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Why College Athletes Should Be Paid

There is a heated debate occurring in the past decade about the advantages and disadvantages of paying college students whose outstanding athletic performance could potentially earn them money and popularity. There is a manual produced by the National Collegiate Athletic Association that covers many aspects of this issue, but there is no concrete verdict on the subject. Blinder (2020) states that there is an article in the manual, “which covers amateurism and athletic eligibility,” but it “is under the greatest scrutiny by elected officials across the country.” This essay covers the position that college athletes should be allowed to earn profits from their achievements while they are in college for the following reasons: the professional athlete is a valid job, and the college should prepare its students for it as much as for any other type of profession, most college students agree on the fact that athletes should be paid, and this type of payments would mean that students will have a source of revenue that can sustain their college education.

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First, the current rules explicitly ban college athletes from benefiting from advertisements, product promotions, and acquiring sponsorships. The purpose of this rule is to prevent the minor leagues’ system from becoming a target for business exploitation (Novak, 2019). Moreover, students who actively pursue this career during their education spend “40 to 50 hours per week on those duties,” and it damages their studying process (Novak, 2019). However, it is essential to understand that this type of dedication should be encouraged instead of shunned. Students who are willing to put this much time into sports are aiming to become professional players. Minor leagues have fans all across the country, yet they do not gain the attention of mass media due to this ban, which puts college athletes at a disadvantage.

Second, many students see this rule being removed as a positive change. According to the surveys, 53% of college students are in favor of allowing athletes to benefit from their work, especially if it is profitable for the college (Hess, 2019). The author states that “among athletes, support for such a policy is significantly higher, with 40% of athletes polled strongly in favor and 31% in favor” (Hess, 2019). The overwhelming majority of students think that college athletes should receive payments when their image is used to promote a product or a service (Hess, 2019). This survey clearly shows that the current policy works against college students and prevents many dedicated players from reaching their full potential. Moreover, it reveals that people find it unjust for organizations to benefit from college athletes due to N.C.A.A. rulings, and it is ethical to remove these bans.

Finally, supporters of this change express their concerns about the disparity the current N.C.A.A. manual brings. It is also worth mentioning that many students have expressed their discontent about the college and other employees involved in minor leagues, such as coaches, gaining profits from this type of sport. Athletes who serve as a direct source of this income do not receive any of it. Novak (2019) concludes that “college football is thus an industry that survives on hope as opposed to any actual give-and-take between employee and employer.” Students who strive to become professional athletes in the future and put a significant amount of effort into this pursue should be placed on the payroll, especially if their careers have already begun to bring revenue for other involved parties. It is only logical to provide them with an additional means of income. This extracurricular activity hinders their opportunity to work, which could potentially cost these students their higher education if they are left with a choice between work and study.

In conclusion, college athletes should be allowed to earn profits from their achievements while they are in college for the following reasons: the professional athlete is a valid job, and the college should prepare its students for it as much as for any other type of profession. Another important reason is that most college students agree on the fact that athletes should be paid, and this type of payment would mean that students will have a source of revenue that can sustain their college education. While this type of activity is mostly extracurricular, colleges, coaches, and administrators who participate in minor leagues benefit from it, yet the direct participants — college athletes — do not. To remove this disparity, it is crucial to make changes in Article 12 of the N.C.A.A.’s Division I manual, which prohibits college students from being paid for their work. Several states, including California and Florida, have already taken measures that should positively impact college athletes, and their initiative serves as an example for other politicians that changing these policies must be prioritized. Students who show extraordinary athletic skills and put significant efforts into developing them should be encouraged to continue their pursuit by the college and the state. However, their athletic activities should not impact the overall grades in other subjects.

References

Blinder, A. (2020). Should college athletes profit from their fame? Here’s where the debate stands. The New York Times. Web.

Hess, A. (2019). Majority of college students say student-athletes should be paid, survey finds. The Consumer News and Business Channel. Web.

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Novak, J. (2019). The real reason college football players don’t get paid. The Consumer News and Business Channel. Web.

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