should be able to endorse products, to have paid-speaking gigs, to sell memorabilia, as Allen Sack, the author and professor at the college of business at the University of New Haven has suggested in recent years. The best college athletes n the two revenue-producing sports have always been worth much more than tuition, room and board, and books… The players have become employees of the universities and conferences as much as students”employees with no compensation, which not only violates common decency but perhaps even the law’ (Wilbon).
Finally, there should be a way to help out college athletes pay for schooling other than scholarships. In a study done by the National College Players Association, these results were found in regards to the shortfall after scholarships were taken into account, “Based on the estimated scholarship shortfalls across the 36 NCAA Division I colleges and universities included in this study for the academic year 2009-2010, the average estimated scholarship shortfall was $2,951 per year.
Projected out over a four year period, a student on a full scholarship would bear of debt of $11,804. Over a five year period of time, that debt would rise to $14,755″ (National College Players Association). Those were Just the results for an average college student with a full scholarship. The next set of results were shown from the full scholarship athletes perspective: “The data revealed that NCAA cholarship limitations can leave a full scholarship athlete with expenses ranging from as low as $200 up to $10,962 per year depending on the institution.
For athletes attending schools with the largest gaps, this means that their educational expenses can exceed $55,000 over a five year span of time” (National College Players Association). Ethical Arguments The theories of RCBA, Existentialism, and Kant all support for changing the policy that is currently in place. First we look at Risk, Cost, Benefit Analysis (RCBA). This is how to applying it to how it affects individuals, communities, and as an economy. Who is potentially affected by the position you support? ” (Hatcher, 148) Look at both the short term and long term.
Others include personal, social, financial, and societal (Hatcher, 148). When looking at the policy from an RCBA standpoint, we have to calculate what the average “pay’ an athlete would receive if they were to divide the scholarship given by the number or hours spent on their particular craft. Using an athlete from the University of Kansas whose name can’t be given for privacy reason, the numbers were as follows. Keep in mind that these athletes are not allowed to receive money utside of what they receive for scholarship.
Tuition Room and Board Required Course Fees Books (Average) Other Expenses Transportation (Average) Cost Per Semester $4,182 $3,718 $858 $425 $1,208 $989 Number of Semesters 9 8 2 Total Amount $37,638 $29,744 $1,716 $3,400 $10,872 $8,901 Grand Total $92,271 that would be expensed out of pocket being a normal college student. Now, let’s look at the amount of scholarship received as compared to the number of hours spent during their sport. These calculations include practice, film (both required and on own time), training room visits, summer workouts (weight lifting and running), then inally game days.
A little over $92,000 is quite a bit of money for anyone who is going to school, but for an athlete, it takes a huge toll because they are prohibited from holding an outside Job, and therefore must acquire loans. Practice Game Day Film (Total of Both) Training Room Workouts Hours Spent Per Week 18 14 7 24 Weeks Per Year 17 11-16 16 13-17 10-12 Total Hours 306 88-128 224 91-119 (At Least) 949 Hours (At Most) 1065 Hours This table shows Just how much time is spent during a specific sport or activity (in this case Division I football).
Then finally, the last table is going to show what the ere working at a minimum wage Job instead of participating in their sport. This will put it into perspective Just how much each student-athlete is making. Minimun Hours Maximum Hours Hours (Worked) 949 1065 Minimum Wage $7. 25 Amount Made $6880. 25 $7,721. 25 Average Scholarship Roughly $8,500 Average Cost Per Year $23,067. 75 Remaining Balance $7,687. 50 $6,846. 50 The above table shows how much more money the athletes need Just to fulfill their expenses as college students, and these numbers were Just for in-state students for an undergraduate.
The out-of-state tuition is almost $14,000 higher, so those who are ttending college who reside in other states need to be prepared to pay a pretty penny to go to school. The numbers also don’t include the amounts for the different departments that are affiliated within this University (I. E. other major besides a general undergraduate). On the other hand, from a risk and cost standpoint, if the students were to get paid for their play, then some risks are present. One would be that the students may not finish school since they are getting compensated.
For some of the high profile players, the NFL, NBA, or MLB may be a better option rather than getting a degree. The endorsement deals and money they could possibly earn may alter their ideas about getting an undergraduate degree. Since there are only a select few that would enter into each draft at a professional level, the benefits for getting paid would outweigh the risks and the costs. They would be able to pay off their loans while pursuing their degree, which would lead to a good career as a fall back if the professional leagues did not work out.
Next, some would look at an Existentialist point of view. An existentialist would say that there are basic freedoms that we have as humans. Furthermore, existentialists ook at ethics of endorsement and say that if one side of the argument is allowed to do a certain task, then that makes it ethical for everyone to do (Hatcher, 156). In this own image and/or name. This would be in their favor and would not harm any other parties involved. Since the colleges are already making money off the athletes, an existentialist would say it is ethical for the athlete to want the same thing.
Finally, there is the Kantian approach to ethics. Kant would support this policy because this approach values each individual as a person rather than as a product or brand name. In this particular instance, the student-athlete would be valued as an individual rather than Just an intangible asset. Meaning, when it comes to the athletes’ livelihood, the college would actually support them making money with the use of their own image and name as opposed to holding them back; so, it is ethical.
This applies along with the Universilization Test. The Universilization Test states that if the situation is universalized toa broad population [if everyone did it], would it have harmful consequences or is it Justifiable? This determines whether a situation is absolutely right or absolutely wrong (Hatcher, chap. ). Furthermore, it passes the Universilization Test because if every player received royalties, then it would not implode on itself since everyone would be able to get those benefits, so it is ethical.
Arguments against Policy Several arguments that would go against this policy are the reconciliation with Title ‘X, which refers to the subject of gender equality, how amateurism would be compromised as a whole, and then the idea of the play for pay policy is Just impractical due to money reasons. First, there is Title ‘X, as we already know from the definitions; Title IX says they men and women) have equal rights in participation. If the proposed policy was to be placed by the colleges, some would argue that the women’s sports are more likely to get shorted than the men’s. In regard to the concept of ‘pay-for-play,’ Title IX is generally seen as a substantial roadblock… Meaning that despite the friction that’s existed between some men’s sports and Title ‘X, the latter actually may serve as the best protection for every program against implementation of a pay-for-play system that didn’t take into account all student-athletes” (Voepel). This comes with good concern, but is a contradiction in itself. Since the Educational Amendment of Title IX in 1972, Title IX would actually protect the female athletes from being excluded in the compensation.
The Department of Labor states this, “Nothing contained in this section shall be interpreted to require any educational institution to grant preferential or disparate treatment to the members of one sex on account of an imbalance which may exist with respect to the total number or percentage of persons of that sex participating in or receiving the benefits of any federally supported program or activity, in comparison with the total number or percentage of persons of hat sex in any community, State, section, or other area” (United States Department of Labor).
This means that there cannot be a discrepancy between groups or men or women Just because one group has more participants than the other. The women have Just as much right to the benefits as the men do. Next would be the compromise of amateurism itself. Amateurism is Just how it sounds; amateur. This means that the athletes are not getting paid any money besides the scholarships that brought them to the University they attend. Keeping the amateur image in college sports has always been a big part of the NCAA and they