They're The Face Of College Athletics But Can't Profit Off Their Own Image

black football player
Alyssa Guznik
January 18, 2023

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, generated $1.16 billion in the 2021 fiscal year. Out of all that money, none of it makes its way into Black college athletes' pockets.

Colleges use their athletic programs to lure students to their campuses. However, they purposely target athletes from poor communities that can't afford education. They promise a free education, but this gift comes with a sinister repercussion.

Students who accept money or gifts are not considered amateurs by the NCAA, and this disqualifies them from competing and receiving scholarship money.  Their likenesses, however, can be used any way the schools and NCAA see fit. Between 2005 and 2019, colleges made approximately $1.2 to $1.4 billion off these students.

Black students make up 60% of all the football and basketball rosters across college sports but only about 11% of any other sport. Though coaches and administrators make millions, the bulk of the cash Black athletes bring in goes to predominantly white sports teams that don't contribute financially, like tennis, sailing, and crew.

With college football’s continued expansion, the financial weight of college sports rests predominantly on the back of Black students. They work incredibly hard and, in some cases, are still in abject poverty while playing under the NCAA. The bottom line? Slavery and sharecropping have been rebranded as student athletics.

We have a quick favor to ask:

PushBlack Finance is a nonprofit dedicated to raising up Black voices. We are a small team but we have an outsized impact:

  • We reach tens of millions of people with our BLACK FINANCIAL NEWS & ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT STORIES every year.
  • We fight for ECONOMIC JUSTICE to protect our community.
  • We run VOTING CAMPAIGNS that reach over 10 million African-Americans across the country.

And as a nonprofit, we rely on small donations from subscribers like you.

With as little as $5 a month, you can help PushBlack raise up Black voices. It only takes a minute, so will you please ?

Share This Article: