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College Athletes Compensation

Essay by   •  April 3, 2018  •  Research Paper  •  1,264 Words (6 Pages)  •  607 Views

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There’s no doubt that watching college athletics have become one of the most popular pastimes in America. Who doesn’t love a cinderella story in March Madness, a nail-biting football playoff, or an extra inning baseball game? Most everyone who follows sports would agree that the college level provides just as much, if not more competition than the the professionals. In fact, the revenue that the collegiate level earns is drastically larger than its pro counterpart. The largest difference comes in the way each sector distributes the hundreds of millions of dollars they make each year. It’s no secret that those playing in the NBA, NFL, MLB, etc. are getting a portion of what their corporation is making. The most well modern NBA player, Lebron James, makes just shy of 77.2 million dollars yearly(Quirk 24). Then you take a glance at the athletes in the college level, who don’t get a single penny for their efforts. This situation has been the basis of the largest debate in the sports world for the past 10 years. Those who have strong opinions on it seem to be split right down the middle. As the NCAA’s revenue continues to climb yearly, it is inevitable that the debate will heat up as well. So the matter on if college athletes should be paid, will be questioned on a continual basis.

The NCAA has the most power in practically all aspects of college athletics. The NCAA organizes each league in the country based on their geographical standpoints, population in that college, and calibre of the sports programs involved. In doing so, they get a portion of what each school makes off ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, and media rights fees. In 2015 the NCAA fell just short of the one billion mark, raking in 989 million dollars (Weiberg 6). Not surprisingly, they made 87 percent of that profit during march madness alone(Weiberg 4).

After analyzing exactly how much money is made yearly on college athletics in this country, it is easy to see that it is a very profitable business. But nonetheless it is only made possible by one group of people, the athletes themselves. Nobody buys tickets to the games to see refs making calls, or watch the coaches make game-time decisions. Everyone comes to see high quality athletes compete against each other. Studies show that division one athletes devote at least 44 hours a week to practices, workouts, and games(Brill 4). That amount is actually 3.3 hours more than what an average American works per week(Brill 4). This is a mind blowing number when you also have to find time to go to class, and work on homework to pass, and in turn be eligible to play a sport in the first place. Yet when it all comes down to it, they receive no monetary compensation whatsoever. On the other hand players in corporations such as the NBA and NFL, who put in the same amount of time and effort, and are paid millions in return. These are also athletes who don’t have as busy of schedules, and wake up every morning just to play sports. This makes no sense when you look at how Alabama’s football program making 143.3 million in athletic revenues, more than 27 of the 30 NBA teams, but no player receives any of that for their efforts(Acain 12).

When the NCAA has been questioned on why they don’t pay their athletes their continual response has been that they would like to maintain the players “amateur” status until they reach the professional level. The dictionary definition of an amateur is “a person who engages in a pursuit, especially a sport, for fun, and on an unpaid basis.” But as the collegiate sport has evolved, the basis of the players being amateurs has slowly changed. A player surely can’t be considered an amateur if their faces are being used to stick on billboards to promote games, and on the front of video game covers. That wide array of publicity shows that the players themselves are by no means amateurs. The NCAA is being hypocritical, and using the talented athletes status for their own gain. They sign multi billion long term deals with companies like CBS, to allow for games to be televised. They also arrange big money contracts with gaming companies like EA sports to create games so kids can play as their favorite college athlete. Every bit of money obtained through these pledges is pocketed by the NCAA, and not distributed to the people whose faces pop up when you change the channel.

The NCAA makes their strongest point when they state that they do provide compensation to athletes, by providing them with a paid for college education. In making this statement they are claiming that they put stress on creating student athletes. This would by all means be a great way of running



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