Paper Example on Pros of Paying College Athletes

Published: 2023-09-19
Paper Example on Pros of Paying College Athletes
Essay type:  Argumentative essays
Categories:  College Sport Essays by pagecount
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1236 words
11 min read

There have been a lot of speculations about college athletics and the amount of revenue that they bring to their colleges and the NCAA, something that is not new to the debate. In the United States, billions of dollars get generated every year from college athletes in terms of revenue (Sanderson & Siegfried, 2015). The issue of college athletics and whether they should be paid or not has been a growing issue in recent years, and also structurally racial to a greater extent. Majority of the college athletes in the U.S. are African Americans. They are at the top of three key sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, which are the highest revenue-generating college athletics sports (Sanderson & Siegfried, 2015). There are several issues, and the race is just one of them. However, the issue of race plays a significant role as to why the majority of people are opposed to the idea of playing college athletics. According to a study conducted by Sanderson and Siegfried (2015), out of the respondents interviewed, there were African Americans and Whites. Out of the total black respondents, 52% of them were for the payment of college athletics while only 15% opposed their payment. For the white respondents, only 27% supported the idea of paying college athletes, while 43% opposed it (Sanderson & Siegfried, 2015).

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The National Collegiate Athletic Association earns over $1 billion every year for the ability of athletic students in their various divisions of play (Sanderson & Siegfried, 2015). Many sports in the U.S. provide scholarship opportunities for students to pursue degrees while playing. However, there are critics that such scholarships are not enough compensation when compared to what could go wrong. Besides, college coaches are one of the most paid state employees in the U.S., with some gridiron football and basketball coaches earning over $3 million per year (Sanderson & Siegfried, 2015). It is therefore important to pay college athletes for playing, and some of the advantages of paying them include the following.

Firstly, paying the college athletes would act as another incentive for them to play. According to Cavico et al., (2015), the majority of the students playing in college never become professional athletes. Less than 2% of college athletes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) go on to become professional athletes, and this communicates a lot regarding the level of motivation they acquire during their college sporting days (Sanderson & Siegfried, 2015). Most of these players end up becoming professionals in their chosen fields of study, and not in the athletic sports they engaged in while in college. When these students are offered a stipend for their engagement in sports, then this could act as an incentive for them to become more involved in athletics, which is much like the work-study program. The money that would be given to these athletes can be used in supporting off-campus residence, cover costs not covered by the scholarship, and keep them involved in the system (Cavico et al., 2015).

Secondly, paying college athletes will eliminate the need for additional employment. The scholarships offered by the sports only cater to their books, tuition, and other education-related costs in college. Still, they cannot pay for other expenses incurred by students while on campus (Cavico et al., 2015). It is common for these athletes to seek other employment outside of campus to be able to meet their needs. There are also instances where students who do not qualify for scholarships pay their way while at the same time participating in athletics as a walk-on (Cavico et al., 2015). Whereas the process of participating in college athletics allows them to earn in the future, paying them now is very important in ensuring that they can solely concentrate on their studies and athletics without any distractions.

Thirdly, paying college athletes would help in attracting better athletes who would stay longer in programs (Sanderson & Siegfried, 2015). The ultimate goal of attending a college program is to earn a degree, making academics the top priority for the students. It would be a total waste of time for any athlete who has the chance to play professionally to join college, as this could stop them from attaining a good paycheck (Sanderson & Siegfried, 2015). However, if the college athletes can get paid some good fortunes in college athletics, then these athletes would be more likely to stick to the program so that by the end of it they earn their degree. Once they complete their college degree programs, they could then get drafted into professional leagues.

Fourthly, paying the college athletes would help in limiting corruption from external influences. There is a whole book drafted by the American College Athletics Association that contains the constitution and guidelines that coaches and institutions ought to follow to avoid any form of corruption in sports (Cavico et al., 2015). There are many programs every year that undergo investigative process due to their recruitment behaviours. There are already some colleges that pay cash bonuses to high school athletes to come and play for them on scholarship instead of playing at a rival school. When college athletes are paid, such incidences of corruption will come to an end since the college athletes will be motivated to play better and there will be no need to outsource for players through such corrupt measures.

College athletics is a full-time job, and students engaged in such activities spend most of their time either preparing for a game, playing, in class, or watching the national games (Sanderson & Siegfried, 2015). Their time bounces between the weight rooms to classrooms, to the court, and film sessions. Engaging in college athletics is an extracurricular activity. Still, National Collegiate Athletic Association schedules are so tight that college students playing such games have several tournaments that require an extended period whereby student-athletes have to miss their classes (Sanderson & Siegfried, 2015). Not only do these students miss classes, but they have also forgone the nationally televised games which would have offered them fairly good pay and also receive millions of viewers.

Again, the college athletes bring a lot of revenue to their colleges, especially men’s basketball and college football during the championship games. The same reason has been used by the advocators of paying college athletes, who debate in favour of the students that they could better receive a small portion of the profits their colleges accrue due to their engagements. Such payments would vary from one player to another, and also from one institution to another since there are colleges that are more successful than others, and there are also players who do a great job than others.

In conclusion, college athletics earn the institutions and the National Collegiate Athletic Association millions of dollars as revenue, and the students who participate in the sporting activities should get paid. Paying the college athletes would act as another incentive for them to play. It would also eliminate the need for additional employment. Again, paying college athletes would help in attracting better athletes who would stay longer in programs. It would also help in help in limiting corruption from external influences.


Cavico, F. J., Mujtaba, B. G., & Rosenberg, R. (2015). Unionization and college athletics: An emerging legal, ethical, and practical quandary. Management and Administrative Sciences Review, 4(1), 1-22.

Sanderson, A. R., & Siegfried, J. J. (2015). The case for paying college athletes. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 29(1), 115-38.

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