Brow Beat

John Oliver Takes on the Raw Deal for Players That’s at the Heart of March Madness

This Tuesday, the NCAA basketball tournament gets underway, and over the next month, it will bring in more ad revenue than almost the entire NFL postseason combined. Yes, it brings in more than the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, none of the players will get paid more than a student who watches the tournament on TV while working the library turnstile. 

But that’s all OK because it’s still a great deal for the players, right? After watching this week’s epic “main story” from Last Week Tonight—which rivals John Oliver’s similarly lengthy report on the World Cup—you might not feel so sure. Especially when less than 2 percent of players will become professional athletes, and they’re left with almost no time to benefit from their education. To cap things off, he imagines a video game that would capture what the experience of playing in the NCAA is actually like. The only problem: No one would play it.