I’m going to start by saying that I am a college athlete and it’s very interesting the number of people fighting and defending the topic if players should be paid. The price for college has never been higher and will only continue to grow as time goes on. Going along with that college athletics have never been more popular. The most prominent example would be a division 1 football program. Back in 1906, when the NCAA was created, a law was put in place to prevent exactly this.
This law is called the “Amateurism clause” which states that no athlete may receive a salary for participating in athletics or engage with professional sports teams while in the NCAA. The clause goes on to say that the player(s) may not receive any profit from autograph or jersey sales. Much of this makes sense because the majority, if not all, the players are receiving some or all their education paid for. This includes housing, tuition, books, and food, all coming free of charge to play the sport. With almost all if not all the expenses of college being paid for the athlete, it’s no wonder why restraining laws need to be in place.
Another way to look at it is that the players should be paid for the time they have committed to the sport and their educational career. Per sources, these athletes spend over 40 hours a week preparing for the game (Anderson). With that in mind, these players are also students needing to maintain a certain GPA while taking a full schedule of courses. Due to these two factors, it can be extremely hard if not impossible for the players to have a job to make money and get life experiences that they need if they are going to be successful in their lives. I have an objection to be paid to play.
It goes against everything athletics is about,” said Fairfield Director of Athletics Eugene Doris. “I’m not opposed to students receiving some sort of compensation because they can’t get a job because of their time commitment to their team. Compensation to some extent should exist”(K. Anderson). “It goes against everything athletics is about”, that’s a very interesting way to think about that. Athletics are always described to have fun and meet new friends, but today, as the players age it isn’t about fun anymore, it’s about money or compensation.
Sure, the sports are still fun to play but they are being played for a different reason as the students grow up. “I think they [athletes] are already paid, and they get enough,” said women’s volleyball head coach Jeff Werneke. “When they sign a letter of intent, they get a contract – books, classes, room and board, stipends if they live off-campus. I think they are paid through the value of education and their coaches’ hours of help to make them better players and developing their skills. ” Many people agree with this line of thinking.
These athletes are “paid” over $30,000 a year depending on the school, which for any student in college, is a very large amount of money. They aren’t handed a pay check that they can spend on anything they want but they are handed a college education for little to no cost to them or their families. Which in the long term is arguably more helpful than an actual pay check. I believe that the main thing that is overlooked is the fact that these players aren’t pros, they’re students in college playing a sport.
These students aren’t attending college to play a sport they are there to get a degree. If the students are drafted by the pros that’s when you should get paid because the sport is there job. If they are working hard enough in their sports, then they will get drafted and money will never be an issue for them. I would even argue that another form of payment is exposure. When these players play on national TV a lot of people are watching, including scouts of professional teams.
All the college athletes work so hard to move to next level with might be the ros or even the Olympics, but the athletes need exposure to those communities to be able to compete in them. That is what college athletic programs offer their athletes on top of their scholarships. “Athletes at this level (Fairfield) should not be paid,” Maxwell said. “But at Duke and other top programs that bring in so much revenue should pay the athletes because they don’t get any of the money the school makes off them. ” This is a very dangerous line of thinking due to the question of, which schools should and which one’s shouldn’t?
Another problem would be that some players might only want to play if they are going to one of the schools that pay for their education as well as hand them a pay check, which would lead to a whole new set of problems that the NCAA won’t be able to deal with. Unfortunately, the deal must be all the schools pay their players or none of them. The moment you bring in the idea that only some should pay their players and some shouldn’t, is when issues like having only a few schools have all the best players in the country.
If that happens it will create a very different dynamic in the world of college athletics. In the article “top ten reasons the athletes should be paid” by Dave Anderson, he talked about how the students in college athletics can’t balance their sport, school and a job all at the same time with their time commitment of over 40 hours a week to the sport alone. If you add in amount of time per class as well as the amount of time needed outside of class to get all that work done, you are looking at a high amount of time between just those two obligations.
If you added any kind of job you would be crushed by all your commitments. Another one of the reasons Anderson brought up was the fact that the reason that so many school have a surplus of money is because of their sports teams. This is very true because people go to games which cost money to get in, buy merchandise, and buy food. All of those combined per game would come out to a large sum of money that the school wouldn’t be receiving if it wasn’t for their sport teams. College coaches make millions, athletic shoe companies make millions, universities with big-time programs gain national exposure and prominence” (Shropshire). This brings up another interesting situation where the coaches make a lot of money doing what they are doing because it’s their job. The equipment companies will prosper because these highprofile athletes are wearing their gear, and the school will do phenomenally if they have a quality sports program to attract fans around the country.
College athletes preform at such a high level to make all those people and companies successful so why shouldn’t the people that make it possible get a share of what they have worked so hard for in the first place? “Athletes don’t have free choice of what major they take if the classes conflict with practice schedules,” Amy McCormick says. “That’s one fact that flies in the face of the idea that they’re primarily students and secondarily athletes”(Cooper, 2011).
Everyone understands the commitment these athletes make to their sports, equally people know that these sports aren’t year around. No one is suggesting that these athletes have full time jobs during their playing season. However, there is an off season where these athletes do get off time. This would be the time when those athletes would have the time to get a job and make some extra money if it’s that important to them. In the off season, it’s just training for the next season.
On top of the off season there is also summer break when all those athletes could get jobs in their home towns and make some more money. Ways of accumulating money do exist but people always look at these athletes as if it’s a full-time job year around, which just isn’t the case. Like I said, I am a college athlete and I know that even after training and my school work I still have time to do the things I want to do. During the season, less so but when the season’s over the time commitment is a ton less. The players get time to breath and get to enjoy college for what it is.