The lost value over a four-year career for the average FBS football and basketball player is $456,612 and $1,063,307, respectively. Nationwide, FBS football and men's basketball players will lose over $6 billion between 2011-2015.
STUDY: "THE $6 BILLION HEIST: ROBBING COLLEGE ATHLETES UNDER THE GUISE OF AMATEURISM"
PLAYERS SPEAK OUT IN PROTEST
Riverside, CA—The National College Players Association (NCPA) and the Drexel University Sport Management Department released the findings of a joint study showing that FBS football and men’s basketball players would receive an additional $6 billion between 2011-15 if not for the NCAA’s prohibition of a fair market.
Titled “The $6 Billion Heist: Robbing College Athletes Under the Guise of Amateurism”, the study uses publicly available information to determine the fair market value of football and basketball players, the value that they receive from their full scholarships, and the amount of money that revenue producing athletes would receive in a fair market.
The study shows that the average football and men’s basketball players from BCS conferences would receive an average of over $714,000 and $1.5 million, respectively, above and beyond the value of their full athletic scholarships over the four years between 2011-15. Players on the top ten revenue-generating basketball teams will each be denied over $3.5 million, including Louisville basketball players who will miss out on almost $6.5 million apiece.
The NCAA claims that, over their lifetime, players who graduate can earn up to a $1 million more than their peers who don’t have a college degree.
NCPA President Ramogi Huma stated, “Our study shows that players with degrees will spend the majority of their lives making up for the value that the NCAA took from them during four years as a college athlete. Many won’t come close to making up for the difference.” In addition, close to half of football and men’s basketball players do not graduate and, therefore, have a much less likelihood of ever making up for the loss.
The NCAA and its member colleges have also argued that the value of an athletic scholarship is payment enough. However, the study found that FBS football and men’s basketball players had a fair market value of $137k and $289k, respectively. The average FBS full scholarship was worth just $23,000.
The fair market value was calculated using the revenue sharing percentages defined in the NFL and NBA collective bargaining agreements and team revenues as reported by each school to the federal government.
The study also revealed that the average FBS “full” athletic scholarship falls short of the full cost of attending each school by an average of $3285 during 2011-12 school year, and leaves the vast majority of full scholarship players living below the federal poverty line.
These findings come at a time of great significance for the college sport enterprise. As Staurowsky noted, “While IMG officials applaud the increasing commercial value of football to television broadcasters and FBS coach salaries increase at rates that are double those of executives in the corporate sector, the NCAA’s principle of amateurism continues to be used as a mechanism to deny the dignity, humanity, and worth of the athletes whose hard work and commitment gives value to the product that others profit from.”
Players Speak Out In Protest
University of Georgia football player Chris Burnette and his teammates each had a fair market value of $410,000 in 2012, and will be denied over $1.5 million over their four-year careers. They received scholarships worth only $19,000 with a room and board allowance that left them living about $2500 below the federal poverty line in 2012. Burnette said, “If you look at the billion dollar TV deals, conference realignment, shoe company logos on our uniforms, and the salaries of coaches, ADs, and the NCAA president, it’s clear that NCAA sports isn’t amateur. The NCAA is using amateurism as a scam to rob us during the most valuable years of our lives.”
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, an economics major, stated, “America’s economic system is supposed to operate on free markets. This is a lesson on how damaging it can be when a cartel stifles a free market and, unfortunately, college athletes are the ones on the losing end. It’s not right.” UCLA players’ “full” scholarships left them $3300 below UCLA’s full cost of attendance in 2012.
Georgia Tech football player Isaiah Johnson stated, “"The NCAA is a very manipulating company. It tries to convince us it's all about educating players. In actuality, the NCAA is using athletes to create a multibillion dollar industry that pays everyone but the players." In 2011, the NCAA stripped Georgia Tech football players of their ACC championship after a player accepted $312 in clothing.
Clemson football player Robert Smith stated, “The NCAA has nothing for those of us who might suffer brain trauma and many other medical problems from playing NCAA sports. Some of these finances could be put in a trust fund that could help pay for medical bills that many of us will face, grad school, or other important things.”
- The average full athletic scholarship at an FBS school left “full” players with a scholarship shortfall (out-of-pocket expenses) of $3285 during the 2011-12 school year.
- FBS football and men’s basketball players would receive full athletic scholarships plus an additional $6 billion between 2011-15 if not for the NCAA’s prohibition of a fair market.
- The lost value over a four-year career for the average FBS football and men’s basketball player is $456,612 and $1,063,307, respectively.
- The lost value over a four-year career for the average football and men’s basketball player in the six BCS conferences is $715,000 and $1.5 million, respectively.
- University of Texas football players will be denied approximately $2.2 million, incur scholarship shortfalls of over $14,000, and live below the federal poverty line by $784 per year between 2011-15.
- University of Louisville men’s basketball players will be denied approximately $6.5 million, incur scholarship shortfalls of over $17,000, and live below the federal poverty line by $3730 per year between 2011-15.
The full study is available at on the NCPA web site.
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Launched by a group of UCLA football players in 2001, the National College Players Association serves as the only independent voice for college athletes across the nation. The NCPA has been featured in countless media outlets, including CBS 60 Minutes, ESPN, CNN, ABC News, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal. Today the NCPA has over 17,000 members from over 150 Division I campuses nationwide.