Should College Athletes Be Paid

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Jeren McGhee

Jenna Tucker

Research Paper

November 10, 2011

Paying College Athletes? Might Not Be a Bad Thing

College athletes are some of the hardest working individuals around. Athletes have a routine that includes brutal practices, intense games, and difficult college courses. College athletes carry a tremendous weight on their shoulders. Compensation for college athletes has been a controversial subject for years. Many individuals have their arguments in support of each side. However, no definite decision has been determined in this matter. College athletes should get paid for their performance because their sport is their job; the players have other financial responsibilities they need to handle and their respective schools are gaining significant amounts of money from their talents.

College athletes are continuously busy in the sports they participate in. They must be involved in both regular season and off season training, deal with rigorous travelling schedules, and depending on the athletic program, participate in a variety of service events. One of their greatest responsibilities is to portray a positive image at all times. As a result, they have no time to obtain a job like many other college students. There have been many news reports that have exposed and reprimanded colleges and athletes who have been involved in the exchange of inappropriate benefits. These benefits can include items such as money, cars, clothes, and some schools are even taking care of their players’ family members back home who are in great need of financial assistance (Hagedorn 122). Their dedication to their sport prevents the opportunity to get jobs at a McDonalds or any other place of employment. Imagine winning college football’s most prestigious award, the Heisman Trophy, but then giving it back five years later. Former University of Southern California stand out, Reggie Bush, won the 2005 Heisman Trophy by a landslide vote after amassing 2,611 all-purpose yards and scoring 18 touchdowns for the season. He then went on to be second pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, being selected by the New Orleans Saints. His pro career had been up and down but took a turn for the worst in the summer of 2010. Allegations arose that Bush received improper benefits while attending USC and this led to NCAA sanctions against the university. Since the NCAA also Bush’s poor lack of judgment not only potentially cost him the Heisman trophy but inflicted severe sanctions on the University of Southern California. These sanctions include a two-year postseason ban, the loss of football scholarships and the vacating of wins in the 2004-05 national championship season (Griffen 35).

College athletes receiving improper benefits have had a notorious past of strict disciplinary action. Examples include the University of Michigan’s former basketball star, Chris Webber, who received over $200,000 from a local bookmaker to play for Michigan. Webber went to court, was convicted of perjury, and was banned from any affiliation with the Michigan program until 2013.stripped Bush of his eligibility; the many awards he won in 2005 are in jeopardy of being taken (Watkins 3).

Former College athletes have expressed their opinion on why they should’ve been paid. Former University of Michigan basketball star, Jalen Rose, has recently voiced his opinion on whether or not college athletes should be paid. He stated that the time he spent in the basketball gym for practices coupled with the off season workouts there was absolutely no time for him to find a normal job on or off campus like other college students usually do. His solution to this problem is to pay college athletes a stipend of 2000 dollars once a semester to cover any financial responsibilities they have (Rose 5). Eventually, this would prevent colleges and universities from giving their athletes money “under the table”. The Trophy Trust should keep...
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