College athletes are some of the busiest people in the country, especially for their age. They must spend hours per day working at their sport and getting better at it while maintaining academic success. This situation for thousands across the country leads to the everlasting argument of whether or not these athletes should be compensated with money for the hard work they put in day in and day out. Though they do work harder than the average college student, paying them is simply a bad idea. They are already compensated in scholarships and opportunities, payment would rip the integrity from the college game, and the logistics behind the idea of paying the players are simply not there.
As a regular student myself, I fully understand just how rare it is to get a major scholarship to college and how useful it can be. When these student athletes are earning these scholarships, they are often times half-ride scholarships or even full for the best of the best. These scholarships are insanely valuable, especially for players going to an out of state school. These scholarships can save tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars total. Many argue that it is not fair to say the scholarships are enough compensation because often times the education is wasted as the athletes simply do not have all the time they need for school because they must spend it on their sport. It is true in fact that the average graduation rate for teams in March Madness in 2010 was only 43% (Best 8). However, this is simply due to a lack of motivation and logical thinking. These players are being offered scholarships for educations they would simply not have the opportunity to get if not for their talent in their sport. Many of the players simply do not try in school because they truly believe they will play in a professional league when in reality very few of them do. There are thousands of examples across the country of student athletes finding success in the classroom and going on to do amazing things after sports. For example, Gerald Ford, our former president, was and All-American center for the University of Michigan before going on to lead the free world. The players must realize that they are student athletes and that the student aspect of their lives should always come first.
There are many people in America that prefer college sports over professional sports because they see professional athletes “as overpaid, under-worked crybabies who behave like a bunch of spoiled first graders” (Marshall 10). In college, the attitude of the players is far different because they are all playing simply because they love their sport. While some do have professional hopes and play for a future check, about 90% of them are playing simply because they want to and this is what is so great about college sports. It is so easy to see the passion in the eyes of the players. It is a great example of the purity college sports really hold and it is essential to the amatuer game. If money becomes involved, players will pass up playing time on small teams for a bigger paycheck on teams that will have them sitting on the bench. This is a sacrifice that is sad to think about players making all because they want a little bit more money in their pocket.
If college athletes were to get paid, there are so many factors that would affect how it would work that it simply does not make sense to do it. Who would pay the players, their university or the NCAA? And if they were to get paid, where would the line be drawn? There are simply too many student athletes in the country to have each one get paid, so which of them would receive this compensation, only the ones that play for the big revenue sports like basketball and football? How much variation in the size of the paycheck would there be between an All-American and a backup? Simple questions are the ones that can make one realize that it is simply not logical to pay student athletes all across the country.
The argument of paying college athletes is one that will likely never end as each side has so many good points and it is simply too hard to make any change at any given time over a topic on such a grand scale. The NCAA does, however, always consider the idea as there is recent news of talks about adding a paycheck. While the NCAA may think about the idea, they must see the backlash it could cause on the players, teams, and sports as a whole if payment becomes involved with these young athletes. It is an idea that needs to be tucked away in order to preserve the sports and keep them as fun to watch as they always have been.
BestCollegesOnline.com. “14 Surprising Facts About Being a College Athlete.” BestCollegesOnline.com, 19 Jan. 2017, www.bestcollegesonline.com/blog/14-surprising-facts-about-being-a-college-athlete/.
Marshall, Blake, and The Daily Utah Chronicle. “Should Athletes Be Paid to Play?” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 20 Oct. 2016, college.usatoday.com/2016/10/20/should-athletes-be-paid-to-play/.
Image from: The Central Trend
Pay to Play? by Colin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.