College Athletes Shouldn’t be Paid


Thursday, April 26, 2018

One of the biggest topics debated in the sports world today is if college athletes should be paid. Support seems to be growing in favor of paying athletes, but many forget that the financial burden athletic programs put on schools can then put strain on advancing academically. No matter how much the NCAA makes per year, I still do not see a justification to offer compensation to players.

Let’s take major D1 schools, for example. Virtually all major sports broadcasting TV channels air major schools on their network. These schools have rich histories of success, landing top recruits and winning championships. This, in turn, gives these sports channels incredible ratings and seem to be a win-win situation for each party. This also gives the athletes free exposure. Their faces are on TV for hours at a time, and these channels are being watched by millions of people. The popularity and virtual celebrity status obtained by these players gives them a renewed sense of confidence, and is a big reason why they don’t need further compensation.

Most, if not all of the athletes attending major D1 schools, are on a full ride. This includes free tuition, free housing, and free apparel related to their sport. When arguing to pay college athletes, those in favor claim that since the players faces are being used to market the team, they should be compensated financially. This is where I have a problem, for a few reasons.

Firstly, when a future athlete signs their letter of intent, they should be fully aware of what their new role will be. Hopefully, if they don’t live under a rock, they realize that, by going to this school for free, they will be put on a pedestal for the entire country to marvel at their skills and success. To me, and to a lot of other people who aren’t in favor of paying athletes, the compensation comes in the form of their free tuition, free housing, free exposure on national TV, and the amount of apparel they accumulate over the years.

Here’s a video of how much gear is given out to Clemson Tiger football players each year. The amount of gear each player receives is ridiculous and is easily worth thousands of dollars. Furthermore, Clemson football has a state of the art football facility worth $55 million, with a miniature golf course, slide, pool, and 20,000 square foot gym. What the programs dish out in terms of facilities and other amenities for their players should be enough of a compensation.

Let’s look at housing next.

More often than not, athletes are given the option to stay in their school’s top housing facility. These housing options sometimes include full kitchens, multiple bedrooms, and a full bathroom. One of Ohio State football’s housing options can be seen here. Granite counter tops, two full bedrooms, and a large living area screams compensation to me.

As we move on to tuition, it is important to note that the athletes on full rides are saving thousands of dollars, as they have the opportunity to save their money, instead of paying tuition loans. Alabama’s website lays out just how much they charge to attend their school. For in state attendees, the cost is around $24,000, and about $42,000 for out-of-state tuition. Add this up over the course of four years and it’s easy to see how much money these athletic men and women are saving. They won’t be burdened with the weight of $100,000 of student debt on their shoulders, so do players still need more financial compensation?

Playing a sport for a school should be a privilege. Donning the colors of your school should be a great honor, regardless of how much tuition you pay. Many high school athletes who weren’t good enough to play in college still have a burning passion for the sport they love, and are often told to walk on. They don’t mind the high tuition cost, and they don’t mind the mountain of debt they’ll soon face; all they want to do is to put on their school’s colors and suit up for a game.

The fact that some very fortunate athletes do get to play for their school and have all their costs paid for them, should be payment enough. Many would do anything to play just for the love of the game.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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