The notion of paying college athletes has been floating around for many years. A hotly debated topic, college athletes should most certainly be paid for having to endure a tough life and for all the money they generate.
Most people tend to argue that college players should not receive money for playing because they are usually under a scholarship. However, today’s “full-ride” scholarships can only include tuition, fees, room and board and books. The Collegiate Athletes Coalition notes that NCAA scholarships are worth anywhere between $2,000 and $3,000 less than the cost of attending a university as scholarships do not account for travel expenses or other sundries. Former NCAA president, Myles Brand, has come out in support of increasing scholarships to help cover these costs.
So although scholarships are viewed as receiving a free education to play, students will still have to spend anywhere between $8,000 and $12,000 out of pocket money to cover the cost of living. Therefore, a full athletic scholarship does not provide a “free” education.
Another reason college athletes should be paid is because of how much money they bring into their colleges. Just last year the NCAA came to an $10.8 billion deal with CBS/Turner to broadcast the March Madness games. That’s almost $11 billion for three weeks worth of television between 2011 and 2024. ESPN also came to a deal with the BCS worth $500 million dollars over four years. That’s two deals worth $11.3 billion and what does the NCAA need to do? Just get college students to play football and basketball. If these students are working hard and generating the NCAA and their respective colleges a total of $11.3 billion, they deserve to at least get a tiny sliver of that money. If the NCAA took just $1.3 billion away from those deals and invested it into a fund for football and basketball playing students, that would be plenty fair and could easily cover the out of pocket costs they pay and leave some money for other expenses.
Most Division I college athletes will tell you that playing a Division I sports, especially football or basketball, is a full time job. Students quickly learn that between sports practice and having a reasonable social life, they have no time for academics.
For example, Robert Smith, former Minnesota Vikings running back and pre-med student at Ohio State, needed two afternoon labs in the fall semester. Since they conflicted with football practice, coaches suggested he drop the class. This is one of many examples that the students are not getting the education they need to be successful in life after their sports career ends.
These are a few of the endless reasons that college athletes should be more compensated for their efforts on the field or court.