In this day and age, the ideal goal for most people is to find something they love to do and work hard every day to get better at their craft and get rewarded for this hard work. College athletes can kill two birds with one stone when it comes to finding their passion and getting rewarded for it. These athletes get to play the sport they love and get rewarded for it by going to a school often times that they don’t even have to pay a dime out of pocket for, and they get to explore all the school has to offer through the hard work they put in on the field. The NCAA generates over 1 billion dollars in revenue a year, coming from merchandise, tickets sales, and television contracts. With all of this revenue not a single penny is received by the athletes who allow this revenue to be possible. Off the top of the head this is completely unfair. However, college athletes may not receive material goods but they do receive many benefits.
The average price for college tuition is 35,830 dollars. A majority of college athletes attend the school on full-scholarship meaning that all expenses that the athlete will have is paid for. Therefore, instead of the students being given an actual paycheck they are saved the burden of having to pay for college. By looking at this like a business it would become obvious that the NCAA is the owner and the athletes are their employees. Mark Emmert, NCAA president, is very clearly able to show why college athletes should not be paid, by saying “College athletics is about college students playing other college students, not employees playing employees” By going to college these students should be learning the right tools that will help them be successful later on in life. However, if they were to be treated like employees it would not only take the enjoyment that comes with playing for your school out of the game. Also, it would cause for these athletes to become more separated from the true value of education. These athletes have played this sport for their whole lives and they have loved every single second of it, “The last thing athletes want to happen is to turn college sports into a chore or a job with an hourly wage. Then the pure love gets lost. It should never be about how much material value your play is worth.” By turning college sports into a job it only will cause for the enjoyment a player gets every time he or she steps on the field to decrease and turn the love for the sport into a burden. In the end making the athletes only care about the money rather than their passion for the game.
Many individuals have different views on this situation, and one person in particular Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explains very clearly that the hard work that he put in was only benefiting the school. “Despite the hours I put in every day, practicing, learning plays, and traveling around the country to play games, and despite the millions of dollars our team generated for UCLA—both in cash and in recruiting students to attend the university—I was always too broke to do much but study, practice, and play,” Abdul-Jabbar is able to show the amount of work these athletes have to put in making it so that their only focus is on the team. We also are able to see the side current college students stand on. “Most college students, however, are in agreement. According to a recent survey of 2,501 college students by polling platform College Pulse, a majority of students support initiatives to pay college athletes.” These current students know best they have the same amount of work as the athletes do however, they do not have to manage their time around playing a sport. These students are able to see how the school benefits off of these athletes hard-work and their names. On the other hand, not only the current students but also Kareem Abdul-Jabbar do not realize how gifted these athletes are for having the ability to play for their school.
With all of the benefits that come with playing college sports there is no reason that the athletes should get paid. By looking at what Abdul-Jabbar said “I was always too broke to do much but study, practice, and play” Kareem grew up in a very impoverished lifestyle meaning that there was no way that he would be attending college if it wasn’t for basketball. He wants to say that he put all of this work in and was not able to do anything fun besides play basketball, that may be the case but he would never be in the spot that he was in if he was not give a full-scholarship. Also, he would not have been given the publicity which made him as successful as he is today. Additionally, with all of these students being in favor of paying the athletes it may make people who do not want to pay the athletes question what side they stand on. However, these students still have yet to realize the financial burden that comes with paying for college, which these athletes are being exempt from. These athletes do not have to pay nearly 60,000 dollars a year in college tuition plus all the expenses that come with it and also they are treated like kings on campus. They are being greedy as they do not see the education as a privilege to them rather they see it as something taking away from their time with sports. Why should these athletes be paid when they take the education that they are being given for granted.
There are many significant arguments that come on the side of paying college athletes, however they do not over power the arguments on the side of not paying the athletes. Most of these athletes are very poor and by paying them it would only harm the reputation of college athletics. Whether it be by the athletes focus being drawn away from the sport just to make more money or by having the enjoyment from the sport be taken away because it has turned more into a job then their passion. These athletes have what many wish they could have, which is having the ability to use great training facilities and great doctors. All of this comes with no charge, which still has yet to be appreciated by these athletes. The debate about this issue is very ridiculous even by leaving out all the benefits that they receive, just by putting money in these athletes hands sounds like a bad idea as most of these kids are too immature to handle the money. Furthermore, to help put an end to this debate the schools should put more money into helping these kids prepare for life down the road.