Should College Athletes Be Paid?

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Photo from U.S. Department of Agriculture under CC BY 2.0 license. No changes have been made.

There is an ongoing debate on whether or not college athletes should be paid.There many factors taken into account when looking at both sides of the argument. Some of the factors that must be looked at are level, sport and the school size.

Argument for paying the athletes.

The argument can be made that college athletes should be paid. paying college athletes.

SUNY Plattsburgh senior Luke Roderka, a member of the track team, said that athletes put in the work, so they should be paid.

“I think athletes should be rewarded for contributions, D1 athletes, especially in football and basketball, bring in millions for the schools and the NCAA, and get little in return for a full-time job,” Roderka said.

Last year alone, the NCAA generated about one billion dollars in revenue. Television deals keep funding college sports, which helps some of the schools out when it comes to creating new facilities and getting equipment for teams.

Roderka mentioned that, although athletes get a free education, it is hard to keep up with that.

“I do see that these are college students and they are being rewarded with a college education, but it doesn’t help that these athletes are limited in many ways with the NCAA involved and are required to miss classes,” Roderka said.

Roderka also said that by being an NCAA athlete, you are signing away a certain freedom to play for a college or university.

“Under NCAA rules, athletes sign their image and likelihood away for free, and the NCAA and the college can do whatever they want with it at all levels D1 to D3. Also, there’s an opportunity cost of work and the risk of injury. Athletes could spend this time working, but give it up and those athletes who find a way to make money, like YouTube or a clothing line, are still subjected to NCAA rules.”

SUNY Plattsburgh senior Carla Pimentel, former member of the women’s rugby team, said that schools benefit from some of these athletes.

“I do think that when video games and things like that are made on them, they don’t get any of the profit from it. Also really big schools do make a huge profit from athletes, like Ohio or Perdue,” Pimentel said.

Paying athletes could potentially remove the “one and done” rule, which lets college athletes do one year in college then they have the option to go pro . Students might potentially want to stay longer at school.

Arguments against paying the athletes.

The argument can be made that athletes should not get paid. The Huffington Post article mentioned above offers many arguments against paying them.

Tom Curle, the men’s basketball coach at SUNY Plattsburgh, said that he doesn’t think athletes should be paid.

“Let’s say the school is going to pay them, what happens when smaller schools can not pay some of these athletes?” Curle asked.

When athletes get recruited to play, they don’t really have to pay for much.

Curle said these students are already being paid.

“It costs $50,000 a year to go to Syracuse University, other students are leaving school with $100,000 in loans. These athletes have zero loans. The elite athletes already know that they are going to get paid for their hard work,” Curle said.

Curle also noted it would be hard to come up with a system for this.

“Are you gonna pay every athlete? It is hard to come up with system that works where everyone is going to be happy,” Curle said.

An argument used when talking about this is students that come from poverty. Curle gave some insight on this.

“Did you know that division one athletes that come from poverty get to keep their pell grant, and if they live off campus, they get extra money for their rent and food?”

The recruiting process could possibly be changed if division one athletes were paid. Curle also touched on this subject.

“The recruiting process would be different. A lot of these athletes would go to these big name schools because they can offer these athletes more money,” Curle said.

Pimentel said that paying these athletes could make them lose focus on the education aspects of college.

“I think that if college athletes got paid based on their performance, they wouldn’t stay longer in school. Like they would completely forget about the fact that they have school because they would  be focus on the money, and logically, if I’m getting paid to do something, I’m going to want to do it better. If it were me and I was getting paid to be a student athlete, I would worry less about my studies,” Pimentel said.


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