Professor Debra Hays
10 July 2014
Issues in College Athletes Today, sports are no longer fun and games, sports are a business, and college sports are no different. Division I college sports provide a huge source of universities’ income. A student-athlete takes on two full time tasks, class and their sport. They put in the same hours as a professional athlete but do not receive pay. College athletes should not make the same wages as a professional athlete but they should be compensated for their hard work because the amount of time they put into their sport alone (not including academics) is equal to that of a full time job. There is a significant difference in the amount of money colleges make from their sporting events and what the athletes receive from the events they participate in. Without the athletes, college sports would not exist and that takes away a lot of potential revenue for colleges. College athletes receive the benefit of scholarships to attend college for free, but the question that arises is it really for free when they spend more time playing their sport than they do getting their education? Do they deserve to be paid or compensated for their work or should NCAA rules continue as is and athletes receive no payments? There is plenty of information to be found that expresses views of both sides of this argument. College athletes should be paid financial compensation because several of the athletes has families, no time for a job and has no income to help them support their needs.
Many college athletes are focusing on getting their education and working to become a great college athlete. Most athletes have a passion for what they do. Athletes are bettering their universities and themselves every day. Each athlete would agree that getting some financial help would be great.
College athletes not only have to spend time in class and studying but the time they spend practicing allows them little time to do anything else. It comes down to living the lives of both a full-time student and a full-time employee, with no pay. College athletes are required to take a full-time course load: 4-5 classes per semester, which ranges from 12 to 15 hours per week in the classroom.
Many student athletes in high Division I programs feel that they are more of an athlete than a student. A survey was done by 4USA Today of 21,000 current athletes attending 627 different schools made up of Divisions I, II, and III. From the survey Division I football players stated they spend 44.8 hours per week playing their sport and 32 on academics. This includes games, practices, training for their sport, as well as class, study hall, personal study time, and tutoring for academics. Baseball players from Division I programs said that they spend an average of 40 hours playing their sport and 32 hours academically. Women’s basketball, hockey, and softball both surveyed with a little over an average of between 37 hours per week and 40 hours per week for their sport. A full time job is considered working a minimum of 40 hours per week.
Because around 75 hours per week are taken up between class and sport there is no time for an athlete to get a job to provide funds for themselves. After calculating the total time student-athletes spend on their daily duties it appears that there is little time to make money with a job on the side. It is also taken into consideration what is required for a student-athlete; basically it speaks for itself. I interviewed Devin Scott of Western Kentucky University and he states, “Many people do not typically see what athletes go through on a daily basis. We are basically required to be an athlete first and a student second.” Devin also explains how many athletes miss several holidays because they are participating in their sports. A student-athlete’s duties to the university are to thrive as a student as well as an athlete. Student-athletes are chosen specifically by universities for