Yes, it's that time of year: March Madness. Time to reflect on the hoopla and glam of men's Division I amateur athletics.
And time to reflect on how badly those amateur athletes -- mostly blacks, who will not go on to play professional sports -- get screwed by the NCAA:
"The average fair market value of top-tier college football and men's basketball players is over $100,000 each.... [I]f college sports shared their revenues the way pro sports do, the average Football Bowl Subdivision player would be worth $121,000 per year, while the average basketball player at that level would be worth $265,000."
The NCAA could put some of that money in a trust for players. After all, students on full athletic scholarships live below the poverty line at about 85 percent of colleges.
And the NCAA could contribute some money to defray rising tuition costs for students. (Let's recall that over the past decade, tuition and fees for in-state students at public colleges increased an average of 5.6 percent a year above inflation.)
The NCAA men's basketball tourney is a shameful farce of "amateur" athletics, as networks pay almost $780 million a year for the rights to televise the games; fans bet $2.5 billion; and basketball coaches take home as much as $4 million.
By Frederic J. Frommer
September 13, 2011 | AP