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Affect of Money on Pro Athletes

In: Business and Management

Submitted By bigvin57
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Professional athletes have a profound role in society. They are seen as modern day heroes. These superstars are idolized and enjoyed by many aspiring young athletes. The sole purpose of a professional athlete in society is for entertainment. The business of sport is that of entertainment. A heart surgeon also has a phenomenal role in society, but this role is often over seen. Surgeons and doctors are heroes, and perform real life miracles everyday. The surgeon has the ability to save lives. In a society that is often obsessed with being entertained, the qualities and sacrifices made by doctors and surgeons are often ignored. Significant evidence will be provided to prove that duties and workmanship of a heart surgeon are more strenuous than that of a professional athlete. The evidence provided will prove that doctors and surgeons should be paid more and have a higher "hero" status that that of a professional athlete. Professional athletes are involved in an economically profitable business. They are appreciated by millions of fans. Many of these athletes have made names for themselves in households around the country. The professional athlete has a lifestyle that many people can envy. The average major league baseball salary is $3.31 million. It is amazing that a professional baseball player can make millions of dollars for playing a game that he has enjoyed since his childhood. No formal education is needed to become a professional baseball player. Education should be prerequisite for any career including baseball. A professional athletes' job is seasonal. Therefore, the self-sacrifices and time away from home can be compensated in the off season. Being a professional athlete is a dream for many aspiring young athletes. It includes fame and fortune, and seasonal work that pays millions. Professional athletes have been graced with an extraordinary gift, which is very hard to acquire, but the question stands, does all this money and all the publicity effect their performance? First I think we have to look at salary affecting the everyday “9-5” worker. While many workers claim that job satisfaction and a sense of purpose drive their productivity, salary also plays a distinctive role in how well your employees perform. Incentive pay, based on the quantity of work delivered rather than on the time spent on the job, is particularly beneficial for increasing worker productivity. At the same time salary is not the only factor that impacts workers’ productivity. Salary usually connotes a set wage based on a set of expected duties to be performed. Hourly wages may fall under the category of salary and usually are based strictly on time spent on the job. A base salary or hourly guarantee provides employees with security, knowing they will receive at least a minimum pay for their time. On the other hand, the safety net of a fixed salary can lead to complacency, with employees knowing they’ll get paid no matter how much they produce. Raises based purely on time spent with the company can be a disincentive for employees to improve, while salary raises based on performance encourage higher productivity. Incentives can work in a number of ways. You can eliminate hourly wages and pay your workers simply by piecework. Pay-per-piece is particularly effective when the talents of your workforce vary drastically. Workers capable of faster production are rewarded appropriately and workers new to the business can increase their pay with practice and experience. Piecework is common among a home-based workforce, such as freelance writers and seamstresses. Writers sometimes get paid by the article and seamstresses are compensated by the number of pieces they turn in. Every employee has the option of increasing production to earn more. Worker productivity is then self-determined and you only pay for completed work. The textbook states that if you salary goes over 40,000 you job performance will not be affected. These people obviously do not live in New York or any major US city. A study was done in 2010 by Robert Frank of The Wall Street Journal to find the perfect salary in America. “The magic income: $75,000 a year. As people earn more money, their day-to-day happiness rises. Until you hit $75,000. After that, it is just more stuff, with no gain in happiness.”(frank, 1) Now this doesn’t mean that once you hit 75,000 dollars you will be happy forever. They also describe overall life happiness. This basically means if you’re making 200,000 or 300,000 dollars you will look at yourself as more successful in life, but your day to day happiness won’t change. Now on to the Athletes, The average salaries in the 4 major sports are as follows NBA- 5.15 million MLB 3.31 million NHL 2.4 million and finally the NFL at 1.9 million.(Dorish, 1) Now at first look this doesn’t seem to strange until you get to the NFL. The NFL is the most powerful sport in the world and the fact that there player make the least money on average is interesting. First we have to look at why these players make so much money and it is simple, supply and demand. Recently the Quarterback for the green bay packers (a team of which I am a fan of) Aaron Rodgers signed a contract that, between his signing bonus and his salary for the year, will pay him 40 million dollars this year. Now why does he get paid 40 million dollars this year when, in comparison, President Obama only makes 400,000? He is one of the only people in the world that can do what he does. Another main reason that salaries have changed is Salary caps. The main reason Rodgers is making 40 million dollars is so that later on when other players get their boost in salary, the amount of money that counts for Rodgers toward the cap, or his cap number, is lower so there is more room to sign those players. The only sport that there is no salary cap is baseball; there is however a luxury tax. If you spend over a certain amount of money you have to pay a fee that is distributed across to other team to try and level the playing field. The sport in which salaries seem to affect player’s performance is Baseball. There are three main reasons I found that money affects player in baseball. One is the background of the players. Over the past 40 years the amount of Dominican players has increased greatly. Major league teams began to establish academies in the Dominican Republic in the late 1970s. The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Toronto Blue Jays were among the first teams to do so. Today almost every team has some form of an academy there, where promising players are provided with food, healthcare, and training. Those prospects that are selected to sign contracts get both a salary and a signing bonus. For these players the money they earn is supporting their entire family, sometimes their entire home towns, you can never know paying them 15 million dollars a year can affect their mental state. The other two go hand in hand with one another, the use of steroids and the dreaded “Contract year”. A Contract year is a player that is in the last year of his contract and tries harder and plays better because they want to cash in. Steroids have had an effect on this because players would use PED’s, as they are more commonly called, for a year or two to make them better players then they get paid the big buck get off the juice and revert back to player they were. Now it’s not as simple and taking a pill or a shot and becoming Alex Rodriguez, but if they can get just a little bit stronger and turn that fly ball to the warning track into a home run they will have more value to the team and intern, make more money. As for the contract year there are 2 cases that I found very interesting, the cases of Barry Zito and Adrian Beltre. Barry Zito was one of the best pitchers in baseball from 2001-2006. He lead the league in wins in 2002 and won the Cy young award for the best pitcher in the American league. Over this time period his average salary was about 3 million dollars. Then in 2007 he signed a 7 year 126 million dollar contract with the San Francisco Giants. Since then he has never the same, having a losing record 6 of the 7 years of the contract. Adrian Beltre was the most interesting case because he cashed in twice. He was a slightly above average player from 1999-2003 then in 2004 he lead the league in homers and drove in 121 runs which lead to a big contract with the Seattle Mariners. He then went back to the player he was before 2004. In 2010 on a one year deal with the Red Sox he lead the league in doubles and was one of the top players in baseball. Beltre has since found some middle ground and is playing well with the Texas Rangers. It is hard to tell if the money was the main reason in the poor play of these players but in my opinion the money had at least a small part to do with it.
The great announcer Howard Cosell once said “Sports is the toy department of life” (Cosell, 1) I think of this quote often when I get to high or low (mainly low) about the performance of one of the teams I root for. It’s tough to try to translate the sports world to real, everyday life because it is so different. While they are playing a sport and have a job to do athletes are very much entertainers. There is no real way to spot the players that will be affected by the money they make nor is there a way to spot the everyday worker that will become less motivated to do their job after they get a significant increase in pay. The only thing you can do is hope for the best.

Works Cited
Dorish, Joe. "Average Salaries in the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL." Yahoo! Sports. Yahoo, 12 Nov. 2011. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.
Frank, Robert. "The Perfect Salary for Happiness: $75,000." The Wealth Report RSS. Wall Street Journal, 7 Sept. 2010. Web. 20 Apr. 2013.
"Howard Cosell Quotes & Sayings." Search Quotes. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2013.

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