University of Iowa Won’t Release How Much Athletes Are Getting Paid
It's a brand new world in college athletics. College athletes can now make money on NIL (name, image, likeness) deals. These deals can have a huge impact on the disparity in college athletics, for better or worse. KCRG actually requested from UI how much money players in their athletic programs are getting paid, which they refused to release.
It's hard to blame UI for taking this route. This could have a huge impact on recruiting top-tier athletes for both men's and woman's athletics. If students make less money here and can make more going to a different Big 10 program, it's hard to really blame the athlete for wanting to try and better their financial situation while they can.
Without the data, it's impossible to understand exactly which sports make more money, how much each athlete is getting paid, and if there is a disparity between the men and women according to KCRG. Personally, I don't think it's crazy to assume schools make most of their money on their football and basketball programs.
Nathan Levin is a lawyer for UI and he's told KCRG
"Even without the names of athletes is protected due to privacy laws like FERPA. The information is protected under Iowa law because it is a report to government agencies that would give an advantage to competitors."
There has only been one school to release the data on how much athletes are making and that was Ohio State. I'm just assuming here, but those numbers must be pretty good. Otherwise, why would they release them? If they are good, you can bet they'll be using it as an advantage in the recruiting process.
Imagine being 17/18 years old, you have the choice between going to UI or any other school to be a division 1 athlete... if you don't have some tie to the university or fall in love with some academic program, you're probably going to the school you have a chance to make more money at. There's nothing wrong with that either, but here comes the issue with NIL deals as a whole.
Former UI point guard Jordan Bohannon was very candid when speaking to KCRG about UI athletic programs. He said
"Schools might not release NIL data because it is inaccurate or potentially embarrassing. How much money an athlete can make in NIL deals has become one of the biggest concerns for recruits today and Iowa hasn’t been as proactive when it comes to helping its players make money."
I'm kind of stuck in the middle when it comes to this entire situation. While I do believe athletes should be able to get paid for NIL, I also don't like the advantage bigger schools have over smaller ones.
While smaller schools have always had a disadvantage over bigger schools in the recruiting process, at least they didn't have to worry about an athlete choosing a different school because of how much money they'd make.
Colleges make money on their athletic programs, especially if they're competitive year in and year out, and I do think athletes should be part of the compensation for that.
It'll take people way smarter than me to figure out how to make this fair and I don't even know if that's possible. Couldn't they just put a cap on how much a college athlete can make? If they want to sell signed jerseys, sign autographs, sign pictures, get paid to make appearances, whatever it is, I think they should be allowed to do it. Can't they just put a max number on what someone can make per year?
Time will only tell what the future holds for college athletics around the country.