Opinion & Review

College Athletes Should Be Paid

Without athletes, the big money in college sports would disappear; the NCAA must start taking initiative to give athletes better benefits for the amount of work they put in.

At first, the NCAA provided a great place to watch athletes play sports while making sure the rules were being followed. But now in the 21st century, the NCAA is a billion dollar company.

Why hasn’t anything changed? Because the decision makers have the mentality of this is the way it’s always been.

They’re scared to make amendments even when it’s necessary.  Athletes earn their schools hundreds of thousands of dollars, increase enrollment, and if they are successful, provide a recruiting tool that will last for generations.

Top NCAA executives are getting  paid $1,674,095 each year, while an athlete can’t earn $50 from signing a few autographs. The athletes also have no time whatsoever to get a job.  

Many conferences including the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, PAC 12, BIG 12, and Big East are now making roughly below just $1 billion through the athletic programs, and the Southeastern Conference, known as the (SEC), became the first conference in 2010 to earn over $1 billion in athletic finances, Taylor Branch wrote in The Atlantic last year. The Big Ten was a close second with earnings close to $905 million, he wrote. 

The Collegian interviewed a senior defensive back from the University of Richmond, Reggie Barnette, and he said, “College athletes should be paid because of the sacrifices and time commitments they make for the sport. Athletes should receive a portion of the money that their sport brings in.”

That would only be fair. The athletes basically play their sports as a job. They work in the season almost six days a week, and in the off-season, it’s exactly the same.

The NCAA, universities, and colleges use athletes for their names and images.  The NCAA basically says that by the athlete receiving a scholarship that is all they need.

However, some universities and colleges are not even able to provide full scholarships for five players on a team.  So, teams either split the money between all the players or give the scholarships to the very best members of the team.

The NCAA makes note that they are a multibillion-dollar industry.  Yet, they are considered a non-profit organization.

Some of the athletic departments are rivaling what proffesional organizations such as the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League make a year.

The Harvard Business School wrote in an article, “A total of 67 schools made more than $50 million. Proponents of paying college athletes say that since they are what people buy tickets to see, they should take a piece of the pie. Supporters also argue that if these players are treated as de facto employees of the school, they would be eligible for workers’ compensation if they suffered a career-ending injury.”

Injury is another key proponent to this situation. Many of the top athletes competing in the NCAA have the chance to go onto professional teams and make loads of money. However, if they suffer a career-ending injury in college, they most likely will not be making anything.

In most cases, the colleges will drop the athletes scholarship as well, giving them no way to pay for the rest of their education.  The athletes are pretty much forced to leave the schools and will never get a chance to see the money that some of them were just inches away from.

Categories: Opinion & Review

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