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According to the NCAA, student-athletes are students first and athletes second. However over the last decade there have been many questions raised about what the actual definition of what a student-athlete really is. This is because of the millions of dollars generated by institutions that broadcasting and promoting these “student-first” athletes. The main question that arises from this is should the NCAA and or institutions/ conferences be paying athletes for their services? By looking at the billions of dollars a year that the business of college sports generates just in television and radio time alone, indicates that student athletes should be paid. If these schools and the NCAA are making billions of dollars from college sports, then why shouldn’t the athletes get paid for doing what they do?
After doing some research over a year ago and taking another look at this issue now, the question about paying college athletes has stayed the same. The debate whether to pay college athletes or not arose in the 1980s after Southern Methodist University was caught paying football players for their services. Upon discovery of these infractions, SMU was administered the “death penalty”, including loss of scholarships and no participation in bowl games for five years. The controversy surrounding paying college athletes seems to have risen from this unfortunate circumstance and has been cultivated into a huge social topic today. Following the SMU scandal in the late 1980s the NCAA rewrote their guidebook that describes an athlete’s role in an academic institution. According to the NCAA, “Student-athletes are students first and athletes second. They are not university employees who are paid for their labor” (NCAA.com). Looking at the arguments made by the NCAA, they make a valid point in showing how athletes are “compensated” for their participation in sports. According to the NCAA, “Many [athletes] receive athletics grants-in-aid that can be...
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