College athletes are some of the biggest names in America, and some of the shining stars of the college community. In fact, college sports are insanely popular, and they attract huge crowds every game. Now, one of the biggest debates that often looms over college athletics is the issue of whether or not college athletes should be paid.
Now, this is a complex issue for which there is no one-size-fits-all answer – it largely depends on your principals and point of view. This is an issue that continues to rage, and it seems like every year the topic is raised and debated once more, and the NCAA comes under fire for its stance. We thought we’d look at both sides of the debate so you can get a balanced viewpoint on whether student-athletes should be paid.
Why college athletes should be paid
It’s a full-time commitment
The fact of the matter is that being a college athlete isn’t the suave lifestyle you might think. Yes, there are perks involved, but it’s also very grueling, and basically a full-time job on top of going to classes and studying. Athletes have to train hard and dedicate themselves, as well as foregoing many of the leisure activities that students would usually be enjoying. College athletics is classed as an extracurricular activity, and it will often require the athletes to miss classes for a prolonged period of time. As compensation for their commitments, college athletes should be paid for all that extra work they put in. Right?
It’s hugely popular
The popularity of college sports should not be underestimated – in fact, many college football games have attendances of more than 40,000 people, which is more than many professional soccer teams in the English Premier League get! There are also nationally televised games that generate a lot of revenue, and the athletes should see some of this revenue. The fact that these sports are so popular is one of the more decisive reasons to argue that athletes should be getting paid in college.
Why college athletes shouldn’t be paid
They already get scholarships
Perhaps the main argument against paying college athletes is the fact that they already receive grants for athletics. Now, you might think it makes more economical sense to pay them a salary instead of giving grants. But, there are all sorts of issues with this, predominantly surrounding the fact that a salary would have to be taxed, and would result in athletes struggling to afford their tuition. There is also no question what a scholarship is being spent on, whereas a salary could go on anything.
Another issue with pay is that it would turn colleges and learning into a business. Athletes would choose the school with the highest salary and could wind up moving to a new school each year. And this could cause problems for the colleges, as they might have to cut costs from other programs in order to pay the athletes. This sets things on a slippery slope and could change the very nature of college life in a negative way.
So, here you have a couple of viewpoints, with a couple of different points for each side of the coin. And, we have to say that we can understand the argument from both sides of the debate. Whether or not college students will ever be paid remains to be seen, but it’s clear that the debate will rage on. So, what do you think? College athletes should be paid, yes or no?