The average college basketball player at Duke University would be worth $1.3 million per year if they were able to play in a free market system and receive compensation in a manner similar to that of the NBA. And yet, despite all their success, Duke does not have the most valuable players.
We calculated the Fair Market Value of college basketball players at the 20 schools that bring in the most revenue from their men’s basketball program, according to data provided by the Department of Education. Using the NBA’s most recent collective bargaining agreement in which the players receive a minimum of 49% of all revenue, each school’s men’s basketball revenue was split between the school and the athletes with the players’ share divided evenly among the 13 scholarship players.
Using this method, we can estimate that the University of Louisville has the most valuable players at $1.7 million per year (up from $1.5 million last year) based on the program’s $45.8 million in annual revenue. Overall, the average Division I player is worth $296,723 per year with the average basketball program taking in nearly $8 million in revenue each year.
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