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College Athletes

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If well calculated, there is enormous revenue gained through sports into colleges. An average player of Football Bowl Subdivision is worth $121, 000. A same level basketball player would be worth$265,000 per year. This is according to a professor in a national athlete’s advocacy group, but the heated debate remains that of whether the college athletes should be paid or not. Athletes serve as a central attraction when it comes to college sports. The argument has always been put forward by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) that college athletics sit on the principle of amateurism. However, Walter Byers, a former NCAA executive director admits that amateurism is an economic camouflage to hide monopoly thus, an immoral issue. The college athletes are eligible to a payment over and above the privileges that come with playing for their institutions like scholarships, free tuition, education lockbox, and others. Denying them what is theirs serves to worsen the situation of college sports which should be a corporate generating billion dollars.

College athletes generate enormous monetary benefits. These benefits go to the NCAA while the same students struggle to meet even the mere basic requirements. The Price of Poverty in Big Time College Sports tells us that the athletes only receive athletic scholarships that cover partially the cost of attending schools. This leaves most of them below the poverty line. The cost of attending school is between$ 952 and$ 6,127 depending on different colleges. This is way beyond what these athletes get because they should not work except during summer. They have tight schedules due to trainings, practice and classes. NCAA restricts them from seeking endorsements. They argue that they are only amateurs thus, should be protected against commercial exploitation.

Many college athletes spend most of their time in athletics. Those in Division I spend 39 hours while the ones in Bowl Subdivision spend 43.3 hours per week in athletics. This means that this should be looked at like a full-time employment and; thus, this critical time player should be paid. However, the main beneficiaries of this system are the coaches, the bowl directors, conference commissioners and the athletic directors who receive multimillion dollars as salaries. Research has found that some football coaches’ bonuses could amount to more than their teams’ entire scholarship shortfall. This is so exploitative to the college athletes, who sacrifice even their academic performances to direct all their efforts to athletics. They should be the first ones to enjoy the fruits of their hard labor. They sweat and tire in the field for their schools to achieve such rewards.

The NCAA does not allow athletes to accept benefits offered other than their scholarships.  This has set the athletic program up for failure. There are many organizations that are up to grab athletes who are desperately in need of their assistance. The scholarship they offer does not cover basic costs like food and rent. R. Jay Soward accepted money from NFL agent saying that NCAA scholarship did not meet his basic requirements.  Many athletes manage to go through their college life through getting into menial jobs like Soward, who had to sell toilet papers and soaps to hotels. This is so controversial being a member of a team that is bringing billions of dollars to the college. Athletes need to lead a comfortable and the exceptional life without the need to go through such struggles. They may end up diverting their minds from athletics so as to earn a livelihood. They mostly find themselves blinded that their labor in athletics will pay their way through school, but they earn far less than their market value.

Colleges view athletics as a business opportunity to make money and to brand their name. However, in business, there are times to reap immense profits and others to incur some losses. This translates that there should be no fixed amount of money that should be termed as payment though there should be a minimum set amount. Different colleges get different kinds of money from their athletic engagements. For example, Texas has always led when it comes to athletics. Florida may not pay its players equal amounts to Texas. It should be able to offer a considerable amount to its players for the work they do. The benefits that colleges reap from athletics should be directed to the people who directly earn them. These are the athletes who sweat and run tirelessly in the field in order to see their teams emerge winners. They should be the first beneficiaries though this is not always the case. The key question remains why deny them what they should rightfully get. The answer is that their benefits go to a coach’s pocket, yet he has just improved on what is already there.

Many athletes hurt while in the field playing or even during training. It is so heartbreaking that many of them have lost their legs, eyes, arms and some have died in the course of athletics. Most of the college athletes are still under their parents. They fully rely on their parents and, most of these parents are not financially able. They are still under their parents’ insurance cover, and most of the parents do not take insurance against athletic issues. Parents have taken unnecessary burdens when their children hurt while playing for their schools. They are unnecessary in the fact that they are burdens that ought to be fully taken care of by the NCAA. Often, the NCAA has abandoned such cases and left the parents to take care of their injured children.

There are many reasons that NCAA has put forward as to why the college students should not be paid. They argue that they get scholarships and free housing. However, this argument may not hold much water since if they were not in athletics, they would be permitted to apply for financial grants and aids to help them cover their expenses in school. NCAA terms college athletes as amateur athletes and are, therefore, not fit to get commercial contracts. However, these athletes are not able to secure any form of partial employment because of their travel times and practice schedules. They find themselves in compromising situations whereby, they take the money and material things under the table from those who have an interest in their career.

In conclusion, college athletes contribute highly to their colleges. They deserve to be paid in order to keep their spirit going. They should be allocated a considerable stipend in order to help them lead a decent life in college. They should share in the benefits that they have brought to their colleges. They should also be entitled to medical insurance that covers risks related to their athletics. The NCAA should consider the effort that these athletes put to achieve so much for their colleges and NCAA as an association. Those who oppose the payment of the college athletes should look in to the efforts of the athletes and, compare it with the miserable life that they lead. Those who oppose payment for college athletes should join the proponent. It will unify college athletes and those who support them thus, bringing strength in voicing for the payment that they fight for long enough.

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