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On Monday night, the nation witnessed Clemson defeat Alabama in one of the most exciting College Football Championship games in history. But what many Americans may have missed are the millions of dollars both universities made––without paying their players a dime.

Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban and Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney both had national championship bonuses in their contracts, which netted them a considerable amount of cash.

According to a report released on Monday, Alabama’s athletic department earned over $1.3 million dollars over the course of the last year. Those funds were primarily generated from the success of the school’s football team.

Roland Martin addressed the ongoing debate over whether or not college football players should be paid for their services during Tuesday’s edition of NewsOne Now.

When you look at the television money and the merchandising being sold … all of those things benefit the schools, but not the players,” he said. “The reality is this, those players should be getting paid…They are the reasons why the coaches are making money.”

Martin continued, “As a student at Texas A&M, I could have gotten paid for my journalism skills if I chose to work for the school newspaper. If you are in the band you can actually go and earn some money as a result of that, but in college [sports] you can’t.

“You can’t even get paid to sign your own jersey, but the university can certainly auction off your signature on a helmet or on a jersey,” he continued.

Universities have the autonomy to sell the jerseys of their former players without issuing a penny to the individuals those garments represent. According to Martin, the NCAA says, “The moment you sign your letter of intent, you no longer have total control over your likeness…

The bottom line is this, this is a system where a whole bunch of players never go to the NFL, they never go to the Canadian Football League. When their playing days end––that’s it.

“They deserve to be get paid.”

Watch Roland Martin address the debate over whether or not college football players should be paid in the video clip above.

Watch NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.

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