Daily Rundown   |  September 05, 2013

Should student athletes get paid?

Daily Rundown guest host Luke Russert takes a closer look into the legal battle over whether or not student-athletes should be paid. Time magazine reporter Sean Gregory joins to discuss.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> that could put some of the top colleges in america on the hook for millions of dollars every year. at the heart of the fight is this question, should senate athletes get paid? called for congress to investigate college athletics . he accused the ncaa of holding absolute control over student athletes. former players have filed a class action suit claiming they should get a cut of some of the millions of ncaa makes off using their likenesses in video games and merchandise. 81% of the ncaa revenue was from tv and marketing rights. that amounted to about $705 million. just last year. 11% of the other revenue was from tickets and team merchandise. one of this year's biggest moneymakers could be texas a&m quarterback johnny manziel. he got into trouble for signing autographs. the ncaa didn't want brokers to make money off his signature. so the league suspended him for the first half of last saturday's season opener. the ncaa admits manziel did not make any money on the signatures but they sold his jersey online for $64. the latest issue of "time" magazine asserts it's time to pay college athletes. joining me now is the author of that story, the great man, "times" shawn gregory. thank you for joining us.

>> no problem, luke, thanks.

>> we have a system now, the ncaa , which is clearly money driven. they get a scholarship in return. they should just be happy to be there. and you know what, they shouldn't be paid at all.

>> well, three things. the first is the escalating numbers of revenues. if you lock at the trend line, over the last decade for example, the ncaa and the bowl championship series . the revenues went from $300 million in '02 to something in the neighborhood of $850 million in 2010 . those revenues are going to keep going up. you think about as you mentioned the new television deals that have been signed. conferences and schools starting their own television networks . realignment to capitalize on money. the college football playoff coming up is going to drive more demand for television rights . so those numbers are going to keep going up and up and up. during all this, the labor costs has been capped at the value of the scholarship. so you've got one line going up, one line flat lining. and how long can we go on with this? the other thing is the manziel case kind of brought this to bear. it was interesting. the question when it came out he might have gotten money for autographs was not, oh, my god, he broke the rules, but why shouldn't he get money for autographs? seems like there was a public opinion change. and the owe bannon case, suing about video game likenesses. television revenues. it's a question of what's going to change? are the schools going to rewrite the rules or are the courts and congress going to rewrite the rules?

>> it is certainly antitrust questions. one thing that's fascinating in this discussion is you have a lot of people saying what about the olympic standard? why can't we do that? athletes can make money off sponsorships if they're able to. that way, you don't get into the whole yiidea of having to pay everybody.

>> that is a real interesting alternative. because it takes the burden off the school in a way. the schools want to say we're all about quote/unquote amateurs and student athletes. money is bad. which you could argue that's a faulty argument. if johnny manziel has value in a free marketplace where other peep want to give him money, why shouldn't that happen? that happens in the olympics . 20 or so years go, the olympics said why should we restrain valuable athletes from making money ? michael phelps gets hundreds of millions of dollars in sponsorships. and other swimmers don't. it really doesn't destroy the team usa camaraderie or anything like that. certainly hasn't destroyed the popularity of the olympics . so i think that's a real alternative on the table. you can really make a case for that.

>> one thing i found fascinating when researching this issue extensively is the creation of the ncaa was purely for energy gain. walter buyers when he created it back in the '40s, it was essentially done in the beginning to get away from workmans comp claims. this idea if we put the student athlete -- a recreational student activity, then we can't be sued if they get a concussion. the ncaa from its beginning has always been about money. can you talk about that, how it's been about for schools to profit. it has never been this idea of just enriching student's lives. enriching students' lives. it's been a money maker .

>> sure. if you look at the hypocrisy, they say we care. there are commercials out there about their teenagers. how can you care so much about student athletes when you're restraining them from making money at a time when for a lot of them they are not going to be more valuable. not every football and basketball player is going to the nfl. there's a pure hypocrisy there.

>> i'd love to talk to you some time about how folks get injured and lose their scholarships but we don't have enough time. thank you.