This archived article was written by: Mashaela Farris
A recent debate within the National Collegiate Athletic Association is whether college athletes should be paid or not, one argument is that athletes go into their competitions risking career-ending injuries, but see no reward of the money paid to see their games. Another side of the spectrum is that there is not enough money to pay the college athletes.
March Madness, according to Dr. Boyce Watkins, has brought in over $1 billion every year since it was started, but what has the NCAA done with the money? In his article, “March Madness Exceeds $1 Billion, Players get Harmed in the Process”, he says, “This professional sports league that disguises itself as being amateur is rolling in money and profitability.” Professional leagues bring in less money and still compensate their players.
Yes the players are being rewarded with an education, but between hours of practice and games they don’t have the time to hold down a job. The sport is their job. How do colleges expect them to support themselves without being paid for their job, which is technically the sport they are playing?
College coaches across the country tell their players that school is first and the sport is second. Where does the money come in to help them support themselves? Not every player has the chance to acquire a full ride scholarship. Many coaches can’t afford to give every one of their valuable players a full ride. Like many college programs they have a budget.
What most fans don’t know is that the coaches walk away with most of the money. Watkins said, “This system is financially corrupt. No one turns on an NCAA tournament game to see the coach; they only want to see the players. If that’s the case, then why does the coach walk home with a seven figure salary while the star player’s mother is struggling to pay her bills? Would the coach accept a scholarship in exchange for a $3 – 4 million dollar salary? I think not.”
The NCAA is paying coaches too much and players nothing at all. The fans come to see the players, not the coaches. The players are the ones that win the games even though many coaches take the credit for it. NCAA doesn’t consider their players as professionals, but they pay their coaches like they are.
The argument to why athletes should not be paid is that they are being paid with free education. But do the millions of dollars big schools earn from their sports programs equate to just a bachelor’s degree? No, it doesn’t. If they were being paid with free education every athlete would have a full ride, but many don’t. Those athletes should be considered employees of the NCAA and paid to help them along the road to playing professionally.