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Should College Athletes Be Paid

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Athletes are dominated, managed, and controlled. They do not receive a wage compensation for their contribution to economic returns. Athletes are sometimes mistreated physically and mentally; and denied rights and freedoms of other citizens. The debate over whether or not to pay collegiate athletes, specifically Division 1, has increased greatly. Many people believe college athletic associations; such as the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Associations) treat college athletes unfairly. College athletes have been dedicating time, hard work, and much more to their schools' athletic departments. People are making millions of dollars off of these athletes while, they are living in poverty. Things need to change; these players need to start being rewarded for their dedication.

The NCAA has so much control over the athletes that they even control the educational requirements of the athletes. In order to be eligible for an athlete to play in college they must have at least a 2.5 high school grade point average in a curriculum of 13 core courses. Also they are required to score a minimum score of 700 points on the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) or a minimum score of 15 points on the ACT (American College Testing Program). If an athlete passes all the requirements and is able to play they must then take a course load of at least 12 hours, and by the end of the semester pass a total of nine hours. These requirements may not seem to difficult to achieve but one must remember while playing a college sport time is limited and the some of the athletes struggle to find time to get everything done. (Zimbalist 27-28)

If college athletes were to be paid, where would the money come from? The money can come from several different places: sale of tickets, corporate sponsors, endorsement contracts, and the sale of apparel. One example of the extravagant donations a school receives is the advertising package the University of Colorado has with the Coors Brewing Company. The package cost Coors an excess of $300,000 for radio, TV, scoreboard advertising. Aside for this advertising package, Coors Brewing CO. also donated $5,000,000 to have the name of the basketball arena changed to The Coors Event Center. Another way athletic departments make money is from royalties of merchandise sales. The last few years the NCAA generated over $100,000,000 from the sale of merchandise and apparel. One school, the University of Michigan, generates over $6,000,000 of that by themselves. Besides for school's individual contracts the conferences also raise money. One of the latest contracts signed by NCAA is the Bowl Championship Series. This is a contract with ABC (American Broadcasting Corporation) which gives the NCAA $930,000,000 a year. This money is then divided up to the teams involved. Teams will receive from $13,000 to $17,000 just for one game (Eitzen 2).

Contracts can also be signed with endorsement companies. These contracts are signed with the individual coaches of the sports. The contracts have players wearing a specific name brand of equipment such as shoes and pads. One may ask what is wrong with players getting free equipment to play in. The problem with this is that if a player has a preference of one type of equipment of another it does not matter cause the coach makes the decision what the players will wear. The coaches not only will make the decisions of what equipment they will wear but will make money of the endorsement contract. In other words the players are the ones wearing the equipment and the coaches are the ones getting rich off of it. According to Walt Byers "coaches own the athlete's feet, the university own the athlete's bodies, and the supervisors retain large rewards" (Wulf 1).

Another source of money could be generated from boosters. Many schools and athletic teams have booster clubs that generate money. Some of this money could go to giving the athletes compensation for their hard work. (Zimbalist 73)

An athlete scholarship covers room, board, and tuition. Universities estimate the cost of attendance runs between $1,500 and $2,500 a year beyond the basics covered by athletic scholarships. (Looney 2) Some of the athletes that are participating in the NCAA are not from wealthy backgrounds. Their families cannot afford to give them $1,500 to $2,500 a year. In this case the athletes will have to work to survive in school. Until recently college athletes were not able to work during the season according to NCAA rules. Now that athletes are permitted to work, there are limitations that make it hard for athletes to find a job. One of the limitations that the NCAA has is that college athletes are not able to work for companies that are owned by alumni of the school. In some places this is difficult cause in college towns everyone one has some kind of tie to the school. Another limitation to an athlete working is his or her schedule. Student athletes have very limited time due to attending classes, schoolwork, practices, and games (which include traveling all over the country). After a student athlete does all of this, they hardly have time left to spend with friends to relax. Many jobs require work on the weekends, when teams play mostly on weekends, who is going to hire them. If an athlete does get a job then they will have to give up the little time that they have to themselves or time for studying in order to work.

Another problem with the laws set up by the NCAA is the security of an athlete. Athletes who sign four-year scholarships are obligated to play at the school they signed with for four years. If an athlete for any reason would like to transfer schools he or she would have to sit out for one year. For instance if a coach terminates his or her position with a school, the athlete does not have the



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