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Should College Athletes Be Paid?

Should College Athletes Be Paid?

There are many debates on the topic “Should College Athletes Be Paid or Not?”. This issue of payment college athletes is popular and has plenty of different opinions. Some people think that it will bring enormous benefits for sportsmen, either to beginners or professionals. Someone consider that this payment will have a bad influence on the economy of the country. Different authors discuss the issue at different lengths.

The most popular kind of sport at college is football, basketball takes the second place. These kinds of sport’s league at the college have revolutionized to become one of the most followed leagues in numerous countries (Ackermann, 2005).The sports are popular and have a lot of followers and fans. However, some stakeholders, such as the owners of professional sports teams, have displayed an interest in talented student athletes. The thing is that talented students can help them win titles in the professional leagues. Moreover, victories and achievements of sportsmen will enable the stakeholders acquire considerable money. Therefore, in order the colleges could save their best athletes within the college league and to motivate and support student athletes, credible authorities should establish the policy of paying the talented students for their participation and achievements in various sports activities.

Different Arguments on the Concept of Paying Student Athletes

Buchanan (2013) states that the problem that revolves around the concept of payments for the college athletes implies a distortion of the reality. According to his point of view, people ignore the fact that the students have their compensation through the scholarships.

However, on the contrary, Hartnett (2013) argues that when the students get scholarships, it does not equal having the cash in their pockets. In his opinion, the payment that students usually get is not very big. They need to handle enormous fees to pay for education in their institutions and to buy some books that they need for studying (Hartnett, 2013). As Hartnett has mentioned, playing for some team, no matter it is football or basketball, is not a full-time job. Students also need time for doing their home tasks, but because of lack of pocket money they need to find a job in order to have extra money. Moreover, students need some extra money for spending their time with friends. In particular cases, they need money for food, clothes, and other essential needs because some students are not from low-income families.

Dorfman (2013) states that students receive many benefits including the tuition, meals, and some cash for miscellaneous expenses. He mentioned that only three kinds of sport regularly “take money”: football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball. Therefore, considering Dorfman’s point of view, other kinds of sport are not profitable and payable. In his opinion, it is possible for students get payment regularly, but it should be paid only for the best students who achieved great results in some kind of sport. Consequently, those athletes who are less successful will not have an opportunity to earn money.

Sander, Wolverton, and Fuller (2011) state that 57% of the individuals who receive the scholarships end up in debts after graduation. Johnson and Acquaviva (2012) state that students do not receive enough money. Scholarships cannot provide them an opportunity to cover all the costs associated with the college education.

Pells and Armour (2014) assert that there were discussions about the possibilities to pay students who study in college. It is necessary for them because they all have personal needs, and money that they already have is not enough. Thus, extra income will be useful for the college students in order to cater for their other expenses.

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According to the interview with Ed O’Bannon (2014), he thinks that it is important to reward them for their achievements and victories. It is not about 1 000000 dollars for each game, it is about little compensations for sportsmen. In Ed O’Bannon’s opinion, failure to provide such compensations is a manifestation of disrespect because student athletes deserve this.

Peale (2013) states that each student who takes part in some competition or plays some football (or basketball) games does not receive payment. At the same time, coaches get quite a large sum of money for a merit of their students. The college students feel aggrieved because at the time while they try to achieve and win the game they are not considered for the money reward. Also, according to the article, there are near 400 thousand of students who are interested in athletics, but only 4% of them are worth investment (Peale, 2013).

Wong (2014) affirms that it is necessary to reduce salaries of coaches and administration and increase scholarships for students. Such decision will bring benefits to the colleges because in this way, they will attract more talented students and sportsmen. Moreover, providing of regular scholarships will cover the cost of attendance.

Sander, Wolverton, and Fuller (2011) have explored the information about the students who had graduated from their colleges. They indicate that colleges do not take care of their students, and it is difficult for them to cover their expenses. The researchers demonstrate that if an athlete student after graduating from college does not receive a possibility for professional playing in the team, he or she has more debts rather than non-athlete students.

However, despite the big amount of people who support this topic, there are some who think that it is not appropriate to pay students for their achievements. NCAA (2015) does not like the idea of paying students for their games (Pence, 2015). Oliver Luck, the second person in the NCAA, states that this income will have a pernicious influence on the campus environment. Furthermore, in his opinion, students receive many advantages the games and competitions.

Matthew Green (2015) in his article mentioned that it is officially forbidden to receive any payment or monetary compensations in the sport for beginners. The point is to reward the best students who have some achievements not by giving money but by covering the expenses for their studying and daily life. Also, in some schools, covering the expenses is a good reward, just like an invaluable media exposure (Green, 2015).

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An interesting fact is that every year incomes of colleges increase, “diminishing the gap between the elite college athletics and the pros” (Pence, 2015). There are a lot of argues among young advocates who say that some students work more than 60 hours a week without receiving payments. (Pence, 2015) In their opinion, NCAA is exploiting college athletes. That is the main reason of their debts, which they cannot cover even if they receive their scholarships. At the same time, while they are working they bring billions, so they deserve a normal scholarship for their talent.

According to an article in the Harvard Journal on Legislation, in the past 12 years, football and basketball players brought a huge income, nearly 300% (Meshefejian, 2005). Therefore, it it is possible now to fund other sport programs.

Retaining Talented Students

According to Piehl (2012), colleges should pay their student athletes to shield off the negative competition from the professional leagues. The absence of payment for the talented students engaged in a college team will cause moving from the college leagues to the professional leagues. The reason is that students who have a talent for team sport want to progress and develop their skills. Such change can make college sports lacking competition and aimless.

Attracting New Students

Nowadays, sport has a big influence on people’s lives. It is obvious that sport also has a huge impact on students’ choice of college. A big amount of freshmen make decisions to join the college, and it is usually based on the success of a certain sport team (Piehl, 2012). Nonetheless, colleges have the main task to ensure prosperity of sport departments there. Piehl thinks that the best way of improvement the entrance of sportsmen to the college is to pay them a scholarship (Piehl, 2012). It will guarantee that the best performing athletes remain in the college sports league.

Hartnett (2013) thinks that paying scholarships for student athletes is a great method and a win-win scenario. It will be useful not only for students who will get extra payment but for colleges who will get a great advertisement. This advertisement will provide a great enhancement of entrance of new students. Therefore, in this way, the college will achieve two aims at a time: the college will get the benefit of good publicity due to the success of various sports, and the students will have extra income that will supplement the benefits from scholarships.

Shortcoming of Paying Student Athletes

However, there is one very important issue: paying the student athletes will reduce interest for studying. In this way, they will be earning money for their daily needs, but they will not understand the necessity of college education because they will not have time to care about it. Sport games will turn into a business or a full-time job. Students will give all their energy for sport activities in attempt to stay necessary in the team. According to Grant, Leadley, and Zygmont, most of the student athletes do not have valid contracts with the colleges (2008).

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In case of an accident, some damage, or injury, a student can lose a lot, and it will put the student away from sports and studying for a certain time. The student will not get any financial help in order to have a rest and renovate strength and vigor. If the injury is serious, the student will have to start his career from scratch. Also, it will include a bad outcome regarding studying at college because after missing the classes, student will probably be unable to pass exams.


There is a big amount of discussions concerning the appropriateness of paying college athletes and the consequences it may bring. Many authors gave many arguments regarding the importance of regular paying for student athletes.

Some of the authors think that scholarships will bring many benefits not only for students who are studying in college but also for colleges. Regular income will provide better entrance of students who are good at sport. It will be a good advertisement and marketing course.

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Some people think that it is not necessary to pay students for their achievements in sport, basing on different reasons. Others consider that paying students will give great opportunities for living and many ways of improving not only in professional sphere but also in personal life. The reason is that college athletes work hard for nothing, and it is not fair that they do not make money out of their natural talent.

Summing up all the mentioned information, it can be argued that responsible establishments and administrations should create policies to regulate the payments for college athletes. Such policies will contribute to the colleges’ success and ensure deserved benefits for the students engaged in sport activities.