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Should College Athletes Be Paid Essay

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The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is an organization that regulates college sports. The purpose of the NCAA is to keep the athletes safe and make sure of their well being. To do this there are a set of rules to be followed, but one particular rule raises an argument on whether college athletes should be paid or not. If a student works a part-time job we would all say that he or she should be paid. What if this part-time job was an NCAA sport? Should they not be paid? Despite opposition, The NCAA should pay college athletes a salary.

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The NCAA was originally known as the (IAAUS)  Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States. President Roosevelt and the heads of college athletic programs to create the IAAUS organization. In 1910 the IAAUS changed its name to the what we all know today as the NCAA. 1921 is the year of the first organized NCAA national championship, the first national championship was in track and field. it wasn’t until 1957 that the NCAA allowed universities to give athletes scholarships. The NCAA put its headquarters in Kansas City. In 1973 the NCAA broke up into 3 subdivisions D1, D2, D3. The subdivisions are based on the level of play with D3 being the lowest level. These subdivisions started in 1973. the Southeastern Conference was the first established conference in 1932. the sec is one of the founding fathers of the BCS championship. The second established conference was the big 10. The BCS is a five-game series of college football it consists of the sugar bowl, rose bowl, orange bowl, and cotton bowl.

The NCAA has come up with rules to keep things even, fair, and most importantly for the “well being of the players”. The NCAA executive committee is who comes up with these rules. the executive committee is known as the “president council in division 2 and 3 but is known as the board of directors in division 1. In its early years, the NCAA did not have any control in governing college sports. In 1948 the NCAA made “Sanity code ”. This was created to control the way of recruiting athletes. It wasn’t until 1976 that the NCAA had the authority to penalize schools, athletes, and coaches. The rules in the NCAA say that”an athlete cannot accept any payment or a promise of a payment for participation in the sport”, the rules also say that an athlete cannot have any type of agreement of any kind to compete in professional sports .as a college athlete “you cannot play on any professional teams” being that college athletes are counted as amateurs they cannot “agree to have their picture or name used on a commercial product nor can accept gifts, meals loans of cars or money from athletic teams or people in the program.” This all goes with the term amateurism.

The NCAA claims to practice “Amateurism” but some arguments can be made that the athletes playing for the  NCAA produce too much money to be considered amateurs.  Universities make thousands of dollars off of student-athletes some make more than what the athlete’s scholarship is worth. So a question can be asked why shouldn’t athletes be paid some type of a stipend for the amount of money they make for their school and the amount of time they put in. college athletes spend 40 hours a week for their sport. Even with a full athletic scholarship, most athletes are left with at least 3,000 to 5,000 dollars in expenses a year. Warren Zola the executive director of the office of corporate and government affairs at Boston College’s Carroll school of management suggested that the NCAA create a “student-athlete trust fund which will hold a percentage of what revenue generated by the vision and licensing contracts and place it into a trust fund for the student-athletes to access upon the completion of their collegiate careers” (Zola) . If the NCAA didn’t make so much money off of these athletes then you can maybe say that they are just participating in an extracurricular activity. however being that the NCAA is making millions of dollars off of these athletes you would think that they would give them at least a small allowance to pay for personal expenses. The NCAA does not allow student-athletes to use their likeness to endorse the commercial product for the money. Many say that this is a contradiction for the NCAA since the universities make a lot of there money from school merchandise and a lot of the school merchandise features student-athletes.  This begs the question, is it taking away the “right to publicity” of the student-athletes?

The student-athletes right to publicity is violated.  Recently the NCAA put a stop to let the video game company “EA” make college sports video games, before the NCAA put a stop to it was EA made millions of dollars.  To protect themselves against the laws of the NCAA they didn’t use the players names, but even though the players names were anonymous they still used the description and features of the players and the fact that it updates injuries from real life and has different players each year with different numbers it’s easy for gamers to tell who they are using. A big issue in all of this would be that the video games violation of the right to publicity was addressed in pro sports long before it was in collegiate sports. Video game producers pay the schools for the use of their logos and fight songs but do not pay the student-athletes who are “an integral part of those games”(Matzkin).

The NCAA should not have restrictions on student-athletes going pro. “If a college athlete has the ability to pro the scholarship the player is receiving does not amount to what the player is actually worth. If a player is seriously injured or does not perform to the expectations of a university athletically a coach can choose to not renew the athletes’ scholarship with no care for the athlete’s education. Professional sports organizations like the NFL or the NBA say they agree with this rule to let players mature physically but in some ways, people can think that pro leagues are working in harmony with the NCAA.    If the NCAA does not want to pay student-athletes than it should not hold them back from entering the professional game.” (Brill). if a student-athlete suffers a serious injury or does not perform athletically to the standard of a university a coach can choose to not renew the athletes scholarship with no care  of the athletes future or education (Huma and Stawrowsky) that there is proof that colleges only care about what you can do for them and not the well being of the student-athletes. So why does the care to control when student-athletes can turn to professional sports, Can it be that the student-athletes that do have the ability to go pro early are the ones that make all the money for the NCAA?

A full scholarship does not give a student “unlimited funds or any funds at all.  Since players are restricted from outside jobs how can you expect them to pay for small expenses like clothes or a plane ticket to go home for breaks and holidays (Hill).  There are many student-athletes that come from low-income families. The NCAA does have a policy for the cost of 3000 dollars a year but what happens for those who can’t pay for it. For those people that believe that the NCAA should not have to provide insurance for student athletes what if “an individual that suffers an injury at while working to benefit the institution should not suffer economically as a result of the injury”(“should college athletes be paid”.) “An American labor law established that workers exposed to injuries in the normal course of their jobs should not be expected to pay because of those injuries” (“should college athletes be paid”) so why are college athletes expected to pay for this on there own.

Since college is so expensive and scholarship student-athletes get it for free why should they be compensated? Not all college athletes have the ability to go pro so for the ones that do not have the ability get a free education. scholarship athletes get exposure to pursue their pro career that will get them all endorsements and contracts. So it can be said that a scholarship athlete has an advantage over other students.  “What would happen to the college culture what would happen to the branding of the intercollegiate athletics that millions of fans have come to love” (Zimbalist). One big problem in paying college athletes is paying athletes that play a sport that doesn’t make any money for the university or paying everyone the same amount even though some athletes produce more than others.  it would simply not be fair if all programs and athletes were not paid.  If the NCAA started to give athletes a salary they would not value an education anymore (Mueller). Another problem would be that athletes would make their decision by how much money they would make and not by how the level of education or major, things that a student should consider first.

It’s argued if athletes should make money as they do for just playing a game. so why would it not be an issue to pay athletes who are supposed to amateurs getting a free education?  If student-athletes were paid for they would become “ “eligible” for workers benefits (Mueller). Paying athletes would start to create employment type relationship with universities and that would give them the ability to create unions (Mueller). there are pro athletes that agree that NCAA athletes should not get paid for the simple fact that they should play for the love of the game and not the money. keeping college athletes from being paid keeps the line between amateurism and professionalism (“should college athletes be paid”).

Other students do not get paid for another thing that they do so it would be unfair if NCAA athletes are compensated for playing a sport and also get a free education. to start college athletes get more “ aid” than an average student (Block). many college athletes argue that since they do not have the time to get a job because of the sport that they play they should be paid by the university to cover personal expenses. but every college student is broke, “being broke is the way of life in college” (block). there are so many college students that get low-income jobs just to help pay for tuition and groceries things that athletes on full scholarships do not have to worry about (block).

For the most part, there is no reason why the NCAA should not pay their athletes or give them some type of money other than a scholarship for an education that some of them will probably not have to use in their future. Not to say that the education is not valuable but to say that is pay for play is almost ridiculous because they are not the only ones that can have a full scholarship. For the NCAA to take away the ability to make their own money no matter if it is getting a job or getting endorsements it’s not fair for the universities to use their likeness and not allowing them to use it for their own benefit.

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