Should College Athletes be paid for Playing?
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Athletics at college has been and continues to be a billion dollars’ industry. Over the past few decades, college athletics have increased the ratings and gained popularity across the world. Regardless of the type of sport being played, college athletics became a source of big money and a revenue surplus to the Universities. Still, despite the fact that colleges generate huge revenue, the players are not compensated for playing.
According to the NCAA regulations, a person is not eligible to participate in any sport if they take pay or promise of pay for competing. This does not only sound unjust, but is actually an extremely complex problem when it comes to college students. Compensation of college athletes is not only a necessity because of the competition level or their talents, but it is also a way to encourage them to get their college degrees.
Not being valued as an athlete is the worst thing colleges can do to their students. Student athletes should be paid for playing since they are the biggest and perhaps even the only reason for the revenue surplus of the athletic programs. These athletes do not only do what they are good at and love doing. They also do a service to the college where they study.
The practice of many colleges worldwide is to boost the reputation and increase the revenue by using the talent and hard work of college athletes. In return, they do not compensate these athletes for their work. Considering that every athlete in the world is paid for playing, why won’t college students receive compensation too? After all, it is exactly these people who will become the future sport stars.
The people who are against paying college athletes state that these people are not professionals. They say that paying an amateur makes them professional athletes and college students are simply not that. But is this really true? With all the time students spend practicing their sports, are they less professional athletes than those of the minor league for baseball, for example? And is the payment for playing what makes an athlete a professional sports’ player?
College athletes are more likely to get a degree if they are compensated for playing. Giving people a boost is a proven method of motivating them to achieve more. Having to struggle with college expenses and partial scholarships is a heavy burden for someone who has to dedicate their time on the sports they are not being paid for. Not paying college athletes for their job is a sure way of taking away their motivation to finish the education. Being aware that you are amazing at something and seeing that people do not show appreciation for your effort is frustrating. Right now, more and more athletes leave college early to move to the pros, where they will be paid.
Due to the unfair treatment of college athletes, the black market started to bloom. Right now, boosters take advantage of the poor status of talented players and pay them to go to their Universities. They offer them money in exchange of their talent and students accept because they live a poor and difficult life.
An example of such situation can be found in the case of Reggie Bush. This person was paid by boosters of the black market with the purpose of making him attend the USC. This violated the regulations of NCAA, but the athlete needed the money to aid his mother in paying the rent in Pasadena. Agreeing to take money from the boosters was illegal, but was still the only move Bush could have made to get out of the crisis he shouldn’t have been in in the first place.
Many freshmen in college spend one year and move to the professional leagues to earn money. This is not something students do because they do not want to finish their college education. Athletes often move to professional leagues because they need the money. By allowing this to happen, colleges lose the importance of education of athletes. The sole fact that they are aware of this happening and continue seeing college athletes as amateurs means that they somewhat support them leaving to the professional league before getting their degree.
Playing sports and doing it well is a talent and a trait and paying these people may seem unjust to the other students. Surely, every individual has their own talents, but not compensating such athletes carries many more disadvantages than paying them. The biggest reason why this should be considered is the fact that the majority of amazing athletes are currently being paid by the black market. This is illegal, but unfortunately true.
An advantage of giving athletes a scholarship has been introduced as a middle ground for this problem. However, such scholarships almost never cover the students’ expenses and there are plenty of students nowadays that are not only are deprived of compensation, but also cannot afford to bring their family and friends to the games. Talented students may enjoy publicity and admiration from people, but many college athletes right now are very close to being poor.
NCAA regulations forbid universities to pay their athletes. Additionally, they exploit the athletes and forbid them to receive the money they actually deserve. Understanding that paying a college athlete will boost their confidence and motivate them to finish the education is a change that needs to be implemented. Additionally, paying athletes for playing keeps the competition in college athletic on a steady level.