Amateurs, beware: professionalism doesn’t pay.

One of the O’Bannon defendants thinks you need to start wondering what all the fuss is about.

One of the most popular proposals for paying college athletes involves giving players a share of the revenue from jersey sales. After all, the athletic department must be making millions off all those jerseys you see people wearing on game day, right? And the only explanation for a fan wearing a No. 2 Texas A&M jersey is because they want to wear Johnny Manziel‘s number, right?

What if I told you Texas A&M made just $59,690 on jersey sales for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013?

That’s correct. The Texas A&M athletic department received just $59,690 for jersey sales last year, Heisman Trophy winner and all. That number isn’t just football, either. It includes basketball, baseball, cycling and all other jersey sales. Collegiate Licensing Company handles the licensing for Texas A&M and does not break jersey revenue down by sport or by number in its schools reports. That means we don’t know how much revenue was generated from football jerseys or the No. 2 worn by Heisman Trophy winner Manziel.

The bottom line is that athletic departments aren’t getting rich off jersey sales…

If you skip past the obvious, what took ’em so long, question, there’s another question that quickly follows:  who says the schools are any good at this marketing stuff in the first place?  After all, they’re the same bunch that took decades to figure out that instead of paying athletic equipment suppliers, you could get them to pay you for promoting their products.

Maybe what CLC’s really concerned about is that if Manziel could negotiate on his own, he’d wind up with more than 10% of the profits.  For some, amateurism is damned good for business.



Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

6 responses to “Amateurs, beware: professionalism doesn’t pay.

  1. Works like a charm. There’s something about amateurism that seems less seedy or as the English say “dodgy”.


  2. Macallanlover

    Jersey sales aren’t a great indicator in the south, except for children. Yankees, nerds, and NFL fans (those maybee redundant) prefer them as everyday apparel though. When I was working on a licensed product a decade ago, schools averaged just over 10% of the gross product price.


    • That is a bunch of money for schools. Who cares about this kind of revenue. If a jersey has a players name on it, the player should receive some kind of compensation. Fashion designers must give me their designs for free if I wear their brand name and it is visible.


  3. Brendan

    And of course, the other 90% is going somewhere…just not to the student athlete that makes No 2. (or No. 8 or No. 11) valuable. “We only get 10%” is no defense.


    • DawgPhan

      I have been saying this exact thing on this blog for years. TV money is the only money worth going after. Jersey sales, autographs, and all the rest of that stuff is noise that doesnt bring in needle moving money…Blowing up the system so the schools can pay a few dozen players a few hundred dollars is the definition of stepping over dollars to pick up nickels.


      • James

        Tell me about it. It almost makes you think the people in leadership of the NCAA and D1 schools would put their (multi-million dollar) heads together to figure out a fair solution or something, instead of, say, playing it dumb and hoping for the best.