Adams: The NCAA should pay

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By Griffin Adams and Griffin Adams

The debate over whether or not college athletes deserve a cut of team profits, in addition to a free education, has gone on for years. However, in my eyes, there is nothing to debate – the NCAA should absolutely give players a paycheck every season.

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Before getting into any sort of numbers or statistics, let me start off by saying I get the other side. Schools are giving their student-athletes free swag, tutoring and the most important of all, a free education. While those things are great and all, let’s remember that those are offered by the school, not the NCAA.

I am in absolute agreement the schools that student-athletes attend don’t owe them a dime. Have you seen the price of tuition these days? Yeah, collegiate athletes should be grateful for that.

But let’s stop pretending that what the NCAA is doing isn’t completely deceitful, because it is.

According to The Indianapolis Star, the NCAA got very close to eclipsing the $1 billion-mark in annual revenue in the 2012-13 athletic year, with most of that coming from March Madness — the NCAA-run Division-I men’s basketball tournament.

Additionally, it was made known last year that NCAA President Mark Emmert raked in roughly $1.7 million in his first year in the position back in 2011.

So you’re telling me that a billion-dollar industry that pays its president over a million dollars in compensation can’t afford to throw the student-athletes a bone? Is that too much to ask?

And it doesn’t even have to be a t-bone, or anything extravagant, but the players that put in 40-60 hours of work on the field, court, ice, etc., on top of juggling schoolwork, deserve some sort of payment from the NCAA. It’s worth mentioning, too, that a lot of the time that these student-athletes put into their sports exceeds the amount of time an average college student might spend at a job (most student-athletes are unable to obtain a job because of the training regime they go through).

I mean, take out the Johnny Manziel’s, the Jameis Winston’s and the Stephen Curry’s away from their respective dominant season in college athletics, and what does the NCAA have? It’s clear that the NCAA makes money off of its athletes (cue Jay Bilas call out), despite it not using the name or likeness of the athletes.

If a young Aggie fan buys a No. 2 Texas A&M jersey, the NCAA will reap the benefits of that purchase because of the fact that there is no name on the back of it, defending its claim that it will not sell a player’s name or likeness. But let’s be honest, who REALLY made that sale?

I don’t think its too farfetched to believe that Manziel, or any other student-athlete that brings in money for the NCAA, deserves a cut.

This topic has been fought over for many years, and that’s because this extends much farther than the simple fact that the NCAA has a ton of money and that student-athletes don’t. There are so many pieces and numbers that are involved in this discussion that it simply cannot be discussed fully in a 600-word column.

But the evidence is there. The NCAA, a “non-profit” organization has been storing money in its own personal sack, stealing money away from student-athletes who tirelessly work to compete for their schools, but also the NCAA.

The NCAA has labeled student-athletes as “amateurs,” avoiding the professional tag. If that’s the case, then those same student-athletes should stop working for free.

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@griffdoug