The Controversy over Athlete Salaries
Athlete Salaries The salaries of professional and collegiate athletes have always been a matter of debate. How much or how little athletes are being paid, and how it affects the sport, has been in countless discussions between players, fans, reporters, agents, and sports analysts. Some believe that players don’t deserve huge contracts, and most players that have huge contracts are overpaid and it hurts the sport.
Then again, others feel that players work hard for their contracts and most athletes deserve their money. My stance on the issue is probably the same as most fans, and different from most owners.
The sports industry racks in huge sums of money every year and if athletes aren’t receiving that money, most likely the owners and commissioners are collecting most of the money. I personally feel that the athletes are doing the most work therefore; they should be getting paid the most. I understand that a lot of work goes on behind the scenes when it comes to sports, but it’s unfair to athletes to give most of the money to owners while the athletes are doing all of the hard work. Today more people are attending sporting events than ever before.
Sports have a unique ability to bring people of all races, social classes, and genders together and shape one common goal, the wellbeing of their home team. Sports also give people a sense of excitement and hope. When fans see their favorite sports star hit a home run, score a basket or touchdown it gives them belief that they can do well in their own endeavors, it gives confidence to kids that they have the potential to be in their position one day. If sports do this much for the people of our country, then the players should be paid accordingly. Apparently most owners and commissioners don’t believe so.
Recently in the NBA David Stern, the NBA commissioner, has been reported saying, “the league is losing money, and the league office says a new economic plan is needed for future viability”. That new economic plan is a new salary cap and potentially a soon to be lock out. A lock out in the NBA would hopefully put pressure on the NBA players union to work with the NBA owners on lowering the pay of most players. A lock out for the NBA would be extremely detrimental. It would mean that the players and games that NBA fans desire to see every year won’t be there.
Players would be without a job, and most of them would ponder going overseas to play where the fan base is just as prevalent as in the US. They are two sides to this story, Owners rely on star players to sell tickets and paraphernalia, having a lockout would essentially decrease ratings, ticket sells, and the overall happiness of the players. With the threat of players having the option of going overseas, NBA fans have to be concerned. Players have never been hesitant to go overseas, especially when they don’t get what they want from the NBA.
Allen Iverson has been one of the most notable athletes to go to the European Basketball League. After most teams in the NBA refused to sign a contract with him, he went to play for a team in turkey and signed a two-year $4 million contract at the age of 35, and this was the year after Iverson was voted in to the all star team by fans. Obviously some of the actions that NBA owners decide to take are not compatible with their fans. All four of the teams that Iverson played with saw increased revenues in ticket sales and paraphernalia when Iverson played with them, but when he left there was a decrease in all revenues.
It’s Obvious that fans of the NBA disagree with most of the decisions of the NBA and implementing a lockout would ultimately be damaging and unfavorable for the future of the NBA. Other sports have seen lockouts in the past. The MLB had a lockout between the 1994 and 1995 seasons, it concluded in the cancelation of 948 games and the entire 1995 post season, and in the end the players received their money and that’s not what the NBA wants to see. Another topic of controversy is if college players should be paid, and the punishments that are received when a player has received or even asked for any form of money.
This problem escalated when Heisman voters became hesitant of voting for Cam Newton because his father was accused of asking for money for his son to play in college. Cam Newton eventually won the Heisman but during the process his was held out of one game and constantly question by reporters and investigation agents. Along with receiving improper benefits from colleges, there is the constant hazard of agents on campuses attempting to persuade players to go pro and offer them money to become a client. The N. C. A. A. have implemented a policy in which agents an’t come to practices and on campuses if not permitted by the school, but the temptation is always there for the player and for the parents of players. Most star collegiate athletes come from lower class back grounds and since they’re not getting paid in college they look to be professional as soon as possible and colleges don’t have the opportunity to reap the benefits of players when their star players are leaving after their freshmen year, and the idea of paying college athletes to keep them is unfortunately unrealistic.
While most colleges draw big crowds and perform on TV, which makes money for their school, there is simply not enough money to pay every college player. Imagine over 2,500 athletes on every campus receiving money for playing. The school would soon go bankrupt especially smaller schools that don’t have the opportunity to play on TV. Then if a college was to pay their athletes there would be the problem of how much to pay them and whether or not a quarterback is to be paid the same as a girl’s softball pitcher.
In court this case would have a strong argument but to fans a quarterback is going to bring more revenue than a softball pitcher but is it fair that she gets paid less even though her position is just as important. Even though most people believe that college players deserve to be paid there is simply not enough money to do so, and consequently this is the stance that the N. C. A. A. has to take to ensure that every player is receiving the same benefits as another.
It’s because of this certain collegiate have suffered, but it’s better that every player has the same opportunities than for them to paid concerned about how one player in a different sport is being paid more than them when they are not performing as well. It’s true that some athletes are overpaid and that some college players deserve to be paid but these are some things that will never change. As long as players are giving their all when playing and putting on a good show every night the fans will be happy.
The fact that some players have more money than they deserve is one price that owners have to pay to keep the fans happy, after all isn’t that what really matters. As long as players have the support of the fans then the owners and commissioners of each sport will have to find alternate conclusions to meet their needs and satisfy everyone. Bibliography 1. Ellis, Vince. “Players, Owners Try to Prepare for Lockout at Season’s End. ” Detroit Free Press. 03 Oct 2010: C. 7. SIRS Researcher. Web. 27 Jan 2011. 2. Associated Press. “Allen Iverson Agrees to 2-year Deal with Turkish Club Besiktas – ESPN. ESPN: The Worldwide Leader In Sports. 29 Oct. 2010. Web. 31 Jan. 2011. ;http://sports. espn. go. com/nba/news/story? id=5739651;. 3. Garrett, Mike. “How to Keep Agents Off the Field. ” New York Times. 30 Oct 2010: A. 23. SIRS Researcher. Web. 27 Jan 2011. 4. Dunning, Al. “Paying Athletes Would Bankrupt Most Colleges. ” Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN). 09 Jan 1995: p. D. 1. SIRS Researcher. Web. 31 Jan 2011. ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Ellis, Vince [ 2 ]. Associated Press [ 3 ]. Garrett, Mike [ 4 ]. Dunning, Al