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College Sport and Payment for Athletes


There is a saying that says if you are good at doing something, do not do it for free. This saying can be controversial or supportive in many aspects, but there is no doubt that this phrase is practiced widely nowadays.

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Everything in our world today is commercialized; the issue is when we make an exception and when we do not. College sport is a very profitable business, and there is a lot of talking about whether should the athletes get a share in this money-making machine.

There can not be an absolute right or wrong based on which side the people are on because the opinions are as many as the people who discuss this issue, and of course, there is the opinion of the players themselves.

This paper analyzes the issue of payment for college athletes with a basic idea that the college student should not be paid if this is an amateur and unprofitable level of participation, if it is the other way around then they certainly do.


In order to start the analysis of the college sports perhaps, it should be started with presenting what the college sport should have looked like and it looks right now. The college sports at first placed was meant to be a way that the educational institutions distinguish themselves among other institutions in a friendly atmosphere of healthy competition.

The participants of the sport are college students who among the responsibility to carry the flag of the team should study at first place, as this was the first and the most important reason to go to the educational institution in the first place. “ON PAGE ONE of the 1997–98 NCAA Manual the basic purpose of the National Collegiate Athletic Association is written: “to maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the educational program and the athlete as an integral part of the student body and, by doing so, retain a clear line of demarcation between intercollegiate athletics and professional sports.” (Zimbalist 3)

There is no need to give a description of how the college sport looks like right now, as the reader must be familiar with it and acknowledges the differences between the two sports, the college sport that is described by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the sport we have right now.

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From a personal point of view, some college sports events if the college names were omitted or put the name of some sports association the viewer will not be able to distinguish whether it is an amateur or a professional league because it seems that based on the amount of money that is spent or made during these events, there is nothing amateur about them at all.

To give a glimpse of what kind of professionalism we are talking about, some numbers should be mentioned, for example, “Washington State University, a modestly funded major collegiate sports program, reported athletic revenue of $16.8 million for 1997-1998.” Another example lies in the fact that “The NCAA reports 2001-02 revenues of approximately $346 million from Division I sports, $14.6 million from Division II, and $11 million from Division III.” The television contracts give more shocking numbers where “CBS just negotiated an 11-year, $6 billion contracts to broadcast the NCAA Division I basketball tournament.” (Fizel and Fort 3)

Now, if we get back to the main thesis of this paper presented in the introduction, that the college athletes should not be paid, the exception made if it is an amateur sport which as it is seen it is not.

The question is how the student should be awarded legally beside the full scholarship in a way that does not turn the educational institution into a sports league or sport recruiting agency. I think the best way is to limit the growth of college sports to a level where it stays as merely a sport, where the value of competition is valued in the first place.

The student-athletes could get a reward or a small bonus for any achievements they make such as first place, a medal, or a won tournament.

I think the interested parties in getting a specific player or a team will notice the profitable talents in any case and offer the opportunities to participate in this industry after finishing college or the university. The main issue is to separate this industry from the original values of sport and education. This way the athletes will not take umbrage about the money they are missing, and the atmosphere will settle back to the way it was supposed to be when a leading athlete or a team is the pride of the college, not its money-making machine.

On a final note as the college sport in addition to being a profitable direction, it also requires a lot of investments thus, accordingly there will not be a separation of poor and rich athletic programs and quoting Dennis Berkey, Boston University’s provost “We have to stop increasing the amount of money we are spending in areas that are not at the heart of what the university is here to do, and that is to educate young people and to conduct research and advance knowledge.” (Zimbalist 194).

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Works Cited

Fizel, John, and Rodney Fort, eds. Economics of College Sports. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004.

Zimbalist, Andrew. Unpaid Professionals: Commercialism and Conflict in Big-Time College Sports. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 18). College Sport and Payment for Athletes. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2021, October 18). College Sport and Payment for Athletes.

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"College Sport and Payment for Athletes." StudyCorgi, 18 Oct. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "College Sport and Payment for Athletes." October 18, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "College Sport and Payment for Athletes." October 18, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "College Sport and Payment for Athletes." October 18, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'College Sport and Payment for Athletes'. 18 October.

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