Should NCAA Athletes Be Paid?

Updated on March 28, 2020

There has been major discussion and speculation going on for a while now about NCAA athletes getting paid or not. This is not something new, though it has been growing and has been talked about a lot this past season.

For years I always thought that these athletes made money just because of the fact they are on TV, in video games, and their jerseys are sold to fans. When I first heard about this debate on whether or not they should be paid, I was in shock. There is no reason at all that there should be no source of income for players who bring these schools so much revenue.

Race Plays a Factor

The discussion of this issue has begun to include questions of how much race plays a factor. African-Americans make up the majority of NCAA athletes in three major sports for both men and women.

Race is not the only issue, but it shows it is a problem when 52% of black respondents support the idea of NCAA athletes getting paid, and only 15% don’t. Meanwhile, only 27% of white respondents support the idea, with 43% opposing it. If the majority of NCAA athletes happened to be white, would this even be a question?

Many NCAA Athletes Financially Struggle to Make Ends Meet

Many athletes and supporters do not think they should be getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, but they do wish they could have enough money to support themselves while being at school. A college athlete named Shabazz Napier, who is from Boston, says there were nights where he would go to bed hungry and not have enough money to eat a decent meal but was still expected to play at a high level.

"We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food in. Sometimes money is needed," Napier said. "I don’t think you should stretch it out to hundreds of thousands of dollars for playing, because a lot of times guys don’t know how to handle themselves with money. I feel like a student athlete. Sometimes, there are hungry nights where I’m not able to eat, but I still gotta play up to my capabilities."

Colleges Profit Off of Athletes But Don't Share Those Profits With Them

These athletes bring in so much revenue for the school, and they do not get a single dime for it. Yes, they are going to school for free with scholarships to play for these schools. But most of these athletes are only in school for their sport. Otherwise, they would not even be in college. Some of these athletes have families they need to take care of, and it is a lot of pressure to go to school at such a young age with such high responsibilities.

These athletes have their name on the back of their jerseys and these jerseys are sold at such a high rate, especially for the stars in the NCAA. They do not have any rights to any of this money. These schools are making money off of these kids' names and performances but won’t pay them.

Also, there are college video games with these athletes in the game, and they get absolutely nothing out of it. An NCAA athlete dedicates over 43 hours a week for their sport. That's more hours than the average American works per week. These kids have to miss classes for these televised games that are being watched from all over, and they do not get a single dollar.

Colleges Need to Give Something Back

March Madness is the biggest basketball tournament of the year. All the top teams are televised, and these kids are used as marketing tools to bring these schools so much income. There have been incidents where players have been taking money from outside places to point-shave and throw games just to get paid. This is just not fair.

Another major reason they should get paid is that we as fans pay to watch these games. These games are always sold out with thousands of people in the crowd. They are the main event and do not receive anything.

Yes, these college athletes are going to school to play sports to hopefully move on to the professional level to obtain a job where they can get paid just like all college students. But they do so much more and bring in money to help these schools. Most people think they should just give back.

Should college athletes get paid?

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