Home / Fall 2015 / Pro/Con: To pay or not to pay college athletes

Pro/Con: To pay or not to pay college athletes

Photo Credit: MCTCampus

Written by Terrance Johnson, Staff Writer

It is a privilege for student athletes to be able to put on their school colors and represent their university. It is a privilege to have millions cheer for you while others cheer against you. It is a privilege to receive a free education while others have to take out loans. The problem occurs when these student athletes bring their institutions billions of dollars and see none of that money in return.

The latest case involves former UCLA basketball star, Ed O’Bannon. About five years ago, O’Bannon sued the NCAA, Electric Arts, and the Collegiate Licensing Company over the use of his name and image. O’Bannon has reached a settlement of $40 million with the Electric Arts and Collegiate Licensing Company.

In August, a federal judge ruled that the NCAA violated anti-trust law by prohibiting college athletes from being compensated for use of their names, images and likenesses. The court ordered that schools be allowed to offer athletes full cost-of-attendance scholarships and put up to $5,000 into a trust per athlete per year of eligibility.

College athletes are not allowed to do work-study programs, so why not allow them to make money off of the sports that they play? It simply doesn’t make sense not to pay the employees that fuel the college sports0 industry. Steve Wieberg of USA Today said that the rules say that major college football coaches can only demand 20 hours of their players time a week, but players say that those numbers more than double during the season. This virtually makes being a student athlete a full-time job.

“Student athletes should be paid, because on top of all the school work that they have to do, they provide a service to the community, that not only brings excitement to the community, but revenue as well,” D’Amonte Ridley, wide receiver of the VSU Blazers said.

The bottom line is that athletes bring in tons of money to their respective schools. They bring in so much that the NCAA can afford to find a solution to pay the players.

Written by Lashawn Oglesby, College Life Editor

College and universities are meant to help students learn and earn a degree. It isn’t a place for students to earn a living and that includes student athletes. They shouldn’t be paid to play.

Being a student athlete takes dedication and commitment to themselves, their teammates, coaches, and their school. It involves a level of risk to their physical being and they help generate some of the money (sometimes most of the money) that comes into the school from the games that they play, so why aren’t they being paid to play?

Many student athletes get financial help to attend college through grants and scholarships ranging from not having to pay for their books to full rides. While this isn’t a direct form of compensation, it is a benefit and helps them continue their education; the most essential aspect of higher education.

With a college degree, people can get into their selected careers easier than those without and typically earn more money as well. If a student athlete goes pro, they have made it to their chosen career and will earn money. If they don’t or can’t go pro, it’s not the end to having a successful career as they still have their education to help them land them a career where they will earn money.

Not all schools are equal when it comes to sports, and not all sports are equal within one institution. If student athletes start earning salaries how will this pan out across all college and university institutions? How will lower division schools fare in paying their athletes? Will Division I teams within the same university earn the same pay regardless of the sport’s popularity or gender?

The fact that some athletes may lose their ability to play forever due to an injury is a serious issue, but being able to fall back on school is another part of being a student athlete. Athletes deserve to be taken care of in case of any injuries, but getting paid for extracurricular activities is not what earning a degree is about.

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