Across the country, fans are excited about the new football season approaching as their favorite college teams go head to head to win the National Championship. Each year, new players arrive on campus to help the sports program achieve its goals. Among these new athletes nearly 50% of college football players are black, and nearly 60% of new college basketball players are black.
So, it's safe to say, Black people make up the majority of the talent in college football and basketball. Based on these numbers, we have to ask the question, Why are these athletes not attending HBCUs?
In short, the answer is twofold, money and exposure. College sports generate billions of dollars for the NCAA each year, March Madness generates $900 million in revenue annually. The numbers are even more staggering for college football as the NCAA takes in $8 billion in revenue each year. Playing at these elite programs also gives players the chance to be recognized by the NFL and NBA.In hopes of being some of the select few that are able to play sports professionally.
Now imagine if these athletes follow the idea of pundits like Jemele Hill, Chris Broussard, and others and took their talent to HBCUs. Imagine how much money would be generated at these schools that are in desperate need of funding. College athletics could be the economic opportunity needed to restore HBCUs around the country.
Not only would it generate money for the schools, but it would also encourage small businesses, jobs, and growth centered around HBCUs. Simply, college athletes attending HBCUs would make Black schools, Black Culture, and Black People the epicenter of communities around the country. This would be an amazing idea, IF these schools weren’t governed by the same corrupt body that is the NCAA.
The NCAA governs over all but two of the Division 1 HBCU athletic programs. So realistically, a black athlete leaving a predominantly white school only changes who they are being exploited by, exchanging a white face for a black one. Exploitation is still the end result unless black athletes stand up and challenge amateurism.
Once the concept of amateurism is out of the way black athletes can truly leverage their talent and ability to generate new, young, black wealth. Then it is incumbent of these athletes to use that new wealth to invest in our communities and HBCUS. The real answer in a multi-pronged approach. Simply leaving PWIs for HBCUs is only part of the answer the second part is ending the cartel known as the NCAA.
Thirdly, there is enough money generated by our community to address the needs of our HBCUs. We need a new, higher level of trust by us in us and our communities.