College athletes in revenue-generating sports are entitled to compensation due to the use of their likeness to make money and the legality of the employee-like treatment they are subject to.
In an article in the US news, it is estimated that the college sports industry generates 11 billion annually (Edelman)
In 2011, the average salaries of 44 head coaches in postseason play was 2.1 million. Nick Saban specifically making upwards of 7 million (Edelman).
The NCAA does not allow its players to profit off his or her likeness. Whether they are used in advertisements or try to use their popularity to make money, it is prohibited by the NCAA.
The NLRA determined graduate assistants were not employees, stating, “their relationship is primarily academic and not economic” (Vanderford 823). Using this same ruling to student athletes, the question can be raised whether their relationship with the university is not economic.
Football players spend upwards of 53 hours of their week on football related activities in the fall, giving them little time to focus on academics (Vanderford 824). The amount of money generated by these sports is also crucial to the athletic department. Football players do hold more of a economic relationship with their university. If the argument can be made that student athletes are employees, then the morality of not paying them is brought into question.
We all know how important athletics are to our school. The athletes that participate in these highly grossing sports should be compensated for the tremendous amount of effort that they are asked to put in.