December 21st, 2012
College Athletes: Should they be paid?
The debate of whether college athletes should be paid has gone on for years. From famous sportscasters to the common man, everyone has their own opinion whether the student-athletes should receive a “stipend” or certain wage per month to cover food, gas, and other various essentials. A great example of this is from Ramogi Huma, a former linebacker for UCLA. “Even though the school was providing him with three meals a day, he said, he needed to eat five or six times a day because of the calories he was burning playing football. And he wasn’t able to get any support from home”. “I got by taking toilet paper and soap at hotels, and taking out the credit card,” he recalled, adding that he had $6,000 in credit card debt when he graduated The school did provide him with team-issued clothing, but not all of it was appropriate for everyday use, he said (Frommer Para’s 19-20). Although there are some athletes like Huma, it cannot be said the same for other, it is questioned that the athletes will actually use the stipend for essentials and not unwarranted and unnecessary items. The main reasons that student athletes should receive wages are: They are making millions of dollars for the university, they dedicate their whole year to their particular sport (along with academics) and have no time to carry a job, they perform the same type of job a professional does but without the pay, and they are performing entertainment for the public’s enjoyment and are not receiving a fair salary for their efforts. Although the majority of athletes are like Huma, it cannot be said the same for others. It is questioned that the athletes will actually use the stipend for essentials and not unwarranted and unnecessary items. If college players do not make money, they will find some other way, possibly illegal, to make money. Most illegal activity involves players receiving money and gifts from athletic boosters in order to attend or remain at a particular school. Many players come from such poverty that without assistance from the program, they might not even have enough money to buy the pens that they never use in class. Illegal activities usually involve everyone from players to coaches and recruiters to agents. A great example of this is a story on two USC players receiving impermissible benefits from a booster. It goes as follows. “Scott Schenter, a former appraiser, provided former USC running back Joe McKnight with a car and an airline ticket and former basketball player Davon Jefferson with $3,700 in cash” (Auerbach Para 2). If the NCAA would have just given these players each a stipend of $6,000 per year, this would’ve never happened. Although I believe student-athletes should be paid, it should not pertain to all sports. Sports such as Football and Basketball are the money makers for the majority of major universities. According to Josh Robbins, The University of Texas had a revenue exceeding $120,000,000 in 2008, on just football alone. Also, the Duke University basketball program had revenue of over $26,500,000 in 2009 (Rishe line 24). As a result of these figures, NCAA basketball and football player deserve a majority of the revenue that should be allocated to the players. Sports such as wrestling for example, lost over $500,000! (On The Banks Table 1) It is not the fact that these athletes in the sports losing money are less deserving, rather that they just don’t make money. Unfortunately, money is usually the first thing in mind for the NCAA and the athletic departments at various Universities.
Although many people have said that athletes should receive the money directly from the university, I believe that there is a better alternative. According to Joe Nocera, NCAA football and basketball combined to incur revenue exceeding six billion dollars, which is more than the National Basketball Association (Para 4). The NCAA could use a...