NCAA's Under-Table Payment Debate: Pay or Not to Pay College Athletes? - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1222 Words
Date:  2023-08-28


The NCAA’s case on the under-table payment came into being due to the various concerns on the payment of students who are involved in sports. The question that has been raised is whether to pay or not to pay college athletes. Those that are opposed to the payment of college athletes claim that just because one can pass money under a beautifully polished oak table does not justify paying students to be involved in sports (Booker, 2020). Students who are involved in athletics have been getting a lot of money into their bank account in the past few years. Students are being paid to get enrolled in colleges so that the alumni of that school can shine their rings as well as puff their chests is a wrong move. Therefore, if these institutions are going to pay these kids to play and not do anything when such cases are pointed out, then it is better to pay everybody as well and make the act official and legal.

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This case is important to analyze because pay to play among college students has been speculation for many years, whereby some oppose it while others support it. The under-table payments include scholarships, travelling costs, and dinners for the recruits, cash, among others. Everybody knows that these under-table payments are happening but chooses to give it a blind eye until when one gets caught hence making it a big deal (Hurst & Pressly, 2018). This issue can be likened to the steroid period in basketball where people knew that those players were on steroids, but once a player got caught, it became the most important news that we have seen. There are many substantial TV deals; hence the NCAA is making vast sums of money off the student-athletes hence the big question is whether these athletes should be paid from that pie (Booker, 2020).

This issue of under-table payments should be discussed in other sport management classes so that the students who are perusing a sports management degree can assess the effect genuinely to acquire the required skills and concepts in solving real-life problems in sports. This case is essential for those classes as its concepts directly relate to marketing, finance, management, and law that is related to the sports industry (Frederickson & Ghere, 2014). Therefore, through the discussion of the under-table issue in the sports management classes, the students will learn how to overview the business side of the NCAA by applying the latest technology as well as trends since the issue has been around for a couple of years. This will help the learners to acquire a wide range of skills such as communication, critical analysis of issues, attention to details, and problem-solving capacity in real-life problems. By discussing the NCAA’s case concerning under-table payment, the students will be able to acquire traditional administrative skills that include; team management, organization in dealing with current issues in sports, as well as financial matters. Since most of the students in the sport management class are set to work as leaders in their respective fields, these cases are meant to emphasize on the leadership skills through the reflection of the drive that is needed in supporting and compelling bouts of the high-energy performance.

We can improve our society through the application of sports science, technology, human resource management, and business positions in analyzing and coming up with appropriate solutions and recommendations on the NCAA’s under-table payment issue. Through the integration of knowledge acquired from various disciplines that relates to sports management, we can be able to get better sports results since there are better understanding and integration of concepts to come up with viable solutions to the current issues (Frederickson & Ghere, 2014). The application of business-control function of the NCAA and use of the ever-dynamic sports technology, we can come to a consensus that colleges and other learning institutions should be allowed to pay their athletes students. Various schools have been able to excel both in academics, and sporting activities due to the under-table payments since students who have talents in athletics and have good grades are given various benefits that entice them to join such institutions. Therefore, to better our society and to ensure healthy competition and development, schools should be allowed to give unique tokens to their athletes to be competitive and win games hence encouraging the growth of the sporting field which leads to the higher audience such as TV viewers thus generating more money that can better the society.

There is a rich history behind the discussion on whether to pay or not to pay NCAA athletes. Back in the year 2018, the Aspen Institute Sports and Society Program carried out a debate that was entitled; Future of College Sports; Reimaging Athlete Pay. This forum was able to discuss the issue of under-table payment with cases that dates back to the 90s (Solomon, 2018). From 2001, the NCAA passed rules that permitted institutions to give benefits to their athlete students. In the year 2015, the NCAA added an exception that allows the international athletes to get bonuses (Solomon, 2018).

The issue being debated up to today hence we will be talking about this case 5 years from now. Some argue against the under-table payments as they claim that some colleges pay athletes under the table as a bribe to entice them into joining a team (Gillespie, 2017). Some colleges are disadvantages since they are small institutions that have small budgets hence unable to recruit athletes in an ethical way (Antonia & Caleb, 2019). It is just the beginning as the debate on whether the NCAA should or should not allow under-table payments for athletes in colleges and other learning institutions.


Antonia, G, & Caleb K. (2019). Pro/Con: Should Colleges Pay Their Athletes Under The Table? Retrieved from:

Booker, B. (2020). College Athletes Are Now Closer To Getting Paid After NCAA Board OKs Plan. Retrieved from:

Frederickson, H. G., & Ghere, R. K. (2014). Ethics in Public Management. Routledge. Retrieved from: HYPERLINK "" \l "v=onepage&q=legal%20journal%20on%20under%20table%20payment%20for%20athletes&f=false"

Gillespie, E. (2017). The Ethical and Financial Implications of Paying College Athletes. Retrieved from:

Hurst, T. R., & Pressly III, J. G. (2018). Payment of Student-Athletes: Legal & (And) Practical Obstacles. Vill. Sports & Ent. Legal Journal, 7, 55. Retrieved from:

Solomon, J. (2018). The History Behind the Debate Over Paying NCAA Athletes. The Aspen Institute. Retrieved from:

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NCAA's Under-Table Payment Debate: Pay or Not to Pay College Athletes? - Essay Sample. (2023, Aug 28). Retrieved from

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