WASHINGTON – As the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) begins the Sweet 16 tournament, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, on Thursday released the first in a series of reports that will consider a range of problems within college athletics. The report titled Madness Inc.: How Everyone is Getting Rich Off College Sports – Except the Players will examine the profits of college sports and how the NCAA enriches nearly every entity but the student-athletes. In the report, Murphy calls on the NCAA to compensate student-athletes. Murphy released the following statement:
“The NCAA is broken. I am a big college sports fan, but I think most fans recognize that the NCAA today isn’t acting in the best interest of many student-athletes. College sports has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry where everyone's getting rich except the students actually doing the work. Frankly, it’s a civil rights issue that no one is talking about. That’s why I’m speaking out.
“Under the current system, students in big-time athletic programs are shortchanged on their education as the college sports machine demands more of their time and more pressure to win. Meanwhile, coaches, universities, broadcasters and even shoe companies are raking in the cash and sending a relatively small percentage of the money to students in the form of scholarships. The NCAA needs to come up with a way to compensate student-athletes, at least in the sports that demand the most time and make the most money. It's an issue of fairness. It's an issue of civil rights.
"Is there an easy solution? No. But the NCAA has created a complicated system of sponsorship and broadcast rights by which lots of adults get rich. They can figure out a way to get a percentage of that money to the students who are kept poor by a system that is designed to make lots of people rich except for the kids."
This is the first in a series of Madness, Inc. reports that will consider a range of problems with college athletics. Subsequent reports will examine the nature of amateurism, how programs fail to provide a full education to their student-athletes, the long-term health consequences that student-athletes face, and will describe how to address the litany of issues within the college sports industry.
Click here to download Madness, Inc. or read the full report below.