If you were to turn on your T.V on a Saturday afternoon you would more than likely see a College Football game. You would see tradition, school spirit, and two teams trying to beat the crap out of each other, but at what price is this all happening? The age-old debate is rather or not student athletes should be paid. Colleges generate millions if not billions of dollars annually because of their sports programs, but what about those programs that don’t make the institution money? For instance, many women’s sports do not contribute to the annual earnings compared to men’s basketball or football. The University of Michigan is one of the top revenue generating colleges in the country. So, who should be getting paid?
Many people want to blame the NCAA for not taking a side, but in fact the NCAA is really just an organization comprised of all the colleges. If the NCAA were to start paying college athletes how would it be handled? If they gave them a salary how much would it be? Who would be getting paid? Where is the money coming from? These issues are at the hindsight of the debate. The annual tuition for a student is between $25,000 and $55,000, depending on if you live in state or out of state. Many student athletes get their tuition paid for, does that mean they get to work less? In most cases not, they are working more then the regular student. Student athletes go through a rigorous schedule, between going to class, workouts and practices. Coming up with a fair way of paying athletes is a task I will leave to the professionals.
I do not agree with giving student athletes a salary, but I do believe they should receive something because of how they are marketed by the university and the universities are the ones making money off of them. Devin Gardner alone generates $5.5 million to the university per year and last year he generated $8 million in media exposure in just one month. Did he see any of the money? Most likely not. Out of the 50 states in the United States, 26 of them have a football coach as the states highest paid employee. These coaches make millions of dollars annually to teach and train athletes and the athletes themselves, as some say, make nothing. Personally, I think that coaches get paid too much. I think the money that is going into a coach’s salary could be distributed different throughout the university. Just like in The Price, by Niccolo Machiavelli, would a coach rather be feared by his players and fans or loved by them. I think many coaches believe they have to be liked by everyone, but really being feared doesn’t mean your hated, it means you posses a strong passion for winning.
In closing athletes should not be paid for their athletic performance. They should be compensated for the profit they help the school bring in. If we can live in a world were academics can coexist with athletics and everyone can be treated fairly, I truly feel we will have an ideal society.