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Should NCAA athletes be paid?

December 5, 2013

By Gabriel Hart

Controversy surrounds the issue of NCAA athletes and whether these hard worked college students should receive more than just a scholarship for their athletic abilities, but the question remains should they be paid?

There is no doubt that Universities with popular sports teams all over America profit immensely off of college athletes. But especially for more popular sports such as football and basketball, things like but not limited to jerseys and other sports paraphernalia, tickets, video games are bringing in big dollars.

The ESPN college sports revenue lists shows that the top 10 colleges in the U.S. Ohio State University being one of them make between $91 million to $125 million. However, other colleges further down on the list should not feel left out averaging around $71 million off of their college sports teams.

With all of this revenue coming in from these athletes why is it that a student athlete can’t be paid with more than a one-time stipend and a scholarship? But instead paid like regular employees.

The coaches make millions, the fans spend about the same, it seems that everyone is profiting off of these athletes except for the athlete. In fact it is breaking the NCAA rules if athletes accept gifts or money of any kind.

There have been cases where players were disciplined for accepting money for autographs. When one athlete was asked why he took money knowing it was against the rules, he said it was because he was hungry.

College athletes don’t have the ability to work a part-time job to make ends meet like other students because their days are filled with strenuous practices and team meeting which are mandatory.

ESPN College sports reported that even with that being a fact NCAA president Mark Emmert is still against the idea of paying college athletes.

“Then you have something very different from collegiate athletics. One of the guiding principles has been that this is about students who play sports,” Emmert said as the reason why he is against it.

“Should these athletes be paid? Yes and no,” NewsChannel5’s sports reporter Andy Baskin said.

“How do you judge what they should be paid? Does an Ohio State player who plays in front of millions of fans and wins deserve to be paid more than a tennis player who played in front of family and friends and lost?” Baskin continued.

He went on stating that if there were to be some sort of pay for major athletics such as men’s football and basketball then these sports would need to be separated from the rest. Baskin also noted that the main issue is Title 9 legislation. This legislation was created in 1972, it is a law that states colleges have to give women and men athletes the same opportunities.

Baskin asked that if females can’t play football because there is no female football league in colleges, then how can the NCAA provide that equality.

“So the question becomes how do you get away from the title 9 legislation? You can’t, so it just won’t work” Baskin said.

Tri-C student and college sports fanatic Adam Hughes believes that college athletes should be paid and that it’s the capitalist mindset on the part of those who are against it.
“Why wouldn’t you pay them? All the injuries they suffer, you can’t expect everyone to go to the NFL or the NBA after college so why can’t these guys profit now from all the hard work they do and money they make the schools? I don’t get it” Hughes said.

“I mean they can change the rules if they wanted, pass a new law, it’s laziness and its greed” he continued.

Is that the case? Would it really be that big of a deal or that hard to pass a new legislation that allows student athletes to be paid and on top of that be paid by the amount of revenue they bring in? Or is it more acceptable for the NCAA and universities to continue to make billions of dollars while college athletes struggle to make dow and slave away on the field?

One could say these college athletes feel the same way. In fact on November 9th of 2013 U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken in California ruled that a group of college athletes could go ahead and sue the NCAA for revenue that was made off of their images.

Times are changing; college football isn’t fading away or becoming any less profitable for colleges or the NCAA. With that being said it may be time for some of the legislations and rules on college sports to change with times. This isn’t 1974 anymore and it makes sense for an athlete regardless of sex or what sport they play to be paid based on the amount of revenue they are bringing in.