Watch CBS News

Rock's Rant: NCAA Tourney Best Example Why Players Should Be Paid

By Rock Mamola--

For the next two and a half weeks we all become college basketball fans. Even if you did not watch a single minute of the regular season or know who is broadcasting the tournament itself, we all fill out a bracket. We all sit down and go through the field of 64 teams are attempt to predict the impossible...who will win the NCAA National Title and in what fashion.

By the way, did you know according to, after the play-in games, there were 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 possible ways the bracket could work itself out.

Good luck with that.

However with the celebration of college basketball which will happen over the next few weeks in America, a true crime of mass proportion is going on. While television networks get ratings and ad revenue and schools that you have never heard of get free publicity on a national stage, the most important aspect of the NCAA Tournament does not see any share of the pie. Of course, I am talking about the players who participate in the NCAA Tournament.

Reading Darren Rovell's (@darrenrovell) blog on, he listed some interesting numbers about the NCAA Tournament that just floored me.

For instance:

$55: Price of Jimmer Fredette replica jersey at the BYU bookstore. (Which he sees no money from the sale)

$400,000: Average bump in licensing royalties for schools who win the title. (Players not see a dime of the revenue)

$1.4 million: Amount each tournament game is worth to the team's conference. Payout is made over six years. (Without the players, how would the conference be represented?)

$26,123,377: Money made by the Big East this year for playing 109 tournament games over the last 5 years, the most of any conference. (Players Share = $0.00)

Making you sick yet? Makes me ill.

The simple fact is without the talent on the court, you do not have March Madness. While Adrian Peterson rips the NFL for creating what he termed "modern day slavery" even though he will be getting paid a reported $10.72 million dollars this year, what term(s) could you use for not paying athletes at all who generate 90% of the NCAA's revenue?

How about...maybe what Adrian Peterson used?

While the value of a free education is what the NCAA holds as enough of a payment for the player's services on the field of play, it simply is not the reason they attend the university in the first place. Especially when it comes to the two major sports of college athletics, football and basketball reaps in more revenue for universities than all other sports combined. While there seems to be more scandal of agents and schools paying for players each year it seems, the NCAA's stand against paying athletes is similarly as no instant replay in baseball.

It needs to change.

When you watch the tournament (and you will) these next couple of weeks, think of how Jared Sullinger feels when he sees his jersey worn all over the arena and not getting a penny from the sales. What if the NCAA Tournament decides that 68 teams is not enough and decide to add more teams to increase the revenue stream from the NCAA's "golden goose"? Isn't that asking more players to play more and miss more school/study time on top of it?

What is the compensation of a free education when your job (that you do not get paid for) keeps you away from the free product you are being given as compensation by the university you are earning revenue for?

It makes no sense...Fix it.


John "Rock" Mamola is the Host of The Rock Report EVERY FRIDAY AT 10pm (CST) on 670am The Score

You can follow Rock at

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.