So, Notre Dame’s president and AD pen an editorial in the New York Times entitled “College Sports Are a Treasure. Don’t Turn Them Into the Minor Leagues.” and it’s every bit the joke you’d expect.
The perception has grown in recent years that student-athletes, whose talent and hard work create so much revenue for schools and even coaches, get nothing in return.
Gee, I wonder how that happened. Let’s trot out that old, familiar straw man in rebuttal.
The claim that student-athletes otherwise get nothing from a multibillion-dollar college sports industry is false — and the misperception behind it goes to the heart of what is at stake.
If a talented high school player heads straight to the minor leagues, he earns a paycheck. If he goes instead to college, he can earn something far more valuable: a degree. Economists estimate a college degree is typically worth about $1 million in enhanced earning power in a lifetime. At our institution, 99 percent of student-athletes who stay for at least four years get a diploma. Because less than 2 percent of all our student-athletes will play in their sport professionally, such a benefit is useful indeed.
The claim isn’t that college athletes are getting nothing. It’s that they’re not receiving fair market value for their participation. And if there’s anything that demonstrates the difference, it’s what the NIL era has ushered in and what these two gentlemen complain about in their piece.
Again, expressing concern about what the money flow was doing to change college athletics would have been relevant and even considered a couple of decades ago. Now, with the horse out of the barn, it’s little more than insipid nostalgia. But, good luck with it, dudes.