Friday, December 24, 2010
It 's All About The Money, Sugar!
The Ohio State University has made its way into the news this holiday season, and it is about their football players accepting discounts on tattoos and selling their own personal memorabilia. Now I understand the problem with accepting discounts on the tattoos, but I don't agree with the NCAA that the players don't have a right to sell what is theirs if they own it. But, first let us take a look at the economics of Ohio State football and the administration.
The head football coach at The Ohio State University is reported to make a salary of $2.6 million a year. The president of The Ohio State University makes $1.6 million a year, and is reported to be the highest paid university president in the country. The Ohio State University's stadium seats just over 100,000 people on game day, and takes in enough money to help other college sports that don't have 100,000 fans. The players that provide the entertainment make no money. Yes, they get a college education in exchange for their services as a football player.
TV and the advertising revenue has made college football what it is today. When I was a kid, all the bowl games were on the TV New Year's Day at the same time. But, today there is too much money at stake and the bowl games are spread out so that college football fans can watch them all. Bowl games are money makers. With tickets and TV advertising, bowl games are no small part of a university's revenue stream, and for this reason universities sometimes even put the expected revenue from a bowl game in the budget.
The NCAA is going to penalize The Ohio State University football players for 5 games in the 2011 season, but they are going to let them play in the Sugar Bowl in just a few days. How thoughtful of the NCAA. The Sugar Bowl and its advertisers would take a hit if The Ohio State University's starting quarterback was not permitted to play in the game. Perhaps the advertisers would not be too happy with the NCAA's decision to scuttle their advertising plans for the Sugar Bowl. Bottom line, this is all about money. Money for the universities, their athletic staffs, the bowl game host and sponsors to say nothing of The Ohio State University fans that are known to "travel" well for bowl games.
I think college football players should receive payment for their services over and above their scholarships. There is millions of dollars being made by everyone but the players that put on the show. I think the time has come for the NCAA to revisit this issue.