College athletes are not allowed to even take a free drink or hamburger from a fan or coach without it being considered in violations of NCAA rules. However their universities are making millions of dollars from them playing on television and their name brand memorabilia.
The deal between the NCAA and CBS/Turner Sports for March Madness between 2011 and 2024 is roughly $11 billion for three weekends of television per year (Wilbon). The athletes that are brining in millions and billions of dollars should be able to benefit from a small portion of it. Wilbon believes that football and men’s basketball players should get paid and other athletes such as lacrosse, field hockey, softball, baseball, soccer players shouldn’t get anything.
Jadeveon Clowney, the former USC defensive end, and number one draft pick to the Houston Texan’s in 2014 is quoted in an article on the NFL webpage on the topic of him leaving USC football program as a junior. He still had one year of eligibility left in the NCAA but decided to enter the NFL after his junior season and never finished his degree. Clowney is quoted in an article written by Chase Goodbread, saying “if I had gotten paid and had a chance to take care of my family through college, I probably would have stayed and finished” (Clowney). Clowney’s story was only one of many that have left college early, without finishing their degree, with the intent to make money to help support their families.
Star college athletes are forbidden from permitting “the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind” according to NCAA bylaw 126.96.36.199 (NCAA). The article published by USA Today says how that rule is interesting when you look at any college town, specifically Texas A&M, and “as long as their image is making the right people money, bylaws are not in effect” (Walch). The NCAA is only concerned with the money not being in the hands of the athletes, those who image’s the athletic department is ultimately benefiting from.