Coop’s Corner: NCAA is one giant scam

By Dillon Cooper | Managing Editor

We will most likely never see student athletes getting paid at Citrus, as our sports programs cost more than they bring in.  But at the university level, it’s a different ball game.

In 2013, the Missouri football program brought in $76.3 million, according to  The amount of dollars these programs bring in at the expense of their players is astronomical.

I used to be one of those people who thought that student athletes didn’t need to be paid. A free ride through a four-year is enough.  After all, in the designation “student athlete”, “student” comes before “athlete.”

But then I started digging into the numbers.  The amount of money these schools make off of their student-athletes without them being directly compensated from their university seems a bit unfair to me.

In 2010, the NCAA signed a 14-year deal with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., to televise the NCAA Tournament worth more than $10.8 billion.

According to, the Auburn football program earned $39 million in 2013.

None of that going to the pockets of the players.  They may get meal tickets and tuition, but the amount of hours invested into their sport makes it nearly impossible to hold a job that will provide enough to live on.

According to, athletes in Division I devote an average of 43 hours a week to their sport.  They travel across the country to perfect their craft, all while being exploited by the NCAA.

The amount of money generated by the ads they have during March Madness and the Bowl Championship Series, all to the NCAA and the schools that participate.  The TV deals that come with the bowl games, tournament games and other televised events, you guessed it, straight to the NCAA and their schools.

The jersey sales, the banners, the posters, all the memorabilia.  Nothing in the form of monetary value, goes to the player.

Every time they hit the field, the student-athletes run the risk of serious injury.

Eric LeGrand was playing for Rutgers University in 2010 when he went in for a tackle and came out of it paralyzed.  LeGrand has regained movement in his shoulders and can now feel sensation throughout his body.

College athletes have been paralyzed, suffered broken bones and concussions, all while playing for free while wearing their school’s colors.

We’ve all heard about the movement to unionize at Northwestern, but the National Labor Relations Board decision to grant their student-athletes under scholarships to unionize only affects the lone private university.

What about the 109 public universities that make up Division I?  The NLRB can’t grant them the ability to form a union, each state must decide.

We’ve all heard, “if you’re good at something, you don’t do it for free.”

It’s time for student athletes to be paid.