College athletics is a billion dollar industry and has been for a long time. Collegiate level sports are a big phenomenon in the U.S. which is controlled and regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA is considered a non-profit organization who is also in charge of organizing athletic programs for colleges and universities. From these programs, the NCAA gets massive revenue which gives to those schools involved even though it is considered a non-profit. Something to note is the participants in these athletic programs where the revenues are received are from college students. This scenario has led to the question of whether or not college students should be paid for their participation in college athletics. This paper will discuss that college students should not be paid.
First off college athletics is geared towards making a profit during that season. Sometimes a team can make a large amount so it would be fair to pay the athletes involved. There was a report done by Chris Isidore from CNN where “in March 2015 the Louisville Cardinals were named as the NCAA’s most profitable college basketball team for the 2013-14 season…” (Benjamin, 2017). Additionally, a program can pay a coach a huge amount that will continue to rise. Some coaches can end up getting paid as high as $7.1 million in salary. The NCAA should consider passing regulations to control whatever benefit a coach gets so they do not get paid extremely high wages. If they do that it may allow some part of the income to be directed to compensate the players.
Paying college athletes might end exploitation from outside influences like agents and boosters. “Over the years we have seen and heard scandals involving players taking the money and even point-shaving” (Lemmons, 2017). Bribing players kills the spirit of the game they are involved since they would be playing for the bribe they received. If they can’t get compensated by their school, a player would easily be lured into bribery.
Paying college athletes would remove the competitiveness and passion they have for the game they play. It culminates into a spot where the only reason the athletes have for playing is money and not the competitive drive to win. As noted by Lemmons (2017), the hunger and passion shown in college sports would now lead to “lackadaisical plays and half-ass efforts that we sometimes see from pros.” College sports would change into a business where the athletes are like employees and the colleges are the employers. Participating in sports would become more meaningful for students than the actual contribution to that sport. Moreover, students would participate in sports that can guarantee a better payment and not something they would be more talented in playing.
Paying college athletes would also lead to a disconnect between athlete, students, and college values. “If a high-school football prodigy reported that he chose Michigan not for its academic quality, tradition, or beautiful campus but because it outbid all other suitors, a connection to the university’s values would be lost” (Yankah, 2015). College sports would diminish to a market where students that haven’t chosen a college and are talented in sports would choose the “highest bidder.” The assumption is that a student would choose a school not on it’s academic and social values but what offers the best perks in sports. The relationship is not on academics but sports and money. This will also turn colleges from making future professionals to sports investments.
Intercollegiate athletics will continue to expand and gain more influence in the US. The NCAA and the schools involved will continue to make profits from college athletic programs. There are coaches who get a salary that can run into the millions. Yet the people who work hard so this income can be realized are pushed to the side when it comes to payment. Collegiate athletes deserved to be paid because without athletes college sports would not be existent. To some people, they feel athletes should see the profits of their hard work. If we do pay college athletes it would be about business and not academia. Even though they would see profits I do not think college athletes should be paid.