College football doesn’t pay athletes despite historic Big Ten broadcast deal: NPR

Players’ defenders say the new exclusive broadcast deal signed by the Big Ten Athletic Conference is further proof that college football is no longer amateur.

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Dylan Boyle / Getty Images


Players’ defenders say the new exclusive broadcast deal signed by the Big Ten Athletic Conference is further proof that college football is no longer amateur.

Dylan Boyle / Getty Images

The Big Ten is set to make a lot of money. The college athletics conference recently signed exclusive broadcast deal With Peacock Streaming Service from FOX, CBS, NBC and NBCUniversal. Reports indicate that the deal will generate more than $7 billion over seven years. But none of that money will go directly to the athletes, reviving the debate over whether student athletes should get paid.

According to the Big Ten press release, the broadcast deal along with adding UCLA and USC to its ranks will provide the conference with “the widest audience in the country, from coast to coast.”

“They’re not pretending anymore. It’s about the money,” said Jason Stahl, president of the college football players’ association.

The CFBPA is not a federation, but an advocacy and organizing group that argued for elite college football players for a share of the revenue earned from college football games. Stahl said that at one point, at least the Big Ten had lauded the idea that their decisions were in the best interests of the athletes’ academic careers. But now, Stahl sees that pretending is over.

“Because the notion that a college athlete travels across continents to play a game that somehow serves an academic program is absurd,” he said.

Earlier this summer, At a training camp press conferencea reporter asked Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud if the players should get a share of the Big Ten broadcast deal.

“Maybe I’ll think about it a little more,” he said, “but once I’m torn, I’ll say yes.”

Stroud said he is grateful for the opportunity and appreciates having his tuition fees covered. “Personally, my mother always taught me to know my worth,” he said.

One recent change has allowed college athletes to access a source of income. About a year ago, following a Supreme Court ruling, the NCAA changed its rules and now allows student-athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness. Meaning they are now allowed to sign endorsement deals and do commercials.

“It definitely gives kids the chance to make some money that they might never see in their lives if they don’t have access to professional football,” said Jordan Mitchum.

Meachum is a member of the CFBPA Steering Committee. He’s also a former college football player, playing mostly for Sacred Heart University before ending his career at South Dakota State University.

But the money earned through NIL deals is not available to the majority of players, nor does it come directly from the team system, school or conferences. If he had been paid, Mitchum said, it would have meant not having to worry about regular expenses for food, rent, and books, and instead “focus more on academics, football, etc.”

Victoria Jackson, a sports historian at Arizona State University has said that historically, we as a culture have understood athletic scholarship as a fair trade for the efforts of athletes. but now?

“These athletes play for schools that generate hundreds of millions of dollars. Conferences that now bring in billions of dollars. The NCAA system in total makes nearly $20 billion annually,” she said.

Football and basketball take a lot of talk about college sports because they bring in money. Funds used to support other sports. It introduces a racial dynamic to this, said Jackson, considering that the top tier football and basketball players in the NCAA are the majority of blacks. “And the athletes who receive support are often the outstanding kids who play water polo, rowing, tennis or golf,” who are less likely to need a scholarship to go to college.