“It’s called professional sports, and I love them, but that’s not what college sports is about. If we are going to pay student-athletes, why even have university-based teams? Just go watch a pro game.” This quote was said by NCAA president Mark Emmert expressing that college sports would be very similar to professional sports if the athletes get paid. That is why college athletes should not get paid.
The first reason college athletes should not get paid is because it could detract from the purity of the game. College athletes go to college to learn and compete for a spot on any professional team. Without the process of just going onto the field/court to play for fun and to represent your school, college sports wouldn’t be the same. Also, college athletes could get stuck up from being paid and this could affect how hard they play. Paying student-athletes could detract from their passion and make them less motivated to play hard to get to the next level [Patterson, p. 3]. Also, college sports would be very similar because college players would need “contracts.” There would be hold outs of contracts if the players don’t think they are getting paid enough, there would be unions that would have to deal with the rights of the players, and also there would be lockouts if the players aren’t happy with the universities [http://web.utk.edu, Paying Athletes Could Ruin College Sports]. As you can see, paying college athletes can change college sports forever.
Another reason college athletes should not get paid is that if you pay some athletes you would have to pay all of the athletes. Equality is very important for basic rights. Everyone should be treated equally even if it’s about college salaries. Even though you think football players should make more than all the other sports that wouldn’t be fair, even if football is more popular. Also, if you don’t pay all athletes you could eventually lose money and athletes. For example, if your college doesn’t pay the swim team, but other schools do, swimmers will not want to go to your school.
Some experts believe that college athletes definitely can get paid because colleges make millions of dollars. Although you might think this is true, this is not the circumstance. 76% of the 231 NCAA Division 1 schools make less than $50 million in athletic revenue. You might think that is enough money to pay all of the athletes, but the colleges use the money to pay for the facilities, the training, the programs, and all kinds of other expenses of the university [Marshall, p. 2]. If we take it a step further, nearly half of the Division I schools (44%) make less than $20 million, or more than $160 million less than Texas A&M and the University of Texas [Gaines, p. 1].
Another dispute why the society thinks college athletes should get paid is that they put their bodies on the line for every game. Even though the athletes risk their body to represent their school, they still shouldn’t get paid. The athletes voluntarily play the sports, and they can get hurt. Just because a college athlete performs doesn’t entitle them to a paycheck [Marshall, p. 2]. Even though college athletes can get hurt, it’s not the colleges’ fault. If you believe college athletes should get paid in college because they can get hurt, then you can argue that they should get paid in high school, too. The college asks them to play and represent their school just like high school, but the athletes don’t have to accept the offer.
Yes, college students definitely work hard enough to earn money, but should they? If college athletes get paid then the school will lose money, the athletes could get stuck up, and not all athletes would get paid. On the other hand, don’t they put their bodies on the line every game and colleges make enough money for the athletes to get paid? Actually, they voluntarily play every game and colleges don’t make enough money for the athletes to get paid. Therefore, college athletes should remain unpaid.