March 28, 2014
Finding A Common Ground For Paying College Athletes
College Athletics has seen a large increase in the amount of audience that it draws along with a massive increase in the amount of revenue that it produces for each university. As the business of college sports continues to grow, so has the number of people that feel college athletes should be paid. Many people think that athletes should be compensated for the time and efforts that they put into their universities helping to create such large income producing athletic departments. This point has caused many heated debates not only between college coaches, alumni, and the NCAA, but also amongst the fans. It is easy to see why this point is such a hot topic when reports come out that show several major college athletic departments generating over $100 million in revenue per year. As the information has become more available both sides have started to present their points of view. One side is for paying these athletes for their services and not allowing the universities to continue to take advantage of them. The other side of the argument says that these athletes are already paid with their scholarships, which cover most of the expenses the athletes will incur during their college careers.
There number of people that are pushing for college athletes to be paid on top of their scholarships is becoming larger and larger, and with good reason. Student athletes are producing large amounts of revenue for their universities through television contracts, bowl games in college football and the NCAA basketball tournament. So much so that they are leaving one athletic conference for another that is going to make them more money through their television contracts. One of the points being made by athletes and people alike is, not all athletes families can afford to give them extra spending money while they are at school. With the amount of time being spent on practicing and studying most athletes do not have time to get a job to help give them some spending cash for things that they may want to do in their free time. According to Ohio State football player Bradley Roby, in a newspaper article by David Briggs, “You can't take anybody out to go get food or go to the mall and get some new shoes. It's like, 'Wow, where's all this money going?' Not in my pockets” (Briggs). Roby also makes the point that, “How these colleges are running football programs now, it's just like the NFL…It's about results, it's about winning” (Briggs). Many feel that the athletes are getting exploited for their athletic ability and are not being properly compensated. In the article “Should College Athletes Be Paid?” by Kenneth Cooper it is pointed out that according to two law professors at Michigan State University the athletes are “’employees’ under federal labor laws” (Cooper). They are putting in enough hours athletically and academically to be considered employed yet they do not receive any form of compensation for it. These athletes are having their images and likenesses used to make money for video game companies as well. A former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon is suing the NCAA for allowing these video game companies to use his likeness. Although these athletes agree to maintaining their amateur status while in college the NCAA is continuing to use their images to make money, which is where O’Bannon comes in. In the Cardazo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal Nabeel Gadit writes, “the NCAA [is] preventing them from licensing their own images for television, …DVDs…and various apparel, amounting to anti-competitive behavior that is a violation of federal anti-trust laws” (Gadit 352). The universities and NCAA alike are using college athletes to generate very large revenues, yet the athletes are not able to afford to go out and have dinner with friends.
Several of the points made for paying college athletes are valid and could be used to