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Why College Athletes Should Be Paid

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Student athletes at universities around the country should not only obtain a percentage of income made off their athletic performance but also pursue business deals and endorsement opportunities.

College athletes are often considered to be some of the luckiest young people in the world. Most of the time they’re riding on full-fledged scholarships that cover all the costs of school; plus, they are in a prime position to make a reputation for themselves in the sporting world and prepare for the pros. However, there are a lot of problems with how college athletes are treated, and many students, coaches, team owners and organizational members (such as those at NCAA) are demanding reform. Their main wants? To see that dependable college athletes are getting paid for their skills on the field.

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The typical Division I college athlete devotes 43.3 hours per week to his sport which is 3.3 more hours than the typical American work week which means they have no time to work a job to make money. Many people believe college athletes need to be paid because financially, they are being taken advantage of by the NCAA and school 2014, UCONN basketball star said, “We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food in. Sometimes money is needed. I don’t think you should stretch it out to hundreds of thousands of dollars for playing, because a lot of times guys don’t know how to handle themselves with money. I feel like a student athlete. Sometimes, there’s hungry night where I’m not able to eat, but I still gotta play up to my capabilities.”

These organizations are raking in huge profits from merchandise sales, live events of media coverage but still can’t get a couple hundred dollars a week for food or gas. Unlike the professional leagues, though, the athletes don’t get a cut. College teams may not have the same national weight as some professional ones, but they are just as avidly followed by thousands of adoring fans. Tons of merchandise, jerseys, tickets, food and fan paraphernalia are sold thanks to their performances – but despite being the main reason the events are generating revenue; the players don’t see a dime. Many athletes feel discouraged and mistreated because they don’t receive any of the money that is generated on their account. Why should others keep benefiting from their performance while they get nothing in return?

“A big reason college athletes should not be paid is simply because they are not professionals. College athletes are people that are trying to get to the pros and therefore, are not paid because they have not made it yet. Since these players are in college, they should never be paid to play their sport.” Says writer, Maurice Reed Jones. But there’s a big problem with that statement. These athletes are putting in the same amount of time and effort into their college career as the pros do. You may think “These kids are given a full ride scholarship worth thousands of dollars, they don’t need more money.” That scholarship money only goes towards classes, books, and bedding which means where does the money for food come from? What about a car and gas to get to practice or go home and see their family? What about if they want to treat their girlfriends to a nice dinner? These athletes are not robots, they have lives outside of basketball. College sports wouldn’t exist without the athletes, and it’s not fair that these hard-working, hard-playing individuals don’t get to benefit from sales attributed directly to them. The NCAA and other organizations will even put a college player’s name on a jersey, hat or other sportswear and never send a penny to the player. Student athletes should be not only be able to receive a percentage of revenue generated on their account, but also be able to pursue business deals and endorsement opportunities. Many college athletes are kept back from pursuing these types of deals by their school, even though there’s nothing in regulations that should bar it. College athletes deserve financial recognition for the merchandise profit they generate, as well as the opportunity to pursue their own financial gains. As athletes, they work hard on the field every day to bring in fans and wins for their school; it’s only fair that they are rewarded for their efforts, at least in some small way.


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