20 July 2011

Play for Pay

Should NCAA athletes be paid?
by MizzMatt 7/20/11
To pay or not to pay. That is the question. With all the scandals breaking about NCAA athletes being involved in "pay-for-play" scenarios (Reggie Bush, Cam Newton [acquitted], and Terrell Pryor just to name a few), the question has been raised if we should just pay them for their services. Many people would say yes, because it would cut down on NCAA investigations and the amount of players being ruled ineligible due to wrongdoing. Others who oppose the idea would simply say no, they're already being paid..they're called SCHOLARSHIPS.

But now, what if they were paid? Would the female athletes be paid as much as the men? According to Title IX, they would have to be paid equally if not more than the men's sports. (Title IX requires a school to have an equal or greater amount of women's sports to that of men's, which is why major universities like Mizzou will participate in 14 sports all together, 8 women's and 6 men's.) In the spirit of equality, they are supposed to be paid equally, but in the case of the professional ranks, the WNBA is not paid nearly as much as the NBA, and now with the lockout, that pay gap will get wider. Women's Professional Football League (WPFL) and the NFL have a HUGE pay gap, along with the WHL and the NHL. MLB has no comparison because there is no professional softball league, only the US National Team and the Olympics.

Average salaries for men's professional sports:
  • NHL- $1,906,793 (07-08 season)
  • MLB- $3,297,828 (2010 season)
  • NFL- $1.1 million (09 season)
  • MLS- $117,299* (08 season) *David Beckham was paid $5.5 mil in 2008
  • NBA- $5.59 million (08-09 season)
And now for the women's side:
  • WNBA- $55,000 (1999-2000 season)
  • Golf- Annika Sorenstram: $2.5 mil in winnings, Tiger Woods: $11.9 mil (2005)
  • Tennis- Maria Sharipova: $3.8 mil winnings, Roger Federer: $8.3 mil (06)
  • WPFL- $100 per GAME, compared to Vick's $23.1 mil salary (05)
So if we are going to start paying NCAA athletes, which pay scale do we go by? The salary-capped men's scale, or the glass-ceiling women's? Where would that money come from? Mizzou has a cap on their student enrollment being proposed by interim president Steve Owens because of the lack of state funding. Would the pay come from ticket sales? Wouldn't that be a NCAA violation in and of itself? The questions are endless on how a legalized pay-for-play would work out and still have schools making money off the sporting events.

For those who aren't NCAA athletes, meaning those with 9-5 jobs, the average pay for women is .70¢ for every dollar a man earns. Again, according to Title IX, if the amount of sports must adhere to it, even though there isn't a provision for it in Title IX, the pay would probably have to be equal to or greater than that of the men's. That's not likely to ever happen, so brace yourselves for more NCAA scandals to surface over the coming years, because there's sure to be more players like Reggie Bush and Terrell Pryor trying to make an extra buck.

sources: http://www.ehow.com/about_6464393_average-salaries-professional-sports.html
http://www.askmen.com/sports/business_150/190_sports_business.html

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