There have been ongoing arguments over the past decade of whether or not college athletes should be paid to play. Many argue that they do not have time to get real jobs because the requirements for the sport that they participate in are far too demanding. Others cite that these athletes are provided full scholarships to attend the schools at which they are playing the sport.
However regardless of the argument, I still feel that college athletes should not be paid to play. College athletes are not forced into playing the sport that they have devoted their time to during their years in secondary education. They continue to play into the college level for their love of the game. And for this, many college athletes are offered full scholarships. Today’s tuition for many schools are so expensive that without the scholarships that some of the students receive, they would not be able to attend college at all. For these students, college sports offer a great outlet to obtain an education that otherwise would not have been available for them. This allows them opportunity to study something that they can use to build a better life for themselves and their families.
Many people believe that the money generated from the sports played by these kids should be given back to them as they are the ones drawing the fans to these events. However few realize how little schools actually gain money by participating in the National Colligate Athletics Association. A recent study conducted by USA today showed that there are only 40 schools that consistently turn profits from the sports that they host. (Whiteside, USAtoday.
com) This means that out of approximately 200 schools who participate in division one sports, only 1/5 actually would have money available to give back to the student athletes. Furthermore, it would be unfair to provide the students who play the sports, the money that is generated from their events, rather then putting the money back into the schools. Although these students participate and spend much of their time playing, they are no more special then the average student who attends the school. Putting the money back into the school itself allows everyone a better education, rather then just a few students, some spending money.
There are also arguments that because of the rigorous schedules that student athletes are forced to follow, they are not allowed time to participate in jobs. While they do devote much of their time to practice and games, most other students devote the same amount of time to their studies. Therefore leaving them limited time to find jobs that allow them to work around their tedious scheduals.One rule that the NCAA maintains, is that while its athletes are playing a school sport, they are not allowed to use their talents playing for paying teams. To many this seems unfair as students who participate in things such as the band or a singing group can use their talents in jobs such as lessons or paid gigs that are available. However, student athletes are often offered jobs by the school to participate as trainers or instructors in summer camps. The fact that they are already talented in the sport that they are asked to instruct gives them an edge on others who may be looking to get the same job, and therefore offers these students summer jobs without the hassle that others face finding work.
Also student athletes are given a monthly stipend to spend while they are on road trips, to pay for their food, laundry, and other things. On average students are given 200-250 dollars a month, that they can choose to do whatever like with. If the students wishes to keep the money and put it into a savings account this does not violate any rules. (Fleck, buzzle.com)The NCAA also offers a special assistance fund that was created in 1991.
This fund allows for student athletes to be given up to 500 dollars a year to be used on things such as clothing, travel expenses, school supplies, dental and medical costs not covered by insurance, and family emergencies. However the 500 maximum does not apply to family emergencies which allows for unlimited funds to be given to the student athlete.(Whiteside, USAtoday.com) These funds cannot be obtained by the student athletes unless they apply for them through the NCAA. “Most every student is granted some funds throughout the year regardless of their sport, but most kids don’t know the program so they don’t take advantage of it.” Says Brian Salizar of the Miami Herald.
(Patrick, espn.com) Perhaps if more students knew about these funds, they could take advantage of them, and there wouldn’t be such a demand for pay for play programs. A play for play program also would not work because it would not allow for student athletes of every sport to be paid for their participation. Each athlete, regardless of the sport they participate in, puts as much time into practice and training as a football or basketball player, however because there sport does not draw as large a crowds as others there wouldn’t be the funds available to pay everyone equal amounts.
Also for the sports that do draw the largest crowds; i.e. football and basketball, there wouldn’t be the available funds to provide equal pay to the female athletes of the sport, and this would be challenged in court under Title IX. (USAtoday.com)The NCAA also disagrees with the pay for play idea, “The NCAA historically has been against pay for play.
I couldn’t agree more with that position. If you start paying student athletes, you essentially ruin the integrity of the college game.” says Myles Brand the president of the NCAA.
(USAtoday.com) The program continually complains that providing players unsanctioned funds spoils fair competition between teams, because some players will only want to go to schools with a reputation for providing players extras such as money, cars etc.While there are several arguments for a pay for play program, the downside to these arguments outweigh any chance of a program ever being put into action. The NCAA maintains that it will never allow for such programs however they are trying to allow more freedoms to student athletes. These freedoms include bigger monthly stipends, and more money allowed per year in the Special Assistance Fund. If these adjustments can be made I feel as though it will never be necessary for a pay for play program, and the NCAA can maintain the integrity it hopes to achieve.Work Cited Page1) Whiteside, Kelly (2004) College Athletes Want a cut of the Action-http://www.usatoday.com/sports/2004-08-31-top-ten-number-7_x.htm (accessed November 28, 2004)2) Fleck Jon (2002) College Athletes-pay for play?- http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/1-9-2002-9123.asp (Accessed November 28, 2004)