The NCAA should pay their players

NCAA players have to practice tirelessly to try and become the best at what they do. In addition to practicing for ridiculous amounts of time, they’re expected to pass their classes and often work a job. Only a few people can do this well, with many choosing to do simple classes or just barely pass. A few might end up in the pros where they’ll probably waste all their money in 10 years.  This should be fixed by paying the players a portion of the money that they bring in for their school, but this doesn’t happen because of a few poorly thought out rules.

The maximum number of hours a player is required to practice in a week is 20 hours according to NCAA rules. This would seem reasonable if that’s what most players did, but the vast majority practice much more. According to an NCAA survey, players practice around 40 hours a week on average. One excuse people often use to justify not paying athletes is to say that players get paid through scholarships. Then they would just have to worry about school and practice, but it’s unrealistic to think that scholarships are enough. The small check that they get with their scholarship is only $2000-$5000, which is a difficult salary to live by (Walch 4). Even if the scholarship is covering around $40000 a year in paying for college, it would still be severely underpaying the student. The average D1 basketball player is worth around triple that much(Walch 10). An increase to around $15000 would at least let them quit their full-time jobs and focus on school. Many of these players will need a real degree in the future and can’t afford to just take fake classes in hope of getting an easy A. Since the reality is that only a few of these students will make the NBA, the rest will need that degree.

Many people join the draft after playing just one or two years of college basketball because the money is just too tempting. Compensation for playing in college could make this money seem a lot less tempting. According to journalist Malcolm Lemmons, a large percentage of these college players come from impoverished areas and have families that could use the player’s help(Lemmons 7). Joining the NBA would solve these financial problems almost instantaneously, so it’s not too surprising that athletes dismiss the educational part of college. But this often comes to hurt them in the long term as many have no idea how to manage money or make investments. Numerous athletes don’t stay in the NBA for too long due to unexpected injuries or a simple lack of growth. These players who end up buying there mom and dad a $600000 house out of their first paycheck or spend thousands on cars and jewelry end up broke very quickly.

Professional athletes make insane amounts of money, but their careers on average only last about 5 years(Gaines 1). The small amount of money left after many expenditures is often invested in businesses that they hardly know anything about. Sometimes this might work out, but other times it ends with them in bankruptcy. A solid education could help them run a business better or at least invest better. Even if they waste away their money, they could still get a quality job of their degree. A common argument against paying college athletes is that they would spend their paychecks irresponsibly, but I think it would be best for them to start learning about money management in college. Then they could at least be prepared for real life, where you might not get a second chance.

Not all colleges play by the rules, some disobey the rules that say they can’t pay athletes. Charles Barkley is one of the greatest power forwards to ever live and is also a major advocate for paying college athletes. He once openly admitted that agents from Auburn University paid him about $20000, so he could stay in the college for longer(Sinor 6). These kind of acts were common at the time and have gotten increasingly rare, but it still most certainly happens. Some players are put in advantageous positions over their peers who deserve the money just as much as they do. This could also greatly impact which college the player may go to. Even if one college is better and is what the athlete is looking for, a worse college that’s offering to pay would all of a sudden look much better. If a payment was included for all the athletes, this outside influence would be taken away and all players would be on even ground. The only thing stopping this is the NCAA and their ignorance.

The NCAA has numerous athletes when compared to the NBA and it’s 30 teams. So the  wages between the two should be nowhere close, but both deserve to get wages. They practice countless hours to try and achieve their dreams of making the big leagues. It’s a personal choice and a difficult one, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve a second chance. If the NBA doesn’t work out, their degree should always be there as a backup. To give them a realistic chance of getting a degree or surviving life after the NBA, they need some education and experience. These wages would give them this chance.



Work Cited

Sinor, Wesley. “Charles Barkley: ‘I got some cash from agents’ at Auburn.” AL, 5 September.   


Accessed 1 Nov. 2017.


Walch, Jared. “Should athletes be paid to play?” USA TODAY COLLEGE, 20 October. 2016. Accessed 1 Nov. 2017.  


Lemmons, Malcolm. “ College Athletes Getting Paid? Here Are Some Pros And Cons.” HUFFPOST,  29 March. 2017.

ons_us_58cfcee0e4b07112b6472f9a. Accessed 1 Nov. 2017.


Gaines, Corck. “The Average NBA Player Will Make A Lot More In His Career Than The Other Major Sports.” BUSINESS INSIDER, 10 October. 2013.

career-than-the-other-major-sports-2013-10. Accessed 1 Nov. 2017.


image_printPrint this page.


0 0 votes
Rate This Post
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
January 18, 2019 6:55 pm

After reading your post I think college players should get paid because half of them end of broke after college due to the lack of education.

November 13, 2017 7:01 am

Hi, Nishan-

I thought this was a very insightful post. Your argument was very structured, and I thought that was very great in articulating your points on why college basketball players should be paid by the NCAA. I don’t think that it’s a good thing at all that all of this talent is still leading people with such a wide potential to eventually end up broke. It is even more difficult with how competitive athletics as well as academics are these days. It seems like people to pick one or the other if they want to be successful, and challenges in maintaining both is growing harder. That would make sense that college basketball players do not end up in a very good place much of the time because of the lack of education. Although, I think that a lot of questions would be raised on how to handle the new money circulating among these college players. I think it would be controversial, but your argument addresses it head-on. I think this is a good topic, and I hope to hear more from you on this.

Thank you,
Sophia Gross

November 13, 2017 5:25 am

Hi Nishan,
As Colin says in a previous comment the NCAA uses a logic that says that this is a can of worms that they can’t deal with. However it is a problem that needs to be addressed because if we don’t it will never change. The NCAA addresses a lot of problems very quickly regarding format in the games and try to make it the best possible product that they can, and it seems that the better product would be if these kids stayed in school and learned the game more. They would have the incentive to do so if they get paid as you state.

November 13, 2017 1:57 am

Hi Nishan-
I found your post very intriguing and well written. However, I do not necesarily agree with you. While college level basketball players, along with other collegiate athletes are extremely talented, I do not think that they are subject to pay. Ultimately I believe that if you are to be paid for your athletci ability you should be an athlete of professional status. If collegiate athletes were to be paid (other than their scholarships, etc) it would be unfair to the other non- sports playing students attending the university. Just because these athletes have athletic talent does not mean that they should receive a financial reward while representing their college/university.

November 9, 2017 7:13 pm

You did a great job on this essay. It is well written, and informative. Your points about athletes not having enough time for all of their responsibilities makes sense, and is an important factor to think about. The only problem I have is if they paid those athletes, it would open up the flood gates of complaints from all other teams wanting monetary compensation for their time on a team. I also think that covering for the personal choices of college athletes wouldn’t help them grow in maturity or understanding of the outside world.

November 9, 2017 5:09 pm

Hey Nishan, I respectfully disagree with your opinion. While it is true that college athletes of major sports (i.e. basketball and football) bring in a lot of money to schools, the amount that schools could pay would most likely not be a set figure. Because of this, it is possible that the amount of money that colleges could pay athletes could influence where athletes choose to go. Furthermore, most colleges cannot afford to pay athletes. In fact, the NCAA reported that only 14 colleges in the united states report turning a profit off of college athletics per year. So yeah. I do actually think that college athletes should be paid, but it doesn’t seem feasible.

November 9, 2017 3:57 pm

Nishan, great post and well formatted writing. I can tell that you thought a lot about the subject and your opinion carries a lot of valid points. I think a major thing to consider is the rest of the NCAA. I understand that your argument is only for college basketball players, but I feel that it also must be mentioned that if basketball players were to start getting paid by the NCAA or their teams, it would make things very complicated with all the other college sports and whether or not those athletes get paid as well. It is very unfortunate how often players end up broke after they get out of college due to a lack of education. It seems like it is in large part due to the irresponsibility of the players themselves and it is a mindset and an overall culture that needs to be changed.

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


Email Call or Text 917-612-3006

Missions on Youth Voices
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account