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The Issue Of Payment For College Athletes

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The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed paper on both sides of the hot topic about college athletes being paid. The problem involved in this is that there is a contract stating the NCAA can’t pay college athletes but more and more people are calling for a change towards that.

One of the biggest arguments in the sports world right now is whether or not college athletes should be paid. A big reason that the discussion of paying college athletes comes up often is because college athletics bring in billions of dollars of revenue to both the NCAA and the colleges themselves. This argument would affect more than 450,000 college students that play athletics. It would be hard to start paying college athletes as the NCAA and their contract states that they are amateur athletes and cannot be paid. Another important thing to know about when discussing this topic is the one and done rule in college basketball which allows basketball players to leave college after one year and go into the pros.

There are two simple sides to one of the biggest sports discussions of this decade which is whether or not college athletes should be paid or not. Many college leaders and presidents do not approve of paying college athletes because they are paid with high tuition and the fact that college is for learning and it would ruin the culture of college sports. The first reason why college athletes should not be paid is because college athletes are receiving a scholarship from the college which is basically how they are being paid (​​). Many people few this as a big problem because many of the athletes who receive this free education don’t even like school and often skip as they don’t care to learn anything. This is taking away plenty of scholarship offers from kids who are actually looking to go to college to start a career in their life.

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So the people that actually want to go to school have to pay a large amount of money to get in and complete a major but the kids who would rather just play a sport get to go to college for little to no cost at all. Another interesting point is that most of these student athletes don’t deserve these big types of scholarships as their gpa’s are low and in some cases are barely passing high school and it’s taking away scholarships from those students who have worked hard for years and have a higher gpa than them. Diving even further into the academic part most college athletes won’t even stay in school for 4 years to receive their degree as many will go for a year or two and then go into the pros (​​). This side also argues that college is to learn and gain a higher education and not to be paid for participating in an extracurricular activity. Discipline and how to handle the real world is what is taught in college they are not supposed to be handed money for playing a sport. Moving onto the athletic side of the argument, paying college athletes would ruin the culture of college sports. These athletes go out and play with heart and the pride they have for their respective college because it’s the school they love and want to be apart of the great culture college athletics provide.

If you take that away and allow the bigger schools to pay more money to an athlete than the smaller schools then that player would no longer be playing for the love of the game and the school they are just playing at that specific college for the amount of money that they offered them. To add on to the athletic argument this would increase the skill gap between bigger schools such as Michigan versus a smaller school such as Eastern Michigan. This would ruin the competitiveness of college sports as the smaller schools would no longer be able to even compete in games against bigger schools. Another fact is that the athletes who bring in all the fans and money for the school are often the best players and that means that they are going pro within a few years so they will receive millions of dollars once they leave college. So therefore the college doesn’t need to help pay thousands of dollars for the academics when they’ll never use them in life after college. Finally, playing college athletics is a privilege enough in itself that not many people get to experience even though they’d love to have the opportunity to. On the other side of the argument, many people believe that college athletes should be paid because they say that tuition is not enough for them to live comfortably. The first reason for this is the amount of time they have to dedicate to their sport that they are playing. Statistics show that the average college athlete spend 43.3 hours per each week for their respective sport.

This time isn’t counting the time they spend in class or the amount of time they have to spend on homework. If you add all of this time up college athletes do not have time to go out and get a job to afford food and everyday essentials by themselves. Paying college athletes would help a young kid out and help create healthier student athletes and at the same time this is helping multiple families as they wouldn’t have to worry about still providing for another person. Another point people for college athletes make is that college athletes are treated unfairly by the NCAA. The NCAA uses the players to make money and the player receives none of that. Colleges will sell jerseys with the players numbers on the back of them and people will buy those because everyone knows the star players numbers and want their jersey. So schools are selling kids jerseys and making millions of dollars off of their likeness. At one point NCAA was also profiting off of the NCAA college football games which involved the players from every team in division 1 football and included their names. Many people bought this game and it was very popular and this was unfair because all of the people in this game received not a single dollar but were the main reason that the game was that popular. The last point that people make is that the NCAA and colleges have the money to pay college athletes. Each college brings in millions of dollars each year and a lot of the money comes from athletics and the amount of people that are invested in it. It’s obvious that colleges have enough money to pay players because many coaches receive millions of dollars to coach not even play but then the kids playing and practicing for hours and hours a day don’t even receive a dime. NCAA statistics show that the average college football and basketball coach makes $100,000 ( But at a big school such as Michigan, football coach Jim Harbough is making over $7 million a year for multiple years.

In conclusion this is a debate that has always been around and will continue to be around for years to come. Recently 2 states, California and Florida, have passed new laws that allow student athletes to make money off of their likeness. These laws will officially start on January 1, 2023 and student athletes hope that this will become a common theme more around the nation, hoping other states will do the same.

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The Issue Of Payment For College Athletes. (2022, February 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 28, 2023, from
“The Issue Of Payment For College Athletes.” Edubirdie, 18 Feb. 2022,
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