There has been a running debate over the past couple of years on whether college athletes should be paid or not. There are a lot of points to think about when considering if they should be paid. These college athletes play for a league called the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or the NCAA for short.
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The NCAA makes a large sum of money off these athletes. The student athletes are generating revenue for their colleges and the NCAA, but they don’t get paid an amount in return. This is not fair for the athletes who put in so much work for the success of their colleges. College athletes should be paid because they put in a lot of work and effort, many of them struggle to get by, and they are the reason that the NCAA and their colleges are making money.
College athletes put in an endless amount of work to be the best for their respected colleges. A lot is expected from these young athletes, from making sure they go to class to making sure they are present in practices and workouts. It is a basically a job for these athletes since they put in more than forty hours a week in practice (“Compensation for College Athletes”). It is unbelievable that they have to devote an insane amount of time just for practice. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said this in his article, “It was mostly holding up in the dorms at night because you couldn’t afford to go out and you needed a lot of rest after punishing practices” (Abdul-Jabbar par. 3). This limited amount of free time and demanding practices gives the athletes no time to get a job for extra money that is much needed.
Not only do these athletes not get compensation for their work, but they risk injuries everyday with the extreme practices they are put through. One article states, “Though many athletic programs and scholarships provide health care services, student-athletes are not afforded worker’s compensation protection if they are injured” (“Compensation for College Athletes” par. 7 ). This just goes to show how corrupt college sports has become. Athletes are put to work for endless amount of hours by their colleges, but they have to pay their own hospital bill if they get injured. This does not make any sense whatsoever. To make matters even worse, the NCAA have faced many of these incidentes where players get injured but are unable to pay their medical bills. However, after facing many of these incidents, the NCAA started making sure that their athletes had some type of medical insurance to be able to play (“Compensation for College Athletes” par. 7). This means that if an athlete cannot afford medical insurance then he is not allowed to play.
With a vast amount of money that is made, it is difficult to see that everyone involved is getting paid, that is everyone except the athletes themselves. In his article, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar states as follows, “Top college coaches make between $4m and $9m per year, plus outside fees. In 40 out of the 50 states, they are the highest paid state employees” (Abdul-Jabbar par. 7). The coaches make a tremendous amount of money from the hard work and dedication from their players. Abdul-Jabbar also included that students who were on academic scholarships were allowed to work and earn money during the year, however students who were on athletic scholarships like himself were told no and to focus on their sport (Abdul-Jabbar par. 5). Many college athletes are struggling to get by with a limited amount of money, and to add to that they aren’t allowed to work even if they have time to. This is outright unfair and they should be given at the least an allowance to get by.
Many people from the NCAA believe that college athletes should not be paid, but instead they should be more grateful for receiving scholarships. However, many college athletes still rack up a significant amount of debt. According to a recent study, the average full scholarship athlete racks up around $3,200 in debt every year that they are in school. This debt comes from meal plans and other unplanned fees that are not always covered by colleges (Majerol par. 6). Many of these student athletes are not financially secure and are not able to pay for these costs. To add to this, getting a job is close to impossible with the amount of practice and games they have. Veronica Majerol states that student athletes can spend up to 60 hours a week going to games and practices alone during playoff time (Majerol). Many of these athletes miss valuable class time while attending all these events. Shabazz Napier, a former college athlete from the University of Connecticut sayed as follows, “There are nights that I go to bed and I’m starving” (Majerol par. 7). With these struggles and limited amount of free time how can one expect them to attend all their classes and let alone have time for a job. These athletes should surely be getting paid some amount of money for all the time and effort they put in for their colleges.
The NCAA is growing every year, and so are their profits. It is really unfair that everyone gets their share except the ones responsible for it, the athletes. These college athletes go through many struggles during their time in college. They are the ones generating millions of dollars in profits for their college and the NCAA, yet they don’t receive a penny for their efforts. Hopefully, as time goes by the NCAA see how unfairly they treat their athletes and decide to pay these athletes what they deserve.
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