As the glow of college sports for most fans fades away, I came across a story posted by The Comeback. In this story, The Comeback rightly shines the light on the big business that is college athletics. The story, gives the example of the College Football Playoff and the”Playoff Premium” package.
There is a problem with this… The College Football Playoff is not sanctioned by the NCAA. The Comeback story shows the wasteful spending in college athletics and lays the blame of this at the NCAA’s feet. Instead the anger should be placed squarely where it belongs, at the feet of the Power 5 schools and the Power 5 Conferences. It is not the NCAA’s job to negotiate the conferences television deals with networks. It is not the NCAA who take in millions upon millions of dollars to upgrade athletic facilities.
The NCAA is not without blame in this entire situation. According to a CBS Moneywatch story in 2015 the NCAA took in 900 million dollars in revenue mostly from rights fees. In this story it points out that the NCAA does distribute this money to the conferences according to a formula. So, while they might not spend all of the money, they at least send it back to the over 350 schools in 32 conferences that play Division I basketball.
Now, if you look at the amount of money that the Power 5 schools bring in, with Conference Networks, donations, championship games, conference tournaments, bowl games. According to a Charlotte Observer story, the ACC generated over $400 million in revenue in 2014-15. And that’s to be shared over 15 schools.
So, when you look at the raw numbers, who is really to blame for the players not being paid. I think to blame the NCAA is the lazy and easy way out. They are the overseer of college athletics. However, when you start digging down, you begin to see that the true greedy people are the conferences themselves. We may not like it, but it is the truth. Maybe we shouldn’t be asking the NCAA where all that money goes, but maybe we need to start taking our concerns to the conferences themselves. They seem to be taking in the most money, and dolling it out to member schools. They are the ones who can force change. And until we start putting the spotlight on them rather then the NCAA, the conferences will continue to rake in the money and allow the NCAA to take the hit….