Controversy Surrounding the Paying of College Athletes

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  932 Words
Date:  2022-03-11


Being a college athlete is like a full-time career, bouncing between the weight room, classes, and the court fields. College athletics is an additional extracurricular activity, but the schedules of the National College Athlete Association's (NCAA) sporting activities require an additional time in which the college athletes have to be absent from school. Not only do these athletes miss their lessons, but they are nowhere to be seen from the nationally televised activities that generate a lot of money besides receiving a lot of millions of viewers. Hence college athletes should be viewed as college employees and therefore should be paid just like the national athletes (Sanderson, & Siegfried, 2015).

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Since college athletes also act as sources of revenue to their teams and to the college itself, particularly in championship games, the athletes should be entitled even to a small portion of the profit due to their hard work. Notably, the payment should vary from college to college since some university will record more successful athlete teams hence are bound to receive more television time and more revenue than those less successful colleges (Leeds, Von Allmen, & Matheson, 2018). For instance, College football and men's basketball activities have been reported to earning more revenue than any other athlete program in the college, and hence the participants of these activities will also want to earn more at the same time.

Many people who argue in support of paying college athletes assert that the team fame and popularity and the viewers are the important factors that bring revenue to the university hence a fair pay to the participants should be given to the players. Moreover, these sports also offer financial support to other college sports that do not generate enough revenue on their own; hence college athletes are worth being paid (Leeds, Von Allmen, & Matheson, 2018).

Moreover, by the performance and various exercise activities, college athletes are the ones working tirelessly on the courts and fields to ensure that they get the best for the college and the team. The coaches might be having a big influence on the team, but it is up to the players to get things done. Interestingly, the college coaches receive payment and bonuses for breaking records besides winning big matches while those who participated in the games are not paid (Sanderson, & Siegfried, 2015). For motivational purposes and improving the team's morale, the college athletes should get a portion as remuneration.

Most revenues from the colleges' athletes are not incorporated in academics. Instead, they are being paid to coaches, athlete directors, and various team administrators. The players do not need to receive huge remuneration as their coaches; rather a reasonable amount should be paid to them following the overall amount the team has generated. Besides, scholarship, mostly cover most of the college athlete books and room expenditure; however, even a few extra dollars per year should act as compensation for their tireless effort in generating revenue to the college (Leeds, Von Allmen, & Matheson, 2018).

It is worth noting that, college students' athletes are not only part of the sports team, but they are part and parcel of the college advertising team. For instance, the "Flutie effect" has been used to illustrate a surge in college admission following a big sports trump. It is named for the Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie; he was the champion of the Heisman Trophy in 1984. Significantly, the college admission increased rapidly in the subsequent years through the extent of Flutie's influence. Ever since many colleges and universities have adopted this strategy and are using their athlete success to entice potential applicants (Sanderson, & Siegfried, 2015). Hence student-athletes should be paid for the additional benefits gained which they provide to the college

However, a survey conducted by expert John Dennis in 2013, revealed that 69 % of the general public are opposed to the paying of college athletes. They based their argument by saying that, the payments should be channeled towards various sponsorship. Further, if the colleges withdrew the scholarship and pay salaries to the athletes, then the issue of tax payment would arise, and the taxes could be high enough to reduce what they earn (Sanderson, & Siegfried, 2015).

Moreover, those opposed to the payment argue that the scholarship is the best form of rewarding the athlete hard work. Moreover, they further assert that this would change the nature of a college athlete. College athlete teams are very competitive, and it is rare for many students to get an opportunity to participate in the college team (Leeds, Von Allmen, & Matheson, 2018). Though, for many people's dream, only about 7% of the athletes move to advance level, about 2% reaches division 1 levels. Consequently, if guaranteed payments could have been involved, many college athletes would be incentivized for a long-term commitment to the college with the highest payment hence could derail other aspects of academic and leading to frequent switching of students from one college to another. And hence within a short period, it can lead to 100 % business leading to the collapse of other school programs (Leeds, Von Allmen, & Matheson, 2018).


Ideally, college athletes should only be paid a reasonable amount just for motivation for the revenue they have generated to the college. Other amounts should be channeled towards various scholarships programs instead of direct payments such as salary to the players which could turn the whole activity into a business. This move would help protect other college programs.


Leeds, M. A., Von Allmen, P., & Matheson, V. A. (2018). The economics of sports. Routledge.

Sanderson, A. R., & Siegfried, J. J. (2015). The case for paying college athletes. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 29(1), 115-38.

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Controversy Surrounding the Paying of College Athletes. (2022, Mar 11). Retrieved from

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