Sports culture during your college years is something you may never experience again. The undying loyalty of being a fan of your college sports teams is such a fun experience. If you are a student athlete in college, you are surrounded by the community of your teammates and the admiration of your peers. All of that is heightened when your college team is actually good. Athletic programs in college are full of amazing players and even more amazing fans.
When you observe the sports culture at your school you may wonder why they don’t pay college student athletes like they do professional athletes. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) made it illegal for colleges to pay college student athletes to participate in sports but the question is always up for debate. Should NCAA athletes be paid for their skills? The argument is compelling on both sides but we agree with the NCAA rules. Student athletes should not receive payment to play sports while in college.
Why College Student Athletes Should Get Paid
1. More Incentives for Student Athletes
College sports are already competitive but when money is on the line there is more of an incentive for student athletes to work harder. Money is already generated by the student athletes for the school so why shouldn’t they receive a portion of it? When you pay student athletes a share of what they contribute to the college sports programs, they’ll want to work harder and do better. Like you would work harder at a job you get paid for, student athletes will work harder during practices and games. And if they are not performing well, their “job” could be on the line.
2. Student Athletes Bring in Money
When college students, parents, and alumni come to watch college sports, it’s the student athletes who are the main attraction. When you have good players, people will want to watch more games and pay more to get into the games. Student athletes bring in a lot of money for colleges so paying them only seems fair. Revenue from college sports is a huge contribution to colleges overall so there could be some to spare for the college student athletes. Ticket sales and merchandise sales skyrocket when student athletes perform well so the college makes more money. Obviously, the payment would vary in each college since programs are different at each one.
3. Student Athletes Have No Time for Jobs
Because of the time commitment, student athletes are not able to get jobs while in college. If they’re on an athletic scholarship, they might not be able to pay for the extra things you need while you’re in school. Even if tuition is fully paid for, athletes can still have to pay for their housing, food, and school supplies. When you pay student athletes, you give them the chance to earn money. They then can buy necessities throughout their college career with that money. Not all student athletes are on scholarship so it can be difficult to find a job. Student athletes have practice and game schedules they have to consider before working.
Why College Student Athletes Should Not Get Paid
1. Student Athletes have Scholarships and Stipends
Student athletes have athletic scholarships that can cover costs throughout their college careers. Athletic scholarships can include tuition, room and board, and meal plans. Some schools even offer stipends for their student athletes. Stipends are an allowance of money they can spend throughout the semester. By paying student athletes even more money, you could be taking away from other students’ opportunities to get their tuition paid for. Free education is readily available for college players so paying them may not be in the department’s best interest.
2. Student Athletes Are Not Professionals
Though some student athletes go on to be professionals, they are not at the professional level while in college. Paying student athletes would be like paying a professional athlete for their job. College players are one step above amateur athletes but not professionals. Yes, student athletes bring in revenue for their college, but not all colleges have enough funding to pay each student athlete. Professional athletes are in more rigorous training and have years of experience. It can take years before they’re paid for their profession.
3. Student Athletes Would Value Payment Over Education
Instead of focusing on their education, student athletes would be more interested in getting paid. The purpose of going to college is to further your education. Higher education is the main purpose of attending college, not getting into an athletic department. If the focus was on getting paid through their athletic career, their grades could suffer. In college, you learn that your grades come first and everything else is second to that. When college student athletes are paid, they may put their sport above everything else.
College student athletes are an important part of any college. When you go to a bigger school, being a college student athlete can sometimes feel like you’re a celebrity. It’s important to remember that you’re in college for education and not for sports. Though it would be a nice bonus to get paid for your college sports career, it may not be in your college’s best interest to do so. You can apply for other scholarships outside of your athletic one to get more college money or take out student loans if you need them.
The athletic department of each college differs so getting paid to participate in college sports can get tricky. Receiving compensation would introduce more politics into college sports. You would have to observe more rules and work with endorsement deals that would take away more time from your education. Enjoy your years of college sports before you sign a professional contract!
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