One former college athlete weighs in:
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/ ... e-athletes
During the three weeks of March Madness basketball last year, the NCAA earned $900m dollars while $9.2bn was gambled on the outcome. The players banging it out on the courts earned zip. Nada. Nothing.
I’ve been writing about this issue for several years now calling for college athletes to be paid the wages that they deserve and am sad to acknowledge that very little has changed since I was a college athlete at UCLA, so poor that I and most of my teammates could barely scrape by. But just as with every injustice, wrongs don’t get righted unless we keep raising our voices again and again. So, once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.
I think they deserve to be paid. Would it ruin the sport though? Sports is the one market where it seems like the normal rules of the free market don't apply and collusion by owners is allowed. In any other business it would be illegal for competing owners to agree with each other to set prices, but not in sports. And I grant that it would be less competitive that way. The teams with the most money would always be able to recruit the best players. But there could also be a middle ground, like a "luxury tax" or even a salary cap that could ensure that things don't get too lopsided while still allowing the players to receive fair compensation.