Should college athletes be paid?
Max Grothman, Staff Reporter
May 1, 2012
Filed under Opinion
Simply, no. Academic institutions should not be allowed to financially compensate students based on athletic achievements.
Many have made the argument that in the increasingly big-money nature of collegiate athletics, college athletes should receive fair compensation for their athletic achievements. Such a system would corrupt the nature of athletics and put far more of a strain on the NCAA as a whole.
A detailed look at the financial statements of the NCAA reveals just how difficult paying players would become. Of all sports, only men’s football and basketball produce a profit for the NCAA. Every other sport actually costs more to facilitate than revenues produced. By nature of the non-profit NCAA, what profit is generated by football and basketball is spread out to other sports to provide for their operations. Paying football players would result in cuts to the Track and Field as well as Swimming and Diving budgets, sports where the expense to revenue gap is large.
Furthermore, men’s sports generate approximately five to 10 times more revenue than the corresponding women’s sport. A market compensation approach would carry an exceedingly vast disparity between male and female athlete wages. Such income distribution would hardly be fair for female athletes who put in similar amounts of work and play similar amounts of games.
Academic institutions offer opportunities for student athletes to play sports while attaining a higher education, both inside and outside of the classroom. NBA and NFL age limit rules concentrate on physical maturity of players as well as maturity of athletic skill set. Collegiate institutions give an athlete a place to develop personally as well as athletically.
If potential professional athletes really have the need for immediate financial earnings, they can take the path that plenty of athletes have taken abroad, to play professionally in a league with no age limits. What NCAA criticizers may not have considered is that the NCAA already is a free-market compensating league. If potential professional athletes do not want to become a student athlete representing the NCAA, they do not have to. The vast majority of aspiring professionals do, however. Being a student athlete in the NCAA furthers their careers academically, athletically, and personally, which gives them a firm foundation for a career in sports, or any other industry they may choose.