College Athletes Should be Paid

Charlie McMahon, Staff Writer

The National Collegiate Athletic Association also known as the NCAA was founded on March 31, 1906. With the original goal, “to protect young people from the dangerous and exploitive athletics practices of the time,” Since its inception, more than 1,200 schools have become members of this organization. An issue that has been affecting the NCAA for many years is if the players in the organization should be paid. The NCAA has a regulation that prevents their college athletes from being compensated for anything related to their athletic position. Fans of the NCAA have been debating whether this regulation should be overturned because it heavily affects the athletes’ ability to make money. While most athletics and fans of the NCAA view this regulation as unfair, it seems like the organization is firm in their decisions, but I think they should change this rule and let college athletes be paid. 

Imagine spending 40 hours a week working hard at your job, and at the end of the week being told that you will not be paid for your efforts. This is the reality for D1 college athletes. 40 hours a week is the same amount of time as a full-time job, could you imagine working a full-time job without being paid? This is a really significant chunk of their lives and considering they are also expected to attend class, do homework, etc. There is a misconception that every D1 athlete is getting a full ride education at their school. This is not the case, especially for lower-income athletes. Not only do they have to attend class and practice, but they also have to find a job in order to pay for the tuition. How is that at all fair if they are already putting in a full-time job’s worth of work?

College athletic programs collected $14 billion in total revenue in 2019, not including income from broadcasting rights and corporate sponsorships. The highest-paid coach in the NCAA makes $9.3 million a year. How can everyone except the athletes be getting paid when they are the ones raking in the money for their schools. It would be one thing if they used the $14 billion dollars of revenue to directly help the athletes, but in reality, they spend the money on unnecessary things. It also affects the college’s revenue as a whole, because someone might be more likely to go to the University of Alabama because they are the best football team. The NCAA is a money-making machine, but the people who make it happen don’t see a profit.

As a huge NCAA sports fan, I have seen the negative effects of college athletes not being paid.  Especially for D1 Athletes who end up not playing professional sports. It’s disheartening to see these athletes spend time they could be spending on their academics. Since they might not be making as much money in their future career because they took time away from their academics to play their sport, shouldn’t they be paid so they can have more financial security throughout their life? As a viewer, I understand why some athletes skip the college process to instead play their sport overseas because the system seems so unfair.

The NCAA needs to change their regulations related to college athlete compensation. They need to find a way to give a salary to every athlete in the NCAA. The organization seems to be run by greed, where the higher up executives are keeping all the money for themselves. College Athletes are the most important part of the NCAA. I think if the athletes were paid they would be more motivated to play. They would also feel less stressed about their financial situation and can just focus on their sport.