The Never Answered Question: Should Division I Athletes Get Paid?

The aging question, should college athletes get paid?

If you’re looking for a decisive article with one specific standpoint, this isn’t it. Because when push comes to shove, both arguments are valid.

If one would heavily involve themselves in this discussion on whether or not college athletes should be paid, there is a good chance their opinion could go either way.

Starting for the argument of ‘they shouldn’t get paid’.

It makes sense, a lot of sense. Why should division I athletes who are most likely receiving tuition scholarships get paid? They’re basically already getting paid to go to school while they play sports. While regular students who don’t play sports are going to likely have absurd amounts of student loans.

Yes, division I student athletes who play a major sport (or any sport) have an insane schedule. And by insane I mean busy, like really busy. For division I athletes it is a full time job and more.

College Athletes

Johnny ‘Money’ Manziel was believe to have made profits off of autographs (photo/ Google Images)

But what about the kids who aren’t 6 foot 8 and can’t throw down a two handed jam from the free throw line? What about those kids who can’t bench 20 reps at 225lbs and can’t run a 40-yard dash in less than 4.6 seconds?

Believe me, I know what it’s like to be one of those kids, because I am one. And at first glance I by no means want college athletes to be paid because while they’re basking in the limelight and not paying to go to college, I am paying to go to college and I will most likely make less money after college than they will.

To me that’s not fair and I get it when people strongly argue that they shouldn’t get paid for those specific reasons. But those same people turn around (including myself) and often buy memorabilia or tickets to a sporting event and benefit off of division I athlete’s success.

A recent Statement by Duke basketball legend, J.J Reddick raised some brows a few weeks ago when he came out and stated that he firmely believes that college athletes should be paid. And he has a point.

Universities are profiting off of their sports teams and programs. Including jersey sales from specific players, of which the player doesn’t receive any of the profit.  Which is one of the main reasons there are no college sports video games any more.  Players believed if they weren’t making a profit off of themselves than companies shouldn’t be able to make profits off of them either.

College Athletes

NCAA sports video games stopped being made after athletes weren’t paid when other companies were able to make profits off of them (Photo/ Google Images).

Which also, brings up the other scenario of what happens if the day ever came when college athletes were paid. What would happen when the most popular player (often the quarterback) gets paid a considerable amount off of jersey sales while the less popular players (like the offensive line) don’t get paid at all but are still equally important?

I don’t have the answer to that. That’s what makes this issue so complicated.

There also lies the fact that college athletes at major universities also have the constant high probability that they will get injured. In some cases these injuries take up a considerable amount of recovery time and can impact the chance of the athlete competing at the next level and actually getting paid.

Students who don’t play sports don’t have that fear. They don’t have to go to work everyday, as athletes go to practice, and worry that if a bone gets broken or an Achilles gets torn, they might not be able to get the degree they want. On top of academics, athletes have to worry about that everyday.

The bottom line is that whether you think they should be paid or not, it’s not going to chance any soon. The NCAA who is a powerhouse of an organization has made it very clear that they don’t think athletes should be paid.

It really comes down to what background you’re from. If you had to work you’re but off to get through college, get a good job, and make money that way, it’s understandable if you don’t want college athletes to be paid. But if you maybe were a college athlete and understand the schedule they have and the pressure and the constant fear of being injured, then you might side with them being paid.

An argument that has been going on for a good amount of time now has gained some considerable traction these past years, seems like it won’t be ending anytime soon.

 

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