Should College Athletes Get Paid?

Submitted By AlexZan_Edwards
Words: 1121
Pages: 5

Alex Edwards
Dr. Steger
Research Essay
Should College Athletes Get Paid? Sports have always been a large and very influential part of my life. I come from a line of college and professional level athletes so I grew up heavily influenced by those people. My grandfather and my dad both set out from the time I was born to condition me to admire the dedication and hard work that athletes put into their craft. My dad decided that I was destined to be a Georgia Bulldog just like he was and by the time I was seven I could throw a football in a perfect spiral. He also taught me many lessons behind the importance of sports. It wasn’t only about the fame that came from your name, but how you accomplished it. Only the athletes that dedicated every ounce of sweat and blood to their sport could make an impact on the field and in turn, make an impact on the audiences that would soon gather to watch them play. The amount of time that I put into learning how to throw a football was lengthy and I could only imagine the amount of effort one must put in to play at a higher, collegiate level of the game. My dad expressed to me that playing for a team was like a job. You had to be there and do your duty for the team, or else the entire institution would collapse in upon itself because every piece to the puzzle was important. It made complete sense. What would a football team be without their quarterback? How could a touchdown be scored if the running back or the receiver were not there to drive it into the end zone? I then thought to myself, what an amazing career it would be to work as one on a field doing something I love the most. But there was one catch: no one gets a salary.
A recent study stated that the NCAA (The National Collegiate Athletic Association) obtained over $11 billion in revenue and received a net profit of $71 million dollars: a colossal amount of money, more than I can wrap my mind around. “the NCAA last year signed a 14-year, $11 billion TV contract just to televise the basketball tournament.”(Gazette). Yet none of it went to the players that made those billions possible. The topic of sports has been something that has always interested me, and in that topic there is an issue that has been highly controversial over many years. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA, feels that athletes should not receive payment for their participation in a sport due to the fact that some, but not all, collegiate level players receive scholarships that cover the general necessities for living as well as their college tuition. They believe that is payment enough, but what happens to the other players that did not receive a scholarship? Or those that did, but come from impoverished homes in hopes to provide for their family one day? If the staff and everyone surrounding the players can get a salary, why shouldn’t the players themselves? They put in an average of forty-three hours a week towards their sport, which is more than what the average working-class American puts in at their paying job. But in addition to playing for their team, athletes have countless hours of studying and homework to complete in order to maintain their scholarship that keeps them sweating on the field and sleeping in class. “Top college football and men's basketball players put in up to 60 hours a week in games and practice, leaving them little time for academics. Injuries can saddle them with years of medical bills”(Majerol). The popularity of sports such as football and basketball have allowed for a wonderful pastime for the audiences, yet to the athletes they resemble jobs due to the tireless hours of work they put in hoping to establish a career based upon their athletic prowess. Those against players receiving payment such as Mitchell Horace argue that tuition is enough to suffice their college needs, but that’s not always the case. “Students are not professional athletes who are paid salaries and incentives for a career in sports. They