The Big Ten just inked a series of massive new media rights deals that will generate an average of at least $1.1 billion per year for the conference. The eye-popping number marks the richest annual deal for any college sports league, and one prominent college football player thinks athletes deserve a cut.
Following news of the Big Ten’s new deals with Fox, CBS, and NBC, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud said he believes the revenue should be shared among the athletes.
“I definitely think it should be shared,” Stroud said, according to Joey Kauffman of The Columbus Dispatch. “But, if not, at the end of the day, we have the NIL space. We can do it that way. The new college world is turning around, and I’m here for it.”
While Stroud does enjoy the amateur aspect of college football and acknowledges that athletes are compensated in the form of scholarships, he still feels that players are worth more than they’re currently getting.
“This game is amazing, especially the college atmosphere, because it does have amateurism to it,” Stroud said. “That’s definitely a plus. But at the same time, I’m not 100% sure what our tuition is, but I’m sure it’s not the worth of what we’re actually worth. My mom has always told me to know my worth.”
While a revenue-sharing model would be a groundbreaking change for the college football landscape, it does have some support among the sport’s most prominent executives, including Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren.
Warren recently told Bryant Gumbel of HBO in a piece airing on the upcoming Aug. 23 edition of Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel that he could foresee the conference or individual teams directly paying players one day.
“Those are things we have to resolve,” Warren said. “We have to. So I want to be part of this conversation and will be part of this conversation of what we can do to make this better”
During his appearance at Big Ten Media Days, Warren said he has begun to have conversations about possible revenue-sharing with a newly-formed student-athlete advisory and advocacy committee.
“I’ve already started some dialogue with our student-athletes,” Warren said. “I want to be a great listener to figure out what is important to them. It’s so easy to talk about money and share money, but what does that really mean? I want to make sure that I listen and learn to be able to have big ears and a small mouth to truly understand what’s important to them.”
With players calling for revenue sharing and executives finally listening, it seems this groundbreaking change could be coming to college football sooner or later.