There has been a lot of controversy lately regarding NCAA student-athletes and whether or not they should receive payment for playing college athletics.
There are many allegations about student athletes receiving benefits, such as Reggie Bush, who got the football program in trouble and suspended from the postseason for two years. The Ohio State football program has also been going through a lot of trouble with the NCAA.
An ESPN article states the spokesman for NCAA President Mark Emmert and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive are in favor of a review that could lead to athletes receiving a “full cost of attendance.” A spokesman for Emmert said they are discussing options about meeting student-athlete needs without paying them. Emmert said monetary awards such as $2,000 to $5,000 per year per athlete for expenses such as transportation and clothing are possibilities.
Let me make this clear, student-athletes should not be paid.
The concept of a student-athlete is that the person is a student first and an athlete second. Paying the student-athletes would give these athletes the picture that athletics is higher than academics, which should not be the case. If an athlete comes to Washington State to play, they need to understand that academics come before athletics and paying the athletes would send them the wrong message.
Student-athletes already receive compensation via scholarships to come and play at the college level. Say the average student coming to college pays about $10,000 per semester, most athletes do not have to pay this thanks to the scholarship they receive. Some receive full rides and don’t have to pay any tuition at all.
And now they want to pay them more on top of a scholarship? That puts more value on athletes than other students at colleges and that is not right.
Some people are opposed to this view.
South Park aired an episode disagreeing with my position that athletes are like slaves while the people at the NCAA make all the money off the athletes. While I don’t agree that they should be making all of this money off the student-athletes, the athletes are far from slaves.
They get more advantages than the average student, considering they may get to sign up for classes first, scholarships to help pay for school and tutors to help them get through classes so they are able to play. The advantages that they receive coming to play college athletics are tremendous, and now you want to pay them to come to school? That doesn’t sound right.
If the NCAA decided to start paying student-athletes, the issue would arise of how to pay student athletes. How much would you pay the athletes, do you pay all of your athletes or only the sports that make money, do you pay the athletes based on performance? These are all things that would bring forth many problems when trying to pay student athletes. All of these issues make it hard to find an easy solution to this problem.
If universities decide to pay athletes, the only thing that would make sense would be to pay athletes after they have received a degree. That way they would have to actually work hard in their academic lives to earn the money for playing college athletics.
Colleges and universities are academic institutions, not sport franchises.