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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Black football and basketball players in the Power Five conferences lost approximately $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion per year from 2005 to 2019 — or roughly $250,000 a year per athlete — according to a new study.

Why it matters: "Casual observers of college sports recognize an unspoken truth — that unpaid, predominantly Black labor in football and basketball powers the multibillion-dollar enterprise of amateurism, enriching and benefiting coaches, administrators, and other athletes who are overwhelmingly White," wrote Ted Tatos and Hal Singer in an opinion piece about their research.

How it works: The researchers used the NBA as a benchmark, estimating Black NBA players collected a 45% share of league revenue last season. They then looked at Power Five revenue and applied that same 45% labor share to Black football and basketball players.

  • The study analyzed lost wages under two scenarios: with and without athletic scholarships included as part of their wages.
  • Depending on the scenario, Black football and basketball athletes in the Power Five lost between $17.3 billion and $21.6 billion from 2005 to 2019, the researchers found.
  • The study used financial and demographic data from several databases, including the Knight Commission’s College Athletics Financial Information (CAFI) and the NCAA’s Demographics databases, among others.
  • Of note: The study does not include money lost from inability to generate revenue from athlete's name, image, and likeness (NIL).

What they're saying: "College sports amateurism is yet another chapter in the voluminous historical record of systemic racial injustice," Tatos and Singer said.

  • "When Black athletes achieve success and generate tremendous value despite the obstacles placed in their way, the same universities that profit from their labor label them 'amateurs' to avoid paying them their fair wage share," the researchers added.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Dec 2, 2021 - Science

Pair of supermassive black holes is closest yet found

The two supermassive black holes heading for a collision. Photo: ESO/Voggel et al.

Scientists have found a pair of supermassive black holes that are the closest to Earth discovered so far.

Why it matters: The pair could help scientists learn more about how large black holes in the middle of galaxies like our Milky Way form and grow.

JPMorgan: "Full global recovery" in 2022

Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase Global Research says in a forecast to clients: "2022 will be the year of a full global recovery, an end of the global pandemic, and a return to normal conditions we had prior to the COVID-19 outbreak."

The big picture: The bullish report sees "a return of global mobility, and a release of pent-up demand from consumers (e.g. travel, services)."

Inside Trump's hunt for "disloyal" Republicans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Donald Trump and his associates are systematically reshaping the Republican Party, working to install hand-picked loyalists across federal and state governments and destroy those he feels have been disloyal, sources close to the former president tell Axios.

Why it matters: If most or all of Trump’s candidates win, he will go into the 2024 election cycle with far more people willing to do his bidding who run the elections in key states.