Just Pay Them Already. It's Not My Money.


Thursday, May 26th 2011, 1:27 pm
By: News On 6


Originally Published: Oct 14, 2010 7:27 PM CDT


This weeks revelations from former sports agent Josh Luchs have once again brough to light the seedy relationships between agents and college athletes.  Some believe that the scholarships that are provided, some well in excess of $100,00, are payment enough for athletes.  Some think that it should be okay for agents to pay players.  Who gets hurt if the money is never repaid?  The agent.  Im not buying that.  Anytime an athlete is beholden to an agent, bad things can happen.  Plus you would get a greater divide between the haves...those who have big-time agents hanging around their programs....and the have-nots who have few, if any agents hanging around.

Perhaps the most reasonable and easiest to monitor is to pay the players.  Either the universities or the NCAA or a combination of the two share the financial burden of paying every athlete on campus.  And dont think you can just get away with paying athletes who participate in revenue-generating sports.  Youll be in court before you could say gender equity.  So, I decided to look at that side of things.  What would things look like financially if you just pay the athletes?

I looked at our four NCAA Division One schools:  OU, OSU, Tulsa and Oral Roberts.  If you pay every athlete on campus a modest stipend of $300.00 per month over the course of the approximated time of 9 months the athletes are on campus each school year, heres how it breaks down:

Again....$300.00 per month per athlete for 9 months.

OU has 550 athletes on rosters (including 81 rowers).  It would take $165,000 per month or $1,445,000 per school year to fund the payment of athletes.
OSU has 449 athletes on rosters.  It would take $144,700 per month or $1,302,300 per school year to fund the payment of athletes.
T-U has 381 athletes on rosters.  It would take $114,300 per month or $1,028,700 dollars per school year to fund the payment of athletes.
ORU has 174 athletes on rosters.  It would take $52,222 per month or $469,998 dollars per school year to fund the payment of athletes.

I would venture a guess that each schools highest paid coach makes more than it would take to pay the athletes.  I know its the case at OU and OSU. 

So what if the NCAA was to foot the bill for the entire operation?  You have to make some assumptions.  There are 120 schools that play Division One football.  Most will not have the number of total athletes that OU and OSU have.  My guess is that most will be in T-Us neighborhood. 

Lets figure conservatively that each football-playing school has 350 athletes on rosters.  What would be the NCAAs bill to pay each athlete? 
Each school $105,000 per month or $945,000 per year times 120 football playing schools is $113,400,000 for the NCAA to pay.

And what about the extra 214 Division One schools who dont play football.  If you figure each school is in the neighborhood of ORU or 175 athletes:
Each school $52,200 per month or $469,800 per year times 214 non-football schools is $100,537,200

So, add the total to play all Division One athletes under this formula and you come up with an annual total bill of $213,937,200 for the NCAA.  But whos counting?

Just pay them already, right?