Over the past few years, one of the greatest debates has been whether student-athletes should be paid as if they were professional athletes. I strongly stand behind the belief that student-athletes should not get paid. Majority of college athletes are trying to get to the pros, with that being said they have not reached that level yet, so why should they get paid as they were a professional? Being involved in a college athletic program is just another stepping stone to your ultimate goal of reaching the pro level. There are strict NCAA sanctions to be imposed upon anyone caught receiving bribes money or gifts of any kind. There are several notable scenarios where college athletes have received money or benefits illegally, players such as Reggie Bush (USC), Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State) and several Miami Hurricanes players. These athletes were disciplined by the NCAA, and all college accomplishments were vacated, almost like they never attended the university. A college athlete should be focused and committed to his/her sport and perfecting there craft not to as which school pays more or will my check be late.
There are many reasons why college athletes should not be paid and one of them is that the athletes are already being compensated in nonmonetary ways. So many times it is overlooked that an athletic scholarship is a major financial package or benefit worth in excess of thirty thousand dollars, as we all know college is expensive. Students at universities/colleges all across the nation would love to have a scholarship and know that their education is being taken care of. In today’s world, one of the greatest things you could have going for yourself is going to school under the umbrella of a full scholarship. College is so expensive; students have to take out loan after loan just to further their education, just at a chance to be successful in life. Knowing that your education is taken care of you is a major stress reliever and allows you to focus on your studies, and put financial burdens due to school as an after- thought. Being awarded an athletic scholarship covers tuition, books, meals, transportation, room and board, and so much more. By receiving a scholarship, this is basically rewarding you for your unique skill set for a particular sport, just because the money is not being put in your hand, doesn’t mean your efforts are going unnoticed.
Further more, universities/colleges already invest millions just too even have an athletic program. Having any type of sport on any campus is going to be expensive when you factor in facilities, equipment, uniforms, insurance and travel. This is all money invested on a chance, a hope, that the program will be successful there are no guarantees of a positive return on this money. They even pay the athletic director to make sure that they have the best chance of winning. Certain schools even take out loans just to keep their sports program up and running. Also many programs are falling victim to budget cuts, so to add a stipend for hundreds of athletes is almost impossible to do. College/universities are not in the business of negotiating players contracts. It is just ridiculous to be going to school for free and then on top of that being paid like a professional, it is not fair to the other students. Next, there would be a tremendous loss of focus. A student athlete doesn’t attend college just to play sports. In today’s world an average college student already does not know how to manage his/her money, and being paid to play a sport at school would just add more fuel to the already burning fire. Money can be the downfall of someone’s life, when you have it you tend to buy unnecessary things, go out more, and spend raucously. These are all the things you do not want a student athlete to do, especially if you are a coach of that athlete. As a student athlete, student comes first and athlete second, you are obligated to focus on your studies, and know that playing a sport is a privilege, not a right. Student-athletes are getting scholarship because of their ability to excel in an area of sports but they still are students that are there to receive an education. The ultimate goal is to get a degree and focus on your field. At any given moment your sports ability can be taken away from you, due to an injury, but if you have an education and have knowledge no one can take that away from you. Having an education is the key in life and without it you can’t go far. In addition it would be great to have an education and also succeed at a sport at a professional paid level. A prime example is Brandon Knight now currently a point guard in the NBA playing for the Detroit Pistons; he attended the University of Kentucky and maintained a 4.0 GPA while being a star basketball player on campus. He graduated maintaining a 4.0 GPA and also earned a degree in Business Management. He went on to get drafted in the 1st round of the NBA draft in 2011, not only was is well educated, but he is doing what he loved since he was a child. Being paid like professional will only distract a college athlete. Next, if you’re not a pro that is hired in a for profit organization why should you get paid? If you are blessed with a unique talent in a particular sport, you should train and work to reach your full potential, and the time to get paid will come as long you work hard and produce. Some people would kill to be in the shoes in some athletes, if you have a gift use it well and never take it for granted. I am a firm believer that participating in a college sport is a stepping stone in your journey, and going pro is a reward for all your hard work over all the years. If you’re already receiving a scholarship, why worry about getting paid on top of that? You should be committed to your team, and focus on performing at a high level to represent yourself, family, friends, coach and university. In college students have not yet reached a certain level of maturity to be getting paid top salaries. Also can you imagine if these athletes are being paid how would coaches discipline their players or get their messages across? College coaches across the world teach important life lessons, and it’s very hard to discipline a player when you’re getting paid top dollars. They are still in the process of developing, and still learning important life lessons. Then paying a college athlete messes up the culture of a university campus. Some student athletes being paid would take that as a sign of them being superior compared to other students. Paying a college athlete only separates them from the rest of the student body, and on a college campus you don’t want a student think they are not being treated equally as other students. When you pay a college athlete the message that you are sending is that these students are more important than others or anyone else on campus. With the pay would also come increased egos. One of the main aspects of college sports is fans, and if athletes are paid, the fan support would decrease dramatically and then college sports would change forever. At any university you want a tremendous amount of support from the student body; it brings a different atmosphere to any sport. In conclusion this topic can be argued in many different ways from much point of views. My stand is clear in that student athletes should not get paid. They are not professionals at their sports, so they shouldn’t get paid like one. Paying a student athlete only creates unnecessary friction at a college. It also changes the dynamics in college sports that have been successful across the country for countless years. A quote that I have come across that seems fitting is “if it’s not broke why fix it?’’ I bring this quote up because I believe college sports is one of the many great things colleges have to offer, and it’s been succeeding for years, if that’s the case why change or hinder it now ? This topic was a very interesting topic, I enjoyed researching it and learning more about the great debate on whether or not a student athlete should be paid or not. After doing this paper I gained better understanding than I previously had before that a college athlete is already being taken care of and getting paid is not necessary.