The athletes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are worth a lot more than many people think. They are without a doubt probably the most diligent individuals on the planet. In addition to the fact that they are carrying on with the life of a normal student, they have an enormous workload with their sport. For example, in 2017, an article by Powell on the NCAA website reported that collegiate athletes grossed in a revenue of over 1.1 billion dollars, yet these athletes received less than 60% of the money. Only 560 million was paid out to all division 1 athletes via scholarships. How would you feel as an athlete who dedicates all their time and effort into their craft, but you do not receive the correct compensation that you produced and deserve? The NCAA pays the coaches millions of dollars. For instance, in 2017, Nick Saban, who is the University of Alabama head football coach, was paid a total of $11,132,000. Whereas, the average male football player at an FBS school is worth $137,357 per year with the average male basketball player sitting at $289,031 per year to their schools but don’t receive a penny of it according to business insider. That is an insane amount to pay a coach who for one is not at the professional level and who in fact does not put in the same amount of work on the field as the athletes. To carry on, according to CNN Money Sport, in 2017 out of 535 coaches who held the position of being a head coach full time had an average salary of $823,000 which is way more than any full scholarship awarded to a student-athlete; the NCAA website states, “Full scholarships cover tuition and fees, room, board, and course-related books.
Most student-athletes who receive athletic scholarships receive an amount covering a portion of these costs.” That is just a portion of these athletes many of; them are on no athletic scholarship at all, information gathered from the NCAA website shows that 46 percent of division one athletes are walk-ons and 39 percent of division two athletes are walk-ons. A walk on is an athlete that receives no scholarship award at all from the athletic department. With, that being said almost half of division one athletes are walk-on’s receiving no money from the athletic department and often struggle to live an average life. Besides the overwhelming stress of living costs, these athletes still have to train 40 plus hours a week according to “College Athletes Deserve to be Paid” . “I know we’re getting an education, but it’s not really free when you’re putting in 40 or 50 hours a week on your sport. There’s a lot that goes into that scholarship that’s not really free the average player earns just $23,204 in scholarship money with the average division one school having a tuition of $ 27,000. ,” ” said Ian Simon, a three-year football starter at Missouri according to an article written by Blair Kerkhoff on Kansas City.com Moving on, College athletes deserve financial recognition for the merchandise profit they generate, as well as the opportunity to pursue their own financial gains. As athletes, they work hard on the field every day to bring in fans and wins for their school; it’s only fair that they are rewarded for their efforts, at least in some small way. There are many solutions to this problem such as stipends. A stipend would be beneficial to athletes because they can use this allowance as a resource to make living easier, especially for those athletes who are not on a scholarship. It would also benefit the athletes in life by teaching them how to manage resources and create monetary skills. They would not have to balance a part-time job on top of school and sports which allows them to focus more on study habits and performance on the field. These are all beneficial, positive changes. If paying college athletes does not occur, the NCAA should allow each sport to award the same monetary scholarships to athletes, creating fewer less walk on players and more financially stable student-athletes. The NCAA allows the football department to award 24 full scholarships annually while baseball and softball are only awarded 11.7 according to “Business Insider”.
Equalling out the number of scholarships awarded would cause less stress on student-athletes from a monetary standpoint. They would have a better peace of mind when it comes to knowing that paying for their schooling won’t be as big of an issue. Although there is an argument on where that money would come from, the 1.1 billion dollars brought in by athletes in 2017 could easily support the financial change in awarding more scholarships. On top of everything else, they often have to worry about staying healthy because if injured they could lose their scholarship. These athletes put their body and well-being on the line. For example, in 2013-14 there were 1,053,370 injuries to college athletes according to Dr. Zachary Y. Kerr. Over the time of this five-year study among all 25 sports in the NCAA, about 28,860,299 practice athlete-exposures and 6,472,952 competition athlete-exposures occurred each year which shows how often these players get hurt. So on top of the medical treatment, they still have to worry about paying for other daily needs. It’s almost like the NCAA treats these athletes more like employees without pay than students. There have been many counter claims that an athlete can just quit but playing in the NCAA is one of the most direct ways to make it in their particular sport. For example, in the 2017 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft 735 out of 1,215 picks came from an NCAA school according to the MLB 2017 draft tracker. Some of the biggest pros of paying college athletes would be that it limits corruption from external influences. According to the NCAA rules, an athlete will lose his/her eligibility if they are paid to play; sign a contract with an agent; receive a salary, incentive payment, award, gratuity academic expenses or allowances; or play on a professional team. Paying athletes in college will limit the corruption involving agents, boosters, and others. Over the years we have seen and heard scandals involving players taking money and even housing. Paying the athletes would help reduce the urge to do this.
Also, it could allow the players to support their families by allowing them to send some money back home. Many of these athletes come from low-class families and often feel the urge to leave school early because of the unimaginable pressure to be the main provider for their family at a young age and the ones who don’t make it to the league are just digging themselves a hole for their future due to the amount of debt they will have to pay according to an article written by Alec Kirschner on sports nation. There are many counterclaims on paying college athletes such as, they are already are on a scholarship but these people rarely understand that a scholarship doesn’t cover everything and that not everyone is on a scholarship. Another claim is that it removes athletes competitive nature which could show a decrease in hustle and grit because they are trying to prove themselves and if money gets involved, they might let it go to their head and start thinking they have already made it but as a kid people don’t dream of making it to college they dream of making it to the professional league in their sport. Also, financial irresponsibility amateur players receiving compensation just seems like a complete disaster. They don’t know how to manage their cash, and there wouldn’t be anyone there to guide their financial decisions. Some people argue that if college athletes were paid, that they would no longer be considered an amateur. But why would that be a problem? Would it be an honest issue to be thought of a professional? In 1986, the International Federation modified their stance on strong belief and allowed college athletes to contend within the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games are still going sturdy after they made the modification, therefore why doesn’t the NCAA make the change too.
Personally, I don’t see a problem with paying college athletes. It is simple they are bringing in a corporation and an insane amount of money. It’s like working a job for four years and not being paid for it many people would quit and I feel like in order to keep college sports interesting and electrifying they need to compensate these athletes. There has lately been a trend especially with college basketball players going to play in semi-pro leagues and trying to make it to the National Basketball Association (NBA) because these other leagues are paying them for their talent rather than feeling unappreciated by the NCAA. In conclusion, the amount of revenue brought in by college athletes should be dispersed more throughout their athletic departments. It is unfair and unethical for the athletes to put in the immense number of hours they do and not be properly rewarded. The NCAA is a harsh environment for these athletes it’s time to step up and pay the athletes something it’s what they have earned and what they deserve. These athletes put their body, future, and way of life on the line for this corporation and it’s time to show them some respect. After all they are working more hours a week than a full-time job. So does the number of hours and amount of hard work they put in qualify them to be modern-day slaves of the NCAA?