College athletes shouldn
The debate as to whether or not college athletes should be paid has really heated up in recent years. It seems to arise every March when the NCAA Men Basketball Tournament arrives, and once again when the college football season begins. While I respect the time, work, and excitement college athletics brings to the world of sports, they should not be paid.
The key in my statement is they shouldn be paid, I didn say they shouldn be compensated.
Athletic scholarships are their compensation and a fair one at that. Essentially they receive a free education and in return they represent the school in a certain sport. College athletes don have to worry about student loans, paying for textbooks, the cost of on campus living, and meal plans.
According to Institute For College Access Success, in the state of Pennsylvania 71 percent of students leave a public four year institution or private non profit four year institution in debt. The average debt is $32,528. That is an enormous burden for kids who may, or may not have a job awaiting them upon graduation.
When you look at it that way, plenty of college students would be happy to play a sport for four years if it meant they did not have to take on that financial hardship.
Another problem with paying college athletes is the ambiguity in the importance of each sport. Would all the athletes get paid the same amount? If so, that certainly seems strange and borderline unfair. No offense to the athlete who plays a sport that doesn air on national television but it doesn seem acceptable that they get paid the same amount as the college football player competing in the National Championship with 33 million people watching them. That being said,
is that the athlete fault who plays a producing sport. They may work just as hard, so shouldn they be rewarded equally?
The NCAA reported that 28.3 million viewers watched the 2015 NCAA Men Division I National Championship between Wisconsin and Duke. They also reported there were 3.1 million viewers for the 2015 NCAA Women Division I National Championship between Notre Dame and UConn. Obviously those numbers are vastly different, so should the men and women basketball players be paid differently? The statistics show more people are interested in watching the men play, but is that the women fault who work so hard too? They can control the popularity and ratings of the sport they play.
The reality of the situation is there is too big a gray area when it comes to analyzing different sports. The same goes for Division II and Division III sports. Why shouldn those athletes be paid the same if they put in the same amount of time to practice, travel, and play games?
The argument athletes should be paid emanates from the mammoth revenue the NCAA generates. USA Today reported that the NCAA revenue in fiscal 2014 was $989 million. What is wrong with that? Couldn it be said that they are being rewarded for a strong business model? Whether it is college football, or tournaments in college basketball, they have built up entities that drive up TV ratings. As a result they deserve the financial upturns for their excellent marketing work.
People get caught up that all this money is being made and the college athletes are completely getting exploited. I wouldn label earning a free college education exploitation. If players are that good and feel they deserve to be paid, they can make it to the professionals. The NFL draft commences tomorrow evening in Chicago. According to the new bargaining agreement, each player can earn a four year contract. Last year first pick Jadeveon Clowney signed a four year contract that included $22.272 million guaranteed, and a $14.518 million signing bonus. The point is, the players who are so good and entertain us in college will eventually get paid.
People need to drop the act that athletes are props and labor away for multi billion dollar businesses. Television helps these kids market themselves. For better or worse even if an athlete does not pan out in the professionals, they at least made a name for themselves. It will help them find a job when they graduate debt free out of college. For those who nothing because their sport didn make them rich and famous that their own fault. If they fooled around and didn take their academics and after a sport serious, that their own wrong doing. It may seem harsh but it is the truth. There are thousands of students who don play sports and fail out of college each year and they receive little to no sympathy from the general public.
Take a step back and look at the big picture. College is a place for people to obtain a degree and help jumpstart their world career aspirations. Whether people want to capitalize on that opportunity or not is on them. However it is not a place for athletes to get paid to play sports,
that why the professional level exists. Remember student comes first in student athlete.