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Should College Athletes Be Paid?
College sports bring in big dollars every year at the high college level. These programs bring in $30 and sometimes $40 million a year to universities and colleges, and the players get nothing. These are the same players who are breaking their backs for the university day in and day out and they can’t get part of that money and it doesn’t seem fair to me. I know what you might be thinking: that these student athletes are getting a free education or that they got a scholarship to play ball at that university. To me, it’s the least they can do.
When I watch college football on Saturdays and see packed stadiums with cheering fans paying big bucks for a ticket, I say, what business could run a company and not pay its workers? You’d think I was talking about a Third World country! Pay players now, please!
Consider this: Most college coaches earn six-figure salaries – major and minor college programs. Some of these college coaches get shoe deals, some get TV and radio deals and many other perks along the way. Also, if they are a good coach and win games, they will be offered another coaching job somewhere else with more money and more perks! Student athletes get nothing and, in my opinion, something should be done about it. Please pay the players now!
They will keep telling you that athletes get a free education, free books, free room and board, and a chance at a good college education that will last a lifetime. So what! Pay the players! I see this whole college thing as slave labor! Coaches make big money off the backs of these players. You hear stories about college athletes taking money or getting paid under the table. You hear these stories about players getting cars and lots of money, you hear stories about players getting all this and more. You’ve heard that players’ families get cars and houses to attend that college program. This is happening in secret all the time!
Why do players take this money and cars and houses for their families and more? Well, one reason is recruiting; some college programs feel they have to offer these things in order to get a great college applicant. Some college programs (not all) have to give something to get these kids. Some of these players come from poor backgrounds, so it’s a big deal for these kids to get some money, especially if the players and their families don’t have money anyway.
Being a college athlete is very difficult. First of all, the hours these players put in are many – every day of the week. They are in class all day, and then there is practice after practice, they go to dinner if they can and then they go to study. This may all sound simple to you, but the time these student-athletes put in is enormous. Then the coaches want more. There could be film to study and there could be times when the athletic trainer sees them. As a student athlete, you have to focus on your studies and your athletic performance or they will try to get rid of you.
College athletics is tough. Sometimes at the end of the day you’re exhausted and don’t want to study or if they have some sort of study table for players you might not be able to fully focus and, often, your attention is elsewhere. Just think of the millions of people who go to work every day. They work long hours and may have long commutes to and from home. I’m sure the last thing working people want is to spend extra hours doing more work. Most working people want to relax, maybe have a beer and watch some TV, and then call it a day. The big difference is that they are paid for service and time, and college players are not.
Most student athletes do not earn college degrees and one of the reasons is the training and games they play. There is so much pressure to do well that something will fall out and that something is their education. College coaches have been known to look the other way as it relates to student athletes and their academics as long as that player can help win games.
For most college athletes, once their eligibility is exhausted, college programs no longer need their services. Why would I? For 4 years these college programs have worked these young men and women to death every day. College programs got everything they could get out of these players and then some. At the college level or any level, it’s all about winning games and bringing in big bucks.
Look at baseball; if a high school baseball player is really good, he may be offered a contract to sign with a major league baseball team. Sometimes the offer is $200,000 and, I’ve heard, as much as two million dollars. Now if that high school baseball player takes that money then they lose their college eligibility. Some high school baseball players give up money to attend college where they can get better, sharpen their baseball skills and get drafted again by a major league team. Many high school baseball players take the money and take advantage of the opportunity to try out for the big leagues. A huge number of players never make it to the majors. Some play in the minor leagues for years until they realize that their dream of playing in the major leagues will not come true and they move on.
Once you take that money, you can’t go back and try to play baseball in college. The same applies to all other sports. You’ll have high school basketball players trying to make it to the NBA; you have young men trying out for the NFL. Many of these athletes have never been given the opportunity to get an education, and many who are in college have never received a degree.
College athletes struggle with their academics. Many do not graduate, and some simply drop out. College athletics is not for everyone and many student athletes can’t cut it so pay the players! Pay them something for all their time and effort!
When these college programs play in bowl games and make millions off the backs of the players and the players don’t rest, it’s wrong. When it’s “March Madness” time for college basketball and millions are glued to the TV for hours every day, and the players give it their all – and still get nothing!
Why would it be a problem to pay players? Schools make millions of dollars either way. This is not Mexico or China where workers are paid $1.00 an hour to make billions for some corporation – you know slave labor!
Why do you think players take money from many outside sources? Why are players suspended from the team for violating team rules? Why are college programs put on probation? It’s all about money. You have a lot of players who come from poor backgrounds where there is no money in their families. If these disadvantaged young student-athletes had to pay for college out of pocket, most of them wouldn’t be in college at all.
Some student athletes come from backgrounds where the education system is not as good. Their school districts are underfunded and poorly managed. For many student athletes, the way out is education with full athletic scholarships. Playing sports is their future. Many student athletes focus only on athletics thinking that one day they will be good enough to play in the pros. So when money is dangling in front of some student athletes, the temptation must be huge!
For many years we have been hearing stories of players and coaches struggling for money. We’ve heard of situations where the NCAA has destroyed entire college programs because of the money given to players. Why do they do that? Why is money a problem? One reason is that it’s easy to get certain types of players from certain types of backgrounds. Top college programs can only survive with big college players and they pay them. We all know paying college athletes is wrong (set by NCAA guidelines). But this rule needs to be changed now.
If college athletes are getting scholarships, then they can be paid. If players were paid, then I believe more college athletes would graduate from college because there would be a stronger incentive to work hard in the classroom. Major universities pay senior college coaches based on their performance, and players should be paid as well.
If the players are paid then this corruption would stop. No more players paying for boosters, no more college players selling their shoes, no more college players taking jobs that pay them big money just to work a few hours. It’s tough out there for a student athlete! Did you know that a non-student athlete can get a job to earn extra money and can work around their schedule, but a student athlete cannot have a job until the school year is over and there are restrictions on the type of job they can have.
In the game of college athletics, the rules aren’t fair for student athletes! The playing field is not level. Pay the players!
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