THE BLOG
05/27/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

March Madness: Should College Athletes Get Paid?

This years rendition of March Madness is one of the best tournaments in recent memory. Before the madness commenced, I felt the games were going to be tight and exciting. Up to this point they have.

Watching these young athletes perform at such an optimal level, one has to wonder why these athletes who generate so much money aren't getting paid.

Should collegiate athletes get paid?

Technically, the NCAA is not-for-profit entity, yet it generates mega-bucks and vast sums of money are generated from television contracts. Also, the conferences and individual universities are stacking tall chips as well.

Then there are the coaches who roam the sidelines. The top coaches earn multi-million dollar contracts along with revenue from endorsement deals, radio and television shows.

So let's get this straight. The NCAA is getting paid, television networks like CBS are getting paid, and universities are getting paid along with the coaches.

What about the athlete?

The fans are there to see the athletes play. The most integral part of the athletic equation is the athlete, yet they receive nothing of what they generate in terms of revenue.

How can one logically justify the most important cog of the athletic experience not being compensated?

The NCAA is one of the most hypocritical institutions around. It's like the Federal Reserve. It's an entity that has a lot of power with no legitimate oversight. In essence, how the athletes are treated is a high-tech form of institutionalized bondage.

For instance, how does the NCAA allow John Calipari, who has two Final-Four appearances wiped off the books, coach at Kentucky yet suspend an athlete like Dez Bryant for having a meal with Deion Sanders?

It's total hypocrisy.

It's the athlete who is responsible for bringing in the big bucks. In return, the athlete gets four one-year contracts/scholarships. Can one logically assert that what the athletes receive in scholarship money is in proportion to what they generate for the university?

I emphatically say no. It's not an equitable trade-off.

Enough money is generated to pay these athletes something for their efforts. Give them a monthly stipend of at least $1,000 while in season or pay them per game.

It makes no sense for coaches to earn a huge salary and reap the rewards of endorsements, but yet the athletes they coach and the fans watch get nothing.

Meanwhile, I will continue to enjoy the rest of March Madness like everyone else. But as I eagerly wait to see how the tournament unfolds, as a fan, I won't allow the euphoria of the games to overshadow the utter hypocrisy that's transpiring right before my eyes as a writer.

What do you think?

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