Try to picture this scenario: You are one of the best performers of your skill amongst your age group. You, along with those who perform with you, generate so much profit that together you pay for all the employees, employers, and everything else associated with the company you work for. However, you are not paid any sum of money whatsoever. Many college athletes face similar dilemmas. The National Collegiate Athletic Association governs all student athletes and has established strict rules ensuring that these students see no form of profit from the service they provide. Although these young athletes are the face of their University, they are unable to reap any of the rewards associated with their skill. Yes, scholarships are provided, however they rarely pay for an athlete’s entire college career and even if they do, it simply allows the athlete to play for free. Student athletes should be paid because it will decrease their inclination to seek illegal compensation, there is more than enough money to pay them, and because graduation rates among student athletes are so incredibly low. One of the biggest mistakes made by successful college athletes is accepting money illegally (Porto 1-2). Sometimes the frustration of producing so much money for an organization and not being able to see a dime of it is overwhelming, and the athlete uses other, illegal means to receive payment. Under National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rule, college athletes are by no means allowed to receive payments for their abilities as athletes (Porto 3). However, some athletes do so anyway (Porto 3). “In a 1989 survey of professional football players, 31 percent of the respondents admitted to having accepted illegal payments during their college careers and 48 percent of the respondents said that they knew of other athletes who took such payments during college” (Porto 3). But much of this illegal payment can be attributed to the lack of playing or “job” security an athlete has. The NCAA has coined the term “student-athlete” to make it completely clear that an attendee of any University is always a student before he is an athlete, and that by no means are they an employee of the university (Porto 2). Since these athletes are not employees, they are not entitled to receive workman’s compensation or anything for that matter if an injury occurs on the field or court (Porto 2-3). A University does not even have to renew the scholarship of a hurt athlete if they feel he cannot play or attribute to the team he is on (Porto 2-3). The lack of rights college athletes have renders them worthless the second they become injured. Injured student-athletes are not only in jeopardy of losing their scholarship; they may also be subjected to pay for the medical expenses their University does not cover (Peterson 3). Take Jason Whitehead, for example (Peterson 3). Jason attended the University of Ohio on a football scholarship (Peterson 3). After a weightlifting accident ended his sports career, Jason’s scholarship was ripped out from under him (Peterson 3). As if that was not enough, he was also left to cover the remaining medical bills the University didn’t cover (Peterson 3). It is more than likely that Jason and his family were not ready to cover the cost of college tuition, being as they were told his was free. Adding medical bills onto the already huge mound of debt this family encountered just seems inhumane, and it is absolutely ridiculous that the NCAA decides that their athletes do not need complete medical coverage. If Jason were a paid athlete, he would have had at least a starting point to rebuild his life. But instead he was left with a life in shambles. In order to combat this lack of security and to receive some compensation for their skill, athletes take almost anything they are offered (Porto 1). Because some athletes exhibit so much talent that it is almost certain that they will some day end up in a...
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