Thousands upon thousands of fans gather around to watch their favorite teams and players excel compete for the title of greatest; whether its football, basketball, hockey or any other athletic sport, college teams are becoming as big as professional teams. With this of course comes a greater set of issues, specifically regarding whether college athletes should be paid for their service. There are arguments on both fronts with each having valid points. To get to the heart of the matter lets break it down point by point.
Pros of Paying College Athletes
1. One of the biggest points for paying college athletes is the fact that they are the ones going out, winning games, putting their bodies on the line. It’s not the college, sponsors, or promoters that are performing and risking themselves to provide a high quality product. With the massive amount of money being made within these sports it should be a no brainer than these athletes, like there professional count parts deserve a piece of the pie. This is especially true regarding the physical risks that they take every time they walk out on to that field, rink, court, or wherever they may play. This goes beyond just playing as well.
2. There are massive amounts of money going around outside of the game. Advertisements, sponsorships, even video games all generate money for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA is a non-profit organization overseas all collegiate sport activities as well as controls how they are managed at affiliated schools. This massive multi-billion dollar organization provides outlines the criteria for which schools that take part offer and provide scholarships. Currently they only schools ranked in the Division I and Division II can offer athletic scholarships while schools in the Division III cannot offer athletic scholarships. Additionally the NCAA provides very limited compensation for athletes while many schools that participate receive the bulk of the money received from these athletic events.
Cons of Paying College Atheletes
1. While there are many arguments towards paying collegiate athletes there are just as many against it. One of the major arguments against paying athletes is related to the scholarships they receive. As mentioned above this is only related to schools in Divisions I and II. As the athletes receiving scholarships have a full ride through college their payment is in the form of education benefits as opposed to direct compensation. As the majority of Division I and II schools are higher scale colleges in general this compensation can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
2. Additionally as these are college athletes their education should take priority over any sports related activities. This coupled with creating fair standards for financial compensation. For example, would a star basketball player be equivalent to a star football player? Would a school with more than one Division I team have to pay the same for all athletes or would some have greater value than others. How would paying student athletes affect students who aren’t athletes? How would the NCAA factor into player compensation? These are questions that would have to be answered before it a system would be in place.
3. Also this system could unfairly burden smaller colleges that may not have the financial strength of some their bigger compatriots. This could lead to a great gap between Divisions as larger; more endowed schools could offer greater financial compensation monopolizing athletic talent causing lower end schools to struggle.
What This All Means
There are a lot of variables to be considered regarding college athletes receiving financial compensation for playing the sports we so love to watch. This is an argument that will likely continue for many years to come. Whether you are for it or against it the end result will have very long lasting effects on not just the educational institutions that take part but also those that do not. College sports are a major part of any academic institutions whether they are one of the top Division I schools in the United States, a smaller Division III school or a school hoping to break into the NCAA. Many schools rely heavily on the revenue they receive from their sports teams. Whether some of that should go towards players or not will ultimately be decided by the NCAA either by choice or as a result of legal action.