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Should College Athletes Be Paid Essay

Example #1

Athletes are dominated, managed, and controlled. They do not receive wage compensation for their contribution to economic returns. Athletes are sometimes mistreated physically and mentally; and denied the rights and freedoms of other citizens. The debate over whether or not to pay collegiate athletes, specifically Division 1, has increased greatly.

Many people believe college athletic associations; such as the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Associations) treat college athletes unfairly. College athletes have been dedicating time, hard work, and much more to their school’s athletic departments. People are making millions of dollars off of these athletes while, they are living in poverty. Things need to change; these players need to start being rewarded for their dedication.

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The NCAA has so much control over the athletes that they even control the educational requirements of the athletes. In order to be eligible for an athlete to play in college they must have at least a 2.5 high school grade point average in a curriculum of 13 core courses.  Also they are required to score a minimum score of 700 points on the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) or a minimum score of 15 points on the ACT (American College Testing Program).  If an athlete passes all the requirements and is able to play they must then take a course load of at least 12 hours, and by the end of the semester pass a total of nine hours.

These requirements may not seem to difficult to achieve but one must remember while playing a college sport time is limited and some of the athletes struggle to find time to get everything done. (Zimbalist 27-28)

If college athletes were to be paid, where would the money come from? The money can come from several different places: the sale of tickets, corporate sponsors, endorsement contracts, and the sale of apparel. One example of the extravagant donations a school receives is the advertising package the University of Colorado has with the Coors Brewing Company. The package cost Coors an excess of $300,000 for radio, TV, scoreboard advertising. Aside from this advertising package, Coors Brewing CO. also donated $5,000,000 to have the name of the basketball arena changed to The Coors Event Center.

Another way athletic departments make money is from royalties of merchandise sales. In the last few years the NCAA generated over $100,000,000 from the sale of merchandise and apparel. One school, the University of Michigan, generates over $6,000,000 of that by themselves.

Besides for schools individual contracts, the conferences also raise money. One of the latest contracts signed by NCAA is the Bowl Championship Series. This is a contract with ABC (American Broadcasting Corporation) which gives the NCAA $930,000,000 a year. This money is then divided up to the teams involved. Teams will receive from $13,000 to $17,000 just for one game (Eitzen 2).

Contracts can also be signed with endorsement companies. These contracts are signed with the individual coaches of the sports. The contracts have players wearing a specific name brand of equipment such as shoes and pads. One may ask what is wrong with players getting free equipment to play in. The problem with this is that if a player has a preference of one type of equipment of another it does not matter cause the coach makes the decision what the players will wear.

The coaches not only will make the decisions of what equipment they will wear but will make money for the endorsement contract.  In other words the players are the ones wearing the equipment and the coaches are the ones getting rich off of it.  According to Walt Byers coaches own the athlete’s feet, the university owns the athlete’s bodies, and the supervisors retain large rewards (Wulf 1).

Another source of money could be generated from boosters.  Many schools and athletic teams have booster clubs that generate money.  Some of this money could go to giving the athletes compensation for their hard work. (Zimbalist 73)

An athlete scholarship covers room, board, and tuition.  Universities estimate the cost of attendance runs between $1,500 and $2,500 a year beyond the basics covered by athletic scholarships. (Looney 2)  Some of the athletes that are participating in the NCAA are not from wealthy backgrounds. Their families cannot afford to give them $1,500 to $2,500 a year. In this case the athletes will have to work to survive in school.  Until recently college athletes were not able to work during the season according to NCAA rules.

Now that athletes are permitted to work, there are limitations that make it hard for athletes to find a job. One of the limitations that the NCAA has is that college athletes are not able to work for companies that are owned by alumni of the school.

In some places, this is a difficult cause in college towns everyone has some kind of tie to the school. Another limitation of an athlete working is his or her schedule.  Student-athletes have very limited time due to attending classes, schoolwork, practices, and games (which include traveling all over the country).  After a student-athlete does all of this, they hardly have time left to spend with friends to relax.

Many jobs require work on the weekends when teams play mostly on weekends, who is going to hire them.  If an athlete does get a job then they will have to give up the little time that they have to themselves or time for studying in order to work.

Another problem with the laws set up by the NCAA is the security of an athlete. Athletes who sign four-year scholarships are obligated to play at the school they signed with for four years. If an athlete for any reason would like to transfer schools he or she would have to sit out for one year. For instance if a coach terminates his or her position with a school, the athlete does not have the option to transfer with the coach.  Another unjust part of the NCAA scholarship rules is the security of players’ scholarships.

If an athlete gets hurt in his or her first year, for example, then he or she does not receive any of the money he or she was presumed to receive for the rest of his or her college career.  In addition, and perhaps the most troubling, at the end of every year, the coach has the option of renewing or not renewing a player’s scholarship based on that season’s performance (Anstine 4).

With all of these rules and regulations set up by the NCAA there is only one way to make sure schools and athletes do not break them. This is to have people watch the athletes. Athletes are drug tested at random, have surveillance in their rooms, and people to follow them around. Some schools even go to the extreme of having spies at bars and other popular hangouts on campuses. This way schools know what their players are doing and with whom they are doing it. One of the latest examples of players getting caught in the scandal with the University of Wisconsin. Twenty-six athletes were suspended for receiving discounts on shoes and other apparel at an athletic store in Madison. (Bagnato 1)

The NCAA’s major defense for their rules is to protect the innocence of college athletics.  They say that by doing this they make sure that college athletes are still at an amateur status.  If this is true then why are Olympic athletes paid and still considered amateur athletes?  For example if an Olympian wins a gold medal they are then paid $15,000 from the U.S. Olympic Committee and the national governing body of the winner’s sport (Zimbalist 142).  Also the athletes are able to capitalize on endorsements and other additional bonuses, most of which are illegal in college athletics.

The innocence of the game is already in jeopardy due to sports agents. Studies show that nearly 75 percent of underclassmen athletes have received cash or gifts from agents. Also, studies show that 90 percent of projected first-round draft picks have had contact with agents (Wulf 94). If an athlete was compensated for his or her hard work and dedication, he or she would be less liable to break laws because of his or her need for money would be less.

Numerous people make a living off of the players, such as coaches, athletic directors, and NCAA executives.  Many of these people would not have a job if it were not for the athletes at their schools.  It is believed by some that paying athletes, which include all sports, female and male, maybe a little hard to do financially.  This is true, but why can’t the athletes are able to cash in on the deals the coaches sign.

For example, if a coach signs a deal with a company worth $300,000, why shouldn’t it be split between the players? (Eitzin 2) If it is divided among fifteen players on a basketball team, that is $20,000 per athlete. Or in the case of a larger team such as football it is still about $5,000 per athlete. There are so many different methods of solving this problem; it is about time that the NCAA starts to look at them.

College athletes across the country are dedicating four to five years of their lives for a university and not receiving any compensation for their commitment. People need to realize that it is hard for an athlete to survive while going to college because he or she has no time to work. The work an athlete does, rewards the school with endorsements from which the athlete receives no compensation.

While working for a scholarship that may be revoked for a variety of reasons, the athlete is constantly tested and watched to make sure he or she does not break any NCAA rules. College athletes are struggling to survive and need financial help. College athletes make many individuals a lot of money and it is time that something is given back to them.


Example #2

Student-athletes at universities around the country should not only obtain a percentage of income made off their athletic performance but also pursue business deals and endorsement opportunities.

College athletes are often considered to be some of the luckiest young people in the world. Most of the time they’re riding on full-fledged scholarships that cover all the costs of the school; plus, they are in a prime position to make a reputation for themselves in the sporting world and prepare for the pros. However, there are a lot of problems with how college athletes are treated, and many students, coaches, team owners, and organizational members (such as those at NCAA) are demanding reform.

Their main wants? To see that dependable college athletes are getting paid for their skills on the field. The typical Division I college athlete devotes 43.3 hours per week to his sport which is 3.3 more hours than the typical American work week which means they have no time to work a job to make money.

Many people believe college athletes need to be paid because financially, they are being taken advantage of by the NCAA and school 2014, UCONN basketball star said, “We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food in. Sometimes money is needed. I don’t think you should stretch it out to hundreds of thousands of dollars for playing, because a lot of times guys don’t know how to handle themselves with money.

I feel like a student-athlete. Sometimes, there are hungry nights where I’m not able to eat, but I still gotta play up to my capabilities. ”These organizations are raking in huge profits from merchandise sales, live events of media coverage but still can’t get a couple of hundred dollars a week for food or gas. Unlike the professional leagues, though, the athletes don’t get a cut.

College teams may not have the same national weight as some professional ones, but they are just as avidly followed by thousands of adoring fans. Tons of merchandise, jerseys, tickets, food, and fan paraphernalia are sold thanks to their performances – but despite being the main reason the events are generating revenue; the players don’t see a dime. Many athletes feel discouraged and mistreated because they don’t receive any of the money that is generated on their account. Why should others keep benefiting from their performance while they get nothing in return?“

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A big reason college athletes should not be paid is simply that they are not professionals. College athletes are people that are trying to get to the pros and therefore, are not paid because they have not made it yet. Since these players are in college, they should never be paid to play their sport.” Says writer, Maurice Reed Jones. But there’s a big problem with that statement. These athletes are putting in the same amount of time and effort into their college careers as the pros do.

You may think “These kids are given a full-ride scholarship worth thousands of dollars, they don’t need more money.” That scholarship money only goes towards classes, books, and bedding which means where does the money for food come from? What about a car and gas to get to practice or go home and see their family? What about if they want to treat their girlfriends to a nice dinner? These athletes are not robots, they have lives outside of basketball.

College sports wouldn’t exist without the athletes, and it’s not fair that these hard-working, hard-playing individuals don’t get to benefit from sales attributed directly to them. The NCAA and other organizations will even put a college player’s name on a jersey, hat, or other sportswear and never send a penny to the player. Student-athletes should not only be able to receive a percentage of revenue generated on their account, but also be able to pursue business deals and endorsement opportunities. Many college athletes are kept back from pursuing these types of deals by their school, even though there’s nothing in regulations that should bar it.

College athletes deserve financial recognition for the merchandise profit they generate, as well as the opportunity to pursue their own financial gains. As athletes, they work hard on the field every day to bring in fans and wins for their school; it’s only fair that they are rewarded for their efforts, at least in some small way.


Example #3

There has been a lot of disagreement on whether college athletes should get paid. Some people argue that college athletes don’t have time, therefore, they should get paid, while others contend that they already get enough by not paying for tuition to attend college. However, the reasonable route would pay them because they spend thousands of hours perfecting their craft while running a risk of losing their scholarship if they get injured or perform badly in school through all this they play each game like it’s their last bringing in billions of dollars for the NCAA while they get zero of it.

Every athlete is vulnerable to injuries that can affect them for the rest of their lives. Depending on the degree of the injury, the athlete may not be able to play a sport anymore and run a risk of losing their scholarship. When an athlete gets hurt its very rare for them to get back to the same level they were before, for college athletes once they get hurt and start to perform badly they get put to the side leaving someone else to take their place. Knee injuries alongside with concussions, broken or dislocated bones are common types of injuries that may be career-ending. All these knee problems that they sustain are permanent and the brain damage that they receive from the brain damage already irreversible.

How are these athletes supposed to pay for medical expenses after college? Sure if they make it pro they are set they have everything they could possibly want. But that’s the very lucky few when the scholarship is over and you have received zero education because all your time and effort was dedicated the game you love, how then are they supposed to go on with life?

They would now have to pay for college out of their own pockets, and some even get into massive debt. But if they were paid and didn’t go pro at least they would have something to fall back on. Overall the NCAA is only using college athletes for their talents and skills alongside with promotion of schools. There is always going to be an upside and downside to this. Surely something has to change.

Training for forty-five hours a week trying to perfect your craft is hard and on top of that maintaining good grades and striving for quality education is even more difficult when you are a college athlete. Growing up we are taught to reward each other for our hard work, but college athletes train for endless hours yet receive no pay. People say that they are not employees but they put in the time, work, and effort that any normal working person would. There are college athletes that are labeled as the “one and done athletes” who get no academic foundation and if they get hurt they are in big trouble.

According to the New York Times article, Dexter Manley was a college athlete who was able to obtain Oklahoma State University and he played there for four years and saw a lot of success. But after he was drafted into the NFL people came to realize that he was illiterate. How is someone going to go through all four years of college and come out illiterate? That is rank and absolute exploitation; he was just there just because of his athletic abilities. Colleges’ whole point of existence is to educate people not to take advantage of them. Someone has to set up and something has to be done because if this continues, it’s just going to get worse.

College athletes should get paid because the NCAA makes a profit of over millions of dollars off the athletes in so many different ways. All the workers get paid because of the athletes, they are the ones who generate all the money. They work so hard and someone else benefits from their hard work. According to NCAA revenue break down, the NCAA makes an annual profit of approximately seventy-five million dollars just off television contracts, not counting the ticket sales, jersey sales, and what happens if you win the championship.

College athletes are prohibited from working, or selling their own merchandise and trying to get something of their success because that’s how the NCAA makes their profit, which is completely absurd because you cannot seriously push someone to the limit and not reward them. College coaches get paid based on how well their team performs and that is why they push their athletes so hard. If athletes are going to get pushed to the limit they should surely receive at least a tiny bit of the revenue that they bring in.

The NCAA feeds of the athletes’ success, by all means, necessary let us also think of the athletes as people with needs and reward them for their time, effort, and hard work. College athletes should get paid disregard what others say. They should be paid because without them there would be no NCAA. While the NCAA makes millions of dollars of these kids, they should be wise and know where their money and profit comes from. A car cannot move without a drive and the NCAA cannot function without the athletes. Everyone performs better when they’re happy and it is up to the NCAA to keep them happy.

My best regards to the troubled athletes.


Example #4

Does the attempt to have high-quality athletes on campus undermine educational standards?

Sports that are provided by the college, are what attract a large number of students to the school. The standards that the school sets for these students are a reflection of how the school views academics, and the importance that academics are to the school.

The attempt to have high-quality athletes on campus is secondary in regard to academics. Any and all colleges have a minimum G.P.A. requirement that all students must maintain before they are able to graduate. This standard does not change for athletes of any caliber.

High-quality athletes on campus don’t undermine educational standards, but it provides a benchmark for the future of education and athletics. High-quality athletes often surpass the minimum requirements. This shows that the college views excellence as a beneficial attribute, therefore increasing its position as an academically focused institution.

Athletes in general are brought up with the drive and determination to achieve, and if they don’t do well they are pushed in the direction that is most beneficial to them. Education and athletics are complementary to each other, and it only benefits the school and does not undermine educational standards when there are high-quality athletes on campus.

What do sports have to offer colleges that offset this tradeoff? Some students that are interested in going to college are also going to be athletes. A college that has a good sports program is more likely to have a positive enrollment. Sports are like additional advertising for the college. The colleges student-athletes are in the paper, they are winning championships, they are constantly in the publics’ eye. This type of publicity reaches future students. It also reaches alumni. People are more likely to get behind a winner than a loser is.

What would be lost by unlinking big-time sports with Colleges? College sports gives something for the students, faculty, community, etc., to rally around. It provides a sense of pride for where you are and allows everybody to relate to the school in a positive way. Who would be a regular Concordia student cheer for if any Cobber team was playing a game in the championships?

Most likely it would be the Cobbers even if they didn’t like the sport. A sense of pride can only benefit the college. As I said before, sports also attract future students (enrollment), alumni may donate if they are happy with what they see. If a team were to do well, for example make the final four in hockey, the NCAA gives the program bonus funds that would help support the team next year. This would result in a decrease in the athletic budget, and previous expensed money could go elsewhere to benefit the school.

Would the proposal accomplish these goals? No, the goal would not be met under the first proposal. Athletes bring so much to the school, and they give up so much of their time. Yet they are not fully compensated for their efforts. Under proposal two these goals would be accomplished. High-quality athletes would still go to colleges to play sports under this proposal, and would probably attract more.

They should accomplish these goals. Under proposal three all of the previous benefits that I listed off would be seriously jeopardized if colleges were to lose sports.


Example #5

Does it make sense for an academic institution to run a multimillion-dollar entertainment business, which is what college football and college basketball have become? Does it make sense for these institutions to pay the student-athletes who participate in these football and basketball programs?

The reality is that college sports programs, namely the “big name” programs such as football and basketball programs at marquee schools, are businesses that stand to make a large amount of money for their respective schools. According to an article in the Harvard Journal on Legislation, “[i]n the past twelve years, the amount of money generated by these two sports has increased nearly 300%, such that they now fund almost all other sports programs. 41 Harv. J. on Legis. 319. The student-athletes who participate in these programs are part of the reason why these schools stand to make such handsome profits: through ticket sales, endorsement deals, broadcasting deals, and jersey sales (although player names cannot be represented on jerseys), among other things.

Mark Murphy, Director of Athletics at Northwestern University, who participated in an ESPN debate on the topic of paying student-athletes, argues that these athletes currently receive scholarships, whose value, in some instances, totals close to $200,000 over four years. He stated that all student-athletes have made similar commitments to the schools and that football and basketball players should not be treated any differently than other athletes, who participate in sports that are not as popular and lucrative.

Paying athletes anything beyond a scholarship, argues Murphy, would cause problems, particularly from a gender equity standpoint. What Murphy seems to refer to when he says “gender equity” is Title IX federal regulations, which cut off federal funding of colleges if those colleges discriminate on the basis of sex. Paying male student-athletes more than female student-athletes could possibly be construed as discrimination.

However, others argue that these athletes are producing revenues not only for the schools, which gives these students scholarships, but also for shoe companies, television networks, and the conference in which these schools belong. Moreover, the equity problem could obviously be solved if all collegiate athletes get paid the same base salary for their participation.

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There are also student-athletes who have to leave school early because they do not have enough money to continue, or to pay their bills and leaving school for a career in professional sports is an easy way of making money. The argument is that if student-athletes get paid, they will remain in school and complete their education.

But, is money such a big problem for these student-athletes? Don’t they receive scholarships? How much more money do they need? The truth is that “full” scholarships do not always entirely cover tuition and cost of living. However, these students can still do what a majority of students do, which is to get loans. Still, some of these student-athletes do not qualify for such loans, so there is still a gap between the money they get and the total cost of attendance.

This gap, coupled with the fact that football and basketball players help generate so much revenue, has caused some intercollegiate teams to provide their athletes with extra compensation, which is in direct violation of NCAA bylaws. 41 Harv. J. on Legis. 319.

Perhaps creating a method of payment above and beyond scholarships would help to decrease the amount of corruption, and “under the table” activities of some of these nationally recognized sports programs. But creating such a system may also lead to other problems. Developing such an economy in college football and basketball would result in a monetary race to buy the best athletes in the country. This would lead to a significant gap in talent between rich schools and poor schools.

The disparity would result in a lack of competition and may result in “Cinderella” teams becoming a thing of the past. The more the disparity, the less the competition, and the less the competition, the less excitement. Less excitement will result in less revenue, and less revenue means less money for collegiate programs other than basketball and football. Ultimately, however, the main concern with paying athletes should not be one of establishing competitive balance and preserving “Cinderella” teams.

The main problem with paying student-athletes is that it is not the college’s primary function. The primary function of academic institutions is to educate, and not to hire student-athletes for their contributions on the basketball court or football field. Moreover, colleges already provide student-athletes with an invaluable benefit. This benefit comes in the form of a college degree, which gives students opportunities in the job market that they would otherwise not have had.

These basketball and football programs also provide some student-athletes the opportunity to get excellent educations for which they normally would not have been qualified, or have applied. These programs also give student-athletes the opportunity to become professional athletes. Moreover, most of these sports programs have been around long before present-day student-athletes began to participate in them. How much of the financial success can be attributed to the players, especially in college sports, where a team’s success is largely dependent on the coach’s and his or her staff’s abilities?

Many of these programs were profitable long before some of these players arrived, and some of these players probably chose a particular program because of their past success. These players may have chosen a school due to the amount of scholarship money they were receiving, but scholarship money is usually not enough to overwhelm other considerations such as a school’s academic standing, the coach’s leadership and teaching skills, and a school’s reputation.

Paying student-athletes any more than a scholarship would put such considerations in jeopardy, resulting in students making decisions based on how much money they are offered, as opposed to making decisions based on where they will succeed in all aspects of college life. The college experience, a student-athlete’s educational experience should be about more than just dollars and cents.

Despite the strength of the reasons as to why student-athletes should not be paid, there are certain problems with the current NCAA system which can and should be cured. The gap between a full scholarship and the cost of attendance should be covered by the academic institution, especially when a student-athlete does not qualify for a loan. Such a policy will go a long way in ensuring that student-athletes are not leaving school to become professional athletes because they cannot pay their bills. Academic institutions should be able to provide at least that much for their athletes. Ultimately, this is a form of payment, but it is not the type of payment that some individuals are advocating.

The primary purpose of these institutions is to educate; it is the coach’s job to teach, and not just in terms of the sport student-athlete plays. These schools should facilitate the educations of student-athletes through scholarship grants, but not through a system of salaries dependent on supply and demand, which ultimately detracts a student-athlete from picking a school, and detracts them from attending a school, for the right reasons.


Example #6

$53.4 Million the combined salary of the top 15 paid coaches in division 1 college football, $0 the combined salary of all student-athletes. Over the past few decades, college athletics has gained popularity across the United States. Whether it is football, basketball, or baseball, ever since the turn of the century, intercollegiate sports have brought in a surplus of revenue to their respective Universities. A recent study found that the University of Texas’ Athletic Program had the highest revenue of any other University at a little over 0 million.

Yet with this large sum of money, NO college athletes are legally compensated for their work. According to NCAA rules, “You are not eligible for participation in a sport if you have ever: Taken pay or the promise of pay, for competing in that sport”.

While it may seem odd and unjust to pay college athletes, the reality is that compensation of such athletes is a necessity not only to keep competition at a steady level in college athletics but also to encourage students to graduate and get their college degrees.

Student-athletes should be compensated for their work, as they are the sole reason for the Athletic Program’s surplus in revenue. These athletes are working for the schools and are doing a service to the college that seems to go unnoticed. Colleges are using these athletes to boost their respective reputations and bring in revenue while not compensating these athletes for their work.

Everywhere else athletes are paid, so why shouldn’t college students too? Some critics may argue that these student-athletes are amateurs, and if paid then they are becoming professional athletes. The minor league for baseball could be considered an amateur sport, although they do receive pay according to the team’s revenue. Also, with all the time practicing and working in the classroom, how many athletes have time to actually get a job? Another argument that supports paying college athletes is that these “full-ride” scholarships given to the best athletes do not actually cover all their expenses.

Many athletes still can’t afford to have their parents come to the stadium and watch the games. With all of the respect and publicity of these athletes, it goes unnoticed that a great deal of the players lives very near to the poverty line. Due to this lack of money, black-markets are created. Here, boosters that represent the University give these players’ cars, spending money, or anything they truly want, and in return, these players go to their respective universities.

There have been many instances of this before, one prominent example is that of Reggie Bush, the running back for the University of Southern California from 2003-2005. Bush was paid by boosters to attend USC, which violated NCAA rules. Bush’s mother was having trouble paying rent for her apartment at the time in Pasadena. Bush felt obligated to take this offer, as there was no other way to make money and pay for his mother’s home. These boosters’ actions are not only are illegal, but create unfairness in competition amongst the NCAA. These universities that violate NCAA rules have an upper edge in recruiting top prospects. Schools are then tempted to violate such rules to even out the playing field.

The last and arguably the most important reason to pay college athletes, is that it will ensure that most student-athletes will complete their college degrees. “Paying student-athletes would provide an incentive to stay in school and complete their degree programs, instead of leaving early for the professional leagues” Which brings me back to the question, “Should college athletes get paid?” If athletes are paid to play, not only can they cover some of their college expenses that scholarships couldn’t, but also now they will want to finish their education. NCAA prides itself on all student-athletes are students first and athletes second, however, it seems that more popular athletes leave early for the pros.

In college basketball, many freshman stars are referred to as “one and done” players as they complete one year of college and go to the professional leagues early, as they want money and need it as soon as possible. The importance of their education is lost. The University seems to be hypocritical in its actions when it doesn’t pay its athletes because it seems they support college athletes leaving for the Professional league early. One author suggests that every university pays the same flat rate to each college athlete for three years, and then offer a raise to senior athletes. This bonus will create that incentive for students to receive their degrees.

While it may seem odd and unjust to pay college athletes, the reality is that compensation of such athletes is a necessity not only to keep competition at a steady level in college athletics but also to encourage students to graduate and get their college degrees.

The truth of the matter is that many college athletes are already being paid under the table which creates a black-market that is not only illegal, but is also unfair to universities that abide by NCAA regulations. Universities are exploiting these students and allowing them not to receive any revenue that they clearly earned. College Athletes Should Be Paid!


Example #7

While enrolled in college, the students realize that their number one priority for the few years they are there is their education. People who believe that college athletes should be paid do not find that statement to be true. There is a clear line dividing amateur athletes from the professional ones and there is a reason for this: it is simply unrealistic and unfair to pay amateur college athletes. Many athletes that play in throughout college are already receiving full rides, if not major scholarships, to attend the school that chooses them for their teams.

How would it be fair to pay for their education and a salary on top of that? It would be like the athletes are getting paid double the amount of money and another student has the ability to and that would not be fair. Most college athletes realize this and play throughout their schooling because they simply enjoy the game and appreciate the scholarships they most likely have already been provided with.

Paying all college athletes the amount that people believe they deserve is far too expensive and unrealistic. College athletes should not be paid to play because sports should not be their primary focus over education while enrolled in college.

If college athletes were to be paid to play sports, there would be no difference between them and professional athletes. It is important that people realize that college athletes are not employees like professionals are; they are students first. The reason that the universities and colleges give these athletes scholarships is so that they are able to pursue their education and represent the school in a positive manner through the success of their sports teams. Leigh Hadaway explains in her article: “Students are not professional athletes that should receive paid salaries, they are students, that through the participation in sport, receive access to scholarships and college education.

We shouldn’t view college athletes as employees, but rather as students first, and athletes second” (11). Playing college sports should be viewed more as the privilege that it is. The point of going to college is to earn an education, not rely on a slim chance of becoming a professional athlete. The few people who are able to proceed to a professional league did not get there by pushing off schoolwork and only focusing on sports, especially considering most scholarships require a minimum grade point average to keep them.

A majority of college athletes understand that playing sports is not the primary reason they are attending college. These individuals continue playing simply because of their love for the game. As a former college athlete, Warren Hartenstine states: “I think contemporary college football players are still motivated by winning the game and earning opportunities to play at the next level” (476). Of course every college player would appreciate the opportunity to play on a professional level, but many players think realistically and do not expect that to happen to them. Instead, many students take advantage of the scholarships provided to them and also keep the focus on their area of study so that they can still have a feasible career one day. It is very obvious to student-athletes how rare it is to be chosen to play on any professional sports team.

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For example, “Of the 1,210 students who played Division, I men’s basketball in 2013 only 3.9% were drafted into the National Basketball Association” (Ackerman, Scott, 12). Val Ackerman and Larry Scott explain that the college athletes who have been playing a particular sport for a majority of their life are aware that their years of playing in college are most likely their last and many people have no problem with that (13). People grow older and find a career with their college degree to earn income and commonly forget about their old dreams of playing a professional sport.

The unfair aspect of the idea of paying college athletes is the fact that they are already provided with full-ride scholarships, if not major scholarships. This would basically mean that college athletes would be getting their education paid for as well as receiving a salary on top of that. That is much more money than any young adult’s needs and is unfair to other students that are not athletes; they would not have the opportunity to get paid for doing work involved with their schooling.

Ackerman and Scott describe this issue by stating: “They go to college on full scholarships, and when they graduate, most graduate debt-free. They receive the cost of attendance benefits, meaning their day-to-day needs, such as food, housing, clothing, gas, and trips home, are coveredю

They also get high-quality medical care, academic support, and quality travel experiences” (5). College athletes are already receiving so many benefits, how could it possibly be fair to provide all of them with extensive salaries as well? Some sports players believe these athletes deserve money because the school earns revenue through the sporting events that take place, but the school, through their scholarships, is already giving the money they deserve to them. There is no justification for college athletes receiving more money than they are already given.

Individuals that feel college athletes should be paid are typically those who enjoy sports themselves, so they have a different point of view than someone who does not necessarily care for them. Sports players see how difficult sports are to actually play. Paul Marx explains, “There is new attention to concussions, often resulting in lifelong disabilities for which the athletes are meagerly compensated. There is a growing awareness that college football is not an amateur sport (474). Marx believes that since college sports can be so dangerous, the athletes should be paid to compensate for their injuries. Most players that are talented enough to play on a college team have been playing the majority of their lives and are quite aware of the dangers that come along with playing.

Nobody is forcing the athletes to join a team; they always have the option to deny playing. If people do not wish to be injured ever, then they should not play because, frankly, injuries are expected to occur in any sport and it is simply ridiculous to expect an organization to pay for injuries that were acquired in a sport that was optional. Marx continues to later state: “There’s not much time, or interest in, school work. But not everyone is cut out to be a student; most football players are not” (475).

This is the largest issue with this side of the argument towards paying athletes. The colleges provide scholarships to these students because they feel that they are in fact “cut out” to be a student and expect them to put the time, interest, and effort into doing so. Many scholarships received by sports players have minimum grade point average requirements that would be impossible to maintain unless these students were able to do their schoolwork.

College athletes need to be aware that they are capable of keeping up with sports and school simultaneously. On the other hand, if college athletes were to get paid salaries rather than scholarships, there would be an issue with this as well. John Thelin explains in his article how salaries would have to be taxed, whereas scholarships are not. In his example, the college athlete would be making one hundred thousand dollars a year while attending a school that costs about sixty-five thousand dollars per year to attend:

But since it’s a salary, not a scholarship, it is subject to federal and state income taxes. Tuition and college expenses would not be deductible because the income level surpasses the IRS eligibility limit. So, a student-athlete paid a salary would owe $23,800 in federal income tax and $6,700 in state taxes, a total of $30,500. In cities that levy an employee payroll tax, the salaried student’s taxes go up about $2,400 per year. Income taxes then are $32,900. And, as an employee, the player would have to pay at least $2,000 in other taxes, such as Social Security, for a total of $34,900. This leaves the college player at $65,100. Since college bills come to $65,000, the player has $100 left (5).

In reality, if the college athletes were left to pay for their schooling without scholarships, they would only be making about one hundred dollars of income to keep for themselves. Earning a scholarship and attending college for free seems to be a much better situation. While some individuals feel as though college athletes deserve a salary pay, it is actually quite unfair and useless.

A majority of college athletes recognize that their primary focus while attending school is to get an education to earn a degree in the end. However, some people feel as though the athletes should put a lot more attention to their sports and therefore deserve further payment while enrolled in school. If this situation took place, there would be no distinction between amateur and professional sports. Many college athletes recognize this concept and simply play through college for the fun of it and appreciate their scholarships they are provided.

Paying athletes a salary on top of their scholarships would be unfair to the other students that are not taking part in sports and even if they did get paid, most of that income would be going towards paying school bills anyway. College athletes should not be paid to play because their primary focus should be on their education while enrolled in college, rather than earning money by playing a sport that will probably end once they graduate.


Example #8

College athletes should be paid to play for many reasons. First of all, college athletes aren’t allowed to work. How are they going to pay for all the necessary expenses if they come from poor families? This also leads to players accepting illegal money, cars, clothes, etc. College athletes bring in millions of dollars through merchandise and games. Most of the athletes that have the opportunity to leave school and turn professional do so because college athletes live in near poverty.

Since college athletes are not allowed to work, even if they have the extra time to do so, they have to sacrifice meals, new clothes, and other necessary items in order to save money for the future. Some of the players who receive no money from their families accept illegal offers in order to buy necessary items. Most college athletes don’t turn professional, so the athletes won’t have any working experience when they get into the real world. This would give the non-athletes an advantage in the working world over the athletes.

College athletes bring in millions of dollars to their schools. For example, the University of Miami received about 8 million dollars for the Miami Hurricanes playing in the Nokia Sugar Bowl. The apparel also brings in a lot of money by selling hats, footballs, and jerseys. Also, the Orange Bowl holds over 60,000 people and they sell tickets at an average of 20 dollars each. The players should receive some of this money because without them the schools wouldn’t receive all the popularity and money.

College athletes live in near poverty because the money they receive isn’t enough to pay for all of the miscellaneous expenses and necessities. The few athletes that graduate from college could turn professional before their senior year, stay because their parents support them by sending money. If college athletes are eligible to be paid, there would be more athletes graduating. Paying athletes would be good for everyone and players would go for an education instead of only concentrating on sports.

If colleges don’t pay the athletes the professional leagues should. Professional leagues such as the NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB use colleges as minor leagues. Most of the players in these leagues come from universities across the U.S.A. Since the professional leagues get the athletes from the universities, they should pay them the same way they pay minor league players. College athletes should receive money for all of their needs, or if they can’t do this the athletes should be given the opportunity to work, which will help them learn about working in the real world.


Example #9 – Interesting ideas

They are paid with tuition. That is fine. However, at the very least, I think they should be able to collect royalties for their namesake.

For instance, if someone buys a jersey with their name on it, they should get some of the profit.

They should also be able to sell their autograph or sell their personal belongings to anyone willing to buy. They should not be allowed to sell school-owned materials, like practice jerseys.

Let’s be honest, this is only really going to affect a handful of students that are “star players.” A linebacker playing for a division 3 school should be able to start his own business without the rights to it belonging to the NCAA.

They shouldn’t be paid because those on scholarship are getting what amounts to $30,000 per year, depending on the school. The one thing that should change is they should be allowed to have a job or make money for living expenses. In some cases gifts from family are illegal under NCAA rules. It makes little to no sense in that aspect…

No. Colleges are a place of education and sports should be secondary. You don’t pay intelligent students to attend, nor do you pay great musicians to attend, so why should you pay athletes? Also, the entire point of college athletics is to allow people to get an education WHILE also enjoying sports. It’s not a place of business and a place for backdoor deals or sly recruitment. It’s an educational institution and paying athletes takes away from that atmosphere. It’s also insulting to every non-athlete on campus, as well.

This is a recurring question. The simple answer is yes. Even though some receive a full ride, meaning tuition, books, room, and board they do not get any spending money so unless their parents give them an allowance they can not go out for a pizza and cokes. They are not allowed to work during their season, only in the offseason, and have lots of obligations to the school and team outside normal practice and game times. College sports is a professional game, the shoe companies, Nike in particular, give the schools millions to wear their products, and the gate and money from alumni bring in more.

When the football coach of a major university makes many times over what the school president makes there is no doubt as to whom is more important to the school. A good football program funds all of the non-revenue sports programs and has money left over. Not allowing athletes to earn money encourages corruption.

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