Essay: Should College Athletes be Paid? - Essay Prowess

Essay: Should College Athletes be Paid?


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Should college athletes be paid? (Argumentative paper on why College athletes should be compensated more)

College athletes should be paid. College athletes should be paid an annual stipend of $10,000-$20,000 to cover extra necessary costs that athletic scholarships don’t cover. NCAA makes a lot of money from top college sports yet the players receive a small piece of revenue. NCAA executives earn about $1 million per year as compared to the $25,000 that students get from an average full Division 1 Scholarship. These students are the players, and they deserve a good pay so that they can meet all their school necessities. The scholarship is not adequate to cover all their college requirements (Beamon, 2008). The college fee, meal plan and numerous books they are supposed to purchase is just overwhelming, and they can’t survive on this scholarship money alone. This problem has forced many athletic students to engage in misconduct practices such as accepting money from boosters and agents. NCAA should stop exploiting college players and begin paying them substantial amount of money that can even serve as the motivation to make these players even work harder.

There has been significant discussion whether college athletes should or should not be paid while they are still in school. The first thing that opponents elude is that they are already getting a scholarship more than any other person, and that would mean that they are being greedy for asking for more money. Let stop being greedy and evaluate the actual worth of a scholarship. A Division 1 Scholarship on average is $25,000 per year. That amounts to around $100,000 for the whole four years (Knapp, Rasmussen& Barnhart, 2001).  Yes, it is but you should bear in mind that most athletes don’t last in school for the whole four years. Once you get involved in a sport, there are injuries, politic and a call to the office to the player that the administration is grateful, but they don’t need the student on that team anymore. Most students benefit from a scholarship for one or two years then transfer to another school that seems to be a better situation. A scholarship of $25,000 per year may look like a lot of money but in actual sense it covers only the basics (Tiscione, 2007).  It covers thousands of unknown college fees, tuition, meal plan, housing and many textbooks students are supposed to purchase. Some players who come from low-income families are lucky to get a few hundred dollars for each semester from Pell Grant, which allows them to afford quality meals (Beamon, 2008). The truth is that, however, how much this scholarship money may seem, it’s never enough to cater for all the students’ needs and that why NCAA should consider paying these players.

Let look at what an NCAA Executive earn. Top NCAA executive makes about $1 million per year (Tiscione, 2007).  Who else make this amount of money which is close to what a professional athlete earns? First are their coaches.  Most of the coaches earn at least $100,000 per year for training one of the major sports like football, basketball and baseball at a school (Parent, 2003). These coaches are also entitled to various bonuses when they help students win a championship or even breaking the school records. But contrary to the expectation of many the students do not get any bonuses yet they are the ones who were playing. Second in the list is the NCAA. The NCAA and the CBS recently signed a $10.8 billion television agreement over a period of 14 years (Tiscione, 2007).   The NCAA is also considered as a nonprofit organization. Third in the list are the athletic programs.  Universities help to bring hundreds of thousand or else millions of dollars to their athletic programs each year (Beamon, 2008).  These athletes act as the symbol for their schools and their programs through the various donations, advertising, media rights, ticket sales and anything else that carries a price tag. Take for example if a school earns a scientific achievement, it will be in the newspaper for a short period. However, athlete teams are in the newspaper for the entire year. This explanation helps to point out how the athletes are being exploited by the NCAA. It is the high time NCAA recognizes that these players deserve a good pay on top of their scholarship.

It is true that not all sports teams are profitable. For instance, less popular sports like swimming and tennis don’t earn the University huge money but popular sports like football and basketball covers for the lost revenue. So people, ask why pay the athletes if the entire teams are struggling to survive? We are justified to pay these athletes because when President Theodore Roosevelt assisted in the formation of NCAA in 1906, he had no idea what would be the extent of its growth (Knapp, Rasmussen& Barnhart, 2001). In the first place, it was fun watching the athletes play sports while ensuring that the rules were being followed. But currently in the 21st century, NCAA is a company that is billion dollars’ worth (Parent, 2003). Why have things not changed then? Things have not changed because the decision makers have a mentality that things have always been like this. They are not willing to make amendments even where it is necessary.

I am not saying that athletes should be paid like their executives who pocket huge amount of this cash. But to pay them at least an annual stipend of $10,000-$20,000 to cover extra necessary costs that athletic scholarships don’t cover. This pay can give them some cash for spending and a golden opportunity for them to begin managing their cash. Most of the athlete programs cannot manage to pay the athlete on their own, so the NCAA and their executives need to come up with a way of compensating their athletes (Parent, 2003).  Athletes help their schools to earn hundred thousands of dollars, increasing their enrollment and still if they do well provide a recruiting platform for generations. It’s pity that top NCAA executives earn $1 million per year yet the athlete cannot even earn $50 for signing a few contracts. It is the high time we open up our eyes. NCAA does not even allow students athlete to be used for promotional purposes (Tiscione, 2007).  There is no significant reason that NCAA can put forward for not paying student athletes. It’s their right.

There is an increase in the preference of college athletes getting caught for athletic misconduct due to accepting money from boosters and agents (Parent, 2003).  These are some of the reasons that guarantee why they should be paid to play. First of all, they are not allowed work. How are they supposed to meet for their numerous needs especially if they come from low-income households? These are some of the reasons that make players accept illegal money, clothes, cars and other gifts (Beamon, 2008). College athletes bring millions of dollars through game and various merchandises. Most of these athletes who are lucky to get an opportunity to leave schools turn to professional athletes because college athletes leave in poverty. Since they are not allowed to work, they are left with no option apart from sacrificing buying clothes, meals, and other necessary items in order to save cash for the future. Some of these players who don’t receive money from their families accept illegal offers in order to meet necessary needs. Most college athletes don’t end up turning professional, and this leave them with any work experience when they get into the real world. This fact gives the non-athlete an added advantage over the athletes because they have the necessary work experience needed to adapt to the outside world. These athletes help to earn a lot of money to their schools (Knapp, Rasmussen& Barnhart, 2001).  These athletes should also receive a share of this money because without these athletes the schools would not get all this money and popularity. Paying these athletes would help to curb the rising preference of their misconduct of accepting illegal offers.

The growth in intercollege athletics has led to the generation of huge revenues colleges. It has also led to increased income for NCAA, and this is evidenced by the large amount of money that top executives and coaches earn. College athletes get nothing from all these revenues yet they are the one who generate them. There is a logic to say that they also deserve a share of this money. They should not be exploited any further. Am urging the NCAA and the colleges to come up with a way in which these athletes will be compensated. College athletes should be paid at least an annual stipend of $10,000-$20,000 to cover extra necessary costs that athletic scholarships don’t cover.


Beamon, K. K. (2008). “Used Goods”: Former African American College Student-Athletes’ Perception of Exploitation by Division I Universities. The Journal of Negro Education, 352-364.

Knapp, T. J., Rasmussen, C., & Barnhart, R. K. (2001). What college students say about intercollegiate athletics: A survey of attitudes and beliefs. College Student Journal, 35(1), 96.

Parent, C. M. (2003). Forward Progress-An Analysis of Whether Student-Athletes Should Be Paid. Va. Sports & Ent. LJ, 3, 226.

Tiscione, F. P. (2007). College Athletics and Workers’ Compensation: Why the Courts Get It Wrong in Denying Student-Athletes Workers’ Compensation Benefits When They Get Injured. Sports Law. J., 14, 137