Should college athletes be paid?


Payton Little

Having to go through workouts/practices every day along with having to complete tough college courses make college athletes some of the hardest working people in the country. However, while universities and the NCAA continue to profit off of these competitors, all that most get in return is a scholarship and only a very small percentage get the chance at a professional career. With the high costs of college that scholarships often don’t cover in full and the slim chances of making the pros, this raises the question, should college athletes be paid for competing in sports?
Under NCAA ruling, schools are prohibited from directly paying college athletes for use of their name, image and likeness. Players are also prohibited from being sponsored or receiving endorsement deals of any kind. However, the school receives on average 60 million annually for sports programs. With this amount of income received, it seems at minimum, a collegiate athlete should have their full tuition paid. Also, those players that are considered top performing athletes should be able to generate income in endorsements and sponsorships in return for their skill as well as hard work and years of dedication to their sport.
Although the universities depend greatly on the income generated from sports, the amount paid to college athletes would come from third party corporations through their sponsorships. These can be anywhere from small local companies to national brands. Also, the schools would benefit from national brand sponsorships through jerseys and other fan merchandise sales.
One of the fears in paying college athletes is that players will be distracted from their college career and experience through a possible celebrity lifestyle while still in school. However, they are already viewed as local and often national heroes, so they already have the celebrity status, just not the pay that usually goes with it. Many come from lower economic households and could benefit personally as well as help their families. They may also be more inclined to keep their grades and reputation positive if they view their sports position more as a job.