Athletes all across the country at the division l level rake in revenue at an exceptional rate but never see see a stitch of this money. This is an issue that has been debated for several years but doesn’t seem anywhere close to an agreeable conclusion. It is easy to understand both sides of the argument but what should actually be done.
During the NCAA Tournaments, more commonly known as March Madness, CBS and Turner Broadcasting make over 1 billion dollars off the games. Athletic teams which advance deep into the tournament receive million dollar pay-outs just as the coaches do. As a whole, the NCAA makes 6 billion dollars annually.
The money that is made off college athletes is incredible. Should these athletes still be considered amateurs once they have reached this level? After all, the NCAA makes a large portion of their money by using these athletes names for merchandise such as jerseys and video games.
On the counterargument, these students often receive huge scholarships to attend the school. The students are at the school to receive an education and gain exposure to win a contract at the professional level. NCAA President Mike Emmert argues that, “Rather than push college athletics further and further from academics, we need to bring it closer.”
With all that being said we are brought back to the overarching question. Should Division l college athletes be paid?
The bottom line is, NCAA athletes do not receive enough recognition for all the money they bring into their coaches, school and the NCAA. The system is clearly not fair considering how much health risk these athletes face. Look at Kevin Ware for an example. On March 31, 2013 in an Elite 8 game vs. Duke he attempted to block a shot and landed awkwardly on his right leg. He suffered a compound fracture in which the bone stuck several inches out of his leg. Luckily Louisville covered the expense for his surgery. The fact that in a situation like this the school could have pulled his athletic scholarship is astounding. An injury that happens during an NCAA game, should have all the expenses covered by the NCAA. At least, the NCAA should a health insurance plan in place for all of these athletes who risk their health each time they step onto the court.
It is common for college students to work at least one part time job. The money they earn usually goes towards their spending money for extra needs and wants. A division I athlete spends extensive time in the gym, on the field or in the rink. These dedicated athletes don’t have the free time on their hands to be able to work a consistent part time job. With that being said, these athletes should be awarded spending money from the NCAA. This amount of money shouldn’t be a huge amount of money. It should be the average of what a college student makes while in school and working a part time job. An average college student will work approximately 25 hours a week and make about $187. These athletes do not have this time to work so they should be awarded this money for there hard work on the court or in the field.
Even though the NCAA has rules against making money off merchandise with college players names on it, it still happens. According to Jay Bilas you can go to the NCAA shopping website and type in practically any college athlete name. You will find that you can purchase a jersey with most college players numbers. The names are not on the jerseys but it is is obvious the number ties the jersey directly to the name. In other words the NCAA is using college players names to make money. If this is truly the case, any profit that is made from using a players name should be given to that player. First, the NCAA should have to get permission from each player and once granted permission they can make and sell their jerseys but the profit should given to that player.
It is obvious that with the work student athletes put in and the national fame they earn, they deserve to be paid. It comes down to weather the NCAA actually has the money to pay its student athletes. Rodney Ford, a sports economist said, “the money is already there.” Andrew Zimbalist argues that the only people who would have to take pay cuts would be the highest paid coaches and athletic directors. He followed this statement by adding that the pay would all eventually balance out and wouldn’t actually be a huge pay cut. These highly paid coaches would just have to accept economic reality where the athletes are paid.
The current argument that the NCAA is making about why college athletes shouldn’t be paid makes little to no sense. They argue that they should not be paid because they are not adults. You are legally an adult when you turn 18 which is why there reasoning is invalid. Virtually every single college athlete is at least 18 years of age. There argument is just a lame excuse to not pay these incredible athletes. The NCAA knows they have the money to pay their athletes, they simply don’t want to.
Eventually this great debate of the decade will come to an end where NCAA athletes are paid. It may not be within the next year or even the next five years but someday these exceptional, hardworking and committed athletes will receive the recognition they truly deserve by earning some amount of money.