Midterm Research Paper
18 October 2012
“Pay to play? That’s the question being fiercely debated on campuses and across the college conferences. And it’s shocking to see the level of support the answer “yes” is getting—because the idea tears at the very nature of amateur college sports” (Should). There are views from both sides as this is quite the controversial subject in the sporting world. Looking at the facts, it is difficult to decide either way.
First off, we must decide what qualifies under the pay to play category. There are numerous ways that college athletes can be compensated for their time dedicated to the sport. They consist of scholarships, free tuition, fees, and room and board. “Athletes on scholarship currently receive tuition, fees, room, board, and books—costs that can exceed $30,000 to $50,000 a year at many schools. Last October, the NCAA agreed to let college conferences decide whether to pay student athletes an additional $2,000 annual stipend to more closely match the total cost of attendance” (Should). Some of the student athletes that attend college come from poor environments. The athlete and their family cannot offer the money to get them through the hard times of making college payments. “Collegiate athletes deserve to be paid. The scholarships that they receive cover school-related expenses. They cover books, tuition, and room and board. These scholarships allow athletes to attend class, eat, and sleep on campus for free. What they don't do is give the players money. Many NCAA athletes come from disadvantaged backgrounds, where their families can't afford to give them money.” (Solution). Also, is it right to compensate college athletes for their hard work? “What if people in the business of money took $1.3 billion off the top, invested it, sheltered it and made it available to provide a stipend to college athletes, how could anybody stand on principal and argue against paying the people who make the events possible in the first place?” (Michael). After all, they are part of the reason for the revenue that the organization receives. “Those who advocate payment argue that because colleges make lots of money through their football and basketball programs, student athletes are being exploited if they don’t get a piece of the revenue pie. Recently more than 300 athletes petitioned the NCAA and college presidents for a cut of the estimated $775 million generated by televising college sports” (Should). For the amount of work that athletes put in, whether it is on the field or off, they deserve much more than just tuition and room and board. This could raise another question. What will it do to the recruiting process? Will it make the universities more vulnerable to negotiations? “As the have-nots compete with the haves, coaches would feel even more pressure to win, and recruiting violations would only increase. Speaking of coaches, the University of South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier believes that each of his 70 football players should receive $300 per game. He says that he and several other Southeast Conference coaches feel so strongly about it that they’re willing to pay it themselves” (Should). Paying players may result in the decrease of interest in division two, three, and private universities. The institutions with a larger budget can attract the better athletic recruits. Looking at the pros and cons of paying college athletes, we could lean either way. “According to Title IX, a federally mandated law, if conferences and schools decide to increase the value of student-athlete scholarships to cover living expenses, they have to do it for women’s programs as well. This means that schools would have to, for example, increase the value of women’s volleyball and softball scholarships as well. Schools have to stay in-accordance with Title IX, otherwise they’re risking their federal funding” (Pros and Cons). It can become...
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