Paying Student Athletes Salaries Increases Unfortunate Splits

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The following is a lightly edited copy of statements made by Cody McDavis during a talk. News Week podcast discussion on paying college athletes You can listen to the podcast here:

My view on this is that I think it’s great that student-athletes have the opportunity to be compensated. I also think there are many concerns that we have not taken into account.

That’s something that will greatly benefit student-athletes who are already paid — the top 1 percent — and if you have student-athletes who aren’t in those — what we call income-generating sports, men’s basketball, and football — they’re generally out of it. Division 1 college athletics does not usually change. If it changes, it changes to their detriment. Now this is, of course, speculative. We’ll have to see how that turns out, but there’s a real concern here that we’re widening the gap between men’s football and men’s basketball and everyone else.

And this is a real concern. And that’s where I fall. I think it’s great that student-athletes get paid – but in general, it was student-athletes who were already paid. So what are we doing here? Are we taking advantage of capitalism in college athletics?

Is this what we do? So we can make a bunch of get-rich-quick schemes? Is that what’s happening, or is it really about improving student-athletes? And we’ll get into that more.

The NCAA logo appears on
The NCAA logo is seen on the basket support before the game between the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles and the Florida Gators during the second-round game of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament held at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana on March 21, 2021.
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

I imagine most schools at Power Five conferences can pay. It’s speculative—I haven’t done that—but it’s probably a student athlete between $20,000 and $50,000 a year. Again, that would be pushing because you’re talking about at least 300 student athletes per program.

And during the pandemic, we’ve seen schools at Power Five like Stanford cut out a lot of sports because their income is tight. We saw this. So, will they be able to pay athletes over a long period of time? I do not know. It’s all speculative, but with the 300+ schools in Division 1, not all of them stand a chance.

Sean talks about whether there will be an option to choose to pay athletes. If there is a choice that they can make, then there are some nuances. I would push this back and say that keeping up with the Joneses mentality is a very real thing in college athletics.

If you want to stay an athletic director, if you want to stay a coach, it’s all about pushing the boundaries, right? Bowling Green doesn’t want to stay Bowling Green forever. Bowling Green wants to become the State of Ohio. And to do that, they have to recruit athletes – which means they need to find a way to encourage three-star athletes who can become five-star athletes to come their way (rather than being a regular fifth player). state of Ohio). That is, they will have to provide some kind of fiscal stimulus similar to what Ohio State does – but they will never be able to do that. There are so many questions coming out of that.

Cody McDavis is a former Division I college basketball player for the University of Northern Colorado.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.

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