Have Your Say: Should NCAA Athletes Be Paid?
I know this is an Auburn blog, but this is one subject that I am just itching to write my thoughts on, and the question is whether college athletes should be paid benefits whilst attending and playing for their respective schools. This is one of the most touchy subjects around sports right now, several media outlets have already discussed this, including ESPN, HBO etc. and the discussions have been interesting and certainly bring up a lot of good points.
College Football has always been “dirty”, schools have been paying players benefits whether you knowabout it on not, in forms of actual payments, vehicles, hookers (ahem, Miami), trips etc. Teams have been hit hard because of “breaking” certain rules, but it does bring up the question whether they should receive benefits legally.
Recently, 300 NCAA football and men’s basketball players signed and showed a petition to the NCAA during a meeting in Indianapolis, which asked for more scholarship payments because of television revenue, tuition costs and a lack of pay for college players.
The NCAA president Mark Emmert is in favour of increasing grants to college athletes by $2,000, which won’t cover rooms and books, because they are already covered in the typical college scholarship. The NCAA does allow student athletes to work during the summer, but because of possible post-season tournaments and pre-season training, a summer job paying minimum wage may only last for a couple of months.
Now here’s the deal, there are many arguments to this subject and I think just about every college sports fan, or even a regular college student will have their own opinions and notions on whether they should or shouldn’t. In today’s economic climate, college places (let alone degrees) are hard to come by, students are having to work their butts off for places at their preferred universities, wherever they may be. Whether you are applying for Stanford, NYU or the University of nowhere, scholarships are expensive, and student athletes should be happy with already getting a free education. There are however hidden expenses in college, that even scholarship athletes still have to pay for such as food, clothes etc.
Now here is the other side of the argument, in reality, the NCAA and the athletes respective schools make millions off of these college athletes. Did you know that March Madness creates more revenue than the post season for the NBA, MLB and NFL? Yep, staggering and none of the athletes involved are getting a penny of it, does that not make you think that with how much money is being made from these students playing sports, that they should get at least an ounce of what the NCAA makes?
Another factor to weigh in, is how the media treats college sports to professional sports. ESPN, CBS all cover NCAA sports, they televise games on TV, radio’s, say the players name on broadcast, interview them on national television, interview the coaches, (who not to mention are making millions of dollars per year of coaching these athletes) as well as just creating a media overhaul of the sports themselves, there really is no distinction between them both. Colleges use these media contracts and endorsements to increase revenue, and also increase their fan bases as well, when you walk around do you see more people wear professional sport team hats, t-shirts than college sport teams hats and tees? The NCAA recently signed a contract with CBS Sports for $10.8 billion just for the rights to March Madness for the next 14 years, and a typical athletic scholarship is less than $50,000 over a span of four years.
So when you look at it, the NCAA are robbing these athletes of money that they are working for, U of Michigan generates around around $40 million just for football and their players receive none of that, incredible, but on the other hand why should these athletes get anything more than a college scholarship that schools already pay for? It means that these college athletes don’t have to repay any of it later on, but then you have regular college students who are in massive debt when they graduate and some even struggle to pay them off later on.
Paying athletes may then open up all kinda of further problems, maybe giving more athletes money will make it easier for the cheaters to just cheat some more. The college athletes that don’t make it professionally, can gain degree’s which will help them gain a well paid job later on in life, that is a reward in itself.
So should these student athletes get some of the revenue, or should they continue to keep their free education?