30 April 2014
Should NCAA Athletes Receive Pay?
Do you feel as though NCAA athletes should receive pay? Many fail to realize that there is a large difference between high school sports and college sports. In college, sports are taken very seriously; moreover, the sports in college is purely business. This is a business matter of maintaining a good name for the college; nonetheless, a recruiting tool to obtain more players. Games aren’t taken too lightly either. Not only does their athletic performance have to be up to par, but their grades have to be as well. It’s stressful enough to worry about not possibly earning the grades necessary to maintain their spot on the team; not to mention, they have to worry about possibly losing their scholarship.
Although, the minimum amount of credits hours for full-time status, it’s still “full load” for a first year student. The athletes are obligated to attend meetings, practices, lifts, and games. This means that majority of their time is devoted to these events. After attending these events plus class, there is not time for any rest. School work must be done to maintain a certain GPA to remain an athlete and a student. Staying up countless hours to complete assigned school task could possibly bring about stress after a while. If the athletes were to receive pay they might feel more encouraged to not only play well, but also to reach high achievements as a student. The NCAA couldn’t care if the athlete is stressed mentally and drained physically because the winner only matters at the end of the day.
Subsequently, what about the other average college students? Wilfred Sheed, wrote Why Sports Matter that was published in the winter 1995 issue of The Wilson Quarterly for scholars, and had this to say:
It is saying, for instance, that playing in the band at half time is still fun (no one has ever suggested paying the band), but that throwing and catching a ball is work- and that even this depends in what kind of ball you’re using. A football equals work, volleyball is only play. Appearing on television is obviously work, but even here distinctions are made: players work, cheerleaders have fun. Shooting baskets is work, helping to clean up afterward is its own reward. (Sheed, 497)
Unfortunately, this topic on deciding whether the athletes should get paid or not, is like a tug-of-war. Michael Wilbon, a featured columnist for ESPN.com, states:
I used to argue vehemently against paying college athletes. Tuition, room, board and books were compensation enough. And even if, increasingly, it wasn’t enough and virtually every kid who accepted a scholarship was in the red before Christmas of his freshman year, the notion of pay-for-play was at best a logistical nightmare. Where exactly would the money come from? How could you pay college football players but not baseball players or members of the women’s field hockey team?
Some college athletic programs don’t have the profits to pay their athletes even if they wanted to. Major schools such as, John Hopkins University, Duke University, Yale University, and Stanford University can afford to disperse money to their athletes. Unfortunately, colleges such as, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Florida Southern University, Western Washington University, and Winston-Salem University aren’t able to pay their athletes. Luckily, through donations, ticket sales, media rights, advertising, and anything else with a price tag, these athletes are symbols for their school and their program. Some the extra profits have to be shared between one or more programs.
So, how does the NCAA feel about their athletes receiving pay? The NCAA President Mark Emmert said:
It’s a dynamic tension that we really need to work on because it’s at heart of part of what (we’re) talking about here. Why would we want to force someone to go to school when they really don’t want to be there? But if you’re going to come to us, you’re going to be a student.
Emmert made it clear that athletes should appreciate what they receive. The\ athletes already have a slight advantage as far as paying for school. The NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors has twice approved rules that would allow schools to give athletes a stipend to cover expenses not covered by their scholarship. Yet, at the NCAA’s national convention, there will be a day-and-a-half forum held. That will allow the entire membership a chance to formulate options. The board hopes to start this membership very soon. The NCAA tries to satisfy all of its athletes, and it seems as though the athletes are being selfish and greedy. Are the student-athletes really trying to stretch their inch to a mile?
Molly Block, a mass communication major at University Star, strongly feels that the NCAA should not come out of their pockets for the athletes. Block states:
Despite this, the fact still remains many student athletes have everything provided for them in college, giving them a distinct advantage over their peers. The experience of playing on a college team itself is valuable, working much like an unpaid internship for other students. For non-athlete students, however, the experiences of unpaid internships do not come along with a full-ride scholarship. In a way, college athletes are already getting paid. Universities should never have to shell out even more finances just to satisfy their athletes.
Block has a valid point. Would it truly be fair to the non-athlete students who have to struggle just to make ends meet for their tuition? Maybe it would be unfair.
In conclusion, NCAA athletes should not receive any form of extra money other than what is already funded. All students should be treated equally and fairly. Why give money to those who only play sports instead of trying to help those whose families don’t have the extra money to send? Even if the NCAA were to begin paying their athletes, it would create even more controversy over how much would they would receive, who will receive the money, and what division would be eligible. The value of education is more important than receiving extra pay. Many athletes should be glad that their education is paid for and those who are lucky enough to continue their desired sport in a professional field.
Wilbon, Michael. “College Athletes Deserve to be paid.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 18 July 2011. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
Block, Molly. “College Athletes Should Not Receive Payment for Playing.” The University Star. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
Sheed, Wilfrid. “Why Spots Matter” “They Say/ I Say” ”: The Moves That Matter in Academic
Writing. 2nd ed. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russell Durst. New York: Norton, 2012. 222-242. Print.
Hayes, Matt. “Emmert: NCAA Doesn’t Want Athletes to Be Employees – Dan Patrick Show.” Dan Patrick Show. SporttingNew.com, 19 Apr. 2014. Web. 06 May 2014