The NCAA is rolling in money while its athletes are close to broke.

Robert Blaine, Reporter

During the 2011-2012 school year, the National College Athletic Association generated $872 million in revenue.  The majority of the money comes from contracts with broadcasting stations or other marketing agreements.  This money is then distributed to schools and other programs, leaving only about $71 million for the non-profit NCAA.  Of course none of this money was distributed to the college athletes in the form of salary, because that would taint their amateur status.

Most college athletes are reimbursed with some form of tuition, but are not compensated with salaries.  These athletes spend much of their time practicing, competing, or traveling between competitions or games.  Some find themselves still struggling with other expenses because they aren’t allowed to get a job as most college students are.

This may be “one of the reasons that big college programs have offered money to players to attend their schools,” as senior Neil Patel put it.

Paying for college is difficult for many students and it’s no different for these athletes even with their scholarships.  Recently football programs from schools such as the University of Miami have been suspended for their involvement (knowingly or not) in paying players to attend.  This is against the rules of the NCAA, but it would not happen as frequently if these players were compensated for their performance.

Need is not the only reason that the players should be compensated.  The NCAA itself is over $70 million in profit, yet still maintains its status as a non-profit organization.  This money could easily be distributed to the thousands of athletes.  The fans are buying tickets or watching on television to see the athletes, not the NCAA board.

Senior Kendall Ruskin remarked, “With all of the money that the NCAA is making, it would only be fair for the players to receive their cut.”

The NCAA is not the only organization at fault, though.  Many of the top “sports schools” are spending two or three times more on coaches than on the tuitions of their student-athletes.   Football coaches are especially well-reimbursed, as the top ones are paid upwards of $5 million.

Junior Justin Raman questioned how  “the NCAA coaches can be paid like professionals, while the players do all the work and get nothing.”

Most NCAA schools are making plenty of money from their sports teams as 50 schools generated more than $50 million in revenue during 2008, the last year when all records were released.  If these schools were not so intent on making money, then they could figure out a way to pay the student-athletes with the few million dollars left over after all expenses are paid.  The current NCAA rules make this practice completely illegal, but if the schools were willing, they would likely be able to have the NCAA overturn one of its many ridiculous practices.

Either way, the players should be reimbursed for their performance.  If they’re the ones earning the money, then why shouldn’t they get a piece of the profit?