Saturday, September 13, 2014

In a postscript... my last piece on Notre Dame's $90 million outfitting deal with Under Armor, the most valuable in college sports history: Where do you suppose the university will spend all that money?

Personally, I have no idea. The article in the New York Times doesn't say, but at least we can rule out players' salaries, can't we? (Head Coach Brian Kelly reportedly makes a little over $1 million a year, which is actually not that much by Division I standards.) But the players are amateurs, of course, and are just happy to get their tuition, room and board paid for, right? (I picture these guys performing other chores too, like sweeping out the locker rooms or washing dishes in the student cafeteria.)

But, what if -- what if -- they took about ten percent of that deal and spent an average of $90,000 on each of the roughly 100 athletes on the roster? (I hope my math is right.) Wouldn't that leave over $80 million to spend on new buildings, faculty salaries, whatever? And that doesn't count all the other money ND rakes in from television, licensing, etc. (Have you ever been to the book store on game day? It's a little like the running of the bulls in Pamplona.)

Am I a Notre Dame hater? Yeah, I suppose, in the same way I'm not too fond of the New York Yankees. (I guess I always find myself rooting for the underdog.) But this really isn't about ND; it's about paying college athletes. Is there any doubt that football at Notre Dame (or any other major college program) is a profit center? Then it's high time to compensate these kids for their part in generating all that revenue.

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