Athletes are finally starting to receive their checks from EA as part of the settlement reached in the O’bannon vs. NCAA case. We’ve obtained a check from the settlement, and the amount is pretty low compared to the estimated average of $1600 projected by ESPN.
This is only one check, so it’s entirely possible and it’s below the average, but what’s interesting to note is that when Greg McElroy posted an image of his check on twitter last week, he omitted the dollar amount that he received as part of the settlement.
What does that mean? Your guess is as good as ours, but it’s entirely possible that McElroy received more than the average player, or felt that the dollar amount wasn’t essential to the message.
Regardless, if the average player is only receiving a couple hundred dollars, that’s a couple hundred dollars that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. It makes sense that players would receive different amounts, seeing as each individual athlete had varying amounts of exposure in the games.
For some, the check will undoubtedly be larger, particularly those who graced the cover of the games or appeared in other promotional materials. Of course, many players such as Denard Robinson who was featured on the cover of the final installment of NCAA Football in 2013 have since gone on to play in professional leagues.
Obviously everyone should be compensated for their appearance in the game, but as I’ve said many times over the course of several articles on the subject, the people who need the money most are those who don’t go on to play in professional leagues. Your average athlete isn’t going to make it to the NFL.
According to the NCAA as of 2015, only 1.6% of college football players will make it to the NFL. The odds are even worse for most of the other sports. For men playing college basketball, you’re only looking at 1.2%. Only baseball and hockey have higher numbers, and they’re still not that great at 8.6% and 6.8% respectively.
While college sports do allow athletes the opportunity for a scholarship, it isn’t always good enough. Especially in today’s economy, where a job isn’t a guarantee when you get out of college.
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