Child Labor Laws? Not in Football.
It is bad enough that college football players generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues and get nothing out of it except a chance at an almost fully paid scholarship if they have time to go to class and study given the demands of big time college football. The money comes from ticket revenue, television and corporate partners.
But college students are for the most part adults 18 and over so they are free to make decisions about their football careers. At the high school level, at least in Texas, television money and corporate partners have invaded places like Frisco and Allen. There are big time, pro-style stadiums in those places along with corporate partners and the money is being produced on the backs of minors, children in the 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade.
But it is all fine. Some property taxpayers are saving money because they are not paying for uniforms and in Allen, the marketing partners will be throwing about a quarter of a million dollars at the school district to push their products, again thanks to children.
Not every school district in Texas or across the country has a mufti-million-dollar pro style stadium, or in Frisco’s case shares the high school facility with an NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys, that practices at the sports center.
There seems to be something strange that big time marketing companies have decided to sink money into high school football. Sponsorships usually come from local store owners modestly supporting the local high school team. The business of sports should not be playing out on high school football fields, that is too much pressure on a 16 or 17-year-old who all of a sudden because of national TV or big time sponsors have more scrutiny on them.
These are school children, not professional athletes. It is all too much too soon. Sports is really out of whack.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.