A highly debated topic that it is gaining a lot of attention these days is around the subject of should college student athletes get paid in addition to scholarships. Research shows that this topic has many who support compensating athletes because of the revenue they help the school’s athletic programs generate while an equal number of people are opposed to paying student athletes in addition to scholarships they receive. This team debate paper will focus on key points that support both the pro and con side of paying student athletes for their participation in college sports.
Economic Gains for Colleges
The word student-athlete refers to a student who is playing a sport in college and receiving scholarships in return. On the surface, most people sees great athletes getting a free education, but they deserve more than just free education such as extra rewards and benefits since the college, the conferences and the NCAA are making billions of dollars off of them. To be in a nationally televised game or making deep runs in tournaments can bring in a lot of money for the colleges and universities. But the colleges and the sponsors collect all of the profits and not a single penny goes to the student-athlete and that is unfair. Colleges and the NCAA are making these students basically their unpaid employees. The student-athlete put so much work into the current sport they are playing, in return they get nothing. In my opinion, the student athletes should get a stipend with the scholarship they are getting.
The system of college sports is at fault; the student-athletes are generating billions of dollars per year in revenue for the colleges at which they play while not getting anything for themselves. People do not see that the student-athletes have to go practice every day and only have a little time to study. According to Amy McCormick, a law professor at Michigan State, "Athletes don't have free choice of what major they take if the classes conflict with practice schedules. That’s one fact that flies in the face of the idea that they're primarily students and secondarily athletes” (Cooper, Kenneth J). And if they want to get a job and have some kind of money to spend, they cannot because of all their athletic obligations. I think the student-athletes ought to get paid for the money they are generating for the colleges. It is unfair to not pay them and make them work for free without any kind of insurance if they get injured. It is also unfair to say that getting education for free is a legitimate way to compensate them for playing a sport and generating great amount of revenue for the college.
Now former athletes have come out and have said after watching the amount of money that the NCAA is making off of the student-athletes, the old model for a student-athlete is outdated. Desmond Howard, who played Wide receiver and a Kick returner at Michigan University, said “You see everybody getting richer and richer. And you walk around and you can’t put gas in your car? You can’t even fly home to see your parent. […] And you think these kids should still be brainwashed by, But you're getting a good education (McCarthy)” This is coming from a former student who knows what is happening with college athletics; he is telling people the truth. He has been in the shoes of a student-athlete and he knows what student-athletes feel when he sees all of this money that they are generating is going to colleges and the NCAA, and not getting anything from that pie.
The Physical Hazards
Still another issue that compels the argument to college athletes is the risk factor for injuries. While it is true that athletes are highly trained and in excellent physical condition, the top revenue generating sports in which they participate (football and basketball) involve great deals of physical violence. Especially if it is a sport the athletes have participated in for an extended amount of time, their bodies are