Should College Athletes Be Paid?
Should college student-athletes be paid? This is a highly disputed topic today in the world of sports and has been for a long time. There have been many proposed “solutions” to this question, but no progress seems to ever be made. Whether it’s paying the athletes a salary, giving them a cash reward, buying certain things for the athletes, having outside sources pay the athletes, letting the athletes have agents and sell their autographs and memorabilia, or just not paying them and leaving everything as it is, nobody can seem ever to reach an agreement. The problem is there is no one simple answer or solution to this question because it is much more complicated than that. There are too many views and opinions of this topic and every side has their flaws and issues that need to be addressed, but everyone feels so strongly about their position that they cannot consider the points the opposition has made or see any flaws in their thinking. However, it is painfully obvious that there is something wrong with the current system and something needs to be changed. The acronym NCAA stands for the National Collegiate Athletic Association and is the central controlling association of all college athletics in the United States and Canada. The NCAA was founded and maintained for the purpose of the organization of collegiate athletics. The NCAA has very strict regulations and guidelines that determine whether a student-athlete has their “amateurism” and is “eligible” to participate. Now, there are different divisions of athletics in the NCAA and each division has their own specific set of rules. However, this paper will be discussing NCAA Division 1 football and basketball unless specifically stated. In general, the basic guidelines in order to be eligible to participate in college athletics in the freshmen year the NCAA states that students must meet three requirements: graduate from high school, complete the minimum required academic courses, and have qualifying grade-point average (GPA) and SAT or ACT scores. The NCAA demands that a student-athlete must maintain their amateur status in order to be eligible to play. Dictionary.com describes an amateur as a person who engages in an activity, such as a sport, as a pastime rather than professionally or for gain. This means that an athlete can in no way receive money or compensation for playing their sport at any point in their life until their collegiate career is over or else they lose their amateurism and become ineligible. Another vague and frequently used word that is the center of NCAA policy and always associated with the topic of paying student-athletes is eligibility. As defined by Dictionary.com, eligibility is, “meeting the stipulated requirements, as to participate, compete, or work; qualified.” This means that a college athlete must meet all of the regulations required by the NCAA in order to be deemed acceptable to participate. It seems like a simple process in theory, but in actuality it is not. However, I will not bore you with the details. Given this information, it is understandable that paying student athletes is an extremely controversial subject for many reasons. First off, the implications of this would be monumental given the fact that the NCAA has always set up guidelines through the concept of amateurism since it was founded. If the students were paid, that entire perspective would be destroyed because none of the athletes would, by definition, be an amateur. However, this fact doesn’t play as big of a role as one might think in this intense debate. In fact, it is little even thought about. Secondly, how would the NCAA determine how much money each athlete gets or who gets money and who doesn’t? Many people argue that you would have to pay all the sports and divisions equally in order to be fair, but it is not that simple. Only two sports make a major impact and produce all the money, division 1 football...
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