Should the NCAA Pay College Athletic Students

A topic of much hot debate is should the players that work themselves tirelessly every season should they be paid. The NCAA rakes in billions for football playoffs and march madness but none of the players get any cuts of it, even though they’re the ones competing in it. Athletes are the sole reason people watch, their the money makers in this business. However athletes are so limited, not even allowed to take sponsorships from other programs or companies. The NCAA crackdowns on players and teams paying them, such as the FBI investigation on teams paying players to recruit them. Rewarding players and coaches with suspensions, even firing coaches and taking their playoff wins. That’s why the NCAA should be required to pay the college athletes since they dedicate their so much. Or at least support the players taking sponsorship from other companies. The first reason the players give everything to their season and team.

It’s no secret that sports is a risky business health wise. It’s no guarantee that the players will be healthy and not injured or hurt throughout their playing time. One of the most gruesome and rememberable injuries sustained by a player in college ever, has to be a player named Kevin Ware. He attempts to jump and contest a shot he faltered and landed wrong and snapped his leg in half, his leg literally hanging off the bone. Within, six months of recovery he began playing again. It’s a miracle at the least he was able to play again. Dangerous injuries like this always have plagued sports. Kevin was lucky, other players aren’t always this fortunate, plenty of instances of permanent injuries like being paralyzed, or brain damage have occurred.(Patterson, SmartAsset.com) Every game athletes play, they risk their bodies for the sake of their team and winning. Too often they’re hurt and aren’t the same player as before and for what? A slim chance of making the big leagues, it’s ridiculously sad to see college youth future altered from injury, and they get nothing for it in return. Next, a hand on testimony from an all-time NBA great.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an NBA great at the center position. He leads the NBA in all-time scoring, he has many awards solidifying his greatness, and legacy. But, before he got to the NBA he had to go to college at UCLA for a year. He recounts as it being like a full time job. Seven-days-a-week type job, intense practices, traveling all over the country playing high class talent. His team’s efforts and success lead to the university gaining millions of dollars for spending on new recruiting advertisement and overall more money for the school. Due to the intensive work and time put into the season, the players were dirt poor, barely scraping by.

Along with the fact they had even less time to focus on their classes, meaning the players schedule was filled to the absolute max every day. With the academic scholarship money received they were not even allowed to work during the school year, advocating for a focus on school but, punishing the students socially and economically. Not to mention if the players were fortunate enough to sustain a bad injury their scholarships were taken and revoked from the players. Top coaches make anywhere from 4 to 9 million dollars a year. The school has the money available, they make more than enough throughout the year. (Abdul-Jabbar TheGuardian.com) Paying athletes prepares them for financial security in the future.

With paying college athletes the universities can offer financial help and management which is very necessary for the youth and their future success in life. Learning this valuable lesson early in life will set up the students with a much better future since they now know about what to do with their earnings. A recent report came from ESPN shedding light on the financial woes many professional athletes face. Noting around 60 percent of NBA players go broke after five years of retirement. Many blame poor investments, trusting unethical financial advisors, and lavish spending habits as reasons leading to where they are now. If universities were to begin to pay their players, this could start a much needed change and address how to build a foundation of financial literacy. This would allow the schools to help these students to meet financial advisors who have their best interest in mind. Even if the players never go on to the pro leagues they would have at least some financial literacy to carry with them into their lives. Something colleges already say that they want to instill key values like that into students lives. Now, to address key counter arguments against this idea.

One of the most potent arguments against to idea of paying athletes, is that the students are already being paid via scholarships. Over four years the athletes getting free living and free education, all they have to do is play their sport. That’s a rough average of $27,000 per year per student. Another argument is if top athletes get paid every college must pay every athlete playing, and colleges just can’t afford to do that.(Lennox, Niacc.edu) It’s a good argument the problem is as stated earlier the colleges make enough money off the player already. Not to mention the tuition money from the tens of thousands of students there. Also no one’s asking to pay the students millions just something to keep them afloat while they play. The better you are the more you deserve, almost like a reward system.

In the end it’s a long shot idea but, one the athletes deserve. It’s not perfect and it will have problems that will need to be addressed however, it can be handled, and bettered for the future. With the amount of money colleges bring in it’s not a stretch that paying athletes can happen. The athletes risk their health and future every season they participate. That’s why the NCAA should be required to pay the college athletes since they dedicate their so much. A better reality for a better college experience.

Work Cited

  1. Patterson, Tiffany, and Tiffany Patterson. “Should College Athletes Be Paid?” SmartAsset, SmartAsset, 20 Sept. 2018, smartasset.com/retirement/should-student-athletes-be-paid.
  2. Lennox, Kevin. “College Athletes Should Not Get Paid.” Logos Lite, Feb. 2017, www.niacc.edu/logoslite/2017/02/14/college-athletes-should-not-get-paid/.
  3. Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem. “It’s Time to Pay the Tab for America’s College Athletes | Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 9 Jan. 2018, www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/jan/09/its-time-to-pay-the-tab-for-americas-college-athletes.