College Athletes Paid Research Paper

Team sports like soccer or basketball, as well as individual sports, are extremely popular worldwide. Famous sportsmen and sportswomen have statuses similar to Hollywood celebrities, and their wages are high. However, no matter how well they play, all of them have once been amateurs; in this perspective, high school or college athletes are not much different from professionals. At the same time, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) prohibits college athletes to be monetarily compensated for their efforts, which is definitely unfair. College athletes should be paid their due for a number of reasons.

The NCAA should pay student athletes because it can do it. According to polls among economists, there are no financial factors that prevent the NCAA from paying their athletes. In particular, Rodney Fort, a sports economist and professor of sports management at the University of Michigan, believes that the NCAA already possesses enough money to do so. Moreover, arguments that additional labor costs would hurt sports programs at schools are groundless, says David Berri, a professor of economics at Southern Utah University. “They’re nonprofits, and their incentive is to spend every cent that comes in,” he says (

Speaking of skills, by the way, the fact that an athlete is a college student does not automatically mean he or she is an amateur (unlike what the NCAA officially claims). For example, a typical first division college football player trains approximately 43.3 hours per week; for contrast, a typical American work week is only 40 hours. Besides, college athletes also need to dedicate time to studying; along with this, NCAA tournament rules require college students to skip classes in favor of nationally-televised games that bring in revenue (Forbes). No need to say that the revenue goes to the NCAA. Considering this, is it not obvious that college athletes should receive at least some compensation for their efforts?

Paying college athletes could also solve a significant problem of athletes quitting schools and colleges. It is not a secret that many of them make a decision to leave due to financial reasons; usually, they are allured by the perspective to start earning money with what they can do best (sports) outside of college. Indeed, what is the point for a prospective professional athlete to rush between sports and study for free if they can earn real money doing what they love, and without any obstacles? Paying college athletes could help keep many of them within their schools/colleges, and help them earn a degree (TheSportster).

The reasons why college athletes should be paid are significant. First of all, the NCAA has all the capabilities to pay their athletes—it accumulates tons of revenue annually, so supporting college athletes would not be a problem. Besides, despite that the NCAA officially recognizes college athletes as amateurs, in fact these “amateurs” train 43 hours a week on average, in addition to studying. And lastly, many college athletes prefer to start earning real money with their skills rather than rush between sports and study for free, and thus quit schools; paying them might help solve this problem.


Strachan, Maxwell. “NCAA Schools Can Absolutely Afford to Pay College Athletes, Economists Say.” The Huffington Post., n.d. Web. 12 May 2015.

“21 Reasons Why Student-Athletes Are Employees and Should Be Allowed to Unionize.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 12 May 2015.

“Top 10 Reasons College Football Players Should Get Paid.” TheSportster. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2015.

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In the world, college athletics grows and continues to bring large financial benefits to colleges, universities and even sponsors. This leads to many debates concerning the payment of the athletes. Some people think that scholarship paid to colleges for these student athletes is enough while others claim that the payments might make them to leave the college early for participating in the athletics. This essay brings out the pros and cons about the issue and also some people's views on the issue.

Pros and Cons of College Athlets Being Paid by College


The college athletes bring in a lot of money to their institutions. The players should receive some of this money because without them the schools cannot be able to receive all the popularity and the money.  College athletes make enough money for colleges that it would not hurt to give some back. They should take better care of their student-athletes by paying them for their services (Ziemer, L. 2000).

Many College athletes live in poverty because the money they get is not sufficient enough to pay for all of the expenses and basic necessities. The athletes that graduate from colleges stay because their parents support them by giving or sending money to them. If college athletes are paid, there would be more athletes graduating from colleges. Paying athletes would be good for everyone and players would be forced to go for college education instead of only concentrating on the sports. The colleges athletes are not allowed to work hence do not get money to purchase the necessities. This leads to players accepting any illegal money, cars, clothes, etc.

Most college athletes don't turn professional, so the athletes won't have any working experience when they get into the real world. This would give the non-athletes and advantage in the working world over the athletes. Most of the athletes that have the opportunity to leave school and turn professional do so, because college athletes live in near poverty. To avoid all the illegal gains, the athletes should be paid. Maryland's Gary Williams says ".... some of these guys are pretty poor coming here, and a lot of college students have some money -- you feel out of place, you don't feel competitive academically sometimes, and I think it could do a lot of good" (Eisernberg, J. 2010).

If colleges don't pay the athletes the professional leagues should. Professional leagues such as the NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB use colleges as minor leagues. Most of the players in these leagues come from universities across the U.S.A. Since the leagues get the athletes from the universities, they should pay them the same way they league players. College athletes should receive money for all of their needs, or if they can't do this the athletes should be given the opportunity to work, which will assist them, learn about working in real world (Becker, G and Nashat, G. 1998).

Many people who state that college athletes do not need extra money do not consider the psychological aspect of the issue. Ryan Keith argues that the talented college athletes are between the opportunity to further their education or start playing and get big money, which perhaps makes the not to complete their education. Being in such situation, people whose personality still develops feel a lot of tension from the outside i.e. from friends and potential sponsors. Therefore, college athletes should be paid some amount of money that allows them to make their decisions freely and continue their athletic career and education.


Athletes are not supposed to be paid because the main reason why they go to college is to learn and many students who go to college each year; some play sports, others are in student organizations, and some participate in theater. Each of these groups is equally important to the colleges and should be treated equally. If the athletes are paid for playing sports then going to other students will be forced to ask for payments because they participate in different activities. Paying athletes will create serious conflicts among the students, for why one group is paid going while others are not (William, E. 1997).

Secondly, the athletes receive scholarships and some support from the colleges.  The money that athletics get is always given back to them in the form of grants and scholarships.  For example, Notre Dame gives grants to student-athletes which amounts to $5 million annually. Even if athletics generate billions of money in revenue for colleges, there also is much money in expenses, which directly or indirectly help the college athletes. Also, Pell Grants are available to t needy, and general student loans are another option. Because of these, there is no need to pay college student athletes.

Thirdly, paying students will direct the concentration and emphasis to sports as compared to education. The student-athletes at American colleges receive the benefits of the high quality education system in the world from which they can go on in life. Student-athletes entertain people with   skills and if the managements decides  to pay college athletes, they will move the colleges further away from the main stated goals by making them more businesslike and disrupting the main point of college which is to learn. Also much money will make the athletes feel superior over others in money, power, and reputation.

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Also they will be compelled to start thinking about other additional things that will in turn prevent them from athletic and academic schedules. Also college athletes leave the college earlier in order to participate in the professional sports. Thus, many athletes do not finish their education. They have a good job that brings good money, that is why, they do not even think about completing their courses or graduating from the universities. At the same time some people offer that if college athletes are paid, it is less obvious that they will leave university early (William, E. 1997).

Finally, Dr. William W. Williams, who is the director of the government's department for overseeing sports in colleges argues that college sports requires about forty hours in a week for training, practicing, viewing relevant films, learning plays, travelling and participating in actual sports. Because of this, many of the student athletes do not get enough time to study the academic course material as compared to other students in the college. These athletes take a lot of time to finish college. Also, the American Coaches Association says that more than fifty percent of student athletes do not graduate on the required time and others even do not graduate. For those who manage to graduate, they have a disadvantage because they did some less competitive courses which require little work. To avoid this, the athlete students should not be paid (Becker, G and Nashat, G.1998).


Since there are variety of opinions concerning the athletes' payment, more reasonable decisions should be implemented in the near future which will help in enabling the college athletes as well as other students to come up with the right decisions concerning their future in a free way, not being limited by any restriction. Whatever the decision is, it should especially consider rights and needs of the college athletes as well as the available opportunities in their future life.

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