Robert J. Romano, JD, LLM, Assistant Professor of Sport Management at St. John’s University, was recognized this summer for having the “Best Paper” by the participants to the 14th Annual GBRS Conference in Valencia, Spain and selected for publication in a future issue of The Review of Business Journal published by the Peter J. Tobin College of Business.
An abstract of the paper entitled “The Value of a Division I Men’s Basketball Player: Is the Student-Athlete Scholarship Fair Value for Athletic Participation at the Highest Level?” follows: “On April 22, 2010, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) reached a fourteen-year agreement, worth $10.8 billion (approximately $770 million annually), with CBS and Turner Broadcasting System wherein the two media companies received joint broadcasting rights to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament known as March Madness. In April of 2016, the NCAA and CBS/Turner extended their agreement for an additional eight years, through 2032, while increasing the payment from CBS/Turner to the NCAA by an additional $8.8 billion, averaging now more than one billion dollars per year. While the NCAA collects its annual billion-dollar broadcasting rights fee, its member institutions, approximately 1,115 colleges and universities located throughout the United States, separately and individually award nearly $2.55 billion in Division I athletic scholarships. Of the 1,115 member institutions, 351 support a Division I men’s basketball program. These programs grant over $174.5 million in annual scholarships, with the typical Division I men’s basketball player receiving, on average, a scholarship valued at approximately $38,250.00 per year. Since the NCAA receives roughly one billion dollars per year from CBS/Turner solely for the broadcasting rights to March Madness, (this dollar figure does not include ticketing, merchandising and branding, sponsorship, and other revenue generators associated with the event), how much and through which means does it distribute said monies to its member institutions? Should the NCAA be responsible for the cost of a Division I men’s basketball scholarship and relieve its member institutions from the financial burden? Are the approximately 4,500 young men who receive Division I men’s basketball scholarships receiving a fair value for their skills to participate at the highest level of college sports? If not, what would be a fair value for the student-athlete?”
A modified version of the full article will appear in Sports Litigation Alert next month.