Should College Athletes Be Paid?

Imagine being a fan or student of a college that could not afford to pay the expenses caused by athletics because of a new rule that colleges had to pay some of their athletes an extra bonus and therefore have to drop sports such as maybe football and basketball. This will be a reality for many students and fans if it is decided that college athletes, specifically football and basketball athletes, be paid. In my speech class in high school I did a paper explaining pros and cons of college athletes being paid and while doing so I learned a lot about the damages it would do to many colleges.
This possible rule change would cripple the players, the colleges, and all of college sports and that not putting this rule into effect would be the best solution.

First, there are three possible problems paying college athletes could pose. Paying college athletes could deplete the college budget, make recruiting unfair for the smaller schools, and affect the player’s lives in a negative way. Most schools throughout the country at the division 1 level are having trouble managing their athletic budget without having to pay players. In college football most of division 1 schools income from sports comes from football. Lately, however, this has not been the case. According to Duncan Currie in “Should College Athletes Get Paid” in the 2009 season only 14 of the 120 major college football institutions in the Football Subdivision (FBS) made money from football. What is worse is that Duncan Carrie goes on to say that almost all division 1 football institutions both major (FBS) and minor (FCS) have lost money between the years 2004-2009. Not even 7 percent of these schools made money from football even though most schools are dependent on making money from football. According to the Washington Post many schools such as the University of Maryland have already had to cut sports due to not gaining enough revenue which paying their athletes would obviously just add more trouble.
Next, paying college athletes could also make the recruiting between the big and small schools extremely unfair. According to the Wall Street Journal (Online) the big rich schools such as Ohio State and Alabama could easily promise a lot of money to all the top high school recruits that small schools could not find money for. This would hinder and put the smaller poorer schools at a huge disadvantage not being able to get the talented players who would all go where the money is. This would make the big schools better and the small schools much worse in comparison, increasing the disparity. Many fans will not want to go see the smaller colleges, further decreasing the amount of money the small schools make. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Lastly, paying college athletes would do more harm than good. Gambling can be a terrible addiction and often happens to college age kids who are not good with money and just starting to make a lot for the very first time. These college athletes who, because of the possible rule, now will have more money may get irresponsible with the many distractions they face and they could get into big financial problems. Also, all the money the players are making could distract them from the real reason they are at college which is to be a student and learn. Assuming the players do not go pro any of these possible distractions caused by the money could leave them unprepared for the job world ahead of them.
Now that I have explained why paying college athletes is a problem lets discuss the solution to this problem. It is pretty simple college athletes should not be paid based on their level of athletic talent and the rules preventing this should stay the same. They already receive enough money to live comfortably on campus. In a way they are already getting paid through scholarships which present them free tuition, room and board. According to an article Price of Admission: Deans List: Hiring Spree Fattens College Bureaucracy And Tuition depending on the college that player could receive anywhere from 18,000- 40,000 in scholarship money. All their expenses related to the team (hotel, meals, laundry, etc) are taken care of. This, too runs in the thousands of dollars overall
Thus they are already living better than most students at the university.
In conclusion, while for the college players themselves it would be great to get paid it could be their worst enemy as well as that colleges, fans, and game itself.In a survey of 754 people by USA Today 72 percent said that college athletes should not be paid. Although there are some positives with this possible rule if it were to get implemented one day it would change a game numerous more negative ways. If the game is already great to fans, players, and the colleges why change? If it’s not broke don’t fix it.


18 thoughts on “Should College Athletes Be Paid?

  1. 100% Basketball and Football players should be paid. Now I think that it should be at Division 1 schools only and that would not damage as much of the lower revenue schools, in my opinion.

    • If that we’re the case most Division 1 schools would be in debt. Most already do not make money as it is and it would inevitably lead to more cheating. There’s a billion things that could go wrong with the rule and the game is great as it is so in my opinion why change?

    • Your exactly right there would be an uproar with all of the other athletes at the school. Also I believe Title IX would make it so every athlete including women would have to have the same treatment (or pay).

  2. AD says:

    Don’t think college athletes should be paid beyond their scholarships, but I think they should be allowed to play in a professional league without being forced to first spend time in college.

    • I agree with the first part of your comment but not the second. The NFL is different from sports like basketball as there obviously much more contact as well as bigger guys hitting you and the college kids (even the great ones) need the required 3 years to get stronger so they can adapt and not get seriously injured their first couple years in the NFL. This rule may seen unfair but it protects kids from themselves basically.

  3. Has it ever been proposed the NCAA itself actually provide funding to give athletes a stipend? The big issue with asking colleges to pay athletes is that the colleges themselves don’t necessarily make a lot of money off of their programs (some obvious exceptions exist).

    • Yes back in 2011 there was a proposal of I think a $2000 stipend to D1 schools only. Not sure of the details other than that. Your exactly right other than Alabama, Notre Dame and a few others this would hit the non revenue producing schools hard if they to pay each athlete 2k. It would only get worse too.

    • Haha you got it man saw that news come out yesterday. It’s sad all this cheating going but it will be interesting to see where this story goes and what comes about. Thanks man appreciate that!

  4. I think college players hould get paid simply because they generate income for their schools. I agree with the previous poster that this should only apply to Div 1 teams, and I don’t think they should get paid alot, but if you someone else money then you should see some of that money. Schools make money from TV deals with ESPN, video game deals with EA and on game tickets, if they can’t manage within their budgets then they should balance their books better!

    I liked your piece though, well researched and reasoned, I just don’t agree on principle.

    • No problem man thanks for commenting. My problem as I said in my post with paying players is how much? Which sports? First off with Title IX in place it makes it hard for just football players to receive the money as other athletes will say why not us? Also they are already getting “paid” a significant amount through scholarship and paying them will inevitably lead to more cheating in my opinion. I do think, however, that college athletes should be able to sign autographs for money.

      • In terms of how much, that’s tough to say. I don’t think it should be much and all (Div 1) student-athletes should get paid too because they all make their schools money and build its reputation through their work. I would favour a flat rate which could be offered to all student athletes as long as it was above minimum wage. That way you avoid the monopolization from the big schools and students still get some financial reward for their work. So in this model you have Manziel, a backup D-lineman at Colorado and a woman on the swim team at Texas Tech all making like $10 an hour (I’m British, I don’t know what the minimum wage is over there)

      • It varies state to state here in Maryland it’s $7.25. Even if it was $10 an hour that would amount to a lot of money to not only smaller schools but even the bigger schools especially those who have more than 20 varsity sports which there are a few. With most schools already not making money from football and athletics this would be too much of a burden I believe. Hence why it hasn’t been instituted.

  5. erinjayne says:

    I think college athletes should be paid for a number of reasons, but mainly because it would make colleges think twice about whether they can fund their athletic programs. Most college sports programs lose money for their universities, and even basketball powerhouse Duke loses about $7 million per year. Adding an extra expense to these programs–one that actually benefits students rather than university administrators–would be a net positive for students. They would either pay more in tuition and have the opportunity to get a job on the team, or they would pay less in tuition because their university would cut their athletic programs. Either way, this is a net positive. (More info on athletic finances is here: http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2011/06/22_college_football_programs_m.html)

    Some college athletes are already paid through scholarships, but this is a misnomer because they aren’t paid to be scholars; they’re paid to be athletes. They might be paid under minimum wage for their time at practice or realistically be being denied overtime pay. And they usually just happen to study at colleges because they can sink hoops or make touchdowns. Universities want these athletes because they bring the schools prestige, and that prestige gets the university a lot of money and a lot of applications that allow them to be selective. When it comes to paying athletes, the question each school needs to answer is–Is the school ready to put its money where its mouth is?

    • Not quite sure what the article was about but i’ll try to answer this as best I can. First off making students pay more intuition is not a bad idea at all but it’s easier said then done and paying college will still lead to even more cheating and also the college athletes may get irresponsible as most of these kids come from poor families and will spend the money to buy not so good things. Gambling with kids at the college is bad throughout the country and I think it is an underrated issue when discussing this topic. Scholarships are not a misnomer whatever way you want to look at it this allows kids to go to school for free and so they receive around $18,000-40,000 per ear depending on a school and this does not include the thousands of dollars it costs for travel to away games, hotels, expensive meals with the team, laundry, all free for them. They are treated like kings so there’s no need to add to this. Only bad things can happen in my opinion,

      • I’ve read lots of good arguments for those sides, but I absolutely am against paying college athletes. Your response to the misnomer issue was very well stated. They are already getting paid to play. They are receiving an education that very few would have otherwise received. The reality is that after four years, most of the stars of high school will be entering the job market in non-athletic related jobs. In exchange for participating in a university’s athletic program for one to four years, they are given an education that most students can only achieve with a mountain of debt. Ask any student, athlete or not, if they would be willing to have their costs taken care of in exchange for staying actively involved on campus in something that they excel at. I think we know what there answer would be!

      • Thanks for the comment and yes you are right on the money with everything. Paying college athletes is one of the most ridiculous sports debates I’ve heard in the last 10. How it is actually being considered is beyond me.

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