The Struggles of a Student Athlete Why College Athletes Should Be Paid

Get in the shoes of a student athlete, imagine waking up around five o’clock in the morning daily, going to practice for three hours in the morning before going to class, having little to no time eat lunch before it’s time to run and get ready for practice for nearly another five hours. Then, once again, having little to no time for dinner before you have to meet in a designated area to work on homework until nine thirty at night just to get ready for bed, doing it all again tomorrow.

This is the day of an in-season division 1 football player according to (A Day in The Life). There is barely any time to breath in the tight schedule let alone finding time for a part time job if they need the extra income. College athletes deserve to be paid for the hard work they put in day in and day out. They need to be paying their athletes; they are not being compensated for their time or injuries, and not doing so is simply unethical.

Athletes every day, put their own well-being at risk for lifelong injuries for the entertainment of others. These athletes are spending nearly forty-five hours a week on just practice, that’s more than a typical full-time job (NCAA). These students are left with very little time to spend on taking care of themselves after they finish classes and end up, stretching themselves too thin heightening their chances of injury. From the 2004/5 – 2008/9 NCAA football seasons 7.

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4% of the students suffered from concussions, 4.3% suffered from head, face or neck injuries, and 16.9% suffered from upper limb injuries, 11.9% had torso and pelvis injuries while 50.4% of these student athletes suffered from lower limb injures (NCAA). During these five short years there were a total of three reported catastrophic spinal cord injuries (NCAA). Meanwhile, schools of these athletes are not required to pay for any medical expenses caused from the sport. Athletes could very well be stuck having to pay to off their medical bills for the remainder their lives, depending on the injuries they have, and the treatments needed. Not to mention the fact that in the case of a student no longer being able play after not even being helped with medical expenses, they are then stripped of their scholarships forcing many students to have to go give up their education.

The proposal of not paying college athletes is simply unethical, some may even call it modern slavery. A form of modern-day slavery may include bonded labor (What does Modern Slavery Look Like?). According to, bonded labor is when people give themselves into slavery as security against a loan this could be made to look like an employment agreement (bonded labor).The scholarships given to these athletes look a lot like the bonded labor agreements, forced to work without pay in exchange to pay off their debt. Athletes are forced to spend hours upon hours bringing in millions for a school that gives them nothing more than a free education that is at no cost the institution.

The biggest argument people give against paying college athletes is that the scholarships they are receiving is pay enough. Without much thought of the athlete or what goes into giving out the scholarships, of course it is going to seem like pay enough. However, colleges are not actually losing money due to the fact they are not giving out checks to these students, instead they are simply waving the fees. It is unfair to these students that are being exploited at their own expense, to bring billions of dollars for a ‘non-profit organization. Whether or not people want to believe it, paying our student athletes would only be equitable. Think about the about all the work athletes put in on and off the field. The identities of the students are being used as marketing tools for the colleges they attend, it’s time to put an end to it. These students deserve to be treated as workers rather than slaves.

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The Struggles of a Student Athlete Why College Athletes Should Be Paid. (2021, Dec 27). Retrieved from

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