Debate over Whether the NCAA Should Pay College Athletic Students

Imagine playing for one of the largest revenue sports leagues in the world and not receive any pay for their actions on the field. The argument has been fought over for a long time whether college athletes are entitled to payment for their participation in their sport. While collegiate athletes receive scholarships for their education and the chance to play at the next level, they are not able to be legally paid for their work on the field, they deserve to be paid for their participation. Sports are one of the biggest revenue providers for the school and it all comes down to the athletes that are playing for that school in the sport. Numerous collegiate athletes have been exploited for many years for their image and name for the televised markets while not receiving any compensation for the revenue schools are making.

Many of these students are those who spend their time practicing for their team are amounting to time like a full-time job on top of schoolwork. While the NCAA has declared to never allow athletes to be paid, many of these athletes should be compensated for the amount of revenue these student-athletes bring into the colleges for their actions on the field for major motion television deals, the collegiate players revenue brought for their image and likeness through profiling, and the time and dedication athletes spend working on their craft.

Collegiate athletes deserve to be properly compensated for the amount of money they bring into their prospective school and the amount of money their school makes with the television and marketing deals made for the team. “The NCAA makes over one billion dollars in revenue, most from Men’s Division 1 Basketball Tournament through ticket sales and television contracts, as well as Football and many other sports” (Bertolas 1). This statement shows the monetary gain colleges make from lucrative deals for showcasing the athletes performance on national television.

The athletes should receive some compensation from their performance in these big tournament games. Some colleges such as the Power 5 schools, such as ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, and Big 12 have racked in some serious cash. Jeremy Bauer-Wolf states that these power 5 schools, ”Revenue among the Power 5 conferences in the NCAA — the wealthiest and most influential — increased from $570 million in 2005 to $2.1 billion in 2015”(Bauer-Wolf 1). This statistic shows that there was more than a 368% revenue increase during this 10 year period of the power 5 schools. Colleges should be able to compensate their players because they have a huge surplus of money brought in from their conference payouts and be able to pay each of their players accordingly. These colleges should have no problem splitting the revenue equally between all the conference schools and also paying each of the student-athletes a proper amount.

Adding to the huge revenue streams of money made by these schools, there is also an astounding amount of money brought into these schools by their major television and filming deals made. One statement by Richard Dox states that, ”The futility of the NCAA’s efforts is evidenced by the $ 1 billion dollar television contract between CBS and the NCAA.’ as well as the $38 million contract Notre Dame University signed with NBC, which granted NBC the exclusive right to televise all of the school’s home games for a period of five years”. This statement shows how much money colleges are making due to their student-athletes game performance, resulting in companies wanting to invest in the college. With the money the colleges are taking in from the player’s performances on the field from major television deals, the players should be compensated for their image as this also increases the exposure of an athletes name for marketing purposes.

Colleges are profiting off the name and likeness of these athletes been shown to bring in a lot of students and money into the colleges. Big sports win from a school can create a huge following of students enrollees from events such as a Heisman trophy winner from the particular school Boston College. Madison Martinez points out that out from Boston College in 1984, ”Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie; he won the Heisman Trophy in 1984, and the College’s admissions rose significantly in subsequent years”. This statement by Martinez shows when Doug Flutie won the Heisman, this prompted many students to follow the path and enroll into Boston College, therefore increasing the number of admissions through a big sporting event caused by a student-athlete. Ryan Vanderford states that some college athletes, such as the University of Texas football team, can be worth a lot of money; ”a college football player at the University of Texas is worth, on average, $578,000, which is more than fifteen times the amount the University of Texas actually spends on each football player at the school ($37,000)“ (1). This statement shows that student-athletes inside the college level are worth more than half-a-million dollars to a university and should be paid for their actions.

Colleges should acknowledge the amount of money these athletes are worth and while they are already dedicating slightly under $40,000 while their player is worth a lot more. Jordan Spieth has also shown that while he might be a college athlete, he is very valuable inside the real world market. “less than a month later” (Gerri 112), where Spieth had left the University of Texas to go pro, Spieth had accumulated many big promotional deals with companies such as, ”AT&T, Titleist, Rolex, Perfect Sense, NetJets, and Superstroke to use his image to sell and promote products, all of which netted him a reported $20 million per year”(Gerrie 112). This example means that some of these very well known college athletes are worth a lot of money while they still attending college. The athlete’s name and image may be worth a lot while they are in college, however, this is also a product of the amount of time these athletes spend on practicing and spending time at events for long hours while not getting paid.

Athletes deserve to be paid since they are dedicating an insane amount of time and commitment to their respective sport a week and have very little to no extra time to work a job. As time goes on, athletes are now getting faster, stronger, and smarter onto the ways to improves oneself to become at the top of their competition and to do that it takes a lot of time. College athletes are attending their college to get degrees, may choose to play a sport but while homework might amount to a lot of time, athletics amount to even more.

According to David Ridpath, he states that many schools have spent way above the 20-hour maximum time administered to a sport, “average NCAA Division 1 athlete reports spending an average of 34 hours per week on athletically related activities, with FBS football players reporting an average of 39 hours plus per week”. This statement explains how much time Division 1 Athletes in college spend on average, per week dedicated to their sport. An amount of 34-39 hours per week is very close to having a full-time job, where that is 40 hours per week. With all of this time devoted to a sport, an athlete will have very little to no time to be able to have a job, therefore collegiate athletes should be paid for their time commitment to a sport to help support themselves.

The time athletes devote to their sport is unparallel to the amount of money dedicated to them. Throughout their time spent from day to day, they have very little time spent to have a job, “student-athletes do not have much time to receive compensation through employment opportunities” (Grimmet 825). While spending all of this time towards their sport, one small injury or issue may have their athletic scholarship removed in the blink of an eye, “ their scholarship can be rescinded at any time, without cause” (Grimmet 825). This statement shows that while student-athletes spend all of this time on their sport, they are not guaranteed a full year worth of scholarship money. Therefore the NCAA shall issue out payments to these players for their commitment so that if they are left out on scholarship they may be able to support themselves.

It is often argued that collegiate athletes do not deserve to be paid because of the amount of money these athletes may receive through the form of a scholarship. College athletes may receive an athletic scholarship based their skills and achievements throughout high school. According to Kevin Lennox, some scholarships schools give out to prospective student-athletes may range, ‘depending on redshirts and injuries, of tuition free living. That is an average of $27,000 a year”. This statement means that through the distribution of scholarships to players, they are receiving an astounding amount of money per year for playing their sport, add all of the scholarship money given over the course of four years and this can amount to over $100,000 dollars.

This amount of money is a clear point on why college athletes do not need to be paid because each player who attends a university will receive this astonishing amount of money directly towards their college costs of attending. However, scholarships are not all the collegiate athletes need to be able to survive throughout their college years. Collegiate athletes dedicate most of their time to their sports and need to be able to have spending money to fuel their basic needs, therefore, should be paid for their actions on the field to help support themselves. According to Tyson Hartnett, Having the NCAA pay athletes would allow athletes to learn how to manage money and further prepare themselves for life after college, “If each athlete got $2,000 paid over the course of the semester, this would give them some spending cash and an opportunity to start managing their money”(Hartnett 1). This means that with collegiate athletes receiving stipends for their sport, they would not only be able to support themselves financially but also be able to create money managing skills. Thus, creating a program where the NCAA pays athletes will create not only a better lifestyle for the player on supporting oneself, and also educate the athletes about money management. On the other hand about why the athletes deserve to be paid for their time commitment, the amount of money dedicated to these players seems adequate enough.

These are many points why the NCAA should rethink their current laws and create an environment where student-athletes are allowed to be paid for their participation in their sport. College sports have strayed away from just being sports and now are mostly about the business side where college sports is all about to the amount of money that comes in, where the athletes are the main source for these major money deals and still do not receive any compensation from those deals. The NCAA has also developed a way to profit off the names and likeness of popular athletes through apparel and market deals, the athletes are not receiving a share of the profits.

Also, the number of time athletes spend dedicated to their sport has provided a great point for the athletes needing a pay. There are many very influencing point for why collegiate athletes should be paid for their actions such as major motion television deals the colleges make based on the athlete’s performances, athletes should be compensated for the college sports large athlete apparel market, and the amount of commitment the athletes spend on their sport during a week makes clear why the NCAA should start to allow players to be paid.