College Athletes Deserved to Be Paid
College Athletes Deserve To Be Paid November 17, 2011 College Athletes Deserve To Be Paid Almost every week there is some sort of story that makes the news about a university breaking the NCAA rules. The debate is bigger than ever to start paying college athletes to play sports. It does not matter which sport it is, athletes need more than just a scholarship to pay for expenses outside of tuition, room, and board. A scholarship is strictly limited to these, but what about the expenses outside of those?
It is time to start paying college athletes to play sports to cover the expenses that occur outside of a scholarship and the sport. With the growing costs of living, more and more athletes are looking for ways to get more money than their scholarship gives them. In return, most of the athletes are breaking NCAA rules to get money, which hurts the school, coach, and their self. Colleges around the country are getting punished, and losing legendary coaches because of athletes needing more money. Schools have turned to firing coaches because of athletes breaking these rules.
College athletes should be paid because they need more than what their scholarship gives them, some sort of cut of the millions of dollars the schools make off the athletes. Also to help protect the coaches and schools from being placed under some form of punishment. A college athlete getting paid to play has been a topic of discussion the past few years, and the problem is only getting worse. However, there are reasons why many NCAA officials and school officials believe athletes do not need to receive any more money than their scholarships.
A major point that these officials use is that paying an athlete for playing will then eliminate the amateurism of the NCAA. The NCAA has always been known to create a playing environment that is strictly at an amateur level. If a college athlete begins to get paid then this therefore eliminates the “amateur” title, and they are then recognized as professionals. However, more and more athletes are looking for ways to make more money. According to Matt Hinton at rivals. com, Ohio State University is currently on probation for athletes selling or trading their memorabilia for money and other things (2011).
This is breaking the NCAA rules, and has resulted in the university to be placed on probation and firing their coach. The NCAA is about amateurism, but even Olympic amateurs can make money off of endorsements. They should let athletes make money so these schools do not have to worry about getting in trouble. Another point, officials do not see why an athlete should be paid if they are already going to school for “free”. Athletes receive a scholarships based on what a school would like to give them, and for most of the time many athletes receive a full-ride scholarship.
This scholarship usually pays for their tuition, room, and board. Often times, officials ask why an athlete needs more than what their scholarship allows them. However, with scholarships they are strictly limited to on-campus purchases, and cannot help an athlete with any bills outside of the school. If an athlete has to travel to home and back for any reason a scholarship does not cover the trip. Where does the athlete get the money to pay for the trip? This is one example why athletes need extra money instead of just a scholarship.
Lastly, many claim athletes are student-athletes, and paying them would result in them becoming just paid athletes. This is a good point, but the difference between a student-athlete and a student is a student can receive benefits outside of their financial aid, and/or scholarships. It is unfair to student-athletes and this is why they deserve some sort of payment outside of their scholarship. A student-athlete on a full-ride scholarship is there because the school believes the student is an outstanding athlete. The scholarship is strictly used for on-campus purchases such as tuition, room, and board.
Often times the scholarship is also used for books, supplies, and sometimes school apparel. The issue with a scholarship is it cannot be used outside of the campus. However, there are many purchases a student needs during their time at the school, that a scholarship does not cover. For example, an athlete must cover on their own the cost of travel home, which sometimes can be costly depending on where their family lives. Also, regular bills, clothes, and food outside of campus have no way of being paid for by an athlete that is limited to a scholarship.
It is unfair to athletes that spend all year with their sport to not receive some form of payment. A student on a full-ride academic scholarship is allowed to have a job, and to make money professionally. An example, a student who has a full-ride for academics can still sell their talent (music, writing, etc. ) for money, and they can also hold a job. This allows the student to receive more money than what their scholarship pays for. Zane, who plays football on a full-ride scholarship at Ball State University, told me it is nearly impossible to have a job while playing football.
He said he has two weeks off during the summer to be at home, and other than that he has the opportunity to come home some weekends. He said they start in the summer and play through the season, and then following the season they begin practicing for the next (Personal communication, November 11,2011). This is a year-round obligation with no free time. There is no time for him to make any money because many companies do not want to hire someone who can only work a little bit compared to a student who has more free time. The sport is his job, and therefore should pay the athlete to play.
It is unfair for a student who does not play a sport get paid for what they do, but an athlete that draws millions in for the university only gets a scholarship. Each year, college athletics make universities millions of dollars. However, the athletes that draw this money into the school receive none from it. According to the Huffington Post, the Big Ten and the SEC made around $8 million 2009-2010(Huffington Post, 2011). The players of these conferences see none of that money besides what their scholarship grants them.
The players are what the fans pay to come see, and the schools know this. The schools are allowed to use any player’s name or face to sell jerseys, tickets, and other things. However, the player that is being used see none of the money they make the school. This is unfair to the athlete because he or she is the one who works hard for the school that people pay to see. If a player who wears a certain number is a national or even local star and helps sell that certain number jersey, then they should be entitled to some sort of percentage they are making the school.
It is unfair for them to not be able to make any money off of their talents, but a music student is allowed to make money off of theirs. Athletes spend all year working for their sport and making the school money, but they receive a scholarship. A scholarship is coming from the school so the school is not losing any money since it has to be spent there. If athletes are allowed to make money this eliminates the argument of the school only benefiting from athletes. Also, receiving more than a scholarship will keep schools out of punishment, and keep coaches and programs out of trouble.
When athletes begin looking for ways to make money this usually ends up hurting the school, coaches, and the athletes. This hurts the schools because most of the time making the money they need is breaking NCAA rules. Almost each week there is some form of story of a school that breaks a NCAA rule because of an athlete receiving money or gifts. This has resulted in many programs forfeiting wins, losing scholarships, and/or being placed on some form of probation or suspension. The athletes usually are suspended or ruled ineligible, and the coaches have been fired.
The Ohio State example I mentioned earlier resulted in them being placed on a two-year probation, and the school firing their coach. The coach helped develop that program into what it is today was fired for not reporting his players who were selling or trading their memorabilia. This school could still be known as a powerhouse with a legendary, national champion coach if the NCAA would allow players to receive money outside of their scholarships. Instead, the school is on probation, lost their great coach, and had to vacate all their wins from the seasons the players played. Hinton, 2011) This is not the only school that has lost a coach of great prestige because of athletes wanting a little more money. The debate of paying athletes should be over by now, and the athletes need to be paid. The NCAA is hurting the programs of many schools because of the fines, and punishments from athletes just trying to get a little more money than the get from a scholarship. It is time for the NCAA to stop worrying about the amateurism of the sport, and allow athletes to make money. This will protect the integrity of the coaches, and the jobs they hold now.
If the NCAA continues to place rules on an athlete who makes the schools money it will continue to lead to many more coaches to be fired, and athletes being punished. Schools make millions off of these 18-22 year olds, and the athletes put all the time in. The NCAA needs to find a way to pay these athletes so they can afford to be in school outside of their scholarships. The student-athlete should be paid because they work year round, many hours a day for a school that makes millions off of all sports. It is time that the athletes get what they deserve.