College Athletes Should Get Paid
Colleges harvest billions of dollars from student athletes but deny them from their rightful earnings. The NCAA made over $1 billion in revenue in 2017. That money gets returned to member schools, to fund their sports programs and lavish facilities, and give outrageous salaries for head coaches and administrators.
But these athletes are not compensated for the use of their name, image or likeness by athletic apparel companies like Nike or Under Armour. Universities with top teams can scrape in nearly $20 million a year from these companies, while athletes whose talent attracts these sponsorships walk away with not a single penny. It’s only fair that these athletes should at least get some pay for bringing on the fame upon them and their university’s team.
Not every student athlete qualifies for a scholarship. Many have to pay full freight of the tuition and living expenses. Paying college athletes can encourage healthier student athletes. It would relieve them of the burden of maintaining part-time jobs to make ends meet. It would allow them to focus on academics and athletics. They engage in athletics for other intangible advantages. Offering these athletes a stipend for playing would be an added incentive. As non-employees, they’re not eligible for workers compensation if injured. Paying them would provide some financial relief to families.
Athletes who aren’t paid can be corrupted by agents and boosters who are willing to bribe them to play for other schools. Paid players could stay until they graduate. They wouldn’t have to worry about leaving school early and still be able to pursue an education while taking care of their families. This will allow fans to see their favorite players mature through college and ensure coaches are preparing their athletes as much as possible for the next level.
These athletes are bringing in incredible and insane amounts of revenue to these schools. Anybody else associated with the college who did so would be compensated with a salary, a commission, and a bonus. What makes these athletes different? We allow these athletes to put their bodies at serious risk for the glory of the school with very little chance it will get them to professional sports. Don’t we owe them some kind of insurance for all that risk? We expect these athletes to show their loyalty to their alma maters but cut them the minute they can’t play or they find someone better. Not playing them is just another way to disrespect them.