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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Is it Worth it?

Did you know the average lifespan of an NFL lineman is only 52 years old? Almost 20 under the average male lifespan in America (of those who didn't die at birth). These numbers shocked me when I read them and made me ask myself, is it worth it? It is true that NFL players make a lot of money but most careers are only 3-4 years long and the long term effects are overwhelming to the majority of the players (Azpiri, 2008). Many ex-football players suffer from football related ailments such as dementia, heart disease, crippling arthritis, never healing muscle tears and brain damage. Brain damage to the point where living football players want to donate their brains to science to help future football players who may benefit from the research (Azpiri, 2008). Players like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are set for life and will always be able to afford the best quality health care even long after they retire but they make up the minority in the NFL. Hundreds of other NFL players  are paid closer to the minimum ($300,000) and usually do not budget properly to ensure themselves financial stability after their playing days are over. Many end up working hard labor or minimum wage jobs when their playing days are over. The players union does fight for retired players so they can get some medical benefits as well as retirement income but it's not enough for everyone. The impending lockout has a lot to do with this subject as present players are fighting for their retired counterparts. Lets hope the owners and players can come to a resolution so we don't have to go back to the old days when football stars like Johnny Unitas ended up crippled and broke with no NFL compensation to help with his injuries.

Azpiri, J. (2008). Average lifespan of a football player is 52. Retrieved on 5/19/11 from
http://www.nowpublic.com/sports/average-lifespan-football-player-52

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Are big time collegiate athletes already being compensated?


This time of year brings you basketball play-offs, hockey play-offs, the start of the baseball season and the all important NFL draft. The NFL labor agreement has many college athletes in this years draft unsure of their financial future. A big question still being asked is, should college athletes get paid for amateur athletics? An interesting article at USAToday.com led to the question, are these college athletes already being compensated? A USA Today financial analysis determined that college athletes can earn as much as 120,000 annually in goods, services and future earnings for his athletic work. They break it down in the categories of tuition, room and board, coaching, medical insurance premiums, game tickets and in some cases future earnings. Now these numbers vary because most athletes do not end up playing professional sports but still can take advantage of a free education from a prestigious school. We all know how expensive health care is and these athletes get top treatment. For the players who do go pro, they are getting some of the best coaching at the collegiate level and then the opportunity to earn on the professional level. Throw in the general promotion a kid gets from nationally televised games, along with all the sneakers and equipment you can use and it does start to add up. I've always been a proponent of college athletes getting paid because these schools do make a killing off of certain players who do not get directly compensated. These schools could put money made from a specific jersey they sell or making a bowl game, in a trust fund for such players to utilize once they have completed their collegiate careers. With that being said and as someone who had to pay for his own under-graduate degree,  these college players are still being compensated very well for a 17 or 18 year old.

Berkowitz, Steve & Wiener, Jay (2011). What players get. Retrieved from www.USAtoday.com on 5/3/11