There have been controversial arguments concerning whether college students should receive payment after winning various sports in athletics or not. Many scandals have been reported in recent years, with the different scandals that occur in college students making the headlines. When people learn that student-athletes have been receiving little payment under the table, they raise an outrage. However, that is a minor scandal compared to the one that happens in college sports. Most student-athletes make a lot of money for schools and private corporations but end up receiving meager returns. Most activists of civil rights have sought to remove this action of the NCAA and give the involved student-athletes their dues. NCAA has made a lot of money using the athletes, and they are considering paying them after a long time. Some of the regions have reinforced the action of paying college athletes, which is considered to have both positive and negative effects. Some players and society have played a significant role in getting NCAA to finally take this action, which can be related to previous movements, which also contributed significantly to making a difference.
In most cases, corporations have been known to offer money to universities so that they can benefit from the glory of their college-athletes, and these institutions do not hesitate to take it. Sonny Voccaro is a clear example of those who benefit from the schoolyard hustles by having sponsorship empires at Nike, Reebok, and Adidas (Branch). He was addressing a committee selected by Knight Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization which is dedicated to save colleges sports from runaway commercialism as seen in people like Voccaro. The members were agitated by the words of Voccaro, but he was bold enough to challenge the morality of college leaders who put money before their students. College sports have become a booming business, as illustrated by the March Madness basketball tournament, which features every spring, with over eighty million people watching it over the television. Rosen and Sanderson also point out that Simon Rottenberg had noted the exploitation that occurs in professional sports more than forty years ago, and the business has only become bigger in our modern days (47). The big business only ensures that those with power, such as the college administrators, benefit at the expense of the players themselves.
The case of Alston v. NCAA, which was the biggest to be set against NCAA, represented an advancement in achieving suitable reparation for college players. The court ruled out the NCAA's scholarship rules are not legal, and they should allow schools to go on with their way of compensating and offering educational benefits to the athletes (Kirshner). Back in the years, O'Bannon (former UCLA basketball competitor) had indicted the NCAA to pay athletes since the action of NCAA schools highly benefiting from players without giving them their rightful share is an antitrust violation. However, the lawsuit did not succeed, and the college athletes remained unpaid under the NCAA. However, it was a good step in making players be better off since the court ruled that schools should not be banned from extending other educational benefits. Alston attempted to complete what was started over by O'Bannon, and he sued NCAA for an antitrust violation, which is witnessed when it allows schools to compete through general scholarship and the cost of attendance payments only without putting the athletes into the bigger picture. NCAA defended themselves by saying that the failure to pay the players is in line with college sports, and that lack of payment better integrates the players into the university community and improves their quality of education (Kirshner; Rule). Even though the court rejected Alston's call for a free market system in athletics, there is still hope that there will be a better negotiation for athletes who have suffered long under the shadow.
Just like Alston and O'Bannon, Jackie Robinson historically made a difference in baseball for standing up for what he believed was right. He changes the way most Americans thought about baseball and race in general. In those years, when segregation was commonplace in America, Robinson exceptionally stood his ground and changed the thinking of many. In the year 1945, when President Branch Rickey selected him to play in the majors, he learned to restrain himself from responding to the ugly racial prejudices, and his aggressiveness made him stand out (Swaine). Just like this historical player, the case of college-athletes can change when they stand for what they believe in, and make the NCAA's tight hand more flexible. The battel should not stop at Alton's case, there should be many more, and eventually, the change will occur.
Colleges and universities hide under the label of 'student-athletes' to deny the fact that these players are their employees who should be rewarded and become compensated in cases of injuries, as well as receive other rights and benefits as an eligible worker does. However, there is hope in the California law, which forbids schools from prohibiting their athletes from earning money from endorsements and other services offered, such as advertisements (Will). If the 14 potential states emulate this law, there will be a big change in athletes' lives, and NCAA's walls of resistance will come crumbling down eventually. Many fraudulent activities have been going on in universities, with athletes being offered fake classes in the name of keeping them in school for the administrators to continue benefiting from their talents illegally.
Rule, who is a college golfer at Mercer University, points out how the NCAA makes a lot of revenues through college sports. The author points out that most people are not happy for not sharing at least a part of the vast revenues, and the player contemplates how his life could have been different if NCAA had paid for his hard work while at school. NCAA employs an amateurism model, where it limits the amount of cash an athlete can receive despite the huge sums that it makes through its magnificent performance (Rule). Most athletes are torn on the issue of receiving surmountable payment as they play for their colleges, and they think that there could be some consequences to that although every athlete would be happy to be well-compensated. Brennan Bogdanovich plays for Mercer's golf team as a senior and is also torn on the issue of receiving good payment.
One of the benefits of paying college students is the elimination of their financial strains, especially for those who come from less affluent families. Will gives a case of Chase Young, who was forced to pause his dreams of winning the Heismann Trophy because he could not afford to pay his living expenses. The player had to borrow a loan from a friend to pay for these expenses. This only happened after he had face suspension and failed to attend the games due to hardships. If he was being compensated for the services that he renders at OSU stadium, he would not have faced suspension or find himself in deep troubles (Will). It is evident that Ohio State University benefits a lot from a high attendance of the games in which Chase Young participates, but he (as well as other college athletes) does not benefit from his talent. Compensating these athletes will go a long way to improve their lives and help them to focus on their dreams and live a healthy life. It is not a new phenomenon to have people working while they take their studies, and college athletics should not be an exception.
However, others argue that college athletes should not be paid because it will overshadow the reasons for going to school. The payment will reduce equality in colleges as other students who do not receive any salary will be unfairly treated (Jones). There are also claims that new mischiefs might occur among college students because the moment they have money in their pockets, they will feel free to do anything (Will). This will bring embarrassment to the involved colleges and universities and tarnish their logo. With these claims, it is essential to consider what the students will earn and whether they will maintain a balance between their education and sports.
In conclusion, it is high time that the story of college athletes changes, and that they receive fair treatment in their glorious years since talent is something that perishes with age. NCAA should change its tactics and stop being selfish because sports is a popular business that earns a lot of cash. Colleges and universities should also stop misusing their students and give them their rightful place. Although there are claims that paying these students will reduce their value for education and erode morals, there is a need to understand that when one if focused, nothing can deter them from achieving their dreams. Compensating college athletes reasonably will result in the best outcomes and change the history of college athletics.
Branch, Taylor. "The Shame of College Sports." The Atlantic, October 2011. Available at https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/10/the-shame-of-college-sports/308643/
Jones, Maurice Reed. "Why College Athletes should not be Paid." Odyssey, 18 July, 2016. Available at https://www.theodysseyonline.com/college-athletes-shouldnt-be-paid
Kirshner, Alex. "The NCAA's Scholarship Rules Are Now Illegal, But Players Still Won't Get Paid." SBNATION, 9 May, 2019. Available at https://www.sbnation.com/2018/9/18/17872150/ncaa-case-verdict-ruling-explained
Rosen, Sherwin and Sanderson, Allen. "Labour Markets in Professional Sports." The Economic Journal, vol.111, no.469, 2001, pp.47-68.
Rule, Hayes. "A Breakdown of Alston V. NCAA: What Is the Future of Paying College Athletes, and What Would It Mean for Athletes to Be Paid?" The BearFaced Truth, 4 May, 2019. Available at https://medium.com/the-bearfaced-truth/a-breakdown-of-alston-v-ncaa-what-is-the-future-of-paying-college-athletes-3483569905b4
Swaine, Rick. "Jackie Robinson." Society for American Baseball Research, n.d. Available at https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/bb9e2490
Will, George F. "The NCAA's Shameless Excuses for Denying 'Student-athletes' the Money they Earn." The Washington Post, 15 November 2019. Available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-ncaa-is-a-cafeteria-of-embarrassments/2019/11/15/668e2c80-071b-11ea-8292-c46ee8cb3dce_story.html
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