For those who advocate paying college athletes, one of the rationales often is, “Well, the coaches and administrators are paid a lot of money.”
The implication being that means the jocks should be, too.
To which my response is, “Welcome to the real world.”
According to Ohio State, tuition for an in-state student for 2013-2014 is $10,010. Room and board is another $10,800. That’s a $20,810 total, not including books, per diem, the surcharge for out-of-state students, etc…
Buckeye football coach Urban Meyer is slated to make $4.16 million dollars in salary next season. That’s not including bonuses.
Thus, even though the numbers are admittedly a little simplified, it seems that Meyer “makes” 200 times more than the players.
At the same time, the latest numbers from Bloomberg indicate that the average CEO of a Fortune 500 company is paid 204 times what their employees are taking home.
So you can argue that scholarships don’t cover enough of the actual costs of attending college. You can argue, like Jay Bilas does, that what is unfair is not that colleges fail to pay athletes, but that they also ban them from profiting off their own image. (For example, Bilas might say that Ohio State shouldn’t necessarily be cutting checks to Braxton Miller, but if a videogame maker uses his image, Miller should be compensated for that.)
If you want to look big picture, you can even argue that salary distribution has become out of whack to the point where income no longer reflects actual contribution to the bottom line.
What you cannot argue is that college sports is the only field where bosses are making a whole lot more than the “employees.”