Major college football and men’s basketball players are preparing to stand up for themselves in a major way.
More than 300 of the student-athletes across the country are banding together and circulating a petition asking for a cut of the TV revenue that conferences are receiving. Student-athletes from Arizona, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Purdue and UCLA have joined the National College Players Association, which is an advocacy group that is working on the behalf the players.
If this goes through it could change the landscape of college athletics forever.
Conferences and even the NCAA are signing record television deals that are stocking the coffers of the universities while the student athletes are receiving only the cost of their college tuition. NCAA President Mark Emmert is proposing that student athletes receive $2,000 to cover expenses that go above the normal cost of a college scholarship. But when you consider deals like the combined 12-year agreement the Pac-12 has with ESPN and Fox that is worth $3 billion, then what Emmert is proposing doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. The NCAA also recently inked a $10.8 billion deal with CBS and Turner Broadcasting to televise the men’s basketball tournament for the next 14 years.
The student-athletes in football and men’s basketball – the only two revenue producers in college sports — are asking that that an unspecified amount of the money from the recently acquired $775 million in television revenue in college athletics be set aside in an educational “lock box.” The money could be used to help fund the players educations after their college eligibility runs out or the unused money could be distributed upon the players’ graduation.
The NCAA, however, opposes anything that resembles paying student athletes and erasing the notion of amateurism from college athletics.
“I really want to voice my opinions,” Georgia Tech redshirt freshman defensive end Denzel McCoy told the Associated Press. “The things we go through, the hours we put in, what our bodies go through, we deserve some sort of (results). College football is a billion-dollar industry.”
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