Equity on the Field: The Case for Fair Compensation for College Athletes - Free Paper Example

Published: 2024-01-23
Equity on the Field: The Case for Fair Compensation for College Athletes - Free Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  College Students Sport
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1836 words
16 min read


In recent years, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has generated up to billions of dollars from student-athletes who do not earn a dime from this cash flow. Besides, coaches are more highly paid than even their counterparts in professional sports, with some football and basketball coaches earning more than $3 million per year. Certain critics even suggest that the issue of college athletes not getting paid is racially biased. A post by Travis Waldron (2017) in the HuffPost article suggests that white people discourage college athletes from getting paid while black Americans support them. Nonetheless, every college athlete should get paid because they place their body at risk while playing and in training, college sports are time-consuming, leaving no room for other jobs, and students generate substantial revenue for the NCAA, as detailed below.

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Why College Students Should Be Paid

College Athletes Put Their Body and Health at Risk

It is indisputable that playing any sporting game increases your chances of getting injured. Research conducted by the Journal of Athletic Training (2017) revealed that one student in every 40,000 college athletes gets injured per year. This number also increases according to the type of game. In American football, college students’ overall injury rate is highest at about 8.2 injuries per 1000 student-athletes in every football game. An example of a gruesome injury in the NCAA is Kevin Ware’s leg injury, which is considered one of the worst basketball injuries in college basketball history. Kevin Ware, then a Louisville player, suffered a technical leg injury while trying to block his opponent’s shot. Despite his healing and getting back to the game, it almost seemed that his career had come to a close.

In professional sports, athletes suffering from injuries have extensive and adequate insurance policies or contracts that cater to their welfare in the event of an injury. However, for a college athlete, the opposite happens. When college athletes get severe injuries while playing college sports, their future becomes shuttered and obscured, yet these athletes get no compensation from the millions they make (Lemmons). Thence, because these athletes place their physical health and future at risk, they verily deserve compensation.

College athletes Generate Substantial Revenue

College sports, especially baseball, football, and basketball, are among the most competitive leagues in the sports industry. This competitiveness attracts fans and supporters all over America. However, the NCAA has turned college sports into a money-making enterprise. From 2017 to date, the NCAA has generated over a billion dollars in revenue across all sports (Garcia). Most of the money comes from the NCAA’s contracts with broadcasting, such as Turner and CBS, who pay millions of dollars to broadcast marches (Bokat-Lindell). Unfortunately, the players who make these games and tournaments possible and exhilarating do not receive even a dime of the humongous generated revenue. The significant income is unjustly divided without considering the active participators, who are college athletes.

Schools also generate immense revenue from student-athletes. Every “big game” attracts thousands of spectators, who pay for tickets to watch the game. Income from these ticket sales is directly pocketed by the school or the athletics department, without even appreciating the actively involved athletes (Martinez). Besides, excelling student-athletes become good ambassadors to the school. The success and achievements of particular players or the school team bring fame to the school and increase their status.

Moreover, excelling student-athletes become brand ambassadors for big brands, yet they receive nothing significant in return. Initially, the NCAA did not allow student-athletes to get paid for branding a company’s sportswear. Shoe companies utilized frontline players to market their products. They urged student-athletes to wear their brand apparel during games and sometimes outside the game, without offering them anything in return. The NCAA has recently passed a new rule that allows college athletes to get paid for branding a company’s sportswear. However, these companies pay peanuts to students, compared to the money they generate and the exquisite services that college athletes.

Participating in College Sports Consumes Time

A survey conducted by the NCAA (2017) revealed that college athletes in Division I dedicate a total of 35.5 hours of their week to sporting activities during the season. These sporting activities comprise training, championship games, and tournaments. Some students even use more time than the stipulated figure. This implies that there is minimal time for college athletes to engage in part-time jobs. The same survey revealed that college athletes who have part-time jobs spend about 4 hours per week at work and receive an average wage of $25.

We cannot dispute the fact that participating in college athletics has a high opportunity cost. For instance, if a college athlete dedicates 35.5 hours per week to working rather than plating, they can earn an extra $1000 from the $25 (Jacobs). This amount is immensely significant to a college student. From the stated example, we perceive that college athletics is more or less equivalent to a well-paying part-time job, yet they are not paid.

Some may argue that the provision of a scholarship is enough compensation to students. Consider a college student involved in athletics with a part-time job, not forgetting their demanding course plus assignments. Such a student is bound to lose their scholarship and might develop. However, the school does not consider all these options. In most times, the student-athlete is pushed from both ends to achieve success. Such dedication and sacrifice deserve more than a scholarship.

Paying College Athletes Promotes Participation of Top Talents

There are thousands of talented students in college who can play to international standards. However, they feel it is a waste of time to engage in college athletics, yet there is no pay. Such students cannot be blamed since their reason is undeniably true. Besides, participating in college games places the player’s body at risk without the assurance of compensation. This issue has led to many athletes seeking other ways to get to the pro level. Basketball players such as Simons Anfernee, Brandon Jennings, and Mudiay Emmanuel have made headlines for skipping a season to train for the NBA Draft intensively.

Paying college athletes can be the most efficient way of encouraging talented students to participate in college sports. Besides, it will help increase the competitiveness of the game. Like any other ordinary job, if one is financially compensated, they endeavor to give the best. The same applies to college athletes; if they are well-compensated for their efforts, they will improve their performance level and raise their motivation. Most talented students who would prefer to work rather than dedicate their time to playing will turn back to sports and fully exploit their talents.

Paying College Athletes Will Help Them Establish Financial Awareness

Cases of financial struggles after retirement have become common. The documentary “Broke’ by ESPN illustrates how professional players drastically get broke after their retirement. These rates were extremely high, with many of the players blaming poor investment decisions and exorbitant lifestyles. However, paying student-athletes could aid in teaching them the mechanics of personal finance. If learning institutions were to start paying college athletes, it would help form a background of financial literacy and sound decision-making. Whether these student-athletes make it to the professional level or not, they will have grasped various financial skills useful in whatever career they venture into.

There is no difficulty in implementing the Payments

Certain critics who oppose college athletes getting paid have argued that it is difficult to implement student-athlete payments. Their concern includes who will pay these athletes, colleges, or the NCAA. What will be the payment frequency, and will a salary cap be applied? Above all these questions, the decision on whether all students will receive equal pay or particular students will receive a higher payment remains the elephant in the room. Certain critics argue that some athletes deserve no compensation because they are insignificant.

However, the NCAA’s substantial revenue from broadcasting is the genesis of this debate. From this angle, it is plausible to say that student-athletes to be paid are the ones bringing in the money. For a long time, the competitiveness of college football and basketball has sparked the attention of the media and supporters. The players of both games are thrilling and never fail to offer memorable experiences for the fans. Further, these student-athletes attract spectators who are willing to pay to see them play. Such players surely deserve pay and commendation.

Therefore, there is little to no excuse that it might prove difficult for either college or the NCAA to pay college athletes. The NCAA can easily distinguish promising athletes who are partially responsible for the money they make and have a high likeliness to be recruited into the professional world of sports (Hess). Such players have the right to be paid. Besides, each college institution can pay their players a fixed amount of money as a pat on the back for their sacrifice and determination.

The Salary Would Help Them Cater to Their Expenses and Invest in Their Future

Most talented students are on full scholarships, implying that the school covers their accommodation, tuition, and college fees. Nonetheless, certain expenses are crucial to the student but are not provided in the scholarship. These expenses include food, entertainment, wardrobe for special and exclusive events, or even pay for an essay online since most of them have little time to complete them. A more significant percentage of these students often come from humble backgrounds and cannot fully meet their needs. Paying these students will help improve their quality of life. Moreover, some of the students are breadwinners to their families, and paying them eases their burden to provide for their young ones.

Furthermore, offering college athletes a salary assists them plan for their future. They will leave school with a degree and with some savings to put their lives in order. The salary helps them to start the journey of adult life securely. Besides, not all students are talented enough or get lucky to be drafted into professional sports where a good salary is guaranteed. Such a scenario places the student between a rock and a hard place. However, had the student been paid while playing in college, the money would have directly impacted their lives in many ways, such as starting a business.

College Athletes Have Invested Much Time in Training Since Childhood

Being an extremely talented student-athlete with magnificent skills does not happen by chance. It signifies that the student has put much effort and input in the early parts of their lives. Most of these students hope that after college, they will venture into professional sports and make a living out of it. However, if they do not make it to professional sports, all their efforts would have been in vain, and they have nothing to cling to as an alternative. To ensure that these students do not gamble on their future, yet they are making substantial income for the NCAA, they should be rewarded not just with mere scholarships but with salary.

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Equity on the Field: The Case for Fair Compensation for College Athletes - Free Paper Example. (2024, Jan 23). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/equity-on-the-field-the-case-for-fair-compensation-for-college-athletes-free-paper-example

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