Should College Athletes Receive Compensation?

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For many athletes in high school, the goal is to have the chance to play a sport in college. However, questions they may ask them themselves are, “Is it worth it? or “Am I going to be able to focus on my schoolwork while maintaining a full-time job?”. With all the time that athletes put into the sport in between the classroom, field, weight room, practices, and film, students consider their sport as a job. There are several reasons why college athletes should be paid, one being that they have no time to maintain a job while playing.

Being a student athlete means that not only are you furthering your education, but you’re also maintaining athletics with little to no extra time on your hands. These students have a lot on their schedule and don’t have the opportunity like regular students to seek jobs or any extracurricular activities. In the article “Fair Play: Should College Athletes Get Paid” the author Rebecca Zissou states that “playing college sports is a full-time job. Students can spend forty hours a week practicing, training, and competing. While some athletes receive scholarships, the average amount doesn't cover the full cost of college.” Some people may say why should athletes be paid when they are on scholarships? However, not all athletes get the luxury of being on a full ride, many have the expectations for athletes with these scholarships to still be financially responsible for the leftover money that the school doesn’t cover. What people forget is these athletes still have the same responsibilities and dedication to be the best as an athlete on a full ride does. It’s easy to say that their focus should be only on school and paying them will portray the wrong message. However, Huma adds “College Athletes are just like all other hardworking Americans. They should receive a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work” (qtd. In Zissou).

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Paying college athletes will support them to be successful after college.

After spending four years being on a sports team and dedicating their life to the sport, realism kicks in and these players ask themselves what is the next step? The truth of it is many of these players don’t get drafted and when being in the limelight in college and providing entertainment for others, they still walk away needing to find an alternative plan to provide for a future for themselves. In the article “Calif. Lawmakers Defy NCAA Ban on Pay for Athletes” Proponents of the bill say students would be the beneficiaries. Female athletes, especially, would benefit, said the bill's author, Nancy Skinner, a Democratic senator from Berkeley. Women have few professional athletic opportunities after college, she argued, and this prohibits them from profiting from their talent at the apex of their athletic careers, and it takes away a great opportunity. (qtd. Skinner 1)

Importantly, student athletes are the main source of income for their schools. In the article “Should College Athletes be Paid?” Nocera believes that college athletes should be paid. Nocera considers that due to the revenue that basketball and football teams bring in, it is only appropriate that these athletes get compensated for their hard work. (Nocera 1). He goes on to say “College football and basketball are multibillion-dollar businesses. They have billion-dollar TV deals and corporate team sponsors” (Nocera 2). College athletes should get paid based on the university’s income from the sport and clothing sales. The athletes being recruited for college sports are bigger, quicker and tougher than ever and will produce more income due to the number of fans who watch each week. College Universities produce so much revenue during the year that it is only reasonable to the players to receive part of that as compensation.

After reviewing the hourly pay of zero dollars and the amount of time, sweat, and tears that a collegiate sport requires. Some will rethink the dreams that once seemed so reasonable. almost anyone who is engaged with sports, whether it be viewing them or playing them, has an outlook on whether college athletes should be paid. Based on how the National Collegiate Athletic Association has grown over time and the amount of revenue they produce; college athletes should get paid for the time that they put into their sports. The time that they contribute to their sport is equal to the time someone puts into a full-time job, if not more. Only some college athletes receive a scholarship, many of those are partial, and only a small percent of all college athletes make it to the pros. Since most college athletes do not get a full ride and do not go pro, colleges should pay the athlete as if their sport was their job to help them pay off college tuition.

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Should College Athletes Receive Compensation? (2022, February 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 14, 2024, from
“Should College Athletes Receive Compensation?” Edubirdie, 18 Feb. 2022,
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Should College Athletes Receive Compensation? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 18 [cited 2024 Jul 14]. Available from:

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