The chart below shows us how much college football players might be worth at the top programs if they were able to play in a free market system and receive compensation in a manner similar to that of the NFL.
We calculated the Fair Market Value of college football players at the 20 most profitable programs using data provided by the Department of Education. Using the NFL’s most recent collective bargaining agreement in which the players receive a minimum of 47% of all revenue, each school’s football revenue was split between the school and the athletes with the players’ share divided evenly among the 85 scholarship players.
Using this method, we can estimate that the average college football player at the University of Texas is worth $671,173 per year (up from $622,104 last year) based on the program’s $121.4 million in annual football revenue. That is more than $130,000 ahead of any other school, with the University of Alabama second, at $536,485 per year. Overall, the average Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) player is worth $163,869 per year (up from $149,569 a year ago) with the average football team taking in more than $29 million in revenue each year.
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