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Is a Scholarship Enough

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Is a Scholarship Enough?
There are approximately 319 million people living in the United States, but there are approximately 482 million people in China that work in sweatshops. These people make less than two dollars a day. Often times hundreds of people are working in one big room, smells of sweat, tears, and a low sense of moral fill the air. We are talking about hard working people that work hard for their money, but get treated so poorly. A hardworking man goes and clocks in to make a better future for himself, and he has enough to barely get by on a day to day basis. This is just inhumane and coldhearted. It is easy for us to look down on China for doing this to their people, however; we treat our student athletes in the same manner. These student athletes struggle daily with the same problem. Juggling at least twelve hours of credits, with at least ten hours of practice a week, not including games. How can a student athlete possibly have time for a job? These students barely have enough time to study. Practice is often times long and hard, and once that is over with it is time to study or do homework. Sleep? As a student athlete there is no such thing as sleep. Sleep is just one of the thousands of things college athletes have to worry about. Also, earning extra money can be an almost impossible feat with the lack of extra time in a week. In a paraphrase of a famous rapper named Jay Z, “College athletes have 99 problems, and money is one.”
When it comes to college, people have to go through many trials and tribulations to get there. Getting to college can be a tremendous feat that people may shed blood, sweat, and tears just to arrive at that level in their life. There are over 460,000 student athletes in the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). Not close to the 482 million people in China sweatshops, but the outcome remains the same within the two, lots of work, lack of pay. Some of these particular athletes come from low income families that have no other thing to lean on besides their sport. The debate that these students should get paid, or not get paid has been the topic of discussion for many years. The number of student athletes have become rambunctious and almost impossible to ignore. College athletes are a mass audience, and their hard work should not go unpaid. College athletes are compensated by receiving a four-year scholarship, and for many families this is the only way their children can afford to go to college. However, a scholarship alone is not enough. Obviously, students that do not participate in sports get less financial aid than students that play sports, but this is a reasonable statement. College athletes have very limited time that can be spent outside of doing homework, going to class, and going to practice. Coming from a college athlete like myself, it is impossible to gain money when you have no financial support coming in. Regular college students have the free-time to go out and get a job, whereas; the athletes do not. Some college athletes cannot even afford simple things such as washing clothes, eating off campus, or even going to do daily activities. We cannot overlook the fact that these student athletes are students as well, but they also spend countless hours working hard for that particular school.
Adrian Peterson, who was a star running back for Oklahoma University, and is now a NFL running back for the Minnesota Vikings had a lot to say about the matter of college athletes being paid,
"When I was in college, I know personally, as far as jersey sales and ticket sales, I helped make that university a lot of money, Johnny Manziel helped make Texas A&M so much money. You're talking about championship games that he was able to lead those guys to. You're talking about jersey sales that he don't see a dime of. I feel like as much money as universities make, I feel that some of that money should be given down to the players as well because we are the ones that are making this university money, these bowl games? Without the players, how much money to do they make? None." (Haislop) Peterson has a great point. No money is made without the players. These athletes spend much time and effort to have the fans come out and support them. Over forty-seven million people attended NCAA football games each year (NCAA). That is an enormous percentage of the population that takes time out to go to these games. These collegiate football games bring in an enormous amount of financial support into the school. Depending on games at the division one level, tickets could get upward toward hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars. This means that the school that has the home game is earning a sufficient amount by having these games. Not only do these fans come and watch the games, but these fans come and spend money at the concession stand as well. If you take out the football team from a school then the school would not make near as much money that it does now. Athlete’s photos, appearances, memorabilia, and paraphernalia generate revenue, but the schools pocket the royalties. Universities see a rise in applications after a big win, or even after a championship season. Coaches receive a pay raise and have endorsements, so athletes should as well. Coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke has a 15-year shoe endorsement from Adidas including a $1,000,000 bonus plus $375,000 annually. This is not including his salary from Duke University. In 2014 Coach K received approximately $9,682,032 (TheBigLead). Coaches getting paid amounts of money like this shows that there is no lack of money in the system. Since 2006, coach’s salaries have jumped more than 70% for football coaches, and 20% for basketball coaches. These coaches get paid for doing their job, so why can’t a student athlete get paid for doing their job, which is playing? We are talking athletes that work their whole lives to have their number on a jersey. The real question is why? Why must these schools take such advantage over these players? If someone wants an autograph by a player, and wants it so much that they are willing to pay money for it, why can that player not receive that money? What is it hurting? One could say that athletes get paid through tuition. Why would a school pay a student to be a part of their sports team? The answer is simple, the same reason a job would pay a worker. To become a better cooperation, and in the end, make money. Playing college sports is essentially a job. We check in and we check out. We go in in early and we leave out late. As you may know student athletes do not have an income, nor the time to be able to get a sufficiently paying job. Also, just like a job, if a worker is not working is not working up to the standards of the boss, these workers may get fired. Athletes are under the same circumstances. These athletes can be canceled of their scholarship if they do not play up to par. If an athlete does not play up to the standards of the coach then one could be kicked off the team, and have nowhere to go just by the opinion of the coach. The pressure is constantly on the athlete to play good because in a sense, their life depends on it. Players have faced major penalties for accepting compensation when the school can openly sell their memorabilia, and agencies can produce commercials from their abilities. The system is one-sided because coaches are worth millions a year but the star players are worth a scholarship. Throughout a player’s four year career he/she could have brought hundreds of thousands of dollars into the school. These players should be compensated with extra money given to them throughout the course of a year. These colleges make an abundance of money, and it is not fair that the players that earn the money for them are barely getting by. Hopefully, by now you understand the reason that I compared college athletes to workers in a Chinese sweatshop. If you do not understand, the answer is simple. Of course, workers in a Chinese sweatshop may have it a little worse than our college athletes, but that does not mean that we should completely overlook the fact that they both are being treated very similarly. Getting by, is the term I would like to use to describe the way these players and workers are having to live. So much effort goes into what they do, and so little is returned. It is not a secret that these people deserve more for their actions. As of now, there is no light at the end of the tunnel for these hard workers. All we can ask is that someone be the Thomas Edison to this situation. Although, many people have shed light on these circumstances no one has created enough light for us to see a brighter future. We may only hope and pray that the decision makers see the darkness that they have been in, and bring forth a brighter day for these people.

Work Cited
Duffy, Ty. "Mike Krzyzewski Earns $9.7 Million, Is Highest Paid Coach in American Sports (That We Know Of)." The Big Lead. 3 Apr. 2014. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.
Haislop, Tadd. "College Athletes Should Be Paid Because Adrian Peterson Says so." Sporting News. 9 Apr. 2014. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.
"Student-Athletes." NCAA.org. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.

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