Whether student-athletes should get paid has remained to be a controversy for many years now. There are those in favor of the matter, but a majority is against the issue. The current compensation arrangement for college athletes is unsustainable, inequitable and inefficient. College athletes should get paid by decreasing tuition because they contribute their time, energy and resources all in favor of developing their universities.
An estimate of four hundred men and women student-athletes participate in sanctioned athletics every year. This situation is imbalanced because the number of student-athletes, who are awarded with scholarships, does not exceed a few thousands in the United States of America. Such a situation raises the question of whether these athletes are exploited by the NACC.
The following reasons are in favor of college athletes compensation. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, which is the college sports’ governing body, earns millions of dollars in television rights. The NACC distributes the major part of their earnings to the basketball conferences and down to the member universities. Television stations that air these college sport games, earn more than hundreds of million dollars in advertisement revenues. Legal bets placed on these college games top $100 million and illegal ones are estimated to hit billions of dollars. These amounts of money are realized by the efforts of the college athletes, and thus their efforts should be acknowledged.
Studies conducted show that academic institutions subsidize athletics with mandatory student fees, public funds from the government, general institutional funds and contributions made by alumni and donors. This process leads toward prevention of tuition cost escalation in higher education.
Student athletes devote many hours every day to their games and trainings. Collegiate student-athletes have little time to keep up with their academics since they may spend 40 hours or more a week in trainings. The time these students devote to sports is 3.3 hours larger than the time a typical American works in a week. This commitment to games and trainings leaves little time to keep up with academics.
For instance, the football players' orientation week consists of 14-hour days during early August. The orientation usually takes place in scorching sun. Before the start of the game season, the workload involves from 50 to 60 hours of trainings a week. Once the classes and the game season begin, the hours of training are reduced from 40 to 50 a week. There is a 37- hour stretch including practice, three- to four-hour game, sleep and travel time. The season is usually on until November. Such a time frame is applied to the successful seasons. The super bowl game takes place on New Year's Day and the team has to work through it. The athletes might have a holiday break, but they are required to return back to campus by Christmas morning.
University Games Coaches earn an average salary of one million dollars. The National Collegiate Athletic Association and the member universities make billions of dollars, while the players are only awarded scholarship, which amounts to forty-one thousand dollars a year. This inequality is not fair, as the student-athletes are the ones who make it possible for their institutions and the NCAA to collect such amounts of money.
Student athletes market their respective schools. These schools use their athletes as core marketers of their name and brand in order to attract potential students of the University. It has been proved that enrollment and the number of applications increases in the year, when the schools team wins a major game.
College athletes should be paid in order to boost their morale and motivate them. The school should cater for the tuition fees of the athletes. The schools should also grant athletes with some other forms of tokens for good performance. This compensation ensures that athletes are focused on their games and have sports and academics in balance. Sportsmen have to meet the minimum required GPA in order for them to be eligible for the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Student athletes are required to miss classes in order for them to attend trainings and tournaments. They are supposed to miss classes at such a high rate that any other student would be dismissed from the course if they did so. The issue of missing the classes gives student athletes a hard time, as they have to resume classes and fulfill huge loads of class work when the game season is over. Thus, athletes should be compensated for such a discomfort, because they sacrifice their time to sports instead of education.
Compensating student athletes would make college games to become more competitive. Usually more competitive sports attract interested parties more, resulting in increasing amount of revenue.
Paying student-athletes is essential because the NACC is capable of doing so. The monopolistic type of business makes it possible for the NACC to compensate the athletes not in thousands of dollars but in full tuition coverage. Moreover, the NACC may also provide cash for athletes that would help these students to have a better life and stay highly motivated.
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Bringing back the focus to education is another viable reason why the NACC should pay college athletes. The research shows that eighteen percent of college athletes read at an eighth-grade level. Moreover, players usually do not finish four years of education at the same school because they prefer to either move to another university that proposes a better deal or leave early to play in abroad.
Students drop out of school in order for them to take care of their families. Athletes drop out of school because most of them do not come from very happy families. If universities and the NACC compensate athlete students, they would have enough funds to take care of their families. Such a situation will make them to go through college for the required four years instead of the usual dropping out to play for other clubs.
Other individuals argue that student athletes should not receive payment because their university already provides tuition fee discounts for these students. These colleges say that they have helped student athletes in such ways that no one would know and think of. For instance, they claim that they provide athletes with personal connections that they would never get on their own, and that the training provided to athletes is world class quality. Athletes are considered to be students, not employees. Moreover, athletes are not covered by general labor laws. Therefore, they lack grounds to collectively bargain for compensation through union representation; they also cannot apply for workers compensation.
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In the long run, students should be paid for their efforts in the field because it is apparent that the NACC is using these students to obtain cheap labour. This cheap labor is compensated by providing education and other necessities to these athletes; in turn, these students are supposed to perform in the field. This exploitation is not acceptable because student athletes are the reason NACC earns a lot of money without paying a single coin to the athletes, who have dedicated their time and life to the games they play.