Why the NCAA Must Pay D1 Athletes on this 151th Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery
Division 1 college athletics are a complete disgrace to progressivism. 151 years ago today, slavery was abolished, but still we watch our boys and girls enslaved on television — regardless of your opinion of whether or not it is voluntary. Voluntary is a loaded phrase. I’ve never enjoyed watching college sports and won’t until the athletes are paid for their labor. No, a sub-standard education does not qualify as compensation.
NCAA Just Misses $1 Billion In Annual Revenue
The NCAA pulled in $989 million in its 2014 fiscal year, according to an audited financial statement cited by USA Today…
The NCAA makes just less than $1 Billion in revenue yearly on the back of the free labor of their athletes. That doesn’t sound right to me and anybody who calls him/herself a progressive should be ashamed of themselves if they sit idly by as this continues.
So Why Do I Feel This Way?
When I say that, “‘Voluntary’ is a loaded phrase,” I mean to bring attention to my experience with people who are against D1 collegiate athletes being fairly compensated for their labor on the playing field are quick to suggest that “If they don’t want to play the game, and at such a high level, nobody is making them.” as a way of saying their participation is voluntary.
Unfortunately, as we all are aware, this is usually not the case because, as Nas cleverly notes in his DJ Khaled collab, “Nas Album Done”, “Cause in the hood shit ain’t passed down through blood / It’s a dub on that / We get government aid”. We don’t only get gov’t aid, we need gov’t aid. And there lies the contradiction to the “playing college sports at a high level is a voluntary act and privilege.”
I would venture to say that many African Americans in this country are struggling to make ends meet. Kids grow up in subpar conditions and watch their parents struggle. Some, the few that make it to the top levels of collegiate athletics have hopes of going on to play in the pros in order to help mom and dad escape their current misfortunes. But why should they have to wait until the national leagues, NBA, NFL, MBL, etc. to get paid? They are already being treated as professionals and labored as such. While their coaches get paid $1.64 MILLION United States dollars, they get paid $0.
Well, I guess I shouldn’t say they get paid $0. The NCAA suggests that these top athletes get compensated in college tuition which amounts to a quality education. Well, then again, studies have shown that that “quality education” is far from quality.
(Disclaimer: In the following statements, I do not mean to knock any major in favor of another. I make the following statements in full objectivity.)
Not only are the student-athletes, note the ordering of the words “student” and “athlete” here, encouraged to put athletics before their academic studies, they are often encourage to take on majors that are arguably less challenging and lead to far less pay than other majors that the athletes may be interested in. This is a bigger issue than it may appear to be on the surface. Let’s explore it.
Take these majors for instance: communications and computer science. These are two very different majors. As you may have expected, a graduate of one gets paid considerably more money through their career than the other. But how much? Communication majors can expect to earn an average starting salary of about $42,000 while computer science majors can expect to start at $65,000. Those numbers don’t seem to be too far apart ($23k) until we look at what they lead to 20+ years down the road. With $20+ years of experience a communications B.S can expect no more than about $81k while a computer science B.S can expect $117k. That’s a difference of $36k or $4k more than a year of college at a average private school in the USA.
Okay, so now we know how much the two majors make. Why does that matter? It matters because athletes are pressured to take majors in the realm of communications and forgo majors that are compensated in the same salary bracket as majors like computer science and engineering. Why does that matter? Well, it matters because these students are being ripped of the participate in the most highly compensated industries and professions. And why does that matter? Because of this excerpt from Time:
According to a 2013 University of Pennsylvania study on racial inequity in NCAA Division I sports, only 2.8 percent of full-time degree-seeking undergraduates were black men. By contrast, black men comprise 57 percent of college football teams, on average. At some universities it’s over 70 percent. — Time
Why else does this matter? Well, because of these stats:
But technical workers at Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter, according to the companies’ diversity reports, are on average 56 percent white, 37 percent Asian, 3 percent Hispanic and 1 percent black. Feb 25, 2016 — The New York Times
So African Americans are being peddled as entertainers while everyone else is off building their futures on the backs of highly compensating professions like those leading the tech industry. And in the best case, the African Americans who don’t make it to the pros end up working in lesser paying professions.
In a premature conclusion, as I could go on and on about how the NCAA contributes to systematic racism in the USA and the repression of Blacks in America, NCAA is a large contributor to a much larger societal problem. To get back to the point of playing sports not being a voluntary act, take a look at the numbers above. Playing D1 is like playing the lottery in hopes of hitting the jackpot that is the professional leagues except you rare have skill to improve your chances of winning. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of that when you are in a much worse condition and society has planned a worse future for you. But lotteries burn. They are far from a sure thing. The NCAA doesn’t like the lottery. It makes just less than $1 Billion in revenue yearly on the back of the free labor of their athletes. That doesn’t sound right to me and anybody who calls him/herself a progressive should be ashamed of themselves if they sit idly by as this continues.