Dr. Marian Davis
Word Count: 1755
College Athletes: Pay for Play
For millions of Americans, college game day is strictly designated for being glued to the television all day, covering themselves head to toe in fan gear, or anxiously waiting for the gates of the stadium to open so they can enter and watch their favorite team be victorious. For the universities, and especially the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), it is just another day of business and opportunity to produce income off the talented athletes who participate faithfully for their schools. The fact that the NCAA, which has become a multi- million dollar company over the years by benefiting from the success of these amateur athletes, does not allow those same athletes to receive any sort of compensation for their hard work is unjust. The issue of whether or not college athletes should be paid in any way for their performance on the field or on the court has been extremely controversial, due to the fact that both sides of the argument have convincing evidence. However, due to the large amount of profit that universities and the NCAA receive solely from the success of their athletes, it would be highly beneficial as well as fair to allow payment of these college athletes. One of the biggest concerns against paying college athletes is simply the fairness of how the payments would be distributed. It would be extremely difficult to determine whether or not a well known star quarterback for a nationally ranked team should receive a higher amount than a teammate that mostly sits on the sidelines without causing controversy. Every athlete, no matter what his or her playing status or rank may be, is going to argue that individually it is fair to receive a decent amount of pay and would be outraged if another player was to receive higher based on general popularity. The same issue of fairness can be related to the fact that not all universities can afford to pay their athletes and “it would be a burden for the majority of schools that don’t profit from athletics (Cohen). In an interview conducted by Matt Norlander, a sports writer for ESPN, Jim Boheim, the head basketball coach at Syracuse University, provides hard evidence of how the profits from the basketball program are distributed throughout the school leaving nothing extra to be handed out to the basketball players of this high ranked basketball team. Boheim explains that “We make no money at Syracuse University in the athletic department. Zero. We’re lucky if we break even at the end of the year.” Based on this first-hand knowledge of non-existent funds in the athletic department at a decent sized university, one can only imagine the type of struggle that a small junior college or even a less successful larger university would have if the payment of players was to be condoned. Not only is the inequality of distributing funds to all players an issue, but distributing funds to all sports becomes a problem as well. If a university has a nationally ranked football team with fifteen national championship wins and a head coach that gets paid millions of dollars each year, and then has a non ranked baseball team that hasn’t won a game in four seasons, with a coach that works on a minimum salary, it is obvious that the football program provides higher financial benefits. Because of this, there would be a huge disagreement between the various sport departments because some of the money earned by more profitable sports would have to be distributed to other sections of the athletic department. There is also the argument against payment that athletes already receive so much from the university and are compensated enough so that there is no need to give them more than what they already have. When an athlete receives a scholarship to play for a university, he or she is blessed with an opportunity to go to a well-known school, do not have to worry about...
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