The Benefits Of College Sports

Submitted By itssamduhhh
Words: 981
Pages: 4

The growing debate in colleges today doesn't lie on the academic side, but rather with the athletics. Gaining popularity nationwide, many organizations are calling for student-athletes to receive compensation from the NCAA for using their names and likeness on merchandise. I believe that these athletes should be able to profit of of their own name based on their accomplishments on the field. According for, currently, the NCAA makes nearly $11 billion in annual revenue from college sports, more than their professional counterparts, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League. This year the University of Alabama reported $143.3 million in athletic revenues, more than all 30 NHL teams, and 25 of the 30 NBA teams (Edelman, 2014). It is painfully obvious that college athletics have become big business, for-profit enterprises, and everyone seems to be profiting. The US News reports that CBS makes more than $1 billion off the March Madness games alone, raking in ad revenue at a cool $700,000 per 30-second spot (Smith, 2013). Athletic conferences receive millions of dollars from the NCAA when teams advance deep into tournaments. A coaches average salary at a BCS eligible football program was $2.05 million last year. In 40 of the 50 U.S. states, the highest paid public official is the head coach of a state university’s football or men’s basketball team (Edelman, 2014). Various administrators and athletic directors as well see the benefits; The University of Michigan’s own athletic director, Dave Brandon, continues to be the highest-paid employee at the university with a 2013 salary of $850,000, nearly $250,000 higher than even the President of the university, as reported by the Detroit Free Press (Jesse, 2013). The only people not profiting in this thriving industry? The athletes making the NCAA this money. Athletes risk career ending injuries every time they step onto their respective field, court, or rink. The main argument against paying college athletes is that they are paid with a free education—but if they suffer a career ending injury, their scholarship will be taken away and they most likely will not be able to burden the financial obligations in order to finish their degree. Also, with growing information on the lifelong effects of contact sports on players bodies comes concerns about the long-term repercussions of such grueling physical activity. It is increasingly likely student athletes of today will be left saddling a lifetime of medical bills. Does a free education alone compensate them for debilitating injuries caused during their time on campus? In the current system there has been an increasingly common occurrence of corruption both from schools and boosters regularly finding ways to circumvent the rules and provide benefits to these athletes. The increase in social media and the information age, coupled with the increased visibility and popularity of athletes has created a perfect storm for an unprecedented enlightening on how pervasive NCAA violations really are. If athletes could be paid in the open I think it would be much more easily regulated and monitored in a reasonable and equitable way. While opponents argue that paying athletes puts more of an emphasis on sports, and takes away from the importance of the education, I believe that this is a more “for show” argument. While you can argue that education comes first for student athletes, it has been regularly shown with NCAA game and tournament scheduling that school takes a back burner. Student athletes class schedules are required to be planned around practices, and class absences are excused for sporting related events. Forbes reports that “at some schools, the road to the NCAA men’s basketball championship may require student-athletes to miss up to a quarter of all class days during their spring semester” (Edelman, 2014). Furthermore, success of a school in college sports is also believed to improve both the