The College Football Playoff National Championship between LSU and Clemson on Monday was a remarkable game and a full-fledged celebration of college football as a whole.
Between ticket sales, sponsorship, advertising, and other sources, the event generated millions of dollars.
One person cashing in on the massive influx of money from this game is LSU’s winning coach, Ed Orgeron. He received a $500,000 bonus for LSU’s win in the championship game. Had Clemson won, their Head Coach Dabo Swinney would have received a $250,000 bonus.
In terms of bonuses, players for each team–whose football skills and abilities are at an elite level–received nothing.
Other entities that cashed in on the college football playoff? The SEC, Big 10, ACC, and Big 12 conferences. Each conference received $6 million for having their conference champions–LSU, Ohio State, Clemson, and Oklahoma, respectively–appear in the playoff.
The players for those teams, who exerted themselves physically, dedicated tons of their time and energy, and risked serious bodily harm for a winning season and a chance at a championship? They received nothing.
Another entity cashing in on the College Football Playoff? ESPN. Their profits from the three games are not public, but they spend an average of $600 million annually to broadcast the games. The network certainly doesn’t spend that kind of money without a huge return on their investment via advertising money.
The players, whose images and names were used on the network to promote these broadcasts? They received nothing.
When taking a brief and simple look at the economic goings-on behind College Football’s biggest stage, the treatment of the players can only be described with one word: exploitation.
In comparison to the rest of the football-playing population, NCAA Division 1 football players are among the cream of the crop in terms of football skill and ability. It is these elite-level skills that help the NCAA to provide such an incredible football watching experience to audiences across the country and world.
The makeup of FBS College football has become something ugly; a small, powerful group of adults who are compensated to the tune of six and seven figure salaries while a vast majority of the labor force in the organization does not receive a wage of any kind.
Scholarships are valuable and helpful, certainly. But for most of these schools, the value represented by a full-ride scholarship to a major university is much less than the value of the elite-level skills and abilities that these players provide to these schools. In any other industry, compensation for skills as world-class as those of FBS football players would be just that: world class.
What do you think about this? Do you think that it’s right, fair, or moral for players to receive nothing while coaches, conferences, and television networks are raking in fistfuls of cash on the backs of their labor?
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