Not This March: Money For College Basketball Players Still A Jump Ball

Strong interest in the NCAA College Basketball Tournament has arrived again, in the form of higher TV ratings for early-round games for CBS and Turner Broadcasting networks.

Surely those networks where NCAA grabbed around a billion dollars in rights fees – and marketers who spent tens of millions of dollars on those networks to gain big TV opportunities -- have seen the value.

But what about the college players themselves? Nada. Zip.

In fact, the five-year-old Ed O’Bannon case against the NCAA is starting up again, with oral arguments for the NCAA’s appeal of a federal judge’s decision to allow college players to be compensated.

Traditionalists want college athletics to maintain its so-called amateur status as long as it can. Of course, TV viewers know the score -- that top-performing college athletes who only spend one or two years in college before going professional will make many millions.



Many traditionalists might still wonder why people are moaning that college athletes also want to get a piece of that billion or so TV dollars that go to individual colleges through the NCAA.

Perhaps we should look deeper, beyond those select few top-end athletes that will be quick multimillionaires to those average players who will have little chance of making career-defining paydays. Many are not talking up these athletes making big career money, but more modest compensation in the form of a “trust fund,” for example.

Still, you can’t imagine much of this O’Bannon case discussion will be bandied on-air during March Madness on CBS or Turner. This kind of money doesn’t have starting-player qualities; it will instead stay on the end of the bench.

2 comments about "Not This March: Money For College Basketball Players Still A Jump Ball".
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  1. Rocky Kurland from The Magazine Guys, March 25, 2015 at 2:50 p.m.

    If these so called "student athletes" study they receive a possible 5 years of education plus room and board plus introductions and opportunities not available to average students. They play because they are given the chance. They receive an educational package equal to well in excess of $250,000 in some cases. This is what these young men and women get for their time and effort.
    The "millions" the universities get for this event, as distributed by the NCAA, is spread across the entire collegiate educational system keeping the many times over paid and under worked "tenured educators" in a often bloated and inefficient system. When the "average student athletes" are taught and retain something and not just taken advantage of for their gifted physical abilities, they end up fine. When they do not participate in the education available to them, we end up with the 50+% of professional athletes either bankrupt or on governmental programs after their careers are completed in 3 to 4 years. The athletes that are awarded scholarships and are wise enough to take the opportunities given them end up fine. The ones that only work on the athletic field of their choice get what they put into building a foundation for success and life. Very little

  2. Rick Thomas from MediaRich Marketing, March 26, 2015 at 3:05 p.m.

    I agree with Rocky Kurland to a point. Yes these players DO receive a higher level of college access than most students but the reality is a lot of these basketball players starve...meaning they have not a penny in their pockets for a meal.

    If you have a conversation with former college athletes who played basketball a lot of them went to bed hungry as practice schedules go well past dining room hours and they don't have a few dollars in their pockets to even get a fast food meal. There should be some sort of substitute for at least a decent meal for these athletes who bring billions of dollars to these universities.

    Yes the education foundation they receive is great, no doubt. But the reality is this is college, not the pros. And these kids need help beyond what their parents can afford. And in some cases even these kid's parents are unable to support them while they live in campus. What about the kid that comes from a real hard core urban environment that does not have that parental support?

    More must be done...not as a pay for play in college but there are issues that this lawsuit might address.

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