Should College Athletes Be Paid
For a considerable period now, the issue on whether athletes in institutions of learning such as universities and colleges should be compensated has raised debate. Proponents argue apart from scholarships, athletes often do commendable work hence they should be fully compensated. Opponents argue college athletes are students, not employees as such, at no time should they be paid. The response of the query posed to Mark Emmert by sports media members in 2010 truly reflects that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCA) is not in support of paying college athletes. He argues as long as he is NCCA president college athletes will never be paid to take part in sports. These remarks by the president posed numerous questions with the proponents arguing the colleges and universities exploit the athletes. However, there are those who argue privileges enjoyed by students through athletic scholarships are more than payment. My opinion is paying athletes in college will cause more harm than good (Tucker 309).
College Athletes Should not be paid
According to Tucker (309), the major function of learning institutions like colleges and universities is provision of education and not employing students. Paying athlete students will be against goals and morals of the institutions of learning. Student athletes take part in games in the process of learning. They are supposed to excel both in class work and games. Athletes are supposed to understand the aim of joining college is excelling in studies and not earning. Student athletes are supposed to contemplate improving in academics not about paychecks. The important thing for student athletes is ensuring they work extra hard to do well in academics since athletics alone cannot build a stable future for them.
If college athletes are paid, it will demoralize them from working hard in class and this will keep the institutions of learning from attaining their goals (Nitardy 113).
According to Mark Murphy, the Northwestern University Director for Athletics, value of scholarships athletes get in 4 years is approximately $ 200,000. He argues the commitment students playing sports such as volleyball and football is the same as that of athletes. This implies if athletes are paid, other players should as well be paid. Murphy holds a scholarship is compensation enough for the athletes and that other problems can lead to more problems especially on the gender issue. Title IX law prevents student athlete from being paid. The law was enacted in colleges in order to prevent all manner of inequalities. The law requires all players and sports are supposed to be equally accounted for in the event of payment. If athletes are going to be paid by colleges, sports that fail to generate high income are likely to get abandoned of the colleges comply with Title ix Law. This in turn would promote a great injustice (Grant, Leadley & Zygmont 156).
Apart from scholarships which are renewable, athletes are entitled to different kinds of amenities and luxuries at no extra cost. Colleges buy the equipment for the students and cover expenses such as books, travel, accommodation and tuition. Athletes as well as non-athletes do not recognize such an opportunity as it is not open to all the students. At present, pursuing a course in universities and colleges is very costly. Family members and individuals often part with huge sums of money or they incur student debt loans. Students are supposed to repay the loans at am interest which at times can be very high. At times athletes might be allowed to access the amenities in schools with all the expenses covered which is not applicable to other students. These are just some of the advantages accompanying being an athlete. Though no salary is available for athletes, the cost of such benefits is enough. Student athletes who wish to get salaries are supposed to work towards being professionals (Nitardy 112).
Grant, Leadley and Zygomont (156) argue it would be extremely difficult to make a decision on who gets paid what if athletes are to be paid. This is due to the fact there are certain track events known to bring in more money compared to other sports for instance, swimming. However, these events make money. The controversy is on whether all athletes are supposed to receive equal payment and if not, who is supposed to get a higher pay and the percentage. Colleges would also decide whether the payments should be based on importance of the dame or performance. It is not wise to pay players for certain games while leaving others out. Paying athletes poses a change that is great for colleges since learning institutions are not run in the same manner as profit organizations.
Athletes are offered good opportunities by colleges to develop talents through financial support. Therefore, it makes no sense to pay them. Lastly, athletics is a gift just like some students are gifted in academics. If students who perform well in sports are paid, those who perform well in academics should receive recognition as well. Though sports take the student’s time that could be used in class work, it is not a smart move to avail payment for student athletes.
Grant, Randy, Leadley, John and Zygmont, Zenon. The economics of intercollegiate sports. New York, NY: World Scientific, 2008.
Nitardy, Nancy. Get paid to play: every student athlete’s guide to over $1 million in college scholarships. New York, NY: Kaplan Publishing, 2007.
Tucker, Irvin. Economics for today, 8th ed. New York, NY: Cengage Learning, 2012.