i Why Division I Athletes Should Not be Paid | College Writing: Debate(s) In Higher Education
20. November 2016 · Comments Off · Categories: Blog Post 3

Mark Molitor

Blog Post 3

All colleges across the country have a certain characteristic(s) that make it better than other schools in the country.  Some have top business schools, some have great law schools, or maybe they have great theatre program.  However, the one thing that most schools get looked at for is the athletics programs, especially football and basketball.  The athletics of a school, whether they participate in a sport, is sometimes a huge reason why someone decides to attend a certain school.  The athletes of these schools, usually basketball and football, are usually treated differently than other students on campus, especially division I.  Many division I athletes believed they should be getting paid for playing a sport.  Samuel DeVoe argues that college athletes should be paid in his article, “College Athletes Deserve to be Paid.”   However, athletes are not employed by that school or by the NCAA.  It is not all about athletics in college.  It is more important to be a successful student in college than an athlete.  The point is, division I college athletes should not be paid for playing a sport.

College athletes are students first and athletes second, hence the term “student-athletes.”  A student-athlete is a person that plays a sport while enrolled in school at the same time.  Many student athletes do not take many classes that other freshmen who do not participate in athletics take.  They take classes that keep them eligible.  These classes could be as simple as middle school math, and many outstanding athletes take these classes so they will not miss any athletic competition.  The article, “Majoring in Eligibility,” discusses the problem with the classes many athletes are taking, and how they do not have to go to class to be able to pass a class that would be easy for a seventh grader.  The student-athletes are being looked at to be great athletes for their school, but if school is not benefiting them, it does not make sense to worry about athletics.  Education is more important than sports.  Athletes are students who are given much more than the regular student and should not worry about getting paid to play, but should be worried about their academics, social life, and the sport they play.

Instead of being paid, these athletes are being paid in an education, they receive free apparel and equipment, and the multimillion dollar facilities are provided by the revenue they generate for the athletic program.  Hobson and Rich show this in, “Colleges Spend Fortunes on Lavish Athletic Facilities,” that many college division I schools are spending insane amounts of money to give the athletes the best facilities they could possibly ask for.  The schools would rather give these athletes the best tools to be great athletes, but they still seem to not appreciate what they have.  Colleges are not taking the money from the athletes and using for personal good.  They are reinvesting in the facilities and apparel they are given free of charge.  They would need to decide to either be paid for playing their sport, or to have subpar facilities, not given much apparel and have to pay for some equipment, and pay for the plane/bus tickets to other schools.  In, “NCAA Money for Student Assistance Lands in Many Pockets, Big Ten Document Shows,” talks about how much money Big 10 schools are spending the money they pocket from these athletes on athletes family expenses, player health and safety, educational fees, and academic or programming enhancements.  The money is given right back to these athletes to increase their play. This is just another example of how athletic programs at division I schools are paying for certain criteria that helps benefit the student-athletes more than a paycheck will.

Athletes choose to go to a specific college to play a sport and obtain a degree, not to get a paycheck for playing a sport.  That is what the pros are for.  Playing college sports is a privilege, not a job.  For example, I did not choose to play college football so I can get extra cash in my pockets.  In fact in division III sports, I cannot receive a scholarship for playing a sport.  I play college football because I love to play the game.  College athletics teaches young athletes about commitment, discipline, patience, and teamwork.  Without these tools, I would not be the same person I am today.  No paycheck could replace the life lessons that are taught to these athletes by their coaches and teammates.

Managing time when playing a sport is not easy.  It can become stressful and exhausting.   In, “11 Student-Athletes on What They Learned from Playing College Sports,” many athletes discuss how even if their sport may have taken many hours of what they could have used to study or have a social life.  However, it mainly discusses how much they would not change their experience playing a college sport because of the life values and lessons they learned from their sport.  Sports allow for an escape from everyday life.  It has always been my safe haven when I feel stressed or overwhelmed.  When athletes step on that field, court, mat, ice, etc., they are able to just enjoy themselves and forget about the struggles of school and life.  Giving athletes in college money to play their sport is just stripping the passion and love for the game they play away.

College athletes should continue to not be paid for playing a sport.  Athletes are not employees that go to work to play their sport every day.  The opportunity student-athletes are given is a blessing, not a job.  Athletes are paid indirectly in many ways by the facilities they have, the free travel they receive, and the equipment and apparel they receive is given free of charge to athletes.  Also, education should be the main focus of many of these athletes, not paychecks.  Money will come when you receive a degree.  Sports last a good amount of time if someone can play good enough, but a degree will last till the day someone dies.

Comments closed.