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College Athletes One Step Closer to Pay Day Stuck
Posted on January 30, 2013 at 11:51 AM.

The NCAA may soon be forced to share revenue with players from men's college basketball and football.

What do you want to be when you grow up? How about a professional college basketball or football player?

According to an ESPN report, an NCAA motion was denied in court that sought to end the progress of a class-action lawsuit which seeks licensing revenues for men's college basketball and football players from advertising dollars and other income associated with each respective sport.

Since 2009, more than $20 million has been spent on legal fees building the case on behalf of college athletes, and the pay-day could be astronomical for players -- and potentially detrimental for the NCAA and fans. Should the case go to court and players win their case, payouts would make a significant dent in the revenue pocketed by the NCAA and its business partners, which could then lead to graduated costs passed on to consumers of merchandise, fans who buy tickets at games, and even corporations who wish to sponsor televised events.

But the larger -- and more philosophical -- question remains: Should college athletes be payed for their performance?

On one hand, athletes are compensated with scholarships (which are not guaranteed for renewal on a yearly basis). The other side of the coin, however, sees the amateurism of the athletes being exploited by the NCAA who rakes in billions of dollars at the expense of the participants.

And then there's the legal side. Should the NCAA profit from the image or likeness of college athletes?

The NCAA won't allow video games to bare the name or likeness of their real-world counterparts, but they have no problem airing contests through live media which rake in advertising dollars.

More than three years have been invested into the case and it likely won't see the light of a court room until the summer of 2014 at the earliest. But for our children there is no hurry as Careers class is still several years away -- plenty of time for the text books to add one more job title to the list: Professional College Student-Athlete.

Sound Off: Do you believe college athletes are entitled to their fair share of NCAA revenue?

Justin Mikels is a staff writer for Operation Sports. Give him hell in the comments or on Twitter: @long_snapper
# 1 Acedeck @ Jan 30
If college athletes are marketable off the field/court/rink, to the point where their likeness is profitable, I don't see a problem with it. We are not talking about literally paying them to play. The NCAA exploits the hell out of these players, which is much worse than letting players get a slice of the pie. Since they won't be paid to play, but rather for their likeness, this should be a non-issue. If your face can make you money, there is no reason some organization should be allowed to prevent you from doing whatever you do in your free time.

To me, the NCAA has overstepped its boundaries for quite some time. How is it that they can tell a player what they can and can't do in their free time? Where do we draw the line? Currently, we allow the NCAA to draw its own line, which is not right. The players do not work for the organization. They participate in a sport. When they are at home, they are not participating in the NCAA's sport. They are living their own lives.
# 2 boomhauertjs @ Jan 31
Say goodbye to college sports video games - the cost to pay all the athletes would end any motivation for EA/2k to make those games.
# 3 josephid @ Jan 31
Let’s take as an example the 2008-9 Florida Gators. Led by Heisman Trophy finalist Tim Tebow, the Gator football team won their division in the SEC, beat the undefeated and #1-ranked Alabama in the conference title game, and then, with 26.8 million people tuning in on Fox, won the BCS title game over Oklahoma. The men’s basketball team, two seasons removed from back-to-back national titles, made the NIT, while the women’s team made the NCAA tournament only to lose to eventual champion UConn.

Yet, despite all this on-field success, and after including $2.5 million in student fees, $40.7 million in alumni contributions, $1.8 million in direct state support, and millions more in television fees, tournament revenues, royalties, licensing, parking, and concessions, the University of Florida lost $5.4 million on their athletics programs in 2008-9. This was arguably the most successful college sports program in the country!
# 4 elgreazy1 @ Jan 31
These guys get a full ride scholarship (along with housing, books, expenses, etc) to attend an institution of education to play a sport. It costs anywhere from $40,000-$100,000+ for a degree from most large universities that have these sports programs.

I think the "student" athletes get more than enough.
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