I’m not ignoring anything. And it’s more than that if the kid is coming from out of state. I just think that’s not adequate, and that athletes are still being exploited.
I assume you have, or in the past had, a job or jobs. You may have been a lower level employee or you may have been higher up in the ranks, or both as time went on. Over the years, if you did your job well and your company did well, there was a reasonable chance that you got a raise or raises to reflect that. And if you didn’t, you were probably looking for another job.
Well, college athletes are only there for 4 or 5 years. But over the decades, the amount of money generated by college athletics has exploded. The total UA athletic budget when I was in school 35 years ago was probably under $5 million. Now it’s $100 million plus, so the “company” is doing very well indeed. Yet the athletes’ compensation has not only not kept pace, it has actually gone DOWN; they took away “laundry money” and some other benefits. And without the athletes, there is no flood of money; these are not janitors who make a minimal contribution, these are the people without which the whole thing doesn’t happen. And if they go looking for another job (transferring), the school they go to has the same limits as the one they’re leaving. Or they go to the NFL or whatever.
Is it slave labor? No. They do get the compensation of room, board and books. Which is a lot more expensive than it was 35 years ago as well, but the athletes are not really receiving money, they are receiving a service of a free education. And the service they are getting is basically the same as it was then, even a little less as I noted. Is it adequate? Well, if your company’s revenue has gone up 2000% and your pay has gone down, I would think you might feel a bit exploited too.
Then there is the issue of images, rights and likenesses. The reason that the revenue in college sports, and in pro sports as well, has exploded is largely because of TV. Which means these kids are being shown on TV a lot. If an actor appears on TV, he expects to get paid; if she appears on TV more often, she expects to get paid more and more often. These athletes’ names and images are being used to make the schools a whole shipload of money, and they’re not seeing any of it. Not to mention when EA Sports was using barely disguised real athletes in video games. I very well remember buying a college basketball video game in the late '90s. The “Arkansas” team in this game had a white guard who made a ton of 3-pointers and wore #22. There was no name on #22, but it was very obvious who it was: Pat Bradley, the Shootah. His image and likeness was being used to make the game company money, and he wasn’t getting a nickel of it.