Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Study: Duke players are worth over $1 million annually

I just finished reading The Atlantic's piece titled "The Shame of College Sports". I'm not sure there has ever been a takedown of the theory of amateurism in collegiate athletics than the thorough research and pointed analysis of Taylor Branch. Case in point:

For all the outrage, the real scandal is not that students are getting illegally paid or recruited, it’s that two of the noble principles on which the NCAA justifies its existence—“amateurism” and the “student-athlete”—are cynical hoaxes, legalistic confections propagated by the universities so they can exploit the skills and fame of young athletes. The tragedy at the heart of college sports is not that some college athletes are getting paid, but that more of them are not.
That article came out a day after the AP released a report on a study conducted by advocacy group for athletes called the National College Players Association and Drexel University professor Ellen J. Staurowsky. One of the key passages from the AP said:
that playing big-time football and basketball is a full-time job, and an NCAA study released this year backs that up. It found that players in the Football Bowl Subdivision — the highest level — reported spending 43.3 hours per week during the season in athletic time commitment, while Division I men's basketball players reported 39 hours a week in season.

The report said that players at the most powerful programs are worth far in excess of even the average athlete. The report estimates that Duke's basketball players are worth the most, at around $1 million each, while Texas' football players top that sport at $513,000 each.
The complete results of that study can be found here. The NCPA posted a couple of key nuggets from the report:

- University of Texas football players’ fair market value was $513,922 but they lived $778 below the federal poverty line and had a $3,624 scholarship shortfall.

- Duke basketball players were valued at $1,025,656 while living just $732 above the poverty line and a scholarship shortfall of $1,995.

- The University of Florida had the highest combined football and basketball revenues while its football and basketball players’ scholarships left them living $2,250 below the federal poverty line and with a $3,190 scholarship shortfall.

That is a lot of information to soak in. But I urge you all, particularly those that oppose paying players, to read it and digest it. We'll have our thoughts posted some time tonight or tomorrow.

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