Should College Athletes Be Paid?

Imaryland-football-uniforms-under-armour-5512magine being a fan or student of a college that could not afford to pay the expenses caused by athletics because of a new rule that colleges had to pay some of their athletes an extra bonus and therefore have to drop sports such as maybe football and basketball. This will be a reality for many students and fans if it is decided that college athletes, specifically football and basketball athletes, be paid. This possible rule change would cripple the players, the colleges, and all of college sports and that not putting this rule into effect would be the best solution. First, there are three possible problems paying college athletes could pose. Paying college athletes could deplete the college budget, make recruiting unfair for the smaller schools, and affect the player’s lives in a negative way. Most schools throughout the country at the division 1 level are having trouble managing their athletic budget without having to pay players. In college football most of division 1 schools income from sports comes from football. Lately, however, this has not been the case.


According to Duncan Currie in “Should College Athletes Get Paid” in the 2009 season only 14 of the 120 major college football institutions in the Football Subdivision (FBS) made money from football. What is worse is that Duncan Carrie goes on to say that almost all division 1 football institutions both major (FBS) and minor (FCS) have lost money between the years 2004-2009. Not even 7 percent of these schools made money from football even though most schools are dependent on making money from football.


According to the Washington Post many schools such as the University of Maryland have already had to cut sports due to not gaining enough revenue which paying their athletes would obviously just add more trouble. Next, paying college athletes could also make the recruiting between the big and small schools extremely unfair. According to the Wall Street Journal (Online) the big rich schools such as Ohio State and Alabama could easily promise a lot of money to all the top high school recruits that small schools could not find money for. This would hinder and put the smaller poorer schools at a huge disadvantage not being able to get the talented players who would all go where the money is. This would make the big schools better and the small schools much worse in comparison, increasing the disparity.


Many fans will not want to go see the smaller colleges, further decreasing the amount of money the small schools make. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Lastly, paying college athletes would do more harm than good. Gambling can be a terrible addiction and often happens to college age kids who are not good with money and just starting to make a lot for the very first time. These college athletes who, because of the possible rule, now will have more money and may get irresponsible with the many distractions they face and they could get into big financial problems. Problems which would not have risen if they had not been paid in the first place. Also, all the money the players are making could distract them from the real reason they are at college which is to be a student and learn.


Assuming the players do not go pro any of these possible distractions caused by the money could leave them unprepared for the job world ahead of them. Now that I have explained why paying college athletes is a problem lets discuss the solution to this problem. It is pretty simple college athletes should not be paid based on their level of athletic talent and the rules preventing this should stay the same. What is also never talked is that with paying thousands of college athletes there are many unknown factors with doing this. With so many unknown variables there may be faults with this system that no one can foresee and so why risk the well being of college football just to spoil some kids even more.


College athletes already receive enough money to live comfortably on campus. In a way they are already getting paid through scholarships which present them free tuition, room and board. According to an article Price of Admission: Deans List: Hiring Spree Fattens College Bureaucracy And Tuition depending on the college that player could receive anywhere from 18,000- 40,000 in scholarship money. All their expenses related to the team (hotel, meals, laundry, tutors, etc.) are taken care of. This, too runs in the thousands of dollars overall thus they are already living better than most students at the university. In conclusion, while for the college players themselves it would be great to get paid it could be their worst enemy as well as that colleges, fans, and game itself. In a survey of 754 people by USA Today 72 percent said that college athletes should not be paid. Although there are some positives with this possible rule if it were to get implemented one day it would change the game numerous more negative ways. If the game is already great to fans, players, and the colleges why change? If it is not broke do not fix it. [polldaddy poll=7290995]

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Brian Hradsky

The owner of MSB, I created this website while in college and it has never died.

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