Op Ed Draft- kraemercali

It has been a long going discussion, with many people advocating for it and others refuting any argument made in favor of it. There is no question about it, and as times are changing the reality is striking many people in control of the matter. College athletes should be compensated for the use of their renown popularity. The profits involved with college athletics is greater than ever, so those bringing in such high revenue are deserving of their fair share. Modernization of the NCAA is eminent, and student athletes just got the vote to profit off of their own image and likeliness. 

The truth behind the matter is that the likeliness of student athletes is what makes universities their money and college athletes across the country are feeling as if they are being deprived of what they deserve due to their talents. Governor Gavin Newsom of California signed a piece of legislation that allows college athletes to now profit in the state. Other states began to follow. The vote to move away from the tradition of the school making all the money off of student athletes images was unanimous and will be put in place no later than January 2021. Of course there will be detailed guidelines of how students may profit, and they are not yet clarified by the NCAA. Claiming that such guidelines must remain “consistent with the values of college sports within higher education.”

“Just treat athletes like others on campus.” This quote is denoting of athletes and I couldn’t disagree more. Being a student athlete, and former division 1 athlete, the responsibilities that come along with that title are far more enduring than the eye of an outsider can see. It involves early mornings (earlier than your 8am in college) and long nights of study hall. During the day you bounce around from class and practice, and try to find a half hour to nap or eat. So treating athletes like “others on campus” just simply is not feasible.

The Bath- Dole Act signed by Jimmy Carter, allows universities to basically have their share of profits resulting from federal funding for research. Roger Pielke Jr., the author of an article in favor of this discussion, is trying to adopt this model into athletics, having the revenue of an athlete split three ways between athlete, athletic department, and campus. This could work if it was fairly split because if not, a whole other problem would be created of athletes not getting their fair share of profit. “The name and image and likeness of student-athletes belongs to them, and they should have the right to earn dollars based on that,” Pritzker said. Pritzker, being the governor of Illinois, had passed legislation previously that was in favor of students profiting from their image and likeliness. The NCAA unanimously voting for the act is a huge step in favor of these athletes that have been fighting for such compensation.

Another argument in this discussion is the idea that college athletes are amateurs and paying them would make them paid professionals. Cody J. McDavis claims in his article that “paying students to play would ruin college sports.” He claims that it would distort the economics of college sports that could damage the school legacy. He also say the big time collegiate sports programs would pay extreme amounts for specific athletes, while other colleges would get caught fitting other schools for athletes they can’t afford. However I have to disagree with Mr. McDavis on the simple fact that the student athletes would not be paid upfront to pick the school who “bid” the highest on them. They would actually be getting paid part of the revenue the team or the individual athlete brings in. Of course there must be many guidelines set in order for this procedure to work, but they wouldn’t just be handed a hunk of cash to sign to the University of Alabama over Michigan State. The athlete’s notoriety brings people to the games, has people buying merchandise, and increases the schools overall revenue, so yes, they should in fact be compensated for their help in the money making department.

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