Should College Athletes be paid? 

By PJ Chandra

Well, America. You voted. Fifty-three percent of you believe American colleges should pay their athletes, while 47% oppose legislation that would allow compensation for athletes in school. Almost 100 people voted yes in an Instagram survey and 87 people voted no to the question, “Should College Athletes be paid?” 

Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom passed a law that would go into effect to compensate college athletes beginning in 2023. 

 

Disclosure: We here at The Move like to remain unbiased about certain controversial opinions (sometimes we will throw in our opinions: Yes, Tom Brady is the GOAT), but for an important topic like this, we present both sides. 

 

Pros of Paying College Athletes

1. Everyone in college sports is making money except the athletes!

The LOWEST paid football coach in the South Eastern Conference makes 1 million dollars and the workload is taxing. The typical Division I college football player devotes 43.3 hours per week to his sport, approximately 3.3 hours more than the average workweek. During the 2017 fiscal year, the NCAA profited 1.1 billion dollars and how much did the athletes get paid…? Zip. Zero. Nada. 

2. College athletes should be able to profit off jerseys and merchandise. 

Imagine where almost the entire country knows who you are because you made a spectacular last-second game-winning shot to win the national championship. People want to meet you, take pictures, get your autographs, and you (living in a capitalist society) want to make money off this before your 15 minutes of fame are up. However, there is a stupid law that says that you cannot because it goes against professionalism. As Eshan Aravind describes it, “they should get money for merchandise sales and royalties because they deserve to have their name and brand out there.”

3. Even if you don’t want to pay them in cash, they can still be compensated…

People say, “pay college athletes!” However, sometimes there are specifics that are lacking when discussing this topic. Charles Veraza believes that players can be paid in other ways rather than cash, like through endorsements, deals, and as aforementioned: jersey sales and autographs, even though there is over 1 billion dollars in profit each year from the NCAA. If they don’t want to pay cash, there are other ways they can advertise and brand their athletes to allow them to make compensation.

 

Cons of Paying College Athletes

  1. They already get room and board…

    1. Room. Board. Tuition. Food. Nice facilities. Good doctors. Amazing treatment. And on top of that people think they should be paid more than students who work just as hard for academics? That’s just laughable. College athletes already get recognition, the chance to market themselves to the public with their excellent athleticism and paying them would cost taxpayers and hurt smaller schools as well. 

  2. Who gets paid? How much? How often? Does this eliminate the line between amateur and professional sports?

    1. When we think college sports, most people think about college football (Alabama and Clemson as the top two teams) and college basketball (Duke, Villanova, and Gonzaga are generally the top teams), and you think “of course we should pay those athletes they’re always on ESPN, FS1, and always in the news.” Well, hello? There’s more than just two sports! What about women’s softball? Men’s water polo? Women’s field hockey? Men’s fencing? There are other sports and often times people just say, “oh just pay them the revenue they make,” but then there are costs that have to be taken into account, including paying the employees, facility maintenance, and more, it adds up. 

  3. College Athletes aren’t that special

    1. As Sara Shelton says, “The majority of college athletes that graduate don’t even make it to professionals.” It’s a valid point. Why would you pay someone when they aren’t that good at their job and also why not pay the mock trial team (future lawyers), certain STEM teams, and other clubs if they bring in revenue to the school. If you start to pay college athletes, then other programs that bring in revenue will start to complain, and not only that, but cuts will have to be made to certain programs. 

 

All in all, paying college athletes is a very divisive topic that goes deeper than just the simple issue of “should we pay college athletes?” However, America is split on the topic and something tells me this issue and this hot button issue won’t go away for a while. 

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