The National College Players Association and Drexel University just released a study on how much college athletes would be worth on the open market.
The conclusion: The fair market value for the average FBS football player is $137,357 per year, and the fair market value for the average men’s basketball player is $289,031 per year.
Right now the average player earns just $23,204 in scholarship money.
The study is fairly simple. In the NBA, players receive 50% of all revenue, and in the NFL players receive 46.5% of all revenue.
If you used that revenue-sharing model in college sports, football and basketball players would collectively receive $6.2 billion.
Here’s the key part of the study:
Findings from this study offer an indictment of the principle of amateurism used by the NCAA to enforce a system that distributes the wealth generated by big money college sport programs away from the players and redirects it to coaches, administrators, conference commissioners, bowl executives, colleges and universities, and corporate entities. College sport officials have created a system of inequity that exploits young people and brings dishonor to the academy by:
- denying revenue-producing athletes the opportunity to negotiate on their own behalf
- limiting their ability to transfer
- restricting the compensation they receive and failing to compensate them for the use of their names, images, and likenesses
- failing to provide adequate protections in the form of health benefits
- placing extreme demands on their time, energies, and psyches
- barring athletes from pursuing sponsorship deals
- limiting athlete access to due process and fair enforcement reviews
At the top schools, the players are worth even more. Here are the 10 schools where basketball players are worth in the most:
NCPA (PDF)And here are the top-10 schools where football players are worth the most:
NCPA (PDF)Giving 50% of all revenue to players would destroy the entire structure of how college athletics is funded, so it’s not realistic at this point. Even the boldest proposals to give college athletes more money fall short of their fair market value.
But it’s good that we can now put a number on what these guys would be making if the NCAA rules were different.
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