Nash Coons – GRZEXP Staff
This topic has been debated for a long time. Should college athletes be paid? Currently, the answer to that question is no. Many colleges however, are pressing to change that. College athletes should not be paid because they receive many advantages, and it would also make competition unfair in college sports.
College athletes, also known as student athletes, are just fine. There is no need to pay them. The average scholarship these athletes receive is valued at around 18 thousand dollars. They are getting their education paid for. These individuals are students, not just athletes. If they were paid, they would become employees. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) President Mark Emmert states, “College athletics is about college students playing other college students, not employees playing employees.” Education comes before the competition. Many players, however, disregard this. Mary Wilmingham, an academic advisor, reported to CNN that 60% of athletes at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill had a reading level below eighth grade. They are getting free education for no reason. They don’t need to be paid if they are going to carelessly throw thousands of dollars of scholarship money away.
The heat is turning up, as many are starting to take action to pay college players. In 2019, California introduced a bill that would allow California college athletes to make money using their image and likeness. If passed, this bill would go into effect in the year 2023. This would make recruiting unfair, because California colleges could use money as an incentive. Just like we see at the professional level, all of the outstanding players would flock to the places where the money is. Mark Emmert stated that California colleges would have an unfair asset, thus would not be allowed to compete in championships or tournaments. As a result, some California colleges opposed the bill. Salaries, however, are still being debated. The problem with this is that if a salary is applied, then all athletes would have to be paid the same amount of money. The main money makers for schools are the football and basketball programs. Their money comes from television stations that pay millions of dollars to televise their games. Secondary sports, such as track or swimming programs, do not get these deals. They commonly lose money each year, and rely on basketball and football programs to keep them running. There is not enough money to pay all the athletes.
There is no way to fairly pay college athletes because there is not enough money to go around. They have their scholarships, and they can live just like every other student on campus. Athletes can stop playing anytime they want because they are making the choice to spend time playing sports. Once again, they are students, not employees. It’s about time they accept it.