Notre Dame to quit football
Notre Dame, arguably the most storied school in college football history, has vowed to end its football program if student-athletes get paid to play.
Father Jenkins, Notre Dame’s President Reverend, strongly opposes compensating players. He told the New York Times that a university’s role is to “educate them (student-athletes), to help them grow, not to be their agent for financial gain.”
Big Ten athletic director Jim Delaney agrees with Father Jenkins and suggested that he would rather leave Division I for Division III, where there are no scholarships, than compensate student-athletes, according to SI.com.
These are more than just idle threats because Division I athletic expenses are increasing faster than revenues. Believe it or not, only 20 schools that participate in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) finished in the black in 2013.
Paying student athletes because of O’Bannon
The movement to pay college players began to pick up steam when former UCLA star basketball player and NBA bust Ed O’Bannon won an antitrust class action lawsuit against the NCAA.
As a result of U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilkins’ ruling, players now have the right to receive a portion of the money earned from their names, images and likenesses.
The ruling also marked the end of college football and basketball video games, a crushing blow to dynasty mode fanatics.
Should colleges pay student-athletes?
Advocates for paying players focus too much on the production of star players and disregard the value of a free education.
For example, a diploma from Notre Dame currently costs $259,100 ($64,775 per year), assuming it takes four years to graduate. The value of that degree is significantly more, as payscale.com estimates that over a 30-year career, a Notre Dame graduate is expected to earn $2.68 million, the ninth most in the country.
Of the 85 scholarship players on a football roster, how many can make a legitimate claim to be worth more $65,000 or even $33,177, the average cost of a Big Ten school, a year?
The answer is probably not that many. And the majority of scholarship student-athletes, especially those who play less revenue generating sports, are most likely overcompensated given their impact as athletes.
Division I college athletic programs are a lot less profitable and a free education is a lot more valuable than most people assume. Paying student-athletes is not a good idea, unless guys, like Ed O’Bannon, want the majority of college programs, including Notre Dame, to quit football and basketball.