Should College Athletes Be Paid for Their Labor?

Published: 2021-06-23
1776 words
7 pages
15 min to read
George Washington University
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This is an argument that can account for a discussion that can go on for many days. Currently, very many people are in agreement with the option of college athletes being paid. College athletes are only compensated with tuition, books and fees scholarships. The fact that they only get this kind of scholarship put them at a living standard of below the poverty line (Edelman, Marc, and Geoffrey Christopher Rapp). To ensure that there is a safe and secure financial privilege for college athletes, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) provides regulations on monetary compensation that preserves amateur students and student-athletes and also encourages academic integrity. When thinking of such kind of debate, very many opinions would be thought of. There could be opponents against just as there is NCAA that encourages college athletes' payments. People who think that college athletes should also be paid believe that universities make millions of dollars and are exploiting student-athletes' labor by not compensating them for their labor. Both parties in this debate agree that if NCAA regulations are passed for college athletes being compensated for their labor, then the colleges that cannot afford this movement will suffer from diminished talents. This argument results to a solution plan whereby only colleges that can afford to pay their athletes also need to give them restitution.

College athletic is a big kind of business to universities and colleges because it generates a lot of money (Edelman, Marc, and Geoffrey Christopher Rapp). An example is the reports made from fifty colleges that reported to have made over fifty dollars. NCAA also makes over $700 having sold the rights for broadcasting college athletics. As a result, only a few bodies do benefit from the profits of college athletics. These groups include directors, NCAA, and coaches. NCAA established rules that undermined the compensation of college athletes as well as preventing them from capitalizing their talents.

Scholarships are not an equitable form of compensation to college athletes. According to NCAA, the kind of scholarship that college athletes get is only base on college expenses, and therefore these athletes should cover the remaining expense for their money. According to other students, losing their scholarships on athletics would mean that they will not be able to their education costs at the institution. For this reason, they need to be compensated ("Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal | Brigham Young University Law School")NCAA also set a motion of a new bill that facilitated the meals of college athletes. This bill still puts student athletes at a place where they can endure the bill since they are forced to cater for their clothing and communication means.

Since college is an educational institution, college athletes are required to take their educational experience seriously just like those students who do not participate in athletics. 87% of these athletes are said to be performing better in academics, however, according to "Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal | Brigham Young University Law School," the winning team should practice for 30 hours every week. This long practice time often distracts the athletes from academic affairs and is also a surety that they stay in the game. These long training hours, as well as the academic shortcomings and finance pressure, forces some college athletes to leave the sports career.

With the knowledge of the inadequacies of a scholarship-compensation system, solutions to resolving the problem of financially unsecured student-athletes could begin in some ways that pioneering the manner in which the purses of student-athletes everywhere are filled.

These concerns have generated debates among organizations such as the NCAA, SEC, and other such organizations about how to go about the restructuring of the current NCAA rules and regulations that will allow for student-athlete compensation that will retain fairness for smaller, less fortunate higher education institutions and possibly will allow student-athletes say in all aspects of how they as players are handled. These debates have also given rise to the need to preserve the integrity of smaller schools, which unlike that of their bigger athletic competitors, cannot afford to dish out a large chunk of their athletic departments budget to fund student-athletes handsomely -should the ruling lean in that direction- without jeopardizing their funding and their talent pool.

Conversations have given birth to some obvious solutions, and some unconventional for college-level athletes that could change how the game is played. Unionization of student-athletes is one such solution that would give the playing field a much-needed facelift. Unionizing student-athletes will transform a scholarship funded intercollegiate athlete into an employable student-athlete, handing them over the right to elect for whom they perform for based on the size of the salary they are offered. This, of course, will change the structure of how athletic departments are designed, but it is not too lofty to be considered, according to the source. One such source, CBS News reports that this form of unionization can be obtained by football players at the Big Ten schools as they qualify to be employed under federal law and therefore can unionize ("College Athletes Can Unionize, Federal Agency Says"). Allowing for intercollegiate athletes to will allow student-athletes the opportunity to strike and refuse to play should they, collectively or individually, refute current payment in the form of scholarships. Unionization of college athletes means that the athletes of an employable station, as forecasted; this then means that the students have to be paid, and paid fairly.

Sponsorships and endorsements are suggestions in providing a substantial supplementary source of income to the student-athletes, instead of having the profits from such deals go into to the wallets of coaches and executives, such as the context in which Alabama coach Nick Saban, according to the Huffington post, have made 6 million dollars plus bonuses in the 2013 season from endorsements, sponsorships, and million dollar contract deals. Giving college athletes the opportunity make money from endorsements and sponsorships will ensure that colleges are saved, especially those universities with smaller scale, large amounts of their budget on athletic departments. Endorsements will provide an opportunity for small time colleges' athletes to receive the payment that they are entitled to based on their open market worth without stripping the university sports departments that are not in a position to dole out a lot of money to students players. According to CNBC, "the average university player in the football team is $178,000 per year from the year 2011 to 2015, while the estimated market value for an average college player in the basketball team is $375,000" (CNBC, 2014).

According to Cohen and Russo (2012), NCAA president, Mark Emmert, has suggested the creation of a 2000 dollar stipend system that will enhance the current scholarship compensation method, providing student-athletes with a means to live comfortably. Notre Dame Coach, Brian Kelly, was also quoted saying that, "I want them to be college kids, and a stipend will continue to allow them to be college kids." The recommended allowance of 2000 dollars that is purported to help student-athletes with personal expenses that are not voided from scholarship coverage due to federal regulations. Setting in place, a stipend will stave off a layer of expenses that the student-athletes from less fortunate circumstances, could not otherwise manage independently. There are opponents that state, introducing a stipend into the college athletes attendance cost, is considered as a violation of the "pay for play" regulation that the NCAA has in place for student-athletes. Allowing for this stipend program would move things along, regarding getting the student-athletes extraneous monies; however, it would still be considered insufficient when taking into account the scholarships that are available to non-athletic students. "The Charles Scholarship located at Davidson College is inclusive of recipients' room tuition fees allowances on traveling up to around three trip flights to Chicago (it's a scholarship specifically for students from Chicago), an allowance for personal expenses, and funds for special study opportunity's. Is there a reason as to why college athletes' should receive such a scholarship that covers these expenses?" ("The Debate Over Stipends For Student Athletes -")Examining the context, this stipend system would serve the purpose of covering student-athletes expenses, as the forecasted expense allowance serves for students that are expected to perform at above par academic levels.

Providing full-cost-of-attendance scholarships to student-athletes will cover more than just college expenses, but also provide financial resources for impoverished student-athletes to experience a comfortable college existence. As stated by the USA Today, the NCAA has been in discussions about how a full-cost-of-attendance scholarship would look and how much of a school athletic department budget will be allotted to the support of such as system ("In Revamped NCAA, Questions On How Full Scholarships Will Work"). It has been suggested that the creation of a stipend system that is general across all colleges and universities, will eliminate the need for students to "sell" themselves to the academic institutions that can offer them the most in financial incentives.

In conclusion, we can simply blame the current state of under compensated student-athletes on existing bills of regulation, but looking at the interoperations of corporates love for money, it is easy to see why after years of deliberation, that the bills have yet to get a real push in the right direction. We know that scholarships are merely not enough to provide a student-athlete a decent standard of living, and serves as an unfair restitution to student-athletes that are expected to excel, athletically and educationally, while serving their respective academic institutions. The bill for an unlimited meals plan is proving to be a step in a more appropriate direction for the student-athletes; however, there is still more work to be done to make sure that the performance of the student-athletes is more rewarded. With great debates over solutions such as funding a 2000 dollar stipend compensation system, a full-cost-of-attendance scholarship, the unionization of students-athletes, making them compensational employees, the system of set-off will give the student-athlete not only a push athletically, but academically as well. Stipulations that will preserve this "amateurism veil" can be attached by setting a salary cap on stipends as mentioned earlier and sponsorships that would go solely to student-athletes, as well as stipulations that will preserve the academic integrity of intercollegiate athletes and their respective colleges and universities.

Works Cited

"Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal | Brigham Young University Law School". Law2.Byu.Edu, 2017,

"In Revamped NCAA, Questions On How Full Scholarships Will Work". USA TODAY, 2017, Edelman, Marc, and Geoffrey Christopher Rapp. Careers In Sports Law. 1st ed.,

"College Athletes Can Unionize, Federal Agency Says". Cbsnews.Com, 2017,"The

Debate Over Stipends For Student Athletes -". Businessofcollegesports.Com, 2017, http://businessofcollegesports.c...

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