We need to talk about an issue a lot of college athletes are facing: not getting paid for their work. If you don’t really follow sports news you “might” be wondering how they are not getting paid with all the attention and money they bring to their schools. A lot of people are wondering the same thing. Of course, people have mixed opinions on this since a large number of student-athletes do get scholarships. But in general, these athletes deserve to get paid outside of just a scholarship for all their hard work and the revenue they generate for their schools.
College athletes are either not getting paid, or paid very little by colleges. ESPN analyst Dan Murphy writes, “In response to a federal judge’s mandate, the NCAA changed its rules in August 2020 to allow schools to pay each of their athletes up to $5,980 per year as a reward for academic performance.” Meanwhile, the coaches are making multi-million dollar deals; 5,000 dollars is nothing compared to the millions these athletes bring in. Not to mention they’re not making money for their athletic work, just for academic performance. Also, the athletes can rack up millions for the colleges but sadly they won’t see a dime of that money. In 2013 The Sporting News reported that Texas A&M brought in $740 million in fundraising, due to the success of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel. But Johnny Manziel only got 6.7 million in his rookie NFL contract. The NFL contract was very little in comparison to what he brought in for the school. A lot of division 1-3 colleges turn a blind eye to this issue. I strongly support the fact that college athletes should be paid for all their hard work.
According to Mark J Drozdowski, senior writer for BestColleges, the average scholarship is only 18,000 dollars, and only 1% of student-athletes get full scholarships. Why should student-athletes work hours on top of hours, do well academically, and still receive barely any support outside of the scholarship?
Arguing that because they get scholarships means they don’t need any more funding doesn’t make any sense. Not all of the scholarships athletes receive fully cover all the fees of college. And how do you expect a student to have a job, play college sports and do well academically? To the athletes that can do that more power to you, but a majority of people will feel very stressed out trying to maintain all three. Murphy also notes “Less than one-quarter of the nation’s wealthiest college athletic departments say they have a plan in place to maximize the amount of money they can give to athletes this year by providing cash rewards for getting good grades.” This is good but it could and would be better if they could increase the colleges that plan on doing this.
Now a lot of people like to bring up the point that because they are on scholarships, they don’t need anything more arguing that they are being rewarded and paid in other ways. But remember that a given scholarship might not always be enough and only 1% of athletes get full scholarships. And without a full scholarship, a lot of them are stuck getting jobs while the school they play for makes millions off of them.
Another thought that people share regarding paying student-athletes is that paying them might ruin their passion for the sport. Ultimately saying college students should play for the love of the game not for financial benefit because they are students first. Yeah, they are students first, but those students are bringing millions of dollars to the schools they play for. Shouldn’t they be compensated for that? Being a student makes it even more of a reason to get paid. Having to balance student life and athlete life isn’t easy because not only do you have to maintain good grades but you are expected to do well in your sport too.
College athletes should be paid more because scholarships are not enough; coaches are being paid millions, and schools are able to profit from the attention and money the athletes bring in. The Student athlete life isn’t easy, especially while playing in college where a lot of things there are very expensive. Colleges should consider funding their athletes beyond scholarships or at the least give them 100% full scholarships so that way they don’t have to worry about their financial situation as much as they do today. Colleges should want the best for athletes. They are the ones that bring millions into their schools so why not pay them? Student-athletes deserve to be paid at least thousands of dollars out of the millions they bring to the school. Don’t you think it’s time college athletes get paid?