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Compensation of College Athletes

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Submitted By breesallee
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Should college athletes get paid? Does it teach kids that they do not have to have a job to make money, and that they can just do whatever they like because they know they are too good and will not be let off? I find this topic interesting because I want to play a sport in college.
I know that a full ride scholarship would pay for the athlete’s college tuition, food, housing, and their books. I also know that multiple hours are spent by the athlete practicing throughout the day and year. Athletes are expected by their coaches to practice before the season starts and after the season so that they can be the best that they can be for the team. With that being said, how do athletes manage their time with practice, school, and a social life? My intended audience is for anyone who is interested in sports or the benefits college athletes receive from a scholarship. Any athletes might find it interesting what the process is to get a scholarship, whether it is high school students or college. More specifically this would be beneficial to any high school student or parent who would like to know about college athletic scholarships.

Compensation of College Athletes There has been an ongoing debate continuing since the early nineteen hundreds on whether college athletes should get paid. This argument comes from the coaches, the athlete’s parents, and the athletes themselves arguing that universities make money off of the players and the players, in turn, do not receive any money from that. For example, during the basketball tournament, March Madness, universities make millions of dollars off of the players and the fans that come to watch the games and the players do not get any of this money. Although it can be argued that the players do in fact get paid by scholarships. The NCAA, National College Athletic Association, is a nonprofit association that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. This association was founded by Theodore Roosevelt in March 1906 in order to protect student-athletes. The NCAA continues to do this as well as focus on the athletics and the academic excellence of the athletes. The NCAA is made up of three membership classifications that all have their own rules: Division Ι, ΙΙ, and ΙΙΙ. The rules for each division are concerning the athlete’s personnel, amateurism, recruiting, eligibility, benefits, financial aid, and their practice seasons. As long as the NCAA has been around the athletes have never actually been paid with money, it has always been in scholarships. Current president of the NCAA Mark Emmert believes that it would be a bad idea to pay college athletes. He said that most university presidents think that it would be turning the athletes into “professionals.” Athletes work hard every day to be the best that they can be and the best that they can all be together as a team. Every time that a player steps out on the court or field they risk getting career ending injuries. College athletes should be paid because they do not have time for jobs, the college makes money for their work, and America is built on a free market system. College athletes have very limited free time. During most of the player’s free time, or the time that is not spent in classroom or practicing, they are going to be doing their homework that they have for their classes. All athletes are required by NCAA rules to maintain a specific grade point average. This grade point average varies depending on which division that the athletes play for. If the athlete does not sustain the required standards then they will not be eligible to play. With all of these requirements the athletes have to uphold, they rarely have any time for them, let alone have time to go to a job. Since most athletes will not have time for a job how are they expected to have any money? Although some athletes do have a meal plan that is part of their scholarship, others do not. Some players may come from poor families and are expected to pay for their own food and other necessities. Even players that are on a full ride scholarship still need money to pay for things as simple as soap, clothes, or gas. While some may argue that the athletes are being paid by getting a free education, others would disagree and say that it is not enough because it does not cover many things that are needed. Colleges and universities make millions of dollars annually from college athletes. For example, think about how much money the University of Georgia makes just from one home football game. The University of Georgia’s stadium, Stanford Stadium, holds 92,756 people. All of the people that attend the game have paid for a ticket to watch the athletes play and will buy food and drinks throughout the game. The money that the fans pay to get into the game and the money that they spend during the game goes to the university’s athletic program. None of the money that is made during these games is given to the players. If the fans are coming to the game to watch the athletes then the athletes should be entitled to at least a small percentage of the money earned by the university. Since the United States of America is built on a free enterprise system then college athletes should be paid. Although a free enterprise system should allow a person to earn a profit with limited regulations, the NCAA is not allowing that to happen for the players. The NCAA’s regulations are too strict in this aspect. For example, the NCAA can make money just by using an athlete’s name. Look at all of the video games and jerseys that the NCAA sells just because it has the player’s names on it. They are using the player’s name to make money and the players are not getting any of the money. The NCAA should not be allowed use the athlete’s name if the athlete is not receiving any of the profit from it. Also, college athletes are prohibited to be in any commercials or to sign any autographs. The athletes should have the opportunity to earn money from this if they so desire. The time and effort that athletes put into their sport is taken seriously. These athletes treat their sport like it is their job. They work really hard every day so that they can make a positive difference on the team. Some athletes get “paid” in an education, but if an athlete comes from a poor family their education money is not going to help them buy food for their family or themselves. Also if an athlete borrows money from someone to help buy food, whether it is for their family or themselves, they will be suspended. An example of an athlete who did this is Kansas State’s basketball star Jamar Samuels. Samuels was suspended from a game after asking an old basketball coach for money for food. Samuels and the coach both knew that this was a violation of the rules, but Samuels had no money to get food. Believe it or not, some people do not want to go to college for an education, they just want to go to play a sport. If these people are being offered a free education it is basically worthless to them, especially if they were not planning on attending college in the first place. It would be just as useless to give a free education to someone who is not smart enough or willing to do anything with it as it would be to give a homeless man a free television. In both situations the compensation is of no value to the receiver. I believe that college athletes should be paid but I understand why the NCAA and the colleges may not want to pay them. Athlete’s main goal when attending college should be to get an education. An Athlete is entitled to a free education and while they are playing their sport at their college they are being exposed to professional contracts. If the athlete signs a contract to play as a professional then they will be playing for money. Mark Emmert said, “Rather than push college athletes further and further from academics, we need to bring them closer.” While all of this may be true student athletes in college still need money. Some athletes are not on a full ride scholarship so they still need money to buy food. Since they do not have time for a job and the colleges and the NCAA does not give them any partial amount of the money they make, the athletes do not have any money. This has been and will continue to be an underlining problem among college athletes for many years unless some chances are made. In conclusion, college athletes should be entitled to some money. The athletes are the ones who are working and making billions of dollars for the NCAA and the colleges. They should get a percentage of that money that they earn for them, just as if it was someone working a part time job at the college. The athletes should receive the same benefits, and if not they should definitely be able to make money off of their own status of which they have worked hard to earn. I am not saying that they should be entitled to million dollar contracts; I just think that they should be given partial amounts of the money the colleges, universities, and the NCAA obtain. These athletes are not only students but assets to their colleges and conferences. The NCAA is a professional business and the players should be paid like one. The NCAA is a billion dollar business and the players should be allowed to receive a small monetary percentage.

Branch, T. (2011). The Shame of College Sports. Atlantic Monthly (10727825). Vol. 308 Issue 3, p80-110, 19p.
Garbin, P. (2008). About them Dawgs!: Georgia football’s memorable teams and players. Maryland, Lanham: ScarecrowPress.
Gregory, S. (2013) Colleges Have No Reason To Pay Athletes. It’s Time to Pay College Athletes. Web. 03 Oct.
(K. Lee, personal communication, October 2, 2013).
Lawrence, S. Harrison, K. Stone, J. (2009). Journal of Sport Management. Sep2009, Vol. 23 Issue 5, p591-614. 24p. 5 Charts.
College Athletes Should Get Paid. US News. U.S.News & World Report, n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2013.
Yorkey M. (2010). Playing with Purpose. Wheaton, Illinois: Internally Bible society.

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