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.
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. http://college.usatoday.com/2016/10/20/should-athletes-be-paid-to-play/. 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.