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Student Athletes

Essay Topic:

Nicholas Cubillas Jillian Swisher English102- #37 November 12th, 2012 Keeping College Sports In Line Should college athletes really be labeled as ‘employees’ eligible to be paid by the universities they attend? Or should the laws enacted by the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) remain unchanged leaving players unpaid? Whether or not college athletes should be paid has always been a relevant and controversial topic in the sports world. As a student at a Division 1 sports school and an avid college sports fan this topic interests me.

Students need to realize that paying of college athletes would possibly affect the budgets of their schools, possibly taking away academic money towards athletics, and college sports fans also need to realize that the whole integrity of college sports is at stake if athletes begin to get paid. These athletes should realize they are students at their respective universities just as much as they are athletes, and should be satisfied with the many benefits they gain from joining Division 1 sports teams.

College athletes should remain unpaid because they already reap great benefits from their schools like scholarships, it would be difficult to enact a fair way to pay off all athletes leading to corruption in the system, and some athletic programs do not even generate enough revenue to pay off athletes. College athletes do work hard in their respective sports; there is no doubt about that, which is why some believe they should be a put on a salary.

Others believe the schools should not be able to pay students athletes, for a variety of reasons.

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Those who do side with the debate of paying college athletes believe that playing a sport at a Division 1 school is a full-time job, and college athletes should be compensated for the work they put in. They agree that Division 1 schools as well as the NCAA as a whole generate enough revenue that would allow student athletes to be paid. This money would be able to help students with some basic college expenses (Steve Spurrier Wants Players Paid).

The other side of the debate, however, pushes that college athletes reap so many benefits already, the biggest one being a virtually free education, and it would not be fair to pay them. Those advocating for not paying college athletes believe they already get enough compensation from their universities, and they should be content with that. The paying of college athletes, however, brings about many problems like the distribution of money between players, what sports teams should be paid and how much, and the ability of some teams to gather enough revenue to pay their athletes.

Both sides bring about their respective arguments, which strongly oppose of the others side’s views, which is why the paying of college athletes is an important issue to debate in the sports world. Ever since I was young I have always been an avid sports fan, which is why I have a strong stance on this issue. My father loved college football, and I grew up watching it with him. I also go to a school where most of the athletic programs are Division 1, and these programs are likely to be effected if college athletes began getting paid.

Personally, I would hate to watch college athletes become all about the money, which in my opinion, would most likely happen if college athletes were to get paid. Recruits would purely base their choice of school on how much they would be getting paid, not whether they want to play there or if they see themselves doing well with that program. That isn’t how college athletics should be, that’s what the NFL is for. Teams with the most revenue would get the best recruits, leading to them becoming powerhouse teams solely because their program generates large revenue than others.

As a lifelong college sports fan, I would hate to see what I grew up watching become a money centered, corrupt sport that focuses more on revenue than the actual game itself. College athletes reap many benefits that do not even compare to other students at the university. They are given scholarships, some to prestigious and expensive schools, and basically are getting a free education. These athletes need to realize they are students just as much as they are athletes, and that they were given the opportunity to perform well in their sports and get a free education as well.

These students should in no means be labeled as employees under federal law, and the NCAA agrees with this. The Vice President of Legal Affairs for the NCAA, Donald Remy, addressed the issue in saying, “The NCAA, in accordance with courts that have addressed the issue, believes that student-athletes are not employees, under the law, and that they should not be treated as employees either by the law or by the schools they attend. ” (Cooper).

On the other side of the debate many student athletes believe they should be getting paid for their contributions beyond just the benefits they obtain like their free education, free apparel, and inside connections. In the article “Should College Athletes Be Paid? ” former NCAA basketball player Jalen Rose states, “Collegiate athletes should be paid a stipend of $2,000 per semester” (48). Players of course advocate for them being paid, but are greedy in the fact that they do not realize that the benefits they obtain sum up to a large amount of money and are beneficial to them.

These athletes have the opportunity to get a free education, gain national televised attention for their sports talent, possibly attend a bowl game visiting new stadiums and getting apparel for free, as well as being able to build connections in the sports world which they can use when they leave college. These student athletes need to open their eyes and realize that their education is just as important as the sport they play, and with the many benefits given to student athletes, that they can succeed and leave college with a good education allowing them to get good jobs if they do not make it to the professional level.

For these reasons college athletes should be content with and appreciate the free benefits they are getting from their universities. If college athletes were to be paid a salary, where would that money come from? In the survey taken by Schneider he found that, “If the NCAA were to allow payment, college students’ most frequently believed the additional money should come from the athletics department (56%) and additional revenue generating contracts such a shoe and television contracts” (Schneider).

It is a common misconception, however, by those who think student athletes should get paid that all Division 1 teams generate large revenues. In fact, an article published by NBC sports stated, “A recent NCAA report done by professor Dan Fulks of Transylvania University in Kentucky shows that only 14 of the 120 FBS schools profited from campus athletics during the 2009 fiscal year” (NCAA report shows many college programs in the red). How will the other 106 teams that did not profit from campus athletics pay off their student athletes?

It would not be fair for only profitable teams to pay their players and exclude the teams that lost money for their programs in a given year. As for the distribution amongst Division 1 teams the NCAA states, “Some of the distribution is earmarked for particular uses, such as funds that directly support academics” (Where Does the Money Go? ). This means that the schools that generate low revenues in their athletic programs would have to use the little money they do have to pay athletes, instead of putting forth academic improvements on the school.

Is it really worth it to pay college athletes at the cost of taking away money from universities academic programs? Those who advocate for the paying of student athletes need to realize that from an economic standpoint, it does not make sense to pay these athletes. Another issue arising from the paying of college athletes is whether or not an equal amount of payment from program to program is fair for athletes.

Andrew Geisler, a columnist, states that the first issue in paying college athletes is that, “it is inherently unfair to pay certain athletes and members of teams more than others” (Why paying college athletes is a bad idea). This view proposes that if college athletes were to be paid, they would all have to be paid fairly with the same amount of money. But would only the profitable programs like football and basketball pay off their athletes? Or would every Division 1 program at the school, like hockey and soccer, have to pay of their athletes?

With this comes another issue, the corruption of the NCAA system that would occur if college athletes were to get paid. Since it would be unfair to pay one team in the same sports Division and not the other, or pay the athletes on a low budget team much less than those on a profitable team, if college athletes were to get paid it would be based on the schools revenue. This would be unfair for other Division 1 schools because only profitable schools would pick up good recruits, and these athletic programs would be able to pay large sums of money for star players.

This would make the NCAA corrupt and all about money, and college sports should not be like that. In Schneider’s investigation, “Examination of the results found that the primary reason advanced by students for supporting payment of athletes was that cheating, in the form of illegal payments, would decline” (Schneider). Contrary to this belief, however, allowing payment of student athletes will actually make matters worse and illegal payment will still happen regardless. Those ho believe the paying of college athletes would decrease corruption do not realize that this would allow college coaches to bargain with star recruits about money and it would become a battle of which team puts up the most money. These coaches may even throw in some other benefits on top of the money to make them join the team, and if paying college athletes were legal, it would be easier for these coaches to sneak in other offers for them to join the team. Illegal payment will happen regardless, but if student athletes were to get paid it would be much easier for coaches to sneak under the radar in giving their athletes special benefits.

College athletes really need to take a deeper look into all of the aspects before they believe they should be compensated. Not all college programs have the funds to be paying their athletes, and if multiple teams in the Division 1 programs are unable to pay their athletes, than all teams in that Division should be unable as well. College athletes gain a free education through scholarships along with many other benefits that will help them in the future. Paying off these athletes would ruin the game and make the sport all about money.

The NCAA should maintain the same rules and continue to not pay athletes, because if they do, college sports will never be the same again. Works Cited Aschoff, Edward. “Steve Spurrier Wants Players Paid. ” ESPN. 01 2012: n. page. Web. 6 Dec. 2012. Cooper, Kenneth J. “Should College Athletes Be Paid To Play?. ” Diverse: Issues In Higher Education 28. 10 (2011): 12-13. ERIC. Web. 24 Oct. 2012 Geisler, Andrew. “Why paying college athletes is a bad idea. ” miamistudent. net. The Miami Student, 20 2011.

Web. 11 Nov 2012. “NCAA report shows many college programs in the red. ” nbcsports. com. NBC, 25 Aug. 2010. Web. 11 Nov 2012. Rose, Jalen. “Should College Athletes Be Paid?. ” Jet 119. 11 (2011): 48. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. Schneider, R. G. “Payment Of College Athletes: Student-Athletes’ And Administrators’ Perceptions. ” International Sports Journal 4. 2 (2000): 44-55. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. “Where Does the Money Go?. ” NCAA. org. NCAA, 08 2008. Web. 11 Nov 2012.

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