Should College Athletes Be Paid?

Looking at the revenues of most colleges and universities in the United States of America, it is evident that these institutions make a lot of money through sports programs. These programs use students who have been given scholarships by the colleges (Henderson 1). These students practice and play against other teams and are also expected to attend classes. Intercollegiate sports have become money minting avenues in this billion dollar industry that rides on the competencies of student athletes. This is why these sports programs have become very important for the universities across the nation. However, these students are not paid by the universities despite the billions of dollars they mint for these institutions every year.

I feel that student athletes who participate in intercollegiate sports should be paid for their efforts. Why should they be paid? To start with, these students are not allowed to work by the universities since they are under scholarships (Lewis 11). They spend most of their free time training and practising for the matches they play against other teams. If these students do not work like the rest of the students, how are they expected to finance their college expenses?

Most of these students come from humble backgrounds meaning that they need to make money to cater for their college expenses and also support their poor families. Some of these students accept illegal money and property from unscrupulous people and paying them would help them to avoid dealing with these unscrupulous people. The students have the opportunity to turn professional and earn money but the colleges and universities do not allow them making them live in abject poverty despite the fact that they generate a lot of money for the universities.

Many people do not support the sentiment that college athletes should be paid for their role in generating revenues for universities through participation in intercollegiate sports programs because the institutions have already given them favours by extending scholarships to them and allowing them to use sports facilities to hone their talents. However, it is important to note that these students are denied the chance to gain experience in their fields of study because they cannot work like the non athletic counterparts and this should be compensated through modest salaries.

Some of these students do not even graduate and statistics from NCAA 2001 indicate that graduation rates among the college athletes falls below 55 percent because these students are promised education and they do not get it. They involve themselves in college sports at the expense of their education and some of them end up dropping along the way. It is quite unethical for the academic institutions to use young talent to generate money and fail to pay the sources of this revenue.

Intercollegiate games are heavily watched and some television networks pay broadcast rights to colleges so that they can air these matches. Most importantly, college sports teams do not pay entertainment tax implying that the academic institutions pocket 100 percent of the income they generate through sports. It is therefore immoral and unethical for these institutions to make colossal amounts of money and fail to share the amount with the students who dedicate a lot of their time and energy to their college teams (Ginsburg 78).

The scholarships that these colleges give have strings attached. There is an ulterior motive behind every scholarship that is given by a college or a university in the US. These scholarships are recruitment drives that are aimed at getting the best talent at the least possible fee. Scholarships are therefore used top lure talented athletes to school so that the can labour for the college. I do not suggest that these players should earn the same amount as their counterparts in the competitive leagues but there should be a set salary for the players who put countless man hours of work into college sports while they could be out there working for a salary during their free time.

Average workers in the US make at least eight dollars an hour and this would be a modest salary for the college athletes which cannot put a dent on the immense revenues generated by the college teams. Colleges should stop using scholarships as baits to lure talented students from poor background so that they can labour free of charge in sports programs that generate millions of dollars every year.

College sports are lucrative businesses for colleges and universities and in fact they are run like any other business. There is no business that can operate well without an efficient human capital and the human capital in college sports are the college athletes. Have you ever heard of any successful business that runs without paying their players? Is that not tantamount to rip off? I know of organisations that train their workforce free of charge and yet pay them for the services they deliver meaning it is not justifiable to claim that the college athletes are paid through the scholarships they get from the colleges (Webber 1). The amount of money they make for their institutions is far much higher than the cost of education they are given free of charge by the institutions meaning that the colleges misuse these students.

We have heard of cases of athletes being suspended by the NCAA for flouting the NCAA regulations. Why do they flout these regulations? It is all because of money because if these students are paid for their service delivery, they would not accept the illegal gifts they get from outside sources which is against the NCAA regulations. Some athletes are paid under the table, while others are paid to fix matches by bookmakers (Rosandich 67).These underground activities that taint college sports can be minimised if the players are paid.

I see failure to pay athletes as a form of slavery. It is slave labour on campus and it is disheartening to learn that coaches make colossal amount of money from the efforts of the athletes. Most of them make six figure salaries; get media contracts and endorsements plus many other lucrative perks. The more they win games, the more marketable they become and get bigger jobs with better terms elsewhere. Coaches cannot achieve this without the input of students, who get nothing for all the time and energy they spend on college sports (Rodgers 2).

I think college sports would be more competitive and more lucrative if the students are paid like other sportsmen out there. Paying the athletes would boost their morale and motivate them towards greater achievements. I believe that college sports team can do better than the teams in baseball, football and even basketball leagues if the athletes are paid because paying them would make them give their best to their college teams and this would also boost the revenue margins that colleges get from college sports. When you do not pay the athletes, they don’t give their best and they can even resort to sabotage which may eventually kill a college team.

I believe that NCAA should rethink its strategies and regulations and improve the welfare of the college athletes. Intercollegiate sport is a billion dollar business that does not pay the human capital behind the success of this business and this takes the country back to the ear of slavery because there is no difference between what colleges are doing to the athletes and the 18th century slavery. If the NCAA cannot pay the students, then it should allow them to find jobs elsewhere and make a living like other students. It should allow them to make media endorsement and sign contracts with corporate.

If NCAA is not willing to make its rules flexible, then it should pay the college athletes competitively because from a utilitarian point of view, it is very immoral and unethical for colleges to continue making immense revenues from intercollegiate sports without rewarding the contributions of the human capital behind the success of the intercollegiate sports adequately. I believe that the quality of intercollegiate sports would improve tremendously if players are motivated through a modest pay. Colleges should stop using scholarships as baits to lure talented students from poor background so that they can labour free of charge in sports programs that generate millions of dollars every year.

Works Cited

Ginsburg, Tim. Collegiate Sponsorships Chicago. Warner Books, 2002.

Henderson, Lee. Should college athletes be paid? Web.

Lewis, Guy. The Beginning of Organized Collegiate Sport. NJ: Pearson, 1990.

Rodgers, Dexter. Should college athletes be paid? Web.

Rosandich, Thomas. Collegiate Sports Programs: A Comparative Analysis. NY: Sage, 2002.

Webber, Chris. Should college athletes be paid? Web.

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