Paying College Athletes

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Do you happen to know anyone that does not watch college athletics? College athletics has become one of the most popular sources of entertainment to spectators in America. For example, in 2017, the end of the season March Madness Tournament for Division one men’s basketball averaged 11.9 million viewers. In the United States, there are more than 460,000 Division one college athletes that compete in 24 different sports each year. The National Collegiate Athletic Association is the non-profit, member-led organization that regulates student athletes at 1,218 institutions and conferences across the United States. The amount of money this organization makes off of the student-athletes is unimaginable, yet all of those student-athletes will not see a single dime of it throughout their entire time at the school. Division I college athletes should be paid by the NCAA because of the amount of revenue, exposure, and the time and commitment they have put into their schools.

Political interaction regarding the paying of college athletes is beginning to develop. Senators across many states are being proactive and spreading the word as to why these athletes need to be receiving an income for their participation in their particular sport. There are a great deal of people backing up the proposed laws because it is very apparent that college athletes are putting all of their time into a sport while producing an income for the school that they attend but, not an income for themselves. One reason these outstanding athletes should be getting paid by the NCAA is because of the amount of hours they put into their season apart from their schoolwork. The athletes also promote their school and give a national spotlight to the college which causes an increase in applicants for the following year. Those students are not rewarded for their hard work as the school continues to benefit from the athlete’s successes.

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Corey Booker is a candidate for the 2020 presidential election and is promoting the payment of Division I athletes. He was an athlete at Stanford before taking his step into the political field. Booker understands the demand of being a student athlete and believes the young men and women need compensation for all of their hard work. He promotes this message by using a personal story regarding his injury that forced him to pay medical bills due to football. Yet, he was given no assistance financially and other people were profiting from using his name and his team in video games. He, as well as many others, believes this is unfair to young athletes that are trying to gain an education and succeed in their particular sport. Schools exploit their athletes and Cory Booker is attempting to make real change in order to regulate the NCAA and allow the student athletes to be taken care of financially.

Political figures are not the only people who are taking notice of the injustice to the athletes. Businessmen and women are brining light to the booming industry of collegiate sports. Athletes continue to bring in money for others in multiple industries, not only including their school, and are unable to bring in money for themselves. Coaches receive an income from the school while also obtaining endorsement deals from companies. This is unfair to the actual athletes who are underrepresented and not seeing one dollar that they have worked so hard to make for others. Division I sports affect every part of an athlete’s life and severely affect graduation rates. If the students were able to see a fraction of their profit it would likely increase the odds of athletes completing their four to five years in college. The NCAA is increasing in value every day by using workers that they do not have to pay which is unfair.

There are people that believe that athletes should not be paid because it is a part of the college experience and is simply an extracurricular activity for the students. Many of the athletes that play Division I sports have no intention of continuing to the professional league and simply chose to play their sport while in college because it makes them happy. These people believe the scholarships given to the athletes is enough of an incentive to play and represent their school. While these people have valid arguments the are completely undermining the extensive toll these competitive sports take on the athletes. These sports take time and energy out of an already demanding college lifestyle and athletes should be repaid for that lifestyle change. The amount of money their service is producing is massive and therefore the athletes should receive a piece from their work.

In the end, Division one college athletes should be paid by the NCAA because of the amount of revenue, exposure, and the time and commitment they have put into their schools. Ever since the National Collegiate Athletic Association was founded back in 1906, it has been taking advantage of outstanding top tier student athletes for their own profit. More and more people are realizing this as time progresses, because when you look into it and see how unfair this system the NCAA is running really is, it is not difficult to choose a side to this issue. In the past few years, video game creating companies stopped producing college sports games because of the controversy that came with them, this could be the first step toward getting the student athletes paid. Maybe one day the NCAA and the world will come up with a legal way to do it, sooner rather than later so that these young men and women that are overtaking the sports entertainment world can get a slice of the pie.

Works Cited

  1. Eitzen, D. Stanley. ‘College Athletes Should Be Paid.’ Sports and Athletes, edited by James D. Torr, Greenhaven Press, 2005. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010233247/OVIC?u=nysl_ca_beth&xid=7c1470ed. Accessed 8 Mar. 2018. Originally published as ‘Slaves of Big-Time College Sports,’ USA

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