In a recent interview, newly acquired Memphis Grizzlies forward Andre Iguodala stressed that NCAA athletes should be compensated for the wealth that they bring to universities.
“I feel like college players should be compensated. And with all the technology we have, algorithms can be put in place on the amount of wealth that a player brings to a university,” Iguodala said.
“You have $1 [billion] TV deals. You have marketing deals. You have merchandise. All those things come into play, and the players are the foundation of all that. Without the players, you aren't able to do any of these things,” he later added.
Iguodala made the comments to Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in a conversation that aired on Yahoo Finance in an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.
Other athletes have spoken out against the NCAA.
The NCAA has responded to the criticism it receives for not paying college athletes, stating doing so would “undermine the balance between the two [students and athletes] and detract from the integration of academics and athletics in the campus community.”
According to the NCAA’s official website, 2018’s “March Madness” basketball tournament had over 97 million viewers for its “Final Four,” with views coming from 180 countries.
Iguodala, an NBA All-Star who has won three world championships with the Golden State Warriors, including an NBA Finals MVP in 2015, is far more than just an athlete. He is a tech entrepreneur who has invested in Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), and Tesla (TSLA), among 25 tech start-up firms.
He acknowledged that large sums of money could be bad for college students, saying it could have “a large effect on who they become… Because they're not ready for it.” But if college students save that money, they could be better prepared for life after they no longer play sports, Iguodala noted.
“Whether it be setting up accounts for players to have when they're done playing… if you can put different things in place where they can profit off their likeness, which any human being should be able to do.”
“There are ways that athletes can be compensated properly by the NCAA,” he concluded.
Donovan Russo is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him @Donovanxrusso.