Give college athletes what they deserve: money

Nigel+Hayes%2C+a+University+of+Wisconsin+basketball+player%2C+holds+a+sign+protesting+the+NCAA+at+College+Gameday.
Nigel Hayes, a University of Wisconsin basketball player, holds a sign protesting the NCAA at College Gameday.

Nigel Hayes, a University of Wisconsin basketball player, holds a sign protesting the NCAA at College Gameday.

Nigel Hayes, a University of Wisconsin basketball player, holds a sign protesting the NCAA at College Gameday.

Dylan Riggs, Staff Writer

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Recent resentment from college athletes has led to a great amount of debate over whether college athletes should be paid.

Since the NCAA was founded in 1905, it has been based solely on the idea that student-athletes are amateurs and should not be paid. However, times have changed and student-athletes should now begin to be paid for the profit that they make their “employer,” the NCAA.

One of the main reasons college athletes should be paid is because of how much money they make for the NCAA. The NCAA is an $11 billion organization, meanwhile, not all of that money is put into academics. Instead, most of the money made is spread throughout to coaches and administrators. A large percentage of the NCAA’s money comes through merchandise sales. Schools will sell jerseys and other gear that completely bear a player’s likeness without using his or her name. The NCAA uses this loophole to say that they are not profiting off of any specific players, so they don’t have to pay them.

For example, Texas University’s football program makes $121 million per year, according to Forbes. Forbes also states that the Buffalo Bills, a NFL franchise, makes $320 million per year. These college athletes make nearly a half of the money for their school as pro athletes make for their team. Sadly, pro athletes make millions of dollars per year, while college athletes make absolutely nothing. If you were making that money for an organization, wouldn’t you want a portion of that money to become yours instead of it being given to your coaches and administrators who aren’t struggling financially as a college student?

Another reason college athletes should be paid is because of how much work they put into their respective sports. Most of these athletes spend more than 40 hours per week on team-related functions. According to the NCAA, student-athletes can practice for a maximum of 20 hours per week; however, they will also spend countless hours in the weight room practicing on their own. While devoting so much time to their sport, they also most likely have around 30  hours of going to their classes, doing homework, and studying each week. Most adults make their money based on the 40-hour work week. Meanwhile, these college athletes are putting in as many as 70 hours of their week, about 3 days worth of their time without counting sleeping. These athletes put in so much work to not be paid, especially when they are doing all of these actions just so they can get a degree.

There are obviously differing opinions on this matter and sophomore Mike Smith took an approach in between the two arguments, “They [college athletes] shouldn’t be paid, but all of their schooling should be paid, for, textbooks and schooling, with the money they give NCAA they are basically working for them for free.”

Sophomore Harley Williams believes these athletes should not be paid.“Nearly every university has smaller sports that don’t get huge television deals or advertisements, such as track and field, swimming, diving, and cross country. If they did have a payment system, these athletes would have to be included and the universities would be paying exorbitant amounts of money,” he said. 

Hayes has been open about his dismay towards the NCAA's choice to not pay their athletes.

Hayes has been open about his dismay towards the NCAA’s choice to not pay their athletes.

Some students take the defense of the athletes, such as sophomore Michael Marinucci, who said, “People can go out and buy their jerseys and they are being televised on major networks just like the pros, so I don’t see why pro athletes can be paid and not college players when they are basically doing the same thing.”

Yet another reason college athletes should be paid is because of how little support they get while in school. Most college athletes will be like many college students: low on money, and struggling to get themselves through college. 

Overall, college athletes work extremely hard to improve on the field, become a better person off of the field, and earn their degree in the classroom. With all of the time they are spending doing this, they have no time for a job that will give them any money. They need that money for support during their college years, especially if they aren’t planning on being a pro athlete. Therefore, college athletes should be paid by one of the richest organizations in the U.S., and their employer, the NCAA.

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