We have all seen news reports of the professional sports figures doing various things over the years. The reports on the front pages are usually rather embarrassing. Usually there is money involved in some way in those embarrassments. Players gambling on games, players taking money to shave points, referees taking money to shave points, players holding out for more money from management, management locking their teams out for more money, owners demanding free stadiums and other perks for keeping the franchise in the city and on and on.
These things would cease to happen of course in a non-POM economy. Players couldn’t be bribed with money. There is no organized crime gambling. The team owners wouldn’t be the ones paying the players. In short, lots of these issues simply would not exist if we were using a non-physical object form of money.
So how would a professional sports franchise function in a non-POM economy? To begin with, those who do the paying would recognize that professional sports is show business. Therefore, these franchises would be paid for entertainment. Being physically present in the stadium to see the teams play would be a luxury as would concessions, and programs so one would have to pay for those things. Players would be paid after they performed rather than having a contract which set pay terms before they performed. Those who did the most to improve the fans’ enjoyment of the game would be paid the most. Naturally, this extends to all those who participate in providing the show from the janitors through the secretaries and on to top management.
The professional leagues would not be in charge of advertising and could not pay for it in any event. The teams could agree to hold drafts of new players or not. Rival leagues could appear. In short, the providing of professional sports to the public would be a completely free market at all levels.
What about colleges and high schools and their teams? The answer is that if they choose to have teams and decide to provide their contests as a luxury to be sold to the public then they are professional sports. Their participants, players, coaches, janitors and all would be paid accordingly. If they make the spectacle available to anyone who wants to attend and do not charge for the privilege then they would be paid for any benefit which the games provide. If the players appear to benefit, then the coaches and school administrations would be paid. If the players appear to suffer, then not only would the adults (in the case of the high school players) not be paid anything for their efforts but any other pay they might have earned would be reduced.
Injuries would be extremely expensive for those who contribute resources to such affairs. Those who provide equipment would be paid for doing so but could lose money if those who used that equipment were injured. This applies at all levels of sport from the individual recreational sport participants through the highly-skilled school players in high school and college through the professional athlete. This means that the quality of equipment and the issuance of equipment would be much more controlled and regulated by the owners of equipment. As a result of injuries to players, coaches would lose money they might have had. This also applies at all levels from the earliest pee-wee leagues through professional. Thus, the games would tend to be far less violent.
Colleges today in a POM economy recruit players. There are a host of rules provided by the NCAA in the U.S. and cheating in various forms is rampant. Most of the forms of recruiting in use today would cease to exist in a non-POM economy. Coaches would probably not want to spend their own personal money to fly all over the country to scout and recruit players. Coaches would not be able to pay anyone else to help. Since all education and necessities are free anyway at all schools there would be no scholarships since everyone attending would be on the same "scholarship." Players would be paid in college as they are on any other sports teams for the entertainment they provide the fans. If college teams continue to be as popular as they are today, many players could earn more pay in college than they would earn on professional teams. Therefore, many more would stay in college for the full four years.
The use of drugs such as steroids and other performance enhancers would not be regulated by the leagues but by those who manufacture such drugs. Any harm done by the inappropriate use of their product would cost the manufacturers and all their workers and suppliers money. Therefore they would be very careful as to whom they gave their products. They would not want to have some rogue doctor misusing the drugs. Though such abuse would undoubtedly occur, it would be far less common than it is today because there would be no way to gain money from supplying such drugs.