Why College Athletes Should Not Be Paid?

The average FBS scholarship is worth $36,070, and that’s just the cost of tuition and boarding. College Football players that are on scholarship are receiving a free education, along with free meals and boarding. Jeffrey Dorman, a economics professor at the University of Georgia, wrote in Forbes magazine that a college football scholarship is worth up to $125,000 if you include tuition, boarding, nutrition, and the coaching the players receive. Even with free tuition, people still argue that the players deserve to be paid. College Athletes should not be paid because their already getting paid with a free education, rooming, and free meals.

First of all, college athletes have several expenses paid for outside of school, like food, training, and facilities. All of these expenses would have to be paid by the players if they weren’t on scholarship. Jeffrey Dorman said that a college athletic scholarship is worth from $50,000-$125,000. Dorman served on the athletic board at the University of Georgia and he said, “Some people are aware enough to realize that student athletes on athletic scholarship are essentially paid already because they receive free tuition, room, meal plans, and some money for books and miscellaneous expenses. At the bigger, more successful universities, athletes also receive academic counseling, tutoring, life skill training, and even nutritional advice.” Even though the athletes don’t receive $50,000-$125,000 in cash, they are getting paid at least that amount in other ways.

Unlike what most people think, the majority of college athletic departments either break even or lose money every year. Forbes Magazine reported in 2012 that only 23 out of 228 division one athletic programs ran a surplus. If only 23 teams had a surplus of money it impossible for every school to be able to pay their players. To make up for the lack of money, student’s tuitions would be raised, ticket and merchandise prices would rise, and faculty and staff of the university would receive a pay cut. All of these actions that are meant to free up more money for the athletes would cause an uproar among students and fans. Therefore, if the money isn’t available to pay the athletes there would be no perfect way to come up with more money.

Even if the money was there, their would be equity issues that are inevitable. Schools would run into serious issues. Do all players get paid the same? The players would argue that it’s not fair for the starters and bench players to get paid the same. Do only the revenue making sports get paid? In most schools, only football and men’s basketball makes money because of this the extra revenue that they make goes to other teams, but if the extra revenue is going to paying players the other sports that will plummet. Do all school have to pay players the same amount? Georgia Southern won’t be able to pay the same amount that Alabama can. This causes for a bidding war between college athletics trying to sign the best players. Rush Propst, head football coach at Colquitt County, said that college teams are trying to recruit kids by telling them their stipend check each month is higher than another team’s. All of these could cause for lawsuits and bad publicity for the University. More issues would be created rather than solved by paying players.

On the other hand. Some people would argue that college athletes deserve a piece of the lucrative tv deals worth billions of dollars. Most of the money goes to NCAA and the conferences the teams play for. After that money reaches the universities it is needed for facilities upkeep, staff salaries, and it is used for expenses like uniforms for the players. People also say that it’ll reduce corruption in sports, but it is impossible to keep a coach or booster to pay a player extra under the table. I know that some players can’t afford costs of clothes and other expenses because they don’t have time for a job. That’s why there are grants set up for college athletes that give players cash for expenses. Players also receive stipend checks each month for miscellaneous expenses. All of the reasons for paying college athletes is pushing the players away from representing their school. This takes the joy out of watching amatuer sports.

For these reasons previously listed, it is clearly evident that there’s no possible way for college athletes to get paid and make everyone happy. Athletes already receive a “package” worth tens of thousands of dollars. There is not enough money to go around and even if there was there would be several equity issues. College athletes are being pushed away from being amateurs and being forced to become professional athletes, while in school. Former North Carolina basketball player Marvin Williams said, “I’m fearful that the courts, our autonomy and our own governance structure is moving us away from what we have called the collegiate model for the last 50 years and more toward a professional model or more toward the Olympic model. And what that will do, in my opinion, is channel more resources to fewer people.”

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