Star QB says TV revenue should be shared with players in wake of record Big Ten media deal
In recent years, rules at the state level and the NCAA level have changed to allow college student-athletes the ability to be compensated for their name, image, and likeness. Those changes have opened up, in some instances, major revenue streams for the highest-profile players.
But paydays from NIL-related endorsement deals and sponsorships still pale in comparison to the revenue universities and athletic departments are bringing in as a direct result of the players’ efforts on game day. In the wake of a multi-network, seven-year media rights agreement the Big Ten announced on Thursday — one that could reportedly pump as much as $10 billion dollars into the league over its lifetime — that reality was laid bare for Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud.
“I definitely think it should be shared,” Stroud said, according to The Columbus Dispatch’s Joey Kaufman. “But if not, at the end of the day, we have the NIL space. We can do it that way. The new college world is turning around, and I’m here for it.”
He continued: “This game is amazing, especially the college atmosphere, because it does have amateurism to it. That’s definitely a plus. But at the same time, I’m not 100% sure what our tuition is, but I’m sure it’s not the worth of what we’re actually worth. My mom has always told me to know my worth.”
Revenue sharing is a topic that has grown increasingly popular of late.
Last July, the College Football Players Association (CFBPA) formally launched with the goal of promoting labor organization among NCAA football players, and recently met with Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren to discuss a list of various things they’d like to see changed in the sport going forward — revenue sharing of major media rights deals among them.
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren met with leaders of an independent players association this week. The group has asked to begin a conversation with the conference about demands including revenue sharing, and says Warren agreed to start that conversation.
— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) July 22, 2022
At the league’s media day last month, Warren said he was open to the idea and to continuing the conversation.
“I’ve already started some dialogue with our student-athletes,” Warren said. “I want to be a great listener to figure out what is important to them. It’s so easy to talk about money and share money, but what does that really mean? I want to make sure that I listen and learn to be able to have big ears and a small mouth to truly understand what’s important to them.”
Schools will argue the money they make from league payouts gets invested back into the student-athletes through facility improvements, support resources, and staffing. But even that has changed recently. In response to the Alston ruling from the Supreme Court, some schools — including multiple in the Pac-12 — have said they’ll provide academic bonus payments for performance in the classroom.
When more than $1 billion starts flowing into the Big Ten on an annual basis in the next few years, though, that probably won’t feel like nearly enough to the players who made such a deal possible.