Star-Ledger Editorial Board | February 17, 2020 | NJ Advance Media |
Selection Sunday is just weeks away, which means that it’s almost time to fill out brackets and crank up the annual spectacle of vulgar commercialism known as March Madness. Rah.
Amid the hoops hysteria, however, it bears repeating that the young athletes tattooed with corporate logos flying across your flat screen will generate more than $1 billion in TV revenue for the NCAA, and that the entertainers themselves won’t see a penny of that.
So let’s recap: This college sports enterprise has an unpaid labor force that graduates at a rate of 50 percent, rakes in gobs of green for a non-profit organization that pays its top four executives $7 million a year, and these kids aren’t even allowed to have minimum-wage jobs during basketball season.
For years, everyone agreed that this system had to change, and with 30 state legislatures finally caught up to the public mood by introducing bills to change it, the NCAA was shamed into announcing that it will soon devise a system that allows the athletes some compensation.
But if we know anything about the NCAA — a cartel with a long history of corruption and exploitation — it will need a push, so states like New Jersey must be a catalyst for that change.
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