College athletes are some of the hardest working people in the country. They grind through practices, workouts, and games every day of their college life and need to attend regular courses as well. They also contribute a large amount to the college sports industry revenue.

The NCAA is a multi-billion-dollar industry. A lot of the revenue comes from ticket sales, sponsorship rights, and broadcast rights.

College football and basketball make up most of the money, and college sports revenue is passed along to NCAA executives, athletic directors, and coaches in the form of salaries. Hence, college athletes rage on how they provide the labor, and all the wealth is distributed to the executives, directors, and coaches.

Scholarships

However, college athletes should not be paid as they receive scholarships. I believe athletes are getting paid indirectly. They get free food with meal plans, free housing on campus, and branded clothes provided to them often.

They get the best gyms to work out in, free health insurance for injuries, transportation, and free tuition.

If all athletes are given a scholarship and paid at the same time, universities will not be able to afford it as the expenses required to attend a school exceeds the amount that the athletes are awarded in their scholarships. Then, the university athletic departments will accumulate debt, and some of the less profitable schools will not be able to afford to pay any athletes.

Their chances of signing better athletes will be reduced. Imbalance among college teams will highly affect the college competition.

In addition, paying athletes would come at a cost. No college will have enough funds and start cutting other programs that do not make enough revenue like other men’s sports besides football and basketball.

Former Division I college basketball player Cody McDavis said, “No other sports generate revenue. Other student-athletes are going to lose opportunities because (only basketball and football players will be paid). In the long run, I see that as a huge problem.”

Injustice

Another issue from paying college athletes is injustice. Injustice will take place as it will be difficult to set a pay scale equal for all athletes.

Would they be paid equally, or would their salaries vary according to which sport and level of competition? If they were paid equally, some of the more talented athletes would find it unfair and create an uproar, which could lead to corruption.

What about according to gender? In 2017, Ohio State’s men’s basketball program generated more than 13 times as much revenue as that of the women’s program.

Paying male athletes more or not paying the female athletes would not make sense. Not only would it a problem of injustice for which athlete but also for which division.

Paying college athletes is mostly directed towards the Division I athletes. Many disregard Division II and III athletes, even community college athletes. They should get an equal opportunity since they create revenue, too; if not, it would be hypocritical.

“Student-Athlete”

College is meant for education. “These boys are student-athletes. ‘Student’ comes first.” Ken Carter, the man whose story inspired the movie, Coach Carter, reiterated “student” to emphasize the importance of education.

Although they are athletes, they are not at a professional level, and it is not considered a job. College athletes are considered amateur athletes. If college were to pay student-athletes, the line and difference drawn between amateur and professional would be erased.

Some might argue that college athletes should be paid because they generate money for their schools. If that is the case, high school students should get paid as well since many high schools depend on the athletic program to maintain the school.