We disagree. When coaches make $5mM per year, and schools and the NCAA itself pocket millions from revenue sports, the players are underpaid, imo. You disagree. that's fine with me.
As for minor league players.....they are underpaid, if you consider them assets you are investing in, not only how much money the minor league teams make.
These are definitely complex issues, so different opinions are the norm, rather than the exception.
Here is my two cents regarding both the MILB and NCAA:MILB
The numbers I have seen are rookie league players make $1,150 a month and AAA players making about double that (on top of $25 a day for food). This check is only for the baseball season. It is true they get signing bonuses, which can be large for top picks. The average bonus for a 10th round pick is about $100K before taxes and agent fee's. I think the draft is 20 rounds. The monthly check has to be below minimum wage if you view "work" like a business would, the time at the ball-park, practice, and travel time would all need to be paid.
I completely agree these players are assets of a team that should be invested in. If each team has roughly 150 player in the minors, $1M dollars would roughly double the salary of the rookie league players and provide a 50% raise to AAA players. If every 5-10 years that keeps one borderline player that is 22 with a kid from quitting and this kid turns out and make the big leagues......then it seems like it is a win-win.NCAA
The NCAA is as close to a monopoly as it gets. If you are 18 and dream of being a professional, that is about your only option. In basketball you can go oversees like Brandon Jennings, but then people question your motives and in Europe, etc. they tend to play each player about 10 minutes a game. So it typically would hurt your draft stock and how much money you make.
Consider a few things. The big schools make millions a year on their sports programs. Between tickets, TV deals, concessions, jerseys, etc. it is crazy. Their is a huge correlation between good sports and alumni donations as well. Texas, last year received $740M in donations, which was $300M more than any year in their history. Many attribute that to the resurgance of their football team. If I was Manziel I would feel exploited.
A good documentary for anyone interested is called "Schooled: The price of college sports". It is on Netflix. This was eye opening to me for two reasons.
1) It highlighted that many years ago, the NCAA was worried about lawsuits relating to sports injuries. So each player signs an agreement that in effect says they are students first and athletics are an extra-curricular activity. These players miss weeks of school at a time and are dumped the second they don't produce, so it is clearly the other way around. The issue is when a player gets a major injury such as paralysis on the field, the school is not liable for their medical bills and can and have actually removed the players scholarship in a few intances.
2) The scholarship money does not cover the full cost of going to school (additional school fees, parking, etc.). A football player at UCLA receives a scholarship of $28K and the school esimates the annual cost of attending UCLA at $31K. So the players are $12K short over four years and are not able to get a job due to NCAA rules.
Like I said, a complex issue. My take is the NCAA should at a minimum cover the full cost of school and any medical related issues players have. The way I think you allow players to benefit without actually paying them is allowing them to make money on their autograph, so long as it is not associated with the school. That is a voluntary exchange between the person signing and the person paying for the autograph. That way the market dictates that Johnny Manziel makes more than the badminton player.
Edited by tobi0040, 26 February 2014 - 12:16 PM.