Categorized | Features

Should College Athletes be Paid?

By: Sam Sikora

For years, there has been a major debate regarding whether or not collegiate athletes should be paid. Some say that paying athletes would ruin the integrity of college sports. Others claim that they deserve the money for the prowess in their sport. Regardless of your opinion, let’s look at the basic facts first.

The NCAA averages an annual revenue of right around one billion dollars. About 82% or 821 million of that is generated from the extremely popular, 64 team, basketball tournament known as March Madness (USA Today). That is a lot of money. But if you include all three divisions of the NCAA and all the sports, there are a lot of student athletes (roughly 460,000). If the NCAA gave up all of their profits to students, each student would only earn a salary of $2,173 annually which is equivalent to a low-end scholarship. However, not many people are arguing that the NCAA should provide athletes a base salary like a professional sport. The bigger controversy comes with endorsements from outside agents. For instance, collegiate athletes aren’t even allowed to earn money from youtube channels off of their name and still compete under NCAA rules. To me, if they are earning their own money, off of their own brand, it is ridiculous to prevent them from earning their own wage. 

Personally, as a future collegiate athlete, I believe that athletes should be allowed to be compensated to endorse a brand or company. If they are skilled and a popular public figure, then why shouldn’t they be allowed to earn money off of their name? Is it because it would ruin the “integrity of the game?” I personally enjoy watching college basketball more than watching the NBA because there is more heart and passion displayed by the collegiate athletes. The thing is, if we allowed these high-class athletes the ability to earn endorsements, the chances are higher that they may stick around and play collegiate ball for more than one year. Think of all the superstar college athletes that leave after one year in the NCAA to go pro. If there was more incentive to stick around, then we could see an even larger increase in the competitiveness of NCAA sports. 

At the end of the day, I do believe that it would be crazy to force the NCAA to pay athletes. But it would be even crazier for the NCAA to continue to prevent athletes from profiting off of their own name. 

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