A Free Market for College Athletes

Posted on November 12, 2011 by


My latest for the Huffington Post — What Sports Illustrated Didn’t Tell You About Paying College Athletes – is obviously a response to a recent article from Sports Illustrated.   In the article I advocate a free market for college athletes.

Last August, Robert McCormick and Robert Tollison offered another alternative. In Subversion of the Academy by the NCAA, these two economists noted that the problem in college sports is that the coaches and administrators participate in a free (although quite distorted) market while the labor is treated as amateurs.  If one doesn’t like letting the players participate in a free market, why not have everyone go back to being amateurs?  In other words, let’s return college sports to what it was before people realized money could be made.

Whether one wishes to see a completely free market for everyone or everyone be treated like the players (i.e. everyone is an amateur), it does seem clear that having one institution for the players and another for the coaches seems to be a big part of the problem.  And until that disconnect is resolved, so-called “scandels” will continue to be a part of college sports.

– DJ