Should college athletes be paid? Let’s take a quick glance at the pros and cons of each perspective.
By the way, there’s a part two to this Should College Athletes be Paid… series.
For starters, in my opinion, yes, college athletes should get paid. What deserves debate, is the conversation of how to get this done.
From my experience, in America, you get paid in proportion to the value you bring to the marketplace. College sports is one, if not the only, place where this isn’t the case.
I think it’s only a matter of time before players start getting more than “a free education.”
I was recently thinking about the potential pro’s and con’s that surround this topic, and thought I’d blog about it.
Cons of Paying College Athletes
1. Dealing with Title IX
According to Title IX, a federally-mandated law, if conferences and schools decide to increase the value of student-athlete scholarships to cover living expenses, they have to do it for women’s programs as well.
This means that schools would have to, for example, increase the value of womens volleyball and softball scholarships as well. Schools have to stay in-accordance with Title IX, otherwise they’re risking their federal funding.
…and you know they’re not trying to lose out on any money.
2. Competitive disadvantage for small schools.
How would the smaller schools and conferences afford this? The bigger conferences make way more money than the smaller conferences through their huge tv deals.
So unless the Big Ten’s, and SEC’s of the world agree to donate revenue to conferences that make afraction of what they make, (think MAC and Mountain West conferences), wouldn’t this create an even wider gap recruiting-wise between the powerhouse conferences and the smaller conferences?
I mean, ask yourself; if you were to choose between playing football for a small school, and a big school that’s legally giving you $5,000 in living expenses, which would you choose?
Most college athletic programs are already losing money, so how could they afford to all male and female athletic programs, to cover for the athlete’s living expenses?
3. Do you pay the athletes from all sports?
Let’s be real here; men’s football and basketball teams are usually the programs that make the most money for universities, so if football players and basketball players got paid, does that mean that the men’s lacrosse and baseball players would get paid too?
How can you discriminate? Sports like lacrosse and baseball don’t normally bring in as much money as football and basketball, so how do you address that?
I honestly don’t have an answer for you.
4. Player’s are still going to take “under the table” money.
In my opinion, increasing scholarship amounts to cover living expenses may keep some of the kids from accepting money, but it’s not going to keep them all from doing it.
I don’t think kids getting an extra $5,000 or so from their Universities wouldn’t keep the agents, boosters, etc., from offering them cash and benefits.
And I’m not convinced it would keep them from taking it, either.
But I must admit, it’s definitely a step that I believe would at least keep some of the kids from accepting benefits; those that only take the money because of their circumstances or lack of cash for living expenses.
Do you think college athletes should get paid? Why or why not?
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