There is a lot of interest in the college football playoff system that will crown a real champion but there is another aspect to all of this as well. Aside from the pride of being on a winning, championship team, just exactly what are the student-athletes participating in the college version of the big game getting out of it?
That extra game will bring in billions of dollars into someone’s pocket. The Walt Disney Company’s ESPN unit allegedly paid more than 7 billion dollars to televise the game over a 12 year period. Who is paying the TV bill? Certainly not Disney because thanks to the 1984 Cable TV Act, ESPN has a coveted spot on basic expanded tiers on cable systems across the United States and is the most expensive channel on the cable TV bill but that is a hidden and undocumented cost, so 100 percent of the cable TV basic expanded universe as well as satellite and phone company subscribers are paying for what a fraction of the more than 100 million available subscribers will watch. Lots of people paying for something they will not even sample.
As per Congressional legislation, the participating colleges will not pay taxes on the bowl earnings. So money will be pouring in but will the stars of the show, the players see it? Not legally. They could get a watch or a ring but a student-athlete doesn’t get money for putting his body on the line in a college football game. And neither the NCAA nor the college will take care of medical bills for injuries that occurred in playing football for a school when it the effects of head injuries or joint injuries appear later in life.
People will argue that a player can get a college education and that is true but most don’t have time to study because they are majoring in big time football. The coaches get big money, athletic directors’ bonuses, and the players? Maybe a watch or a ring and no after football health insurance. Welcome to the college football playoffs.
This article was republished with permission from the author and original publisher, Evan Weiner.