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Should College Athletes Get Paid?

Essay by   •  April 24, 2016  •  Research Paper  •  1,589 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,191 Views

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Should College Athletes Get Paid?

Whether or not to pay college athletes has been in debate for a number of years. No one seems to be able to decide whether or not these “students” deserve to be compensated for their actions on the gridiron, or whether they should be treated just like every other student at the school. The fact of the matter is that these athletes are not actually like every other average student. These athletes for some of these big name schools aren’t just helping the NCAA rake in small chunks of money; in fact they are helping the NCAA make billions of dollars every single year. It seems like only the NCAA is benefiting from the money who are the people in charge, and the workers, the athletes, are working for such a large profit, with no compensation towards them. To some this is the way it should be, but to others, they feel as if the athletes are being abused in a way that they are unable to fight back about. Therefore, do scholarships and free-living expenses make up for the billions of dollars these top tier athletes are bringing in? Or are these college athletes being abused by the billion-dollar industry that they help fuel?

Some people view college sports as students at a school, representing their school through the act of a sport. However, the truth is that these college students fuel a billion dollar business that has no income for the actual “employees.” In Taylor Branch’s article, “The Shame of College Sports”, he continuously shows how these students are making so much money for the NCAA. According to Branch, “the football teams alone at some of the bigger schools rake in between $40 and $80 million in profits each year, even after paying the coaches multimillion-dollar salaries”. As he says, with these massive profits, corruption is likely to follow. With all the restrictions on college athletes, it is very likely that people will break these rules, and they very often do break these rules. It has become an inevitable part of college sports, which is the sad truth. This argument lies in the quality phase of the stasis theory. The article addresses whether or not these student athletes should be paid. Despite Branch stating how much money the NCAA is making, he still does not state whether he is for or against the paying of students. The student athlete’s claim is that they are making all of this money for the NCAA without compensation. Whilst, the NCAA’s claim is that these athletes are being put through the most elite higher education with free tuition, living expenses, and books, which any average student would do anything for. Therefore, with such controversy, one is unable to draw a conclusion on what is the right thing to do because both claims have such strong warrants backing up what the claim is trying to accomplish.

While some agree with the athletes, others like Stuart London, are completely against these students receiving compensation which he clearly states in his article, “Why college athletes shouldn’t get a cut of the profits.” He states that this is just a tactic for the students and lawyers to make money if they are not good enough to go professional or get a good job after college. He states that if these athletes would like to make money, then go professional. No one is forcing these athletes to continue to stay at college. His claim is that most college athletic programs do not even make money off of the sports that they have. The other sports that aren’t as popular as football and basketball need to have money to play as well, and where does that money come from: the big time sports, football and basketball. Therefore, if these few sports have to cover the expenses for twenty other programs that the school has, then there cannot be much money left over, especially not enough to pay the athletes. This is a casual argument according to the stasis theory, with the argument that if these sports pay for so many different things, there isn’t enough remaining for player compensation. All the money is for the greater good of all college sports, according to London.

Some believe that this is the way that college sports operate, however Kyle Veazey completely disagrees in his article, “Pay for play.” Veazey exposes the truth of how much these athletes are actually pulling in, he also exposes how much the coaches, some of teams that are not above a .500 winning percentage, are making. According to Veazey, “ the University of Tennessee football team made $56.8 million the years of 2010-2011. The Volunteers’ coach Derek Dooley, who had a terrible winning percentage, made $1.8 million. The players who generated this income, saw absolutely nothing”. This appears to me, to lie under the personal success value in the American value systems. According to this value, it involves a very high concern for the material happiness of the individual. It seems to me that these big corporations are being selfish in the way that they are making money. It appears that it is almost like student athletes are slaves in which they work as hard as they possibly can, with absolutely zero compensation. The coaches are even making millions when in fact, most of these coaches should be fired for how poor the teams are playing. If coaches are making millions off of the success of the team, the players should be rewarded in a sense that is fair and realistic.

The word “student-athlete” can be used in ways to get around the rules of paying hard working people. Taylor Branch discusses the word’s origin, and it’s affect on the students

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