College Athletes Are Not Paid?!


Italo Villanueva

College athletes provide great benefits for many Universities by performing at a high level in sports. Athletes help increase the universities  profile, awareness, and they help generate millions of dollars in revenue every year. Athletes are special because of the unique skills they offer and play consistently at a high level which many spectators consider the athletes skills as entertainment. The attention the athletes receive helps make it easier for the universities to monetize their popularity.


The athletes have a hard schedule to attain, by going to classes and having to take six credit hours each term, and needing to maintain a strict sports schedule. College athletes are putting in their time and giving their best to manage the time they have between playing sports and studying to keep a good GPA in academics. Sometimes, the athletes have to play a game and instantly when the match is over they must go study for an exam they have the next day.


There are many reasons college athletes should be paid, and unfortunately they are not being paid which means that the universities  are using the student athletes special abilities to make money and benefit themselves. Many universities say that paying athletes will make them focus more on making money than keeping a good GPA, which will destroy the need to attend school. The universities  should not have 100%  the  decisions on whether to pay student athletes, it should be an inclusive decision amongst the College sports industry and the student athletes.  


The people managing and working in the college sports industry and members of the NCAA are getting paid big salaries from the money and reaping the benefits from student athletes. Administrators, athletic directors, and coaches ensure great wealth from all the money they make in sports. The student athletes put in so much time, energy, intelligence, sweat and tears to make themselves and the college they attend grow, so it is unjust to not pay student athletes! Why is it fair for the student athletes to help generate millions of dollars for the universities and they are not getting a little bit of the pie. There is enough money that is being made and just a few people are benefiting from it. According to The Case for Paying College Athletes “ The college sports industry generates $11 billion in annual revenues. Fifty colleges report annual revenues that exceed $50 million. Meanwhile, five colleges report annual revenues that exceed $100 million.” These revenues come from numerous sources, including ticket sales, jersey sales, sponsorship rights, and sale of broadcast rights.  It’s such an incredible amount of money that is being made by the universities and the students still don’t get paid for what they do in sports. The athletes are being exploited because they spend much more time being athletes than the work they put in academics.


Sean Gregory from the  New York Regents Organization stated that “players are essentially working full-time football jobs while going to school; they deserve to be paid more than a scholarship. Because even full-ride athletic scholarships don’t cover the full cost of attending schools, room, book and fees.” The NCAA organization and sports directors don’t realize how helpful it could  be to pay college athletes and keep working academically. Many of these students also have to work while being athletes and being students, which makes it even harder for them to keep a balance between all these things they have to do. Also if they get injured they will have to pay a lot of money to hospitals if something unexpected happens like breaking a leg or hurting their back. Colleges should pay student athletes instead of paying their members big salaries when they don’t deserve it. 


Many of the players focus, practice, and strive to win the games, which generates money for the universities. The more games the athletes win, the more their income increases. The average salaries for major college football coaches have jumped more than 70% since 2006, to 1.64 million according to USA Today. This is too much and this is the max that a football coach ought to get because the money that can be used to pay student athletes is being given to a few people. Paying college athletes will help them financially for academics and other life  problems they might have at home such as helping their families, paying rent, or buying food and clothing. The Case for Paying College Athletes by Marc Edelman also emphasizes that based on Sherman Antitrust Act “not only are the NCAA rules preventing colleges from paying students athletes immoral, but they are also likely illegal. Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act,  states that “every contract,  combination, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce is declared to be illegal.” What it shows is that the NCAA organization is just taking advantage of students without any morals, and it  will lead to students in bad situations such as not finishing school, because they don’t have time to study.  Paying athletes will eliminate the need for additional employment and will give them time to balance between academics and sports work.


Student athletes are not only working for free, but they are being exploited by the universities making profit off of the student athletes skills. All the benefits they provide to these schools should be repaid  by making fair use of the money these colleges make from ticket sales, jersey sales, sponsorship rights, and sale of broadcast rights because all of these comes from what students do. Student Athletes deserve more than a scholarship and it should be done now!