With the passing of another school year, sport fans were able to enjoy another season of NCAA Basketball and a highlight filled football season. Most would agree that the NCAA provides competitive sport as popular as any professional sport. NBA and NFL players get paid for revenue they help bring in, while the NCAA athletes get no type of income. Free education is a beautiful thing, but for some it is not enough with the NCAA acting like a business. If the NCAA does not want to pay college athletes, then it should not hold these players back from entering the professional game. The players should receive to some type of money for their work, as well as the right to enter pro leagues at an age that suits their abilities.
The NCAA at major colleges is a big business do to the fact of all the money and revenue all the athletes bring in with fans coming to the sport outings (Goldman). It is unfair for student athletes to who bring in all the income and not get anything in return. The athletes struggle through their classes and live off the money their parents send them if they are lucky enough to even get anything from them since tuition is so high. The colleges are always finding ways to bring in more revenue, but do not let the college athletes who bring in the most not receive any income.
Since the NCAA does not pay athletes, then they should let them receive endorsement deals from outside brands like Nike, Adidas, or Under Armour. With getting signed to a big brand like that it is a lot of money by just wearing and sponsoring their brand. That way they have money coming in, getting an education, and working hard on the field. Now for the athletes without full ride scholarships or the ones who “walk on” are the ones that have it the worst. Nothing is given to them and those are the student athletes that should be paid higher than the others. Some students are not given the education that was promised to them. The program might cut them short and they are stuck with getting loans and trying to survive college without anything to fall back on. Almost fifty eight percent of the NCAA athletes say that the money they current have is insufficient (Goldman).
Arguments as to why they should not pay these men and woman are because they are students first not athletes. That argument would carry more of a meaning if it were realistically placed on academics. Yes, education is key without an education nowadays it is hard to make it in the world. With that piece of paper with your name on it is how you make a name for yourself, but sometimes education is not enough. For example, “Education is not enough due to the intense commitment to the sport” (Nocera). Joe Nocera explains in his book that yes education is what the student athlete should strive for, but when there is no full ride scholarship or mom and dad’s money to fall back on college is one financial hell hole. The athletes that go All American in whatever sport they play or end up in the draft combine all have secure jobs playing in their professional sport, but those who are not as recognized might not have a good job due to their degree choice. With some kind of income they will be able to have at least that to fall back on. The Men’s NCAA Basketball tournament “March Madness” that alone brings in seven seventy million dollars in TV right deals alone (Wieberg). Which shows that they must have money but will not pay any of the players who basically bring that revenue in.
Many will say that they are already getting compensated with a college education. The intense commitment that was brought up earlier is the reason why student athletes cannot get the same education because the sport they play is the reason why they have an opportunity to go to school. Even with a full ride scholarship the student still has to pay about eight to twelve thousand dollars. The schools and NCAA are always updating their stadiums, athletic staff, and other athletic departments for all these “amateur” athletes to compete (Zimbalist). Athletes work more than most students. For example, Division 1 football players practice for about forty-three hours a week, baseball came in second with forty-one hours a week. So, it is not only going to class and going to games but practice was like working a full time job, yet there is no type of compensation. How can any student live off whatever reimbursement FAFSA gave them? Johnny Manziel is a prime example his time at Texas A&M he was suspended for allegedly selling some merchandise with his autograph on it. Now he may not be the best role model, but he was smart since the NCAA was not giving him anything. He had to find a way to make some type of money since the university was making money off him and all the other sports. That is not helping them academically if they are not going to play at the professional level.
Athletes get injured on a daily does not matter what sport it is baseball, basketball, soccer etc. sports are not for the weak. By paying these student athletes it shows them that they must stay healthy to get paid. Being injured is not an option because if the athlete is injured there is not any income and that means there won’t be money to live. With injuries being happened their shot at playing at the professional level will be compromised, so they will be encouraged to be physically fit the most to be able to secure their future. Staying healthy means being on the right diet to also stretching after every workout and even during a game. Wearing protective gear is also a must for example a mouth guard or ankle braces. Putting on an amazing performance all season long can lead to opening doors for the young athlete, but if the athlete only performs for half the season and the other half he or she is injured than that can have a huge impact on their future.
Corruption happens all throughout sports and it starts as young as when they were in middle school all through high school and still in college. College athletes would be often drawn into corruptions by agents and boosters who are willing to bribe them to play for their school. This is a problem within the college sport community that is likely to be eliminated if college athletes were paid (Ryan). For example, if a high division college goes and scouts a low division college at a sporting event and saw talent they like for their team they will go and talk to the athlete because they see the athlete has potential to play at a higher level. For the most part the athlete will take their time and listen and possibly accept the offer just because it is a big well known school. The athlete would lose a handful of things like, possible playing time since they recruited the athlete from a different school. What say if they go and find someone who is better. Also, the athlete will continue not to receive any income, unless the other college pays them under the table which is against the NCAA rules. By paying them it would end all corruption and colleges would not lose any players to different schools.
Another reason why colleges should pay athletes is because it will help them begin creating a sense of financial awareness. A study showed that sixty percent of NBA athletes are broke within five years of retirement (Patterson). Many of the pro athletes blame poor investments trusting financial advisers and living lavish lifestyles that they cannot afford. If colleges were to pay the athletes they can also help these students build a foundation on financing. This would allow them to introduce the students to financial advisers who have the best interest in mind. By having someone to help them financially will help them make better financial decisions whether it is making an investment or spending it on clothes. If or if not these student athletes went on to play professionally they’d still have some type of money to have walking into their future careers. If for whatever reason there is no future career because of the sport cutting them they would still have something to fall back on.
Athletes put their bodies on the line day in and day out especially if it is a rough sport like soccer or football. In the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, a player by the name Kevin Ware who played for Louisville suffered from a terrible injury by breaking his leg while trying to block the offensive shooter. Few months later he was back to practicing for the next basketball season. There have been many instances about players being hit extremely hard and becoming paralyzed from the waist down, ending their careers before even making it professionally. These students are sacrificing their bodies and well being just for a chance to play the sport they love, and possibly making it to the next level. So, like anyone putting their body on the line like officers or firefighters they get some type of compensation, the college athletes should too.
Now, if the NCAA were to pay college athletes it would not happen due to the fact that the colleges would not be able to afford it. With the money, the NCAA makes they give a decent portion to hand out for scholarships, pay the faculty, build facilities, and pay athletic directors to make sure the school has the best chances on winning. With the NCAA being a big multimillion dollar business it still does not bring in revenue back from the money they put into their sports programs. They the athletes are paid already with free education due to their scholarships, and all the different types of sports would not be able to pay them a fair wage. If colleges were to pay athletes there would not be enough money to go around for any other stuff like equipment or paying the staff. It would also defeat the purpose of going to school. “If we were to pay the athletes maybe we should also pay the whole school band, or the lead actor in the school theater” (Zimbalist). It would also make the cost of college more expensive the money would have to come from somewhere. College athletes argue that since they do not have time to time get a job they should get compensated so they can have extra money to spend. What the athlete does not realize is that most college students are lower middle class and they have to pay their way through college. The students who pay for college would kill to have their education paid for and all they would have to worry about is their grades. Paying the student athletes would ruin the culture of college sports. The athletes are seen in class and walking around campus they are a part of the school community. Money would separate the athletes from the student body and it would make it seem as if they are better than others because they are making money to play.
An employee expects their check at the end of the week for all the hard work they he or she put in throughout the week and college athletes should be getting the same treatment. College athletes prove a lot when it comes to balancing their grades, practice, and putting their all out on that field. With them working hard for everything and not being compensated is something that should change. Hard work should not go unrecognized even with a small amount of income.
Goldman, Lee. “Sports and Antitrust: Should College Students Be Paid To Play.” Notre Dame Law Review. L. Rev. 1990.
Nocera, Joe. “Let’s Start Paying College Athletes.” The New York Times Magazine. N.p., 30. Dec. 2011. Web.
Patterson, Tiffany. “Should College Athletes Be Paid?” SmartAsset, 3 Feb. 2017
Ryan, Bob. “NCAA Only Trying To Keep Customers Satisfied.” BOSTONGLOBE.COM. N.p., 22 Mar. 2015.
Wieberg, Steve. “NCAA President: Time To Discuss Players Getting Sliver of Revenue Pie.” USATODAY.COM. N.p., 30 Mar. 2011. Web. 30 April. 2013.
Zimbalist, Andrew. “The Cost Of Paying Athletes Would Be Far Too High.” US News. U.S. News & World Report, 2 April. 2013. Web. 30. April. 2013.