Why College Athletes Should Be Paid

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Why College Athletes Should be Paid



I. Problem

a. College athletes devote a lot of time and energy to athletic competition—so much in fact that they are routinely considered athletes first and students second.

b. They provide an extraordinary amount of revenue for their colleges as college sports are a big business today.

c. Yet these athletes do not receive any pay for their services and entertainment. In a land that values equitability and fairness, this set-up should strike all as particularly unfair.

d. College athletes should be paid: after all, they are essentially like employees of the college.



II. Reasons

a. Being a college athlete is a full-time job (Hartnett)

i. The typical Division I college football player devotes 43.3 hours per week to his sport

ii. That’s 3.3 hours more than the average 40-hour work week that most full-time job, paid Americans put in

iii. Yet the college athlete receives no compensation for these hours, even though the colleges certainly do when ad revenue rolls in (Edelman).

b. While the NCAA argues that college athletes are only students—not employees, the NCAA tournament obliges these “students” to miss classes for nationally televised games that bring in huge ad revenue for the colleges.


i. How much ad revenue?

ii. $11 billion for this industry—which rivals professional sports revenues (Edelman).

c. Colleges coaches used to not be paid—and for the same reasons that college athletes aren’t paid today.

i. But today college coaches are paid a lot (Edelman).

ii. UK’s Calipari makes millions every year for his gig as head coach—but if players take a dime, they are investigated by the FBI.



III. Solution

a. As the scandal widens of college athletes taking payments from coaches and athletic programs to attend their school for a year before going pro, the solution to all this could be simple.

i. Pay the players something for their time.

ii. This would cut down on the temptation for players to seek out payments in violation of current rules and regulations (Swanson, 2017).

b. Allow players to unionize

i. This would help athletes to be better represented as they hone their craft

ii. It would also allow them to collect pay in an equitable way while working as an….....

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Works Cited

Edelman, Marc. “21 Reasons Why Student-Athletes are Employees and Should be Allowed to Unionize.” Forbes, 2014. https://www.forbes.com/sites/marcedelman/2014/01/30/21-reasons-why-student-athletes-are-employees-and-should-be-allowed-to-unionize/#27cc615d8d05

Hartnett, Tyson. “Why College Athletes Should be Paid.” Huffington Post, 2014. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/tyson-hartnett/college-athletes-should-be-paid_b_4133847.html

Swanson, Ryan. “Want to clean up college athletics? Pay the players.” Washington Post, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/10/02/want-to-clean-up-college-athletics-pay-the-players/?utm_term=.4c2dd10e20f6

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