Topics: University, Academic degree, Amateur sports Pages: 7 (2478 words) Published: February 24, 2014
Should Major College Athletes Receive Pay For Play? John Stevens
When I was asked to write this article I gave it quite a lot of thought. Having been in the same position as many of these athletes many years ago, I do share some of their feelings on this matter. However, on the other hand, I want to be as unbiased as possible about this and present a fair perspective. This is a question that has begged an answer and has been debated frequently for many years. It has gained momentum as collegiate sports has become a monstrous exercise in revenue generation for the universities involved. The NCAA believes that amateur athletics should not be infected with the pursuit of capitalism, thus, maintaining its purity in terms of amateur athletic competition. It is a great goal and one that I would support if we had not already progressed so far beyond this. It is too late. To think that universities are not heavily involved in capitalism is to be deceived. They believe that their student athletes should be removed from "big business" and be solely focused on their "student life" and competing in an "amateur" environment, while they pursue capitalism at its finest. If you don't believe this, just read on and be enlightened. Amateur athletics is big business. The counterpoint to this thought is that any young man or woman who is sufficiently talented, should be allowed to market their talents on the open market. I am all for capitalism, it is a fine thing. But I do also believe that obtaining a college degree is important as well. The average longevity of professional athletes is relatively short and what are they to do when their professional career ends? Studies have shown that college graduates who do not pursue a career in sports at the professional level, tend to make, on average, $600,000 more over the course of their careers than their counterparts who leave school early for careers in professional sports. That is a pretty good argument for staying in school. Yes, you should be able to market whatever talents you have and be able to capitalize on those, but parental guidance needs to come into play at some point as well. As I last recalled, that is part of the responsibility of parenting in helping guide their children in important decisions. On the other hand, looking at the NFL, many leave early being enticed by tremendous salaries and potential bonuses that they see as providing they and their families with instant security. I can understand this. Everyone wants to help and repay their families for the sacrifices they all made to help these kids get to where they are and with a minimum salary in the NFL of $285,000 a year, this is fairly tempting. As great as these intentions are, the odds of long term success are fairly low. The NFL Players Association has shown that out of an estimated 100,000 high school players, only 9,000 ever make it to college football at all levels. Only 9%. Additionally, only an estimated 310(.03%) are invited to an NFL Scouting Combine. Of the 310, only 215(.02%) ever make it to an NFL roster. On top of that, at least 172 of those 215 last less than 4 years in the NFL. Long term success in the NFL is only available to about 43(.043%) of the original 100,000 kids who dreamed of someday playing in the NFL. This is a great argument for staying in school and getting a degree before attempting to pursue a life long dream of playing in the NFL. The odds of life long success and being a productive citizen in society are much greater by obtaining a degree than by chasing a dream far too early. Now to the subject of this article.....should collegiate players be paid? I am a bit of a purist, believing that one plays for love of the game and of course, to obtain a college degree. But there are many who disagree with this thought process. In 2003, Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers proposed a bill...

References: Martin, M. (2002, August 20). “NCAA limitations placed upon scholarship allocation hurt sports.” The Lantern. Retrieved April 21, 2008, from
Schneider, R. G. (2001). College students’ perceptions on the payment of intercollegiate student-athletes: Statistical data included. College Student Journal, Retrieved April 12, 2008, from
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