Back in the fall, I put a post on this site advocating that college athletes SHOULD be paid beyond their scholarship, for the sole reason that the athletes, especially in basketball and football bring in such a large sum of money tp the school, they should benefit from that too. Well, I am now here to tell you, I WAS WRONG. And all it took was one article and a little research to sway my opinion.
First was this article by Darren Rovell of CSNBC about the financial differences between Duke and Butler. And the most glaring statistic from that article was that Duke University spends over $360,000 per men’s basketball player each season, while Butler spends about that much for its entire team. Now, there is a whole different argument about the rich vs poor programs that could be made, but I just couldn’t believe that Duke spends that much money on each basketball player each year. Even with travel included, that seems that a ridiculously high number.
So, it made we wonder what Kentucky spends on its basketball players each year. You would think that at a Cadillac program like UK, that number would be similar as to Duke. Luckily, all of those numbers are public and are released under the Equity in Athletics bill. You can visit their website and view every college athletic program in the country and see how exactly the money is spent, and where the revenue comes from. It’s a very interesting website.
Anyway, on to UK. Click here to see some of the numbers for all of UK’s sports. But, if you want a quick rundown for basketball, here is what you get:
Operating Expenses per Participant (20 total): $122,665 per player
First of all, I can not find anywhere on these sites if operating expenses includes tuition, books, and room and board. But, even if we assume those things ARE included into this operating expense ($28,763 out-of-state costs), that still means that EACH player has $93,902 spent on them each season outside of school costs. Ummmm, is it just me or does that seem incredible?
Let’s consider that UK flies nearly all the places it goes, and that accounts for alot of the expenses. But 93-thousand dollars worth? I don’t think so. Then we have to consider uniforms/practice gear/shoes/warmups/other clothing. Again, that might be a couple thousand per player (MAYBE), but still not a huge amount.
So, where is this money going to? I am simply saying these guys are clearly living an even better life that I originally thought they were. They clearly are getting the best meals, planes, clothes, and other amenities that can be offered. I am jealous, I can admit that.
But this just furthers my point that these guys actually DON’T deserve any extra money in their pockets. I was thinking for UK players, maybe a 5-10 thousand dollar stipend was deserved. But, clearly being a UK basketball player is almost a 6-figure job these days!