Another Challenge To The NCAA’s Not Paying Players Business Model

The NCAA has a problem.

For decades, the National Collegiate Athletic Association has worked on a theory that some member schools could get away with providing people with entertainment, charge top prices for people to attend that entertainment especially in the football division and make big money from television and marketing partners without paying the entertainers. The NCAA could always say we are paying for the entertainers’ education by giving the performers a scholarship. NCAA members schools always contend that sports programs lose money. The entertainers are referred to as student-athletes, a term invented as a ruse to make sure the entertainers are not college employees rather volunteers who like to play sports at big time levels while attending classes. The NCAA has gotten away with the business practice for decades but there is resistance. In California, politicians have decided it is time to allow student-athletes to make money off of their talent. In South Carolina, lawmakers plan to bring a proposal to the statehouse that would ultimately see players in South Carolina who play football and basketball for colleges get paid.

The NCAA through its head Dr. Mark Emmert is aghast at such a notion because paying players would ruin the image of athletes playing for the love of the game which is a quaint notion and doesn’t really exist. There have been court cases showing schools are slipping players money under the table. People are going to jail because of some archaic and romantic notions that college sports is a last bastion of amateurism. The South Carolina proposals will go before various state senate and house committees starting in January. The bill being is being introduced by Senator Marion Kimpson and Representative Justin Bamberg would see football and basketball players make up to $5,000 annually and sell their likenesses. There is nothing here the NCAA will like.