Although the majority of college athletes have scholarships, I believe that they should be paid. In this speech I will tell you why I believe this.
The first reason I have are scholarships. On average a Division 1 scholarship is $25,000. That’s $100,000 a year! But most athletes don’t last the full 4 years. Once a player is involved in a sport there’s politics, injuries and/or coaches calling them to the office to tell them that they aren’t needed anymore. Many players turn out to have a scholarship for only a year or 2 and then transfer to a different school which may turn out to be better in the end. It may seem like a lot of money but it only covers the basics, such as: mysterious, unknown university fees, tuition, housing, a meal-plan, and multiple hundred dollar textbooks. “Some players, if they come from a low-income household, get a few hundred dollars each semester from Pell Grants which enable them to buy chicken soup instead of chicken-flavored ramen.” Says Tyson Hartnett, a writer and Professional Basketball Player, October 21, 2013.
Opposite of what everyone else thinks, being a college athlete is a full time job. On a typical day they wake up a little earlier than what they have to, to maybe get a morning practice or conditioning session before classes. After school they go to afternoon practices that could last hours, go to mandatory study hall and then get home to finish any homework that they have and/or study for a test. College athletes also have to juggle a job on top of that, if they are even lucky enough to have time for one. The only thing with jobs is that they would have to quit them as soon as the season started up. “Scholarships don’t equal cash in a player’s pocket. Even with any type of scholarship, college athletes are typically dead broke.” Tyson Hartnett, October 21, 2013. There are people that say being an athlete is a choice and if they can’t handle all that is being piled on their plate that they should quit. And I understand what they’re saying but it’s hard to give up something that you love so easily.
My question is: Who makes money off of these near-professional level athletes? “First, their own coaches. Many coaches earn at least $100,000 per year to coach one of the major sports like baseball, basketball, or football at a school. These coaches will receive bonuses for getting to the playoffs, winning championships, or breaking school records.” Tyson Hartnett, October 21, 2013. You know what athletes receive as a bonus? Nothing.
Second is the NCAA. Recently, the NCAA and CBS signed a $10.8 billion television agreement over 14 years. The NCAA is also considered a non-profit company. Thirdly and lastly the athletic programs. On October 21, 2013 Huffington Post.com said “The universities bring in anywhere from hundreds, thousands or even millions of dollars to their athletic programs each year. Most if not all from donations, ticket sales, media rights, advertising, and everything else with a price tag. These athletes are symbols for their school and their program.”
On the other side of this topic, not all sports teams are profitable. The less popular sports like swimming, tennis, or volleyball don’t bring the University a lot of income. Obviously the more popular sports like basketball and football make up for the lost revenue. Most of y’all could be thinking: “Why would we pay athletes if entire teams are struggling to survive?” “We would pay athletes because when President Theodore Roosevelt helped create the NCAA in 1906, he had no idea what it would grow into. At first, it was a great place to watch athletes play sports while making sure the rules were being followed. But now in the 21st century, the NCAA is a billion dollar company. Why hasn’t anything changed? Because the decision makers have the mentality of, ‘This is the way it’s always been.’
They’re scared to make amendments, even when it’s necessary.” Tyson Hartnett, October 21, 2013. I’m not saying we should pay them $5,000 or even $10,000 a semester. I’m just saying maybe at the most $1,000 a semester. This would allow them to go out to watch a movie once in a while, get something for dinner other than ramen noodles, and teach them how to manage their money responsibly. I get that most athletic programs can’t afford that on their own, so that’s why the NCAA should propose a way to start paying them. Athletes earn their schools hundreds of thousands of dollars, increase enrollment, and if they do well, provide a recruiting piece for generations. Top NCAA executives are getting $1 million per year while an athlete can’t earn $50 from signing a few autographs. The NCAA “prevents student-athletes from allowing their likeness to be used for promotional purposes.” Tyson Hartnett, October 21, 2013. There’s only one thing I can say to this: Why?