The Benefits of Paying College Athletes

Are you a super skilled athlete? Have you received offers from colleges of your liking? Well if this is you and your planning on playing your beloved sport in college, get ready for all pain and no gain. You’ll be spending the next 4 years making millions (for your school that is.) The average college athlete spends about 44.8 hours on their particular sport. This includes practices, games and training. This is all white maintaining the grades they need to pass their classes as well as to play.

With all this time spent on their sport there is no room for a job to earn money. These athletes spend all their time dedicated to their sport, so there is no room for a job to earn extra money. The athletes make millions of dollars for their school and see none of it. Currently there are people who believe that it is time for these students to start getting paid along with people who think otherwise.

I believe it is important for college athletes to be paid because they are essentially giving their mind, soul, and body to their school and team for the benefit of everyone else. According to Marc Tracy, a traditional scholarship accounts for the financial demands of additional activities like traveling home and back and paying cell phone bills, but most of the time this is not enough.

College athletes are probably the closest thing to being poor while attending school not only athletes but students in general. If students who don’t play sports and have extra time to go out and find something to do to earn money and are still poor, then it would seem as it would be especially hard for athletes who spend the majority of their time on their sport and the other half doing school work.

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Playing a sport comes along with taking care of your body such as working out on your personal time and eating right. Before now students had to pay for their own food and clothes so you would have students who aren’t eating or are eating poorly. This can affect how the athlete plays and their future o the team. While this is mainly a personal problem that the athlete should think about it would help if they had the right resources to be able to make the correct decisions. Most people feel that athletes should be paid at least a small amount of compensation because it would be to their benefit. Others feel as that college athletes are already having their school paid for so that’s all that they need when actually they need more. Michael McPherson is one of those who feel that college athletes should not be paid.

“Moreover, as long as the premise holds that these young men and women are students, not employees, colleges don’t have to pay even the most promising of these athletes the amounts of money that begin to approach their economic value.” He also states that pro teams would have to spend much more money investing in the development of the high-school athletes ready to play in the pros. Also while athletes are playing in college pro leagues get to watch the player for two years before they make the decision to take a player in. “Paying student-athletes would provide athletes an incentive to stay in school and complete their degree programs, instead of leaving early for the professional leagues”. If athletes are paid to play, not only can they cover some of their college expenses that scholarships couldn’t cover, but also now they will want to finish their education. “NCAA prides itself on all student-athletes are students first and athletes second, however, it seems that more popular athletes leave early for the pros. In college basketball, many freshman stars are referred to as “one and done” players as they complete one year of college and go to the professional leagues early, as they want money and need it as soon as possible.”

While it may seem odd and uniust to pay college athletes, the reality is that compensation of such athletes is a necessity not only to keep competition at a steady level in college athletics, but also to encourage students to graduate and get their college degrees. The truth of the matter is that many college athletes are already being paid under the table which creates a black-market that is not only illegal, but is also unfair to universities that abide by NCAA regulations. Universities are exploiting these students and allowing them not to receive any revenue that they clearly earned. Another argument that supports paying college athletes, is that these “full-ride” scholarships given to the best athletes do not actually cover all their expenses. Many athletes still can’t afford to have their parents come to the stadium and watch the games. For example, in 2010, “Duke basketball players were valued at $1,025,656 while (the players were] living just $732 above the poverty line and a scholarship shortfall of $1,995” (“The Price of Poverty in Big Time College Sports”).

With all of the respect and publicity of these athletes, it goes unnoticed that a great deal of the players live very near to the poverty line. Due to this lack of money, black-markets are created. Here, boosters that represent the University give these players’ cars, spending money, or anything they truly want, and in return, these players go to their respective University. Defining College athletes as amateurs creates another problem in addition to not being paid by the University: athletes can’t promote themselves. The NCAA states “student-athletes shall be amateurs…and should be protected from exploitation by professional and commercial enterprises” (Should Student-Athletes Get Paid?). However, with this statement it seems that colleges and universities “are the entity that exploits” them (Should Student-Athletes Get Paid?). In 2000, due to the increasing cost of education, the NCAA “approved student-athletes’ employment in jobs paying up to $2,000 during a school year; the income can address educational expenses” (Should Students Athletes Paid?). However, not only does $2,000 barley cover educational costs, especially if not on scholarship, but the NCAA is not allowing student athletes to promote themselves. Also, with all the time practicing and working in the classroom, how many athletes have time to actually get a job? In reality, they are already working by performing on the court, field, or rink. In a documentary conducted by ESPN entitled “Fab Five,” one of the college basketball players for the University of Michigan said, that It was hard to see his jersey in the stands and knowing that just his number was on it, not his name.

He later goes on to say that he wasn’t receiving any money from it even though Addidas was promoting his jersey! This Michigan Basketball player then goes on to say that he couldn’t even afford the jersey that his fans were wearing. He wanted to buy a jersey for his mom, but couldn’t afford it. Student athletes should be compensated for their work, as they are the sole reason for the Athletic Program’s surplus in revenue. These athletes are working hard and bringing in money to the University every day, yet aren’t rewarded with any monetary value. These athletes are working for the schools and are doing a service to the college that seems to go unnoticed. This lack of pay is not seen anywhere else in the workplace and shouldn’t be seen here. Some even argue, “College athletes are being exploited by their schools, which make millions of dollars off of intercollegiate athletics” (Should Student-Athletes Get Paid?). Colleges are using these athletes to boost their respective reputations and bring in revenue while not compensating these athletes for their work. Everywhere else athletes are paid, so why shouldn’t college students too? Some critics may argue that these student-athletes are amateurs, and if paid then are becoming professional athletes. This statement can be easily disproved, however, as amateur is a very broad and controversial term. Hockey players a part of the AHL (Amateur Hockey League) are considered to be amateurs but are compensated for their work.

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The Benefits of Paying College Athletes. (2022, Jul 25). Retrieved from

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