Star Student-Athletes are told that they should be grateful that they are receiving a free education. Meanwhile, schools generate tens of millions in revenue and corporate sponsorship, and coaches and athletic directors are paid multiple millions of dollars because of their athletic exploits.
The NCAA should accept the reality that certain of its sports have become entertainment properties and the athletes should be compensated accordingly. This is particularly true for Division I Men’s Football and Men’s Basketball.
We should create a new type of college athlete—“Performer athlete”—who is entitled to market-based compensation. This would not affect the status of any other student-athletes nor the tax-exempt status of the university. However, each university with a “Performer athlete” would be required to start an affiliated taxable for-profit entity through which both corporate sponsorships and Performer athlete salaries would flow.
Paying athletes in certain sports would lead to more resources going to the players who are both the main attraction and putting their bodies on the line each game.
College sports are awesome and a lot of fun. But it’s pure exploitation that schools make millions off of student athletes, including television contracts and corporate sponsorships, and then hide behind their tax-exempt status as a school of higher education. It’s immoral that these kids are scrounging for meal money while the adults around them are making millions off of them each year. That’s the wrong lesson and the wrong role modeling for them to follow.
Problems to be Solved
- College sports have become a big business complete with corporate sponsors, television deals and multi-million dollar coaching contracts, yet the players are playing for free and in some cases risking their health to do so.
- Enable college athletes to participate in the massive wealth creation they enable for their institutions
- Reduce the incentives surrounding archaic NCAA compensation guidelines for star athletes
- Allow colleges to focus on their core missions by recognizing when sports activities become affiliated businesses
As President, I will…
- Ensure that the NCAA modernizes by agreeing to compensate star athletes who drive significant revenues to their institutions at appropriate levels.
- Oversee the adoption of affiliated for-profit entities by commercial-scale college sports programs.
- Remove restrictions on amateur athletes making money through autographs, merchandise sales and other common means.