Should College Athletes Be Paid?

—Josiah Huband, Staff Writer—


For years, there has been debate on whether college athletes should receive pay while playing in college or not. Many fans believe that they are lucky to even attend such prestigious universities while others believe that they should receive compensation just like professionals. There have been lawsuits in the past where people have sued the NCAA for using their images without reimbursing them with the revenue gained. In most of these lawsuits, the athletes won, so why are we not paying our athletes?

Why We Should:

College athletes can come from any area of the company, and these areas are not always the best places to live. At times, athletes come from poor families and are only able to get into school because of scholarships from their athletic abilities. In this sense, paying college athletes can be a positive thing because it allows them to support their families. If the NCAA paid their players it could also encourage them to stay longer. In the era of the “one and done,” players are coming to school for one or two seasons and leaving to go and play professionally. Players leave because they come into school because it is required, not because they want to. By rule, a player can not enter the NBA before the age of 19. This leaves a layoff year between high school and draft eligibility that players have no choice but to use playing in college. They want to make money, and if they have the talent to get drafted, then they surely are not going to use their time learning in school. However, if colleges paid athletes, students might stay an extra one or two years to raise their draft stocks. This would allow the NCAA to gain more money off the players and it would help the student by giving them more of an education. Despite the pros of paying college athletes, they are still not being paid. What is keeping them from being reimbursed?

Shabazz Napier
Photo courtesy of Getty Images


Why We Shouldn’t:

Although there are many reasons why it seems logical to pay college athletes, there are also reasons why they should not receive compensation. One of those reasons is their age. We have to remember that these athletes and those that are professional have a great difference in age. Most athletes still in school are young adults between the age of 18 and 24. It takes great responsibility to be able to handle the amount of money made by professional athletes. This responsibility comes with age, and college athletes are not mature enough to handle this responsibility yet. Another disadvantage is that it might result in the athletes not going to class at all. Although payment could promote the athletes to take advantage of their free education, it could just as easily make them stop trying. Many professional prospects only use college as a stepping stone, so they don’t want to go to class anyway. Payment will take away any incentive they have to do well, so it would be extremely risky to pay them. Also, how would the NCAA determine how much to pay them individually? Would the athletes all receive the same pay? If so, this means a walk on would receive the same amount of pay as a top level prospect. If a starter at the professional level received the same pay as a third or fourth string player, it would not be considered fair, so how could it be fair at the college level?

NCAA photo
Photo courtesy of Getty Images


Despite the advantages of paying athletes, the NCAA has decided that the disadvantages. Athletes feel that they are being used unfairly because their schools and the NCAA are making money off of their performance, but they still do not receive payment for their hard work. They will continue to try and receive compensation for their performances in the future.