The debate over whether college players should be compensated for their services has raged on for years, but may finally be coming to a head.
The National College Players Association has started a petition calling for the NCAA and college presidents "to use a portion of the $775 million in new TV revenues to increase graduation rates, decrease NCAA violations, and provide basic protections," according to Deadspin.
Those protections include an "educational lock box (trust fund)," which students can receive if they abide by the rules and graduate, or from which they can draw if their athletic eligibility runs out before they graduate.
It's not really getting paid, since it's not a salary, and they would only receive the money after their collegiate athletic careers are over.
But compensation isn't the sole source of motivation behind the petition. The NCPA also requests "raising our scholarships equal to the cost of attendance so our schools can fully support our education; an average increase of approximately $3200/year per full scholarship athlete; allowing our schools the option to prioritize our education by providing multi-year scholarships; preventing permanently injured players from losing their scholarships; ensuring we are not stuck with sports-related medical expenses."
Just 10 days old, the petition has gained quite a bit of steam, with already over 300 signatures from football and men's basketball teams at big schools such as Kentucky, UCLA, Georgia Tech, Purdue, and Arizona. UCLA kicker Jeff Locke picked up the signatures of 70 of his own teammates and the entire Bruins basketball team, The Associated Press reports.
"I really want to voice my opinions," Georgia Tech defensive end Denzel McCoy, who nabbed 55 signatures from Yellow Jackets football players, is quoted as saying by Deadspin. "The things we go through, the hours we put in, what our bodies go through, we deserve some sort of [results]. College football is a billion-dollar industry."
As for the future plans of the petition, the NCPA plans to circulate it to further schools in the coming weeks.
NCAA spokesman Bob Williams has responded with a written statement that reads, "Of its approximately $775 million in annual revenues, the NCAA invests 96 percent, or 96 cents of every dollar, in student-athletes through direct distributions to individual campuses and conferences; the funding and administration of national championships; and other direct support, such as the Student Assistance and Academic Enhancement funds in Division I."
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