Bedlam 2019

Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jadon Haselwood (11) runs after a catch while Oklahoma State Cowboys safety Kolby Harvell-Peel (31) gets blocked by Oklahoma Sooners running back Rhamondre Stevenson (29) during NCAA football game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

The NCAA’s steadfast refusal to pay players is costing its largely Black labor force an opportunity to create substantial generational wealth, according to a new study conducted by the National College Players Association, an advocacy group for student-athletes.

The study, directed by NCPA executive director Ramogi Huma and Drexel University professor Ellen J. Staurowsky, concludes that from 2017–2020 alone, $10 billion has been funneled to coaches and administrators when that money could be shared by football and men’s basketball players.

The study uses the NBA and NFL’s collective bargaining agreements as a reference point for what revenue sharing could look like for college athletes in big-money sports. If college football players received 47% of revenue disclosed by the NCAA, a four-year player in a Power 5 conference would make more than $1 million during his time in college. In men’s basketball, players in the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, and SEC could stand to make more than $2 million if they shared 50% of revenue. If athletes were able to invest even a $100,000 portion of that money, they could accrue over $1 million in retirement savings, the study says.

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