A somewhat recent topic among fans, athletes, and students everywhere has been whether or not student-athletes should be paid to play college sports. In my opinion, NO. They shouldn't.
Why? Just think of all the perks they already have. FREE HOUSING, FULL TUITION, BOOKS, AND NAME BRAND MERCHANDISE. What else do they want? More money? For playing something they openly WANTED to in college? Sure. Makes total sense, right?
Some of these athletes struggle to maintain a GPA needed to play for their schools. They also take what they are given (some earned) for granted. Athletes nation-wide seem to forget the fact that they get all of these amenities for free. Sometimes ignoring this and expecting to get paid for playing a collegiate sport.
Why should they be paid when I am PAYING to attend school? Is it not good enough that most got a full ride for being an athlete but now they assume they should also be paid for playing a sport? If that's the case then shouldn't I be paid for maintaining a higher GPA than these talented individuals? Shouldn't the next person get paid for doing everything in their power to even get into a university?
You see, there are many ways to look at this. Either for or against collegiate athletes receiving compensation for their playing. But what are the restrictions? Do you have to be an actual PLAYER or just someone on the team? Do you have to play a certain amount of time to be considered to earn a wage or do you automatically get extra money just for the hell of it?
Also, many of the fans and athletes promoting wages, only care about certain organizations getting paid: mainly male organizations such as men's basketball, baseball, and football. While yes, some of these teams do bring in tons of money for the university, athletes that play other sports, such as volleyball, gymnastics, and softball work just as hard and put in just as many hours as more profitable teams. Should they get paid, too? Or should only athletes playing sports that make a profit be paid to play?
Either way makes NO SENSE. These student-athletes were NOT "hired" to play sports at a collegiate level. They were simply given an offer. An offer even I would not have refused (passing up free tuition would be crazy in itself). With accepting this offer, players are handed THOUSANDS of dollars worth of education and merchandise. But that isn't good enough. There is always something extra to be expected, right?
The fact of the matter is, by accepting this offer they agreed to play for the team. To receive what they have earned throughout high school. To accept being a member of a collegiate team. NOT to sign on as a full-time job. For that, they should not receive anything more than they have already been given.
So as I sit here, finding ways to pay for college (because I am no longer an athlete, therefore, tuition is not handed to me) I choose to watch. To watch college athletes playing their sports, enjoying it for the moment and not the money. Watching their huge smiles when earning a victory or pouting with them after a hard-fought loss.
At the end of the day, we are all students, first and foremost. We all managed to get into a university, one way or another, but none of us should receive compensation for something we WANTED to do rather than needed to do.