Should College Football Athletes Be Paid?

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1739 Words
Date:  2022-05-09

In the recent past, there have been many debates on whether college football athletes should be paid for the work they do or not especially during seasons of the championship. This has triggered many reactions from both the athletes and the public in general with every party generating its ideas. Some have argued that the football athletes should not be paid basing their arguments on various reasons, with the central claim being the old policy that was introduced to offer scholarships to the athletes.

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In a recent survey conducted in 2013 by John Dennis, it was found that 69% of the public is opposed to the payment of college football athletes claiming that the scholarships given to the athletes are enough. Some have brought the idea that if the football athletes are paid, then there could be possibilities that some of them would transfer from their colleges to look for the higher paying colleges instead. Some critiques have even gone ahead to say that collegiate football athletes will misuse money if paid. However, these are not the full facts about the real situation in football athletics.

What most of us need to understand is the fact that being a football athlete may not be as simple as we watch an athlete hit the ball in a broadcasted match, neither is it much of a privilege as several people have claimed nor an achievement long awaited from childhood. Genuinely speaking collegiate football athletes are students with academic ambitions just like any other students and majority join their fields of specialization after college and do not necessarily play football.

Playing football requires total commitment and dedication from the athletes bearing in mind that football is an extracurricular activity. Therefore it will be a fair approach and a good initiative if the football athletes are given their salary for the tough but good work they do and the revenue they contribute to National Collegiate Athletic Association, Television broadcasters, and their colleges.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association's tournament has a schedule that at most times makes the collegiate athletes to miss a lot of their academic work since they spend much time participating in games. It is excruciating that this has even made some of them not to perform well in their class work since those who wish to excel in their academic work have been compelled to avoid their academic work by the colleagues who give football the priority.However, it has been realized that the National Collegiate Athletic Association is not sufficiently concerned whether the players are doing well in their academic work since it shares very little about the academic work of students who participate in athletics. It is therefore essential that the athletes should be paid to compensate for what they lose and the tough fieldwork they experience.

What an athlete does is equal to any other profit generating activity or can even be compared to a task force in any other organization which has goals to be achieved for the organization to prosper. Moving from classroom to the football pitch, going to the weight rooms and traveling to attend the tournaments and channeling all your energy to play a match is not far from a permanent job.

Collegiate athletes from football athletics champion colleges give outstanding amounts of revenue for their colleges and coaches. College football is the highest earning program, especially during the championship games. The best colleges make more money hence would pay their athletes very well although the underperforming colleges would give their athletes an average pay depending on the revenue they acquire from football athletic championships. In many instances, the athletes from well-off families may be comfortable even without the pay, on the other hand, those from humble backgrounds are highly disadvantaged since they only benefit from scholarships and have to keep on struggling with the rest.

In many instances, we have witnessed coaches getting rewards for records broken and matches won. It is entirely unfair for a football athlete to struggle in the field and make his college appear among the best and in return all the rewards are given to the coach alone forgetting the impact of the athletes.

The revenue gained from athletics is not directed towards academics but to the athletic directors, administrators and the coaches. Paying the athletes would not be a huge deal because it is not necessarily that they need payments of vast amounts of money, but instead, the payment would be one of the incentives given to them.

Several colleges use their athletic success as one of the means to advertise their colleges to attract those potential students who wish to join their institutions. Colleges that have done very well in championships have received various rewards since athletes are profitable to the colleges, it is essential that they get paid for the excellent job they do.

Billy Graham once said, "gratitude is one of the greatest Christian virtues; ingratitude, one of the most vicious sins." Football athletes have been shown total ingratitude which they do not deserve. Nursing an injury caused in your body after struggling in a football match may not be as easy as we can imagine colleges an athlete suffers the increasing medical bill which may not be catered for by the college. It is unfortunate that even after doing their best, football athletes have suffered in the watch of administrators and their coaches. The current situation is very demoralizing that when athletes get permanent injuries, they are sent off and no longer participate in football athletics and with no mercy their scholarships have to be revoked without even considering the efforts athletes have put before and the excellent results they have brought to their colleges. Since the athletes are not given any sendoff package after such tragedies have caught up with them then why should they not be paid for the work they do?

We may consider this as an act of slavery since the National Collegiate Athletics Association, colleges and television broadcasters receive much revenue, all the administrators and coaches get paid while football athletes who are the primary stakeholders do not receive any form of payment. Is this not injustice to the athletes? Even if they receive scholarships, it is not guaranteed that they are full scholarships.

Everyone would wish to taste the fruits of his or her successful hard work.Every championship season has left endless questions from the public and the athletes themselves. They keep on wondering where the significant amounts of revenue collected from football athletics championships channeled to. Some have even treated the failure to pay athletes as an act of racism following findings of researchers that the highest percentage of college football athletes are students of color hence that could be a major reason as to why the administrators and coaches have not prioritized the payment of football athletes. To bring such thoughts of racism to an end, the responsible stakeholders should generate some cash to the athletes.

Assuming that a collegiate athlete is not a professional in the field of athletics may be seen as a misguidance. Those believing that National Collegiate Athletics Association being a non-profit organization cannot manage to pay the athletes could be heading the wrong direction since those working within receive substantial amounts of salary. Payment of football athletes may even come from the colleges being represented by the athletes. In addition to that, the association must not pay huge amounts of money to the players but should instead give them what is affordable.

If a football athlete can raise a complain that what is provided to the athletes is not enough, then members of the public should listen to such a grievance and treat it with seriousness. Claiming that those in college are not professionals then this could be real based on curricular activities, but when it comes to an extra-curricular, they could be experts since they have participated in football for quite a period. Being a collegiate football athlete may be a privilege, but we cannot assume that since the athletes are students, they do not deserve to be paid. Their needs could be varying because not every athlete has equal economic status to the other, but their needs may remain constant. Providing them with some regular payment does not mean that they have a permanent means of earning, but it is just one of the ways they can be supported.

Some of the reasons given by some of the critiques are not tangible enough. If for instance, we say that students do not know how to manage money, this is a reason we cannot adequately defend because athletes just like any other person who earn money have a future that requires proper management of resources by individual owners. We have witnessed even those who have formal employment and collecting massive amounts of salary being victims of mismanagement of money. Therefore when paying football athletes, although a few of them may not properly use their payment, a good number of athletes will find it helpful.

It is important that the National Collegiate Athletics Association and the colleges should take good care of athletes. A good example is when an athlete gets an injury, as an association or a college that is concerned with the welfare of its members, it will be highly useful if they give full medical attention to them. It will appear to more inhuman if you use the football athletes to make the championships succeed, generate revenue and receive rewards for emerging champions and afterward, when the footballers get permanent injuries, revoke their scholarships and leave them with nothing tangible.

Works Cited

Amateurism, Professionalism, Commercial Creativity, and Intercollegiate Athletics. "Should College Athletes Be Paid?"

Sanderson, Allen R., and John J. Siegfried. "The case for paying college athletes Journal of Economic Perspectives 29.1 (2015): 115-38.

Smith, Ronald Austin. Pay for play: A history of big-time college athletic reform. University of Illinois Press, 2011.

Van Rheenen, Derek. "Exploitation in college sports: Race, revenue, and educational reward." International Review for the Sociology of Sport 48.5 (2013): 550-571

Southall, Richard M., and Richard T. Karcher. "Distributive injustice: an ethical analysis of the NCAA's "collegiate model of athletics" and its jurisprudence." The International Sports Law Journal 15.3-4 (2016): 210-225.

Steckler, Andrew. "Time to Pay College Athletes: Why the O'Bannon Decision Makes Pay-for-Play Ripe for Mediation." Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 17 (2015): 1071.

Koblenz, Adam H. "The Whole Nine Yards: Should Student-Athletes Score an Education and Compensation." J. Bus. & Tech. L. 13 (2017): 37.

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Should College Football Athletes Be Paid?. (2022, May 09). Retrieved from

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