Collegiate Athletes Should NOT Receive Compensation

Zachary Daudet, Staff Writer

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Paying college athletes is a disastrous idea. Not only would it cause many issues with the players, it would completely destroy college sports forever. Athletes in college are there to further their talents, so hopefully one day they will become professionals and make money.  But paying them while in college would defeat the whole reason people go to college in the first place.

 

The biggest reason why college athletes should not be paid is that they already are, in scholarships. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Division I and II schools provide more than $2.9 billion in athletics scholarships annually to more than 150,000 athletes.  Universities already spend a ridiculous amount of money on athletic scholarships, so paying their players on top of that would create massive debt. For example, Division I Western Kentucky spends 5.6 million dollars in scholarship funds and takes 8.2 million from the university to balance out their budget.  There is no way that this school would be able to pay their athletes. Players, who have rightfully earned these scholarships, are receiving a college education for a discounted price or even for free.

 

One point people haven’t realized yet is the negative effects paying college athletes would have on their behavior.  College athletes would lose all respect for their teammates, coaches, and the game if we start giving them salaries. All they would care about would be the money they were making, not if they were winning or losing.  Money has even altered many professional players character. Professional athletes have been known to misuse their money by buying outrageous things sending them into debt. For example, former NBA All-Star Allen Iverson went from earning 24 million dollars a year to bankrupt. His constant spending of expensive clothes, jewelry, and other expensive items sent him spiraling into debt. Some athletes let the money go to their head, changing the way they act on and off the field, and these athletes are grown men. Paying young 18 and 19 year old kids would distract them from the reason they are there in the first place.  

 

The fact of the matter is college athletes are not pros, therefore they should not be paid.  Author for The Odyssey, Maurice Reed Jones, put it perfectly. He said, “College sports are just like another class. College students pick something that they want to major in so that they can learn and start a career. College sports should be treated the same way.” Regular college students don’t get paid for their work in the classroom and neither should athletes.

 

People opposed to my claim say that big name programs such as Duke, Alabama, or Kentucky make so much money they could afford to give their athletes a salary.  But according to The Atlantic, the average Football Bowl Subdivision program losses about 9 million dollars each year. Top ranked football team in the nation, Ohio State University, needs nearly 22 million dollars from booster clubs just to break even.  The argument that athletic programs make enough to pay their athletes simply does not exist.

 

In conclusion, paying college athletes would hurt the game, universities, and the athletes.  The purpose of college is to teach young adults about life and shape them into good contributors to our society, not to pay them.

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