That’s the question being fiercely debated on campuses and across the college conferences. And it’s shocking to see the level of support the answer “yes” is getting—because the idea tears at the very nature of amateur college sports” (Should). There are views from both sides as this is quite the controversial subject in the sporting world. Looking at the facts, it is difficult to decide either way. First off, we must decide what qualifies under the pay to play category.
There are numerous ways that college athletes can be compensated for their time dedicated to the sport. They consist of scholarships, free tuition, fees, and room and board. “Athletes on scholarship currently receive tuition, fees, room, board, and books—costs that can exceed $30,000 to $50,000 a year at many schools. Last October, the NCAA agreed to let college conferences decide whether to pay student athletes an additional $2,000 annual stipend to more closely match the total cost of attendance” (Should). Some of the student athletes that attend college come from poor environments.
The athlete and their family cannot offer the money to get them through the hard times of making college payments. “Collegiate athletes deserve to be paid. The scholarships that they receive cover school-related expenses. They cover books, tuition, and room and board. These scholarships allow athletes to attend class, eat, and sleep on campus for free. What they don’t do is give the players money. Many NCAA athletes come from disadvantaged backgrounds, where their families can’t afford to give them money. ” (Solution). Also, is it right to compensate college athletes for their hard work?
What if people in the business of money took $1. 3 billion off the top, invested it, sheltered it and made it available to provide a stipend to college athletes, how could anybody stand on principal and argue against paying the people who make the events possible in the first place? ” (Michael). After all, they are part of the reason for the revenue that the organization receives. “Those who advocate payment argue that because colleges make lots of money through their football and basketball programs, student athletes are being exploited if they don’t get a piece of the revenue pie.
Recently more than 300 athletes petitioned the NCAA and college presidents for a cut of the estimated $775 million generated by televising college sports” (Should). For the amount of work that athletes put in, whether it is on the field or off, they deserve much more than just tuition and room and board. This could raise another question. What will it do to the recruiting process? Will it make the universities more vulnerable to negotiations? “As the have-nots compete with the haves, coaches would feel even more pressure to win, and recruiting violations would only increase.
Speaking of coaches, the University of South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier believes that each of his 70 football players should receive $300 per game. He says that he and several other Southeast Conference coaches feel so strongly about it that they’re willing to pay it themselves” (Should). Paying players may result in the decrease of interest in division two, three, and private universities. The institutions with a larger budget can attract the better athletic recruits. Looking at the pros and cons of paying college athletes, we could lean either way. According to Title IX, a federally mandated law, if conferences and schools decide to increase the value of student-athlete scholarships to cover living expenses, they have to do it for women’s programs as well. This means that schools would have to, for example, increase the value of women’s volleyball and softball scholarships as well. Schools have to stay in-accordance with Title IX, otherwise they’re risking their federal funding” (Pros and Cons). It can become very sticky when you have to incorporate federal laws into the equation.
Another thing that can raise the eyebrow when dissecting the cons of paying players is what sporting teams are getting paid. To be fair to the whole university, you would think that they should pay all varsity sports teams. “Let’s be real here; men’s football and basketball teams are usually the programs that make the most money for universities, so if football players and basketball players got paid, does that mean that the men’s lacrosse and baseball players would get paid too? ” (Pros and Cons). What happens when college athletes decide to make themselves eligible for the professional league before they graduate?
This could cause a wrinkle in the system if you create a contract. Will it be able to broken or does the athlete have to stay all four years? The big factor that all athletes fear is the risk of injury. Some feel that players should have some sort of compensation while injured. Is it worth the college spending money on an athlete who may not play up to his ability since becoming hurt? A Nebraska state senator who is a longtime supporter of providing stipends to college athletes submitted a bill in 2003 to allow players of Nebraska’s football team to be paid.
He stated that they are unpaid workers who just aren’t amateurs. They call it a scholarship but he wanted to see the athletes to have some spendable money. An Oklahoma university football player said that he plays for one of the top football schools in the country and is struggling to get groceries every month. (USA). Even players agree that it is tough to juggle life with their sports. They feel that for the effort that they put in, an award of some sort should be sent their way. Any kind of non-revenue sport would have to be cut because there would not be sufficient funds to pay their players.
This could cause the amount of athletes enrolling in the college to decrease, mainly because of the less diversity that the school provides. “The NCAA historically has been against pay for play. I couldn’t agree more with that position. If you start paying student-athletes (other than assisting them through financial aid), you essentially ruin the integrity of the college game. ” (USA) If we incorporate too much money, the players may become greedy and ask for more and more money. College sports may even become a democracy. The best thing about college sports is the passion. You’re playing for the love of the game, not because you’re getting paid. If money started getting involved, I worry that college sports could be corrupted. I like things the way they are now. ” (USA). What happens to those students that aren’t athletes? It would seem as though they would want something as well. Do they deserve to be paid to play in the college’s band or as part of the art club?
After all, they are all going to college for the same reason; to further their education. Paying a player will create a jealousy factor among students who are not athletes and then you have to figure in what athletes get paid because it would be difficult to pay every athlete because most schools have a multitude of different sports. Then do you pay the upperclassmen only? ” (College). An example of this issue happened a few years ago at Mississippi State University. It was plastered all over ESPN and Sportscenter for weeks. It dealt with their football team and ultimately the quarterback Cam Newton. It was believed that he accepted a sum of money from the university to transfer from Florida University.
They did this in hopes of improving their team with Newton’s experience and leadership skills. Cam Newton turned down the money and signed with Auburn. “On Dec. 31, 2009, Newton publicly committed to Auburn, where this season he has led the Tigers to a 9-0 record and No. 2 ranking in the BCS standings. Along the way, Newton’s dazzling running and passing have elevated him to Heisman Trophy favorite status. ” (Cash). Not only did Newton lead his team to the national championship, he was elected as the first pick in the NFL draft. He plays for the Carolina Panthers and was a candidate for Rookie of the Year.
All of this would not have been possible if he chose the large sum of money. “If educational institutions pay their players, the gap between major division one schools, whose athletic programs can afford the large salaries and tremendous benefits that the very best athletes demand, and mid-major teams who simply cannot compete in that arena will only widen. It is not a huge leap to imagine that Stanford would be able to pay exorbitant amounts of money to get the best athletes to play, while its competitors could not possibly match Stanford’s financial advantage in recruitment. Many of the small school would become overpowered and almost non-existent. (Should College). College presidents and fans have fears of pay for play as well. In a pole to college sports fans, most of them fear that with payment come endorsements. This could be similar to the scholarship money because it motivates the student athlete to compete to their best in the sporting world. This brings up the question of whether the players will focus enough on their books and schoolwork or just sports. “A few years ago, Nike could sell a Duke number four jersey for $80 and J. J. Redick didn’t see one dime.
That was and is unfair. The NCAA should come down firmly against student pay but firmly on the side of students who have become profitable marketing tools for corporations to gain their fair share of the spoils. ” (Should College). The NCAA’s purpose is “To govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable, and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student athlete is paramount. ” These boil down to colleges’ jobs are to protect their student athletes, make sure they have the best college experience, and keep the playing field level. Solution). College athletes work hard in the classroom and on their respective field. They should not have the distraction of pay to play hanging over their head. “Basically the student-athletes are allowed to use what the school gives them, and nothing else.