March Madne$$

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In the midst of the NCAA Championships, Frontline's film "Money and March Madness," looks into the business of the NCAA and college sports.  Lowell Bergman, Frontline correspondent, producer, and professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, talks about his investigation of all the money being made by college athletic programs and asks if the players shouldn't benefit as well.  The film airs tonight at 9:00pm on PBS.


Lowell Bergman

Comments [17]

Rose from Norwalk


Fame, glory, experiences, and fun are not forms of payment. If you think that they are, I challenge you to work at YOUR job for 3 months, forgoing financial compensation for fame, glory and fun.

Mar. 29 2011 11:09 AM
shane mcadams from greenpoint

with all the politicized discourse focusing on identity politics and other basically petty, media-inflamed issues about race, I can't believe vigilantes like Al Sharpton haven't gone after NCAA basketball, a legitimately exploitive institution, using the bodies of poor black kids to line their endowment coffers and then spit them out, perhaps with a degree, but not life context for that degree. These kids are gladiators who, if they don't make it to the NBA, get a degree in Criminal Justice that often means nothing to them.

Mar. 29 2011 11:08 AM
John from NYC

One example is the coach of the UConn is the highest paid employee in the State of Connecticut. I'd like to see a chart of these salaries of these college sports coaches and the corresponding Governor's salaries for various States.

Mar. 29 2011 11:04 AM
Rose from Norwalk

College players should absolutely get paid. System is staked against these athletes and everyone else is getting paid except them. It's rarely possible to compete in Division 1 athletics while simultaneousness taking advantage of an academic scholarship.

Mar. 29 2011 11:02 AM
Amy from Manhattan

And of those who do get to the NBA, public attention focuses mostly on the highest-paid stars, whose income isn't typical.

Mar. 29 2011 10:58 AM
David from West Hempstead

It's absolute nonsense that they aren't paid. They aren't students in any meaningful sense of the word.

Mar. 29 2011 10:58 AM
Leah from Brooklyn

There is an unspoken but sort of icky racial element here that clouds the issue. Can the guest speak to the overwhelmingly minority makeup of the athletes and the largely white population who make money off them?

Mar. 29 2011 10:58 AM
grunion from queens

Students should be paid at least a thousand $ per game - in addition to their scholarships, housing & foodplan.

Mar. 29 2011 10:58 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

Isn't the tuition pay enough?

Deferred payment - retirement fund, etc. makes sense to me.

The big money sports tuitions should come from the alumni. Leave the scholarship money for the other sports. My alma mater (Rutgers) dropped fencing (my sport), men's crew, men's tennis, men's golf in order to juice up the football program. Just ain't right.

Mar. 29 2011 10:57 AM

They ARE paid, in glory, experience, popularity, fun, the respect of their peers. They are college students not professionals. Often they got into the school in part because of their athleticism -- that's a benefit right there. The fact that they played well enough to get their team to the top is part of what they should WANT to do. Why get paid for playing the game well? Are they working harder than athletes whose teams DON'T do well?

Mar. 29 2011 10:57 AM
Brian from Lower Manhattan

College athletes should not be paid. That would open a very large new can of worms. They receive free tuition and free rooming. Syracuse costs $60-$70k a year in tuition alone.

Mar. 29 2011 10:56 AM
RCT from NYC

If we pay athletes, then not pay high-performing students for enhancing the reputation of the school?

Mar. 29 2011 10:56 AM
geo from astoria


College basketball players are like illegal immigrants. Slave labor for the profit of others.

Mar. 29 2011 10:55 AM
Sam from Caldwell NJ

Don't they get paid with a free education?

Mar. 29 2011 10:54 AM
Victor Sanchez from Morningside Heights

Division 1 athletes should be paid. D1 Basketball and football earn enormous amounts of revenue for colleges and those athletes in D1 are not student athletes but are in reality are athletes who go to class who can not fully take part in the full academic experience because of their commitments to their teams. For example D1 athletes can never spend a semester studying abroad because coaches won't allow them to miss out of season practices and training. My son who chose not to play D! soccer but plays Division 3 soccer will study abroad in Mexico next spring as part of his Latin American Studies major, something he could not do if he went D1.

Mar. 29 2011 10:51 AM

The money should go to the school to lower tuition costs. These college sports programs cost a fortune - whether they win or not - and can be a big reason why tuition costs are through the roof.

Mar. 29 2011 10:26 AM
Sheldon from Crown Heights

It is modern day sharecropping. Soccer and tennis players at this age, make millions, playing pro, yet these guys make nothing as their schools, the NCAA, TV networks and coaches make millions off their labor. They are not even allowed to do endorsements. A disgrace.

Mar. 29 2011 10:13 AM

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