Argument for Paying College Athletes

Topics: National Collegiate Athletic Association, Jalen Rose, Argumentative Pages: 6 (1408 words) Published: May 6, 2014

Argument for Paying College Athletes
Stephen Elting
Mercy College

Have you ever heard of a business that made billions of dollars, yet did not pay their employees? Seems pretty remarkable doesn’t it? Well this business is known as the NCAA. According to an article in the New York Times, the NCAA made $770 million from just the three-week Men’s Basketball Tournament, but how much did the athletes who participated in said tournament receive? If you said zero then you would be correct. The athletes that poured their blood, sweat and tears into practice everyday and into the 30 plus game regular season did not see a dime. It is hard to fathom how an industry of this size can make so much money, yet not allow the athletes that help them make that money see any dividends.

Being a college athlete myself, I have lived the struggle of trying to maintain grades, while going to practice and games during the week. Imagine trying to keep a job during this hectic schedule. It is hard for college athletes to find extra money to get a pizza or go see a movie. It is especially hard for athletes coming from tough backgrounds. Two out of every five Division I athletes come from single parent homes and athletics are their only opportunity to provide a future for themselves and their families. It is not easy for these students to get jobs because their schedules are already full. For example, many division I football teams practice twice a day. A day for a division I football player could look like this: practice-6 a.m., class-9 a.m., class-11 a.m., and practice-2 a.m. By the time they are done with the second practice of the day their day is practically over. They still have to eat dinner and possibly do homework. This leaves no time to get even a part-time job. It also raises the question of how these athletes obtain extra spending money? If you are an athlete like Johnny Manziel, who comes from a rich oil family, money comes easily and is not a concern. For those who are less fortunate and come from a single parent home or from a poor household the money does not come easily. So when a coach approaches and says, “Hey, let me buy you lunch,” many kids do not think twice and accept the $20. This goes against NCAA rules and if found out there is an investigation which could result in a suspension.

College athletes can observe while walking to class or on the field students wearing jerseys with their name and number on them. Schools can charge anywhere from $50-$70 for a jersey like that, and where does that money go? It goes directly to the school and the athlete whose jersey is being worn all around campus will not see a dime of it. In the early 90’s while the Fab Five was at the University of Michigan, Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson started a college basketball revolution. Michigan became the first school to ever start five freshman in a college basketball game. These five wore baggy shorts and black socks. They took the nation by storm and soon Michigan merchandise was flying off the shelf. None of the Fab Five saw any compensation and when they took notice of what was happening they started to question why. It is well documented in the ESPN film The Fab Five; all five wondered why they were not seeing any dividends from all the merchandise being sold. Jalen Rose came from a rough neighborhood in Detroit, so he fell into the category of the struggling college athlete. He admits during the film to taking money at times to buy pizza.

Current Houston Texans running back Arian Foster said he received money on the side while he attended the University of Tennessee. In a recent Sports Illustrated article he said, “ I don’t know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation—my senior year, I was getting money on the side (Sports Illustrated, 2013).” He went on to say, “I really didn't have...

References: Dirlam, Z. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Nocera, J. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Remy, D. (2012). Why the New York Times ' Nocera is wrong. NCAA News, 5.
Arian Foster admits in documentary he took money at Tennessee - College Football - (n.d.). Retrieved from
NCAA won 't budge on paying college athletes - ESPN. (n.d.). Retrieved from
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