TV Money For College Football Not Going To Right Places

More individual colleges want their own TV deals -- not associated wit a conference or other college groups. They want it all to themselves.

Extra cash makes sense for colleges, considering some institutions financial concerns, given tuition and costs constraints. But what about players? Financials constraints haven't changed as amateur status and strict rules apply from the NCAA.

Top-rated college football prospects are training grounds for the NFL -- pure and simple. It's a minor league of sorts for the NFL. Major League Baseball has that. But those minor leaguers players get paid something for their efforts.

With big colleges looking for more money -- and its players out of money -- it seems like financial equations are going in different directions. You can say that college football players -- as NFL players -- will reap their big dollar awards soon enough.  A small minority just say its promoting a facade.

Here's the issue, says Neal Pilson, who runs a sports TV consultancy and the former president of CBS Sports, in speaking to The Wall Street Journal.

"More schools are reasonably wealthy. Instead of the top 10 schools chasing some player, you have 20 or 30." And that means some big issues -- or infractions -- just waiting to happen. He says potential violations "now must be policed more vigorously."

For TV networks perspective, all this is no brainer. College football, and many sports in general, have been a consistent TV ratings performer -- in good times and bad -- for TV advertisers. Many TV sports outlets are always looking for new sports content, new revenue for growth.

If you are ESPN, NBC Sports, or Fox Sports, you can't go wrong. NBC Sports started all this in 1991, with its groundbreaking exclusive TV deal to air Notre Dame home games. This weekend, the University of Texas launches its own TV network with Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN, which will pull in $15 million a year for the next 20 years.

College football players? Continued headlines have been made about them taking money --  from agents, boosters, or a variety of sources that they shouldn't. All that will continue when big TV and booster money continues to float around. Right or wrong, college football players continue to be our fall weekend reality stars. But they don't get paid.

You want to make college football really "pure"? Whatever money colleges get from TV networks should go right to charities or organizations -- possibly those that help fund good education for those who can't afford it.

Not good enough? Go for more "purity." Don't televised the games.
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4 comments about "TV Money For College Football Not Going To Right Places".
  1. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited , August 26, 2011 at 11:48 a.m.

    You are so absolutely right and should be praised for writing this article. The real odds for a college football player making his fortune in the NFL is pretty slim and many don't bother with Plan B. The drop out rate also runs high while the NFL minor leagues' players taking the place of those who want to be in college for an education. ( In addition to your reasonable requirements, my own opinion is that anyone who leaves for the NFL must repay their scholarship and pay for the full 4 years. The NFL is not allowed to recruit from schools, only after graduation.) Perhaps, the NFL should be required to establish minor leagues for football. But wait, they know how dangerous the sport is and the odds for injury ranks extremely high. For high school football players, the odds for their future in football fortune is what ? 1% ?

  2. Tom Fraticelli from The Roanoke Times , August 26, 2011 at 1:21 p.m.

    Your ignorance of the college system is astounding. The money does go to charities called non-revenue sports to pay for the scholarships, equipement and facilities for the lacrosse players, soccer players, gymnasts, swimmers, divers, wrestlers, etc.
    The football players are paid using a scholarship, free books and free meals for up to 4 or 5 years. That would cost the average student $60,000 at a state school and well over six figures ata private school.
    Lastly, they are not going to pay football players since due to title nine, they would have to pay every student athlete the same amount.

  3. T Y from Freelance Producer / DP , August 26, 2011 at 1:21 p.m.

    Nice, thought-provoking piece. The players are the base of the financial pyramid yet get none of the cash. They risk being expelled for selling a jersey for $50 but the university can use the kid's name on a jersey that sells for $50 with no royalties to the kid. That is major league exploitation.

    The kids know if they get injured in college their chances of landing a pro contract are slim. Don't penalize the kids if they can and do leave early because the universities have already benefited greately.

    Sometimes big business likes socialism. The NFL has a greater diversity of champions than Major League Baseball because they have revenue-sharing agreements. See Orioles, Baltimore vs Yankess, NY.

    Not that NBC will lose sleep, but I NEVER watch Notre Dame play on NBC. I object to the financial favoritism that engenders. Now I can add Texas, with their own network, to that list.

  4. Mark Mills from Nationwide , August 27, 2011 at 7:41 a.m.

    We can't turn back the clock to the 1950s. They money is just too big and universities can't handle all the issues. The assertion that the NFL uses top level schools as its minor league is absolutely correct. So let's stop the facade. There's already a movement to create super leagues to improve TV revenues, so go all the way and create 4 leagues of 16 teams. Create the playoffs TV networks and fans want so badly. Let the NFL run the leagues and the playoffs. Require all players of those teams to join the NFLPA and abide by their rules. Use the profits from the playoffs to provide an equitable stipend for the players. Allow the universities to earn money to support all their other sports. But kick the NCAA out of any interest in the new super leagues. They can administer football at small universities and colleges where they can expound on the benefits of amateurism and the problems of playoffs - oh WAIT - the NCAA already has football playoffs for Divisions 1AA, 2 and 3... well, maybe they'll be less hypocritical in the future. They just can't handle big business.