It’s time student athletes get paid for what they’re worth

60% of those polled said that college athletes should get paid, and 38% said that only those who bring in revenue should be paid.

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60% of those polled said that college athletes should get paid, and 38% said that only those who bring in revenue should be paid.

Madyson Lawson, Staff Writer

The ending of high school brings up the choice of whether athletes want to play in college or not. College athletes not only have to balance the stress of their sport and the tight schedules that come along with it, but they also have to go to school and manage to get good grades so they don’t jeopardize their future careers. College athletes put their sweat, blood and tears into their sport but get nothing in return. 

College athletes are undoubtedly some of the hardest working people in the world; yet, they’re not getting paid. They are required to spend most of their time at long practices with little to no exceptions and they generate a lot of money for the schools that they represent. It’s time to start paying the hard-working athletes what they deserve and for all, they do for their schools. 

Student-athletes spend most of their time outside of the classroom practicing. In the article “From Student-Athletes to Employee-Athletes: Why a ‘Pay for Play’ Model of College Sports Would Not Necessarily Make Educational Scholarships Taxable,” Marc Edelmen states, “This movement to allow athletes to share in the revenues of college sports arises from the belief that college athletes sacrifice too much time, personal autonomy and physical health to justify their lack of pay. It further criticizes the NCAA’s ‘no pay’ rules for keeping the revenues derived from college sports.” 

Most athletes spend all of their free time at long practices, working very hard to improve their skill, yet when it comes to game night, only a limited number of them actually get into the game. . It’s unjust to make these athletes use up all of their valuable time at practice, not getting paid when they are not given any playing time either.  

According to an NPR episode of “Morning Edition,” host Bob Edwards states, “Their job is playing full-time sports for the school and also trying to go to class. I’m saying let’s just allow them to concentrate on playing full-time sports, and if they want to take a course or two, fine. After their sports career is over if they want to come back and get a full education, fine.”  

Athletes are required to take certain courses and are kicked off the team if they can’t manage to achieve good grades. This is difficult to maintain, seeing as they are given very limited time to actually study or do their homework. Most just want the chance to go pro.

College athletes generate a lot of money for their schools. In the article “Pay Student-Athletes” by Bruce K. Johnson, he states, “Star basketball and football players produce millions for their schools in ticket sales, TV contracts and payouts from March Madness and bowl games. Yet stars get paid only tuition, room and board.” 

The athletes who are playing in these events are the ones making them happen, without them, competition wouldn’t be possible.You would think that these athletes who are bringing in a large amount of revenue for their schools and the NCAA would also be getting paid but, in reality, they are getting nothing in return. 

In the article “The NCAA Makes Billions and Student Athletes Get None of It” by Greg Johnson and Student Nation, they state, “All television revenue, ticket and jersey sales, likeness promotions and other sources of income go to the NCAA, the schools, the coaches, the event staffs and everyone else involved in the business—except for the athletes creating the value.”

 Everyone involved with the NCAA is making a profit off of the athletes and their performances, except the athletes themselves. College athletes are the faces of their schools. 

In an interview with the WSU Insider, Nancy Swagner, Washington State University’s faculty athletics representative states, “‘Success on the field opens a window for those from far outside of Pullman to look in on what our university has to offer, while at the same time galvanizing alumni and keeping their Cougar spirit burning bright’.” 

Sports play a big role in American culture and impact the decisions of high schoolers getting ready for college. When high school athletes are deciding on what college they want to go to, they don’t always look at the academics; they look at the sports teams, how many wins they have and how many of those athletes have gone pro. A strong win record is not only good to get new recruits, but also for the alumni, as they can be proud to have come from such a good school. 

In an interview with the WSU Insider, Nancy Swagner, WSU’s faculty athletics representative, states, “College athletics plays a vital role in the well-being of universities like Washington State.” 

The athletic department of colleges is a very important department; when most people think about a college, they think about the sport they’re good at. For example, Duke is known for its amazing basketball team and the number of athletes who have moved on to the NBA after attending Duke. These athletes are the representatives of their schools; they are the ones people associate with the schools and their success. Many teenagers choose a school based on their idols and where they went; they don’t think about which school has the best test scores, or which school has the highest GPA average.

Based on how the NCAA has evolved over time and the amount of revenue they’ve generated, they should be paying their athletes. These athletes put in the same, if not more, time as a regular, everyday job, and should be getting paid for what they’re sacrificing. Not only do these athletes sacrifice so much for their sport, but they are required to go to school and maintain good grades. Most everyone who is involved with sports has their own opinion on student-athlete pay, but based on all the recognition the college athletes bring in for their schools,  and how much income the NCAA generates, student-athletes should be getting paid for the time and effort they put into their sports.