I agree that the endorsement money is 100% just a vehicle to get the players to play for their favorite school and I don't have a problem with that at all. That was what I meant by the players market value in your prior post. "Zion"'s market value is whatever the marketplace thinks is worth paying him if it means he'll be on their favorite team and give them the enjoyment of their favorite team being good.In my example, the market is not efficient. It is inefficient because the car dealer doesn't get anywhere near $500,000 worth of value to his business by having random player "Zion" show up at the dealership on a few Saturdays. He is paying $500,00 for the noneconomic reason that it makes him feel good that his local college basketball team is good and this money will help the school recruit.
There are plenty of people who feel college athletes should be able to market their athletic abilities and get paid for them. Those people would be thrilled that the kid is getting $500K for agreeing to go to a particular school. Whether you agree with that sentiment or not, they are at least being honest that this is about paying players to play for schools in the guise of allowing them to collect endorsement money.
It sounds like the disconnect was you may have been referencing the actual economic benefit to the dealership like how many more cars the dealership will sell if "Zion" was in a commercial. That I don't really care about. Business owners can spend their money on whatever they want, however, I don't think many people are going to have their business and livelihood go under so they can overpay the starting point guard for their favorite team.