Should College Athletes Be Paid? By Ethan Kickhaefer & Brayden Pavey

In the recent years, many former athletes have been speaking out against the NCAA for not paying its players. Ed O'Bannon is the man who is taking the NCAA to court. The case has made it's way to the Supreme Court. After looking at the case, the Supreme Court denied the hearing for Ed O'Bannon vs. the NCAA, but it is still a major debate today. Ed O'Bannon is still advocating for paying student athletes.

College Athletes Should Not Be Paid

By Paying Athletes, They Would Not Focus On Academics.

  • Only 2% of college athletes play professional sports.
  • That other 98% of athletes have to fall back on their degree.
This chart shows how many Division I athletes go pro each year.
  • If the athletes are earning a salary, they would not worry about going to class.

How Much Would Athletes Be Making If They Were Paid

  • A four year athlete with a salary around $100,000 would make around $208,204 after taxes when he graduates.
  • A five year athlete with the same salary would make $243,900 after taxes at the end of his collegiate career.
  • Not many people with a full time job will ever have a salary that large.

Players Need Something To Fall Back On, Should Their Athletic Career Fail.

Photo of Antoine Walker while playing for the Boston Celtics.
  • Antoine Walker, a former NBA player, had around $108 million when he retired.
  • Two years later, he filed for bankruptcy.
  • If college athletes have something to fall back on, then they would have a means of making money if their career ends.
  • If athletes are better educated financially, then they could create a savings account, or invest in some stocks.
"The best argument against paying players is that it diminishes the value of education." - Bob Knight
Photo of Bob Knight while coaching at the University of Indiana.

If The NCAA Pays College Athletes, Then Not All Athletes Would Get Paid

  • The NCAA would not be able to provide a salary to every sport.
  • Basketball and Football players would be the only sports able to provide a salary.
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance- Title IX
  • Paying college athletes would violate Title IX.
  • Women's athletics would not receive enough money to provide salaries to its athletes.
  • Sports that earn less money, such as baseball, swimming, hockey, and wrestling would not be paid.
  • The NCAA Division II and Division III schools would not make enough money to pay their athletes.

College Athletes Do Not Need Anymore Money Because Of The Benefits They Receive

  • Many college athletes receive money from scholarships
  • Most athletes are provided with free clothing
  • Athletes are given a free meal ticket
  • Most athletes do not have to pay for Room and Board

Student Athletes Do Not Need To Be Paid

Graph showing the value of basketball players and their scholarships. In the far right column, it shows the difference between the athletes tuition and his athletic scholarship.

College Athletes Deserve to be Paid

College Athletes Likeness' are being used

Players are being put on games and their names and pictures are being used without consent and without pay.
  • College athletes names and identities are being used everywhere in the media and are being used everyday.
  • College athletes jerseys are also being sold with players names and numbers but they do not receive any profit from the sales.

Money is being made for everybody but themselves

In the two major sports: basketball and football the best players in the country are often worth hundreds of thousands to a million dollars more than the scholarship they are given. Even average players are worth a couple more thousand than the scholarship they receive.

Athletes put in long, hard hours

  • Athletes spend an average of 40 hours a week on their sports practices alone and almost another 40 hours on schoolwork.
  • That is nearly 50% of the student athletes week spent on their sport and work.
Ben Simmons left college early as a freshman because he felt college athletes weren't being treated right. He spent many hours in the gym working to become the #1 overall pick and to make LSU and the NCAA lots of money. He is now an advocate for paying college athletes and wants all players to receive a percentage of the earnings that the school and NCAA receive.

Athletes Benefits are Outweighed by What They Earn for the Universities

  • With the costs of college and all the money athletes make for their schools, the athletes scholarships and benefits aren't enough.
  • Millions of dollars are made each year off the athletes and what they receive in return does not match what they've done for their universities and the NCAA.
  • The players should be given a percentage of the profit to split up in a way agreed on.
  • This allows all programs to be fair in how much money the players are given even though they are not in equal amounts.
Student-Athletes are basically employees for the NCAA, but the NCAA keeps all the money. The players should be compensated for their services.


  • Players deserve to be paid because their likeness' are being used, they earn lots of money but receive none in return, and they put in long, hard hours.
  • Although players receive benefits, what they do for their programs and the NCAA outweigh the special treatment they are given.


Created with images by Beaverbasketball - "DSC_6357"

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