Pay The Kids: College Athletes Should Be Compensated
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Pay The Kids: College Athletes Should Be Compensated

Pay The Kids: College Athletes Should Be Compensated
Higher Ed Reconsidered

In sports-crazed America, college athletics have become wildly popular. Whether it be tuning in every Saturday to catch the football games or being glued to your couch to take in all the madness in March, college sports have become as big, if not even bigger to some extant, than professional. Aside from providing top-notch entertainment and action, college sports ranging anywhere from football to swimming do wonders for their respective universities, especially in the financial department. The more successful the team is, the more money they bring in to their school. And when it comes to juggernauts such as Alabama football or Kentucky basketball, the money keeps on piling up. The unfortunate side of this notion is that the athletes are not rewarded for their efforts. Not even a tiny bit. In fact, they are severely punished if they do so.

This point has been pondered and debated for decades, more so now than ever: Should college athletes be given financial compensation for their efforts and monetary effect on their university? The “by the books” old school proponents will heavily argue against it. They believe paying these players will make them professionals, which goes against the college nature of amateur play. Right now they are winning this battle. Receiving improper benefits of any variety; money, clothes, cars, etc. is severely illegal in the NCAA rulebook. However, the infractions get down to miniscule levels, reaching the borderline ridiculous. For instance, an athlete is not allowed to accept a dinner paid for by another party, even another athlete’s family members.

While paying the athletes for play would technically make them professionals, it would not have to be as extreme as paying them in the millions that you see pro’s raking it. They could be paid as normally as a part time job would pay, an allowance of some sort. This would actually be a bargain for the universities, considering that being a collegiate athlete is in fact a full time job. Whether it be practices, weight training, study halls, events, or games, the athletes’ day by day schedules are full of team related activities, with little to no personal time. Getting an actual job to make some pocket money would be out of the question.

Two-time NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball champion and current Orlando Magic Shabazz Napier weighed in on the issue during his team’s March Madness run two years ago. “We do have hungry nights that we don't have enough money to get food. Sometimes money is needed,” he said. “I don't think you should stretch it out to hundreds of thousands of dollars for playing because a lot of times guys don't know how to handle themselves with money. I feel like a student athlete. Sometimes, there's hungry nights where I'm not able to eat, but I still gotta play up to my capabilities.”

Its hard not to reason with Shabazz and college athletes nation wide. While some will go on to make millions at the professional level, that is only a small fraction. Some play just for the love of the game and their university, and give all their time an effort to the sport and school they have a passion for. Being a college athlete is a full time job, and its time the NCAA acknowledges that and compensates them accordingly.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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