Should Amateur Athletes Be Paid?

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Should Amateur Athletes Be Paid?

The involvement of agents and boosters in collegiate level sports has become a major topic amongst headlines in news recently. If you were to pick any athletic program at random it is most likely that they have committed some sort of a violation. Many people argue that college athletes should not be paid because they receive scholarships that pay for their meals, housing, tuition, books, and so on. At some universities, these scholarships equal up to $200,000 over a four year period. Although it would seem as though these scholarships pay for most of an athletes college expenses, they really do not. Many athletes need help in order to pay for other things such as: food, transportation, clothes, and other daily needs. The bigwigs making the rules for the NCAA are well off individuals who have most likely never lived on a budget. Being a collegiate athlete is a full time job along side with completing their schoolwork, which does not leave very much time for the athlete to have an external form of income leaving them on a tight budget. Collegiate athletes should be able to receive extra benefits and compensation when necessary if it is regulated by the NCAA and not done under the table.

Since the NCAA began, all athletes have been recognized as amateurs therefore are unable to receive any form of benefits or compensation for their lost wages. All the while the coaches are being paid millions of dollars and their athletic programs bring in large amounts of money. The NCAA is one of the most hypocritical institutions around. Oklahoma State, in the 2007-2008 football season, was 10th in the nation with revenue being brought in at $88,554,438 (ESPN.com). This amount is brought in solely from the football program and not including the other athletic programs that Oklahoma State offers. With most of that revenue going towards paying for their equipment, traveling expenses, and paying the staff, but the athletes receive none of this income. With nearly 89 million dollars coming in, the players should be able to receive small amounts of money over a month long period in place of a part time job to to help pay for their food and personal items. Scholarship players may have meal plans but the plans tend to run out quickly. Also with some campuses not having a wide variety of healthy food options, having to consistently eat the same thing gets old quickly. Allowing the athletes to have a small form of outside income will provide them with the items necessary for every day life that are not provided in campus stores.

Anyone who is a sports fan has heard about Cam Newton, AJ Green and the Ohio State football players this past season, as well as Dez Bryant here at OSU the season before. Cam Newton’s father was allegedly offering his son’s commitment to play football for $180,000. While the Ohio State players and AJ Green were signing memorabilia and selling it for money and for tattoos. In all these cases the NCAA fails to lay down a similar consequence for all of these violations. Cam Newton played the entire season and went on to receive the Heisman Trophy. Newton insisted that he did it the right way telling AP sports writer Fred Goodall “I’m a person that did no wrong, I did it the right way.” (Goodall). AJ Green was suspended for the first four games of the season for signing jerseys of his and selling them. The Ohio State players were accused of the same thing as AJ Green weeks before the Sugar Bowl but were still able to play. Dez Bryant simply had lunch with Deion Sanders an ex NFL player/agent and was suspended for an entire season at Oklahoma State before declaring for the NFL draft. How could a group of players that were accused of similar things receive such different penalties?

These sanctions dished out by the NCAA can be confusing and devastating as in Southern Methodist University’s case. SMU was an elite football program during the mid 70s to mid 80s until they were caught...
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