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Monday, May 27, 2024

A Troubling Trend

  • The coaching carousel has made one thing clear: When it comes to running a top college football program, there’s always money to go around.
  • That’s struck a nerve with athlete advocates.
Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks

The coaching carousel has made one thing clear: When it comes to running a top college football program, there’s always money to go around. 

Schools have found the cash to pay some of the highest salaries in college football history and a litany of other expenses. 

Meanwhile, schools refuse to pay athletes salaries, cut Olympic sports teams due to pandemic shortfalls, and can’t seem to find the cash to treat women’s sports athletes equally. 

That’s struck a nerve with athlete advocates. But is there anything that could reverse this trend?

  • Some have suggested that the NCAA cap salaries; but when it tried to do so previously, it was shot down by a court.
  • The Knight Commission argued that Division I schools could redirect some of the funds from coaches to “education-centric” goals, like improving gender equity. 
  • If the richest schools had to pay players salaries, they might be forced to cut coaching salaries. Lawmakers, the courts, or the NLRB could force them to — but they’re slow-moving.

“Professional-level payouts for college coaches are only possible because colleges and the NCAA illegally collude to directly restrict compensation for the mostly Black athletes,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said in a statement Tuesday. 

“This is a civil rights issue that will continue to stain the world of college sports if Congress doesn’t act.”

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