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, mostly from apparel companies. That money is sent to member schools, to fund their sports programs and lavish facilities, and give outrageous salaries for head coaches and administrators.
But these individual athletes are not compensated for the use of their name, image or likeness by their colleges and 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 who don’t have a scholarship 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. 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.
The N.C.A.A. is considering changes after California state lawmakers passed a bill that allows athletes to profit from their fame. The vote was a surprising turn by the N.C.A.A., which for years has resisted calls for athletes to be compensated for the use of their names, images and likenesses. A class-action lawsuit has been filed arguing that athletes should be paid like employees. Trey Johnson, a former Villanova defensive back who is playing in the Canadian Football League, is suing the N.C.A.A. and many of its member schools, accusing them of violating minimum-wage laws by refusing to pay their athletes. Trey Johnson, a former Villanova defensive back, is suing the N.C.A.A. and many of its member schools, accusing them of violating minimum-wage laws by refusing to pay their athletes. Johnson suggests that the N.C.A.A. should pay its student athletes the basic minimum wage as required by federal law. He stated that they pay the students who tear the tickets and sell popcorn at our games. The least that the N.C.A.A. can do for those who bring so much money to the N.C.A.A. and its schools would be to pay them the minimum wage.