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Why College Athletes Should be Paid

Jack Lorenz, Sports Reporter

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It’s no secret that the NCAA makes a lot of money. By a lot, I mean close to one billion dollars of revenue a year. The average college football coach makes over 1.2 million dollars a year, and the top 39 college basketball coaches all make over one million dollars. Obviously, the coaches do a lot and should be given some credit. Although they do a lot, you’re not going to see Jim Harbaugh strap on a helmet or see Coach K play point guard anytime soon. It brings up an interesting question: why do coaches get paid millions while players get paid nothing?

The first argument that many use against athletes getting paid is that they already receive a free education. This argument simply does not make any sense to me for two simple reasons. The first being that many other students receive the same free education for academics. The only difference between an athlete and an academic student is that an athlete is at risk. Competing on the gridiron or court, athletes have the possibility of suffering lifelong injuries, while the academic students have little risk. Another reason that this argument doesn’t work is that the student athletes who receive this free education have to miss class a lot during their season. Athletes are constantly missing important lessons that many of the other students get to receive.

Another negative impact that some people claim is that paying athletes will ruin the game and cause all of the wealthy schools to have an unfair advantage. I agree with this statement, but there is an easy way to avoid it. The NCAA must put restrictions on the salary of each player and make sure that no player can be paid too much or too little. Many of the players in the less popular sports should be paid too.  I also believe that the players should be rewarded in the form of bonuses for winning their conference, making the playoff, etc. This would give players an extra incentive to give their all each and every night, and it would create better competition throughout the league.

Paying college athletes would also have a lot of positive impacts on sports in general. If the NCAA were to pay its athletes, than many college students would stay at the collegiate level for longer. We live in an era of one-and-dones. This can be exciting to see a crop of freshman every year on the big teams such as Duke, Kentucky, and Kansas, but if more players stayed in college longer it would spread out the recruits more evenly to other teams.

The paying of college athletes would have an overall positive impact on the world of college sports. Paying athletes could even cause some of them to stay all four years and receive their degrees. This would impact society positively because these students will now have more skills once they exit their athletic careers.

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