Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ACC To Experiment With NFL Style Revenue Sharing, Duke Basketball Players Worth Over $1 Million Each

Sources close (at least geographically) to ACC headquarters in Charlotte, NC, tell T.A.H. that ACC commissioner John Swofford will hold a press conference in the very near future to announce that the ACC, which is rated only ahead of the Mountain West after two weeks of the 2011-12 football season, will begin paying it’s players based on a revenue schedule modeled after the one that is used by the NFL.

According to a study released today published by the National College Players Association and  Drexel University professor Ellen J. Staurowsky, the average fair market value of top-tier college football and men’s basketball players is over $100,000 each.

“That means our guys should earn a rock solid $75,000 a year,” Swofford is rumored to be going to say at his not-yet-announced presser. “Maybe the kids and Virginia Tech and Florida State should earn $85 - $95,000 a year, but the rest of the league should be able to scrape by for much less.”

According to the study, instead of getting what they’re worth, the players receive athletic scholarships that don’t cover the full cost of attending school, leaving many of them living below the poverty line, says the report, “The Price of Poverty in Big Time College Sport.”

The report says that if college sports shared their revenues the way pro sports do, the average Football Bowl Subdivision player would be worth $121,000 per year, while the average basketball player at that level would be worth $265,000.

And those are just averages: Some examples point to even more striking disparities. The University of Texas football players’ fair market value was $513,922 in 2010, but they lived $778 below the federal poverty line and had a $3,624 scholarship shortfall. Duke basketball players were valued at $1,025,656 while living just $732 above the poverty line and had scholarship shortfalls of $1,995.

“We aren’t quite sure yet what will happen to non-revenue sports, women’s sports or the chemistry department, “ Swofford said, “but the revenue producing players are gonna love this!”

The 60 highest-paid FBS football coaches averaged more than $2 million in total compensation, according to the report, with big guns like Alabama’s Nick Saban and Texas’ Mack Brown earning an estimated $6 million and $5.1 million, respectively. The 25 highest-paid basketball coaches in the 2011 NCAA tournament averaged about $2.4 million, with Rick Pitino of Louisville taking home a compensation package of $7.5 million.

Based on the findings in the study and an Inside Higher Education report showing that almost half of FBS colleges were caught violating NCAA rules between 2001 and 2010, the report implicates the NCAA itself as the chief culprit for the scandals that have plagued college sports.

“Through the NCAA, college presidents mandate impoverished conditions for young, valuable players and throw money around to all other college sports stakeholders when those players perform well, a formula that drives the powerful black market that thrives at so many universities nationwide,” the report concludes.

It also points out that, despite athletic programs’ record revenues, salaries and capital expenditures — as well as prohibitions on countless sources of income for athletes — the NCAA explicitly allows college athletes to accept food stamps and welfare benefits. “The NCAA is forcing taxpayers to pay for expenses that players would be able to pay themselves if not for NCAA rules. I guess the NCAA expects both college athletes and taxpayers to finance its greed and lavish salaries,” Ramogi Huma, a former UCLA linebacker and head of the The National College Players Association said.

“If nothing changes, about half of football and basketball players will continue to not graduate and will continue to break NCAA rules. If reform takes place, graduation rates will increase dramatically, their financial desperation will be reduced, and they will finally receive their commercial free market value,” predicted Huma.

Freshmen QB Ricardo Young of Virginia Tech (by way of H.D. Woodson) is given credit on the front cover of the study.

To read the complete study, click here.

To read the executive summary (3 pages), click here.

For all of it plus more tables and statistics, click here.

*Items in ITALICS may not be true…

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