Should College Athletes Get Paid?


The NCAA is a billion dollar industry.

Kobe Broadwater, Sports Editor

Within the past few years there have been debates about college athletes getting paid for the revenue they bring to their schools, universities, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The athletes take their sport seriously, like a job, however they are treated like interns while the school and NCAA make all the money. I believe it’s only fair if these hardworking athletes receive their cut and more people demand a change to the organization.

Some may argue that the majority of student athletes receive free tuition and room and board, but the NCAA makes way more revenue from television contracts, in which the athletes are not included.  In 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported ESPN signed a 12 year deal with the NCAA to air the college football playoffs. That contract was worth about 5.64 billion dollars.

According to the NCAA’s rules and regulations, “an athlete will lose his/her eligibility if they are paid to play; sign a contract or receive a salary, incentive payment, award or play on a professional team.”  Another argument is colleges pay their athletes in education, expert coaching, and medical care. The time put into their sport often takes away from their time put into the classroom. If you think about it, coaches prioritize talent and winning; as a result, I would call it a recruitment scheme to persuade athletes by offering a scholarship to their school as long as you play well and bring money to the school.

This issue may never get solved because there are too many factors. There are athletes who risk their NCAA eligibility to enter the draft who may not be selected, leaving their full scholarship behind. Can I blame them for believing in themselves to make millions? Kentucky Wildcats Head Basketball Coach John Calipari said it best: “they can come back and finish up; they can finish school whenever.” The life of an athlete is a risk with the time and dedication put in to perform at a high level. At the end of the day, I’m not saying athletes should be paid millions in college; however, athletes should be given financial stability for their hard work and dedication.