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Division 1 Athletes Should Be Paid

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Submitted By julesr904
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This paper debates whether Division 1 athletes should be paid or not. I explain the situation to the readers that do not have much background knowledge of the topic. I go on to say that Division 1 players should be paid because they do not have much money to buy necessities. The NCAA does not allow players to get jobs due to the workload required for their particular sport. The athletes also cannot sell their items or autographed items for revenue. My next reason athletes should be paid is because they are the core of the collegiate sports. Without the players, there would be no revenue period. My next point is that the scholarships are not enough to compensate or the time the athletes put into their sport. Although the scholarship helps, it doesn’t help the players any further than paying for tuition, rooming, and books.

Should Division 1 Athletes Be Paid?
Imagine one having a career that takes up a majority of one’s time, requires one to do rigorous tasks, and causes one to travel to many different states. Their role in their career brings in billions of dollars to the company but one doesn’t get paid one cent. Seems like a lop-sided deal, right? Well this is the position for many Division 1 athletes all across the United States today. Today a hot topic in the collegiate world is whether Division 1 college athletes should be paid for what they do and if there are too many responsibilities put on these young adults’ backs. Some believe that the NCAA should pay these athletes for the time they give to the universities and the money they bring in to the NCAA. Many others believe that college athletes are too young and irresponsible to have a significant amount of money in their possession and that their scholarships are enough of a reward. Because college athletes do not have enough time to have a job and the NCAA is a multi-billion dollar organization, all Division 1 athletes should be paid a stipend that allows them to provide themselves with necessities.

Division 1 Athletes Can’t Get a Job Unlike any normal college student, Division 1 athletes do not have enough time to have a job that can provide them with some spending money. But in the unlikely case that a college athlete could find enough time to balance a job and a sport at the college level, he or she still could not have a job because the NCAA restricts Division 1 athletes from being employed. The organization wants to make sure that the players receive no benefits from being a college athlete whether it is that they receive an upper-hand on other applicants for playing college sports or if their salary is raised because of their position. Along with the unfair rule that these athletes are not allowed to have their own jobs, they’re not permitted to sell their own belongings, receive any kind of benefits from the boosters of their universities, or even receive discounted or free merchandise from stores or restaurants. This means if an athlete goes to the local McDonald’s and is offered a free meal he cannot accept it and if he does, there will major consequences. These consequences can be anything from getting fined to getting stripped of all awards and (in the University of Michigan’s Chris Webber’s case) getting disassociated with the university and having two Final Four titles stripped (Rhoden, 2002). In 2010, Terrelle Pryor was suspended for the first five games of his senior season for simply receiving free tattoos and selling his own merchandise (“Ohio State Football Players Sanctioned,”2010). These strict rules and regulations make it nearly impossible for these athletes to have a steady source of income. Gary Clark, a Wake Forest basketball player, gives his opinion on the situation:
At a lot of schools, players come from underprivileged families. I know we are getting a scholarship, but some folks don’t have enough cash to get something to eat when he school cafeteria is closed, or money to buy a used car. . . . I am not saying we should get paid with a full-time salary, but a stipend would be nice. (W. Ford, personal communication, April 28, 2011)
It is true. Many players are from unfortunate situations and being stripped of the rights to work for necessities to get their college paid for is an unethical burden the NCAA has placed on these young adults’ shoulders. At the least, these athletes should be “getting a return on the time they put in” (H. Bruinius, personal communication, April 3, 2000)

A Multi-Billion Dollar Industry Collegiate Industry
In 2012, the NCAA generated 10.6 billion dollars in revenue; 5.6 billion due to ticket sells and 433 million dollars off of rights agreements but only have (“NCAA College Athletics Statistics,” 2012). Surely the NCAA has enough money to provide a stipend all of the 420,000 student-athletes. These players walk around schools and malls noticing stores selling their jerseys, shirts, and shoes, making millions off of the merchandise. It is only right that the athletes wonder why they bring in millions to their university but still do not have a car and do not have enough money to order a pizza. “What they [NCAA] basically have in place is a corporation that makes tons of money and, oh yeah, they don’t have to pay their employees. Sounds like the perfect business model right” (“Why College Athletes Should Be Paid,” 2013)? When the NCAA applies rules to players that ensure all of the revenue goes to the NCAA and not to the actual players, it is no wonder why they are a billion dollar industry. The average annual pay of a Division 1 football coach is 1.64 million dollars (Zirin, 2013). This isn’t logical. How can universities give a coach millions of dollars to coach players that have to eat cereal and Ramen noodles for dinner some nights? Dave Zirin said it best, “how could schools be this shameless?”(2013) It just isn’t right that some players have to walk around without money to drive home to see their family but the NCAA, the universities, and their employees are getting wealthier off of the money you have trained on the fields and courts for.

Scholarships Are Not Enough
Some people believe that student-athletes are already being paid with full ride scholarships. The truth is though; these athletic scholarships in fact don’t pay for everything. The average football and basketball player actually have to pay between 3,000 and 3,222 dollars for a legitimate full ride scholarship, which takes away the “full-ride” aspect of it all (Baxter, 2013). College athletes should get more than a student that has gotten the same scholarship for academics. Not to say that students that get good grades shouldn’t be well rewarded, but they certainly do not bring millions to the school and are not expected to graduate college in the same conditions as student-athletes. Students with academic scholarships also are able to work for spending money unlike collegiate athletes. Athletes don’t even have a choice in their own major if it conflicts with their practice schedules (K. Cooper, personal communication, 2011). The NCAA should find a way to fairly pay back these athletes because they are the ones that are fueling the beloved industry Americans love. The NCAA is making billions of dollars from these athletes and what are they getting in return? A bunch of rules and restrictions set upon them, having to watch every single they move they make. With each school bringing in 3.15 million dollars in football and 788,000 dollars in basketball, universities have more than enough to supply their players with a moderate stipend (“How Much Revenue Do College Sports Produce?,” 2011)

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