A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Opinion: Paying NCAA Athletes

Recently, I have heard the debate many times on the topic of whether college athletes should be paid or not. If you pay athletes of one sport, you pay athletes of all NCAA sponsored sports, even those that don’t bring in barely any income. This leads to the college losing money.

Football specifically is something I feel should be played for the love of the game, not for the money. As a college athlete, you devote all your time to that sport, but the commitment includes lots of things. Athletes get full tuition paid, including housing, which often happens to be way nicer than a normal dorm. They also enjoy a meal plan, free textbooks, and tutors. Normal college students are paying up to $60,000 to have these entities without the added luxury granted to student athletes.

Many who view this a different way may say that some of these student athletes come from very low income families and need money to pay for things such as a car or meals not in the meal plan. I do very much see where this view is coming from, but they are not paying a dime for their college tuition. They may not be getting a good education or maybe even an education at all if it wasn’t for the scholarship.

I also notice a big difference between the NFL and college football. The biggest difference is their love of the game, which in my opinion, has been changed by the money circling around professional ball. Not many thrive to get better for themselves and their passion in the NFL. Rather, they want to get better so more contracts and more money flow in for them. If the NCAA started paying all college players, the love of the game wouldn’t be the primary driving factor to compete and the NCAA would have issues with players like they currently do in the NFL. To be able to get a scholarship and go to these schools they have another plus of getting the best training, experience and coaching so that they can work to make big money in the NFL. These athletes are already coming out $60,000 dollars ahead of other students who may not be as lucky as to play sports in college, taking out loans, drowning in thousands of dollars in debt. These players are almost ensured a degree practically for free. Not paying college athletes in my opinion, only makes them work that much harder to make it to the NFL to make the big money.