Report: Top NCAA Players Worth Over $100,000


This is according to a provocative new report from the National College Players Association [NCPA], an advocacy group for college athletes. “The Price of Poverty in Big Time College Sports” calculated the fair market value of college athletes and found that, on average, Football Bowl Series [FBS] players would be worth $121,048; basketball players at top programs would be worth $265,027.

But because of the league’s strict student-athlete stipulations, the report calculates that 85 percent of full-scholarship athletes (receiving room and board) at FBS schools are living below than the federal poverty line.

The study’s authors, NCPA President Ramogi Huma and Drexel Sports Management Professor Ellen J. Staurowsky, put forth a series of recommendations that range from setting up an “educational lockbox” that players could tap into; forcing schools to pay players for “the shortfall for the full cost of attending college — when such things as clothing and emergency trips are added in”; and asking Congress to step in to enact rules “because college presidents aren’t in a position to take meaningful reform.”

While NCAA President Mark Emmert has addressed the issue of scholarship reform, he has thus far been quite clear about his position on paying athletes: “I am adamantly opposed to the notion of paying student athletes to play their games,” he told David Greene on NPR’s Morning Edition a few weeks ago. “That converts them to employees. This is entirely about students playing the games.” According to the Associated Press, neither Emmert nor the NCAA have commented on the NCPA report except to say that “Dr. Emmert has been … clear that paying student-athletes a salary is in no way on the table.”

For more on the controversy about paying student-athletes, view our March 2010 report Money and March Madness, which includes interviews with President Emmert and leading sports economist Andrew Zimbalist, as well as in-depth info on how much the NCAA basketball tournament really rakes in.


blog comments powered by Disqus

In order to foster a civil and literate discussion that respects all participants, FRONTLINE has the following guidelines for commentary. By submitting comments here, you are consenting to these rules:

Readers' comments that include profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, harassment, or are defamatory, sexist, racist, violate a third party's right to privacy, or are otherwise inappropriate, will be removed. Entries that are unsigned or are "signed" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. We reserve the right to not post comments that are more than 400 words. We will take steps to block users who repeatedly violate our commenting rules, terms of use, or privacy policies. You are fully responsible for your comments.



Frontline Journalism Fund

Supporting Investigative Reporting

Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.

Privacy Policy   Journalistic Guidelines   PBS Privacy Policy   PBS Terms of Use   Corporate Sponsorship
FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of WGBH Educational Foundation.
Web Site Copyright ©1995-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.