James McDermott: It’s high time our GAA heroes were paid fairly for their sporting labours

With a US Supreme Court judge bluntly raising the issue of proper pay for college athletes, Gaelic footballers and hurlers may soon be thinking along the same lines

Dublin played Meath in the Leinster football semi-final in Croke Park last month: the demands on successful GAA players are now almost indistinguishable from those on their professional counterparts in other sporting codes who are well paid for their efforts. Picture: Inpho

A decade ago, while on a teaching exchange at a US university, I was asked if I knew who my host’s highest-paid employee was. Based on the disgruntled tone with which the question was posed, I quickly eliminated my interrogator before incorrectly moving on to more credible suspects such as the college president.

The surprise answer was the basketball coach, who took home $500,000 a year. By coincidence, my visit coincided with March Madness, an ...