According to the opinion of majority of people, most colleges exploit their athletes to an extent that they are unable to meet basic needs of dining, education supplies, and entertainment. Colleges have been documented to receive lamp sums of money from corporations who intend to profit from the college athlete’s glory but the universities do not give the money to them. A documented case in 2010, a single college athletic football league fetches more than 905 million dollars from Southeastern conference (SEC). The money is collected from sale of tickets, licenses fees, sale of concessions and a large amount from television contracts. The college students are deprived their right to the money in the idea that “a sound mind comes from a sound boy”. Meanwhile the colleges profit from athletics through providing food sales, alumnae donations, tickets, parking among others. It is assumed that part of the scholarship awards should be allocated towards the financial problems that may be facing the athlete although practically in some cases the assumption is inaccurate. Additionally, the scholarships are sometimes insufficient to give the needed support to the whole team (Schneider, 134-156).
College and university stadiums hosting the events are usually packed with fans who pay some entry fee to view the game. The athletes should be treated as employees as the college plays the part of a company making profits from their activities. It is also logical to consider that their coaches are paid on a six figure scale salary in addition to shoe contracts, advertisement contracts, among other appreciable perks. According to National Collegiate Athletic Association, a division one football coach earns around 1.4 million dollars annually where veteran coaches at the top of the programs earn even more than that. A report in 2009 by US today indicated that more than 2 million dollars is earned by 25 head coaches of football in NACC. A division one basketball coach earns a salary of 100000 dollars according the knight commission on intercollegial athletics. To add pepper to the wound, some of the coaches have secured paycheck increment like jimbo fisher of LSU got a raise of 950000 dollars from last year season earning him more than 2.8 million annually. It is therefore prudent to consider implementing a payment scheme to the players whose role is very important in the success of these events. Paying college athletes is justified by the scholarships that they are awarded and this gives them stronger incentives for better performance leading to a higher rate o of college graduation.
Most colleges offer free education, room and books to top athletes, who have a chance of accessing and attending the best colleges in the nation. However this does not eliminate the conception of slave-labor behind non-paid athletes. The whole system is ironically treated as a business because their coaches are entitled to huge remunerations and benefits, while the students who play the game often struggle financially off the field.
At some colleges, the athletes are paid in secret by the recruiter to attend or by the school to ensure performance. Live stories of some athletes and their family receiving huge sums of money and cars behind the curtain have been documented. These are secret arrangements meant to motivate the athletes to actively put their efforts into the programs. Most of the players and their parents have a poor background and therefore they take it as a big deal when they receive some money and they are effectively motivated to participate in athletics (Zimbalist, 145-167).
College athletes undergo very difficult times as they are required to spend substantial time in athletic activities in addition to attending classes. Although this sounds like a simple routine, the fact is that the athletes need a lot of time to meet all these obligations. Due to the demanding nature of their activity and the need for high performance in athletics activities, it is only prudent that the college administration implements a scheme for their compensation and not just does it behind the curtains or under the table. This is a genuine course because their activities are money generating in their colleges and there are the human resources that make the whole program a success (Shulman, James & Bowen, 187-241).
“The idea of paying college athletes with the idea of salary is opposed by some critics. They argue that full implementation of a salary scheme would burden some colleges who are unable to derive substantial profits from athletics”. Additionally, they perceive potential legal uncertainties with regard to issues of unionization and compensations (Allen,Sack & Ellen Staurowsky, 89-97).
According to the amateurism policy, members become professionals on condition that they are paid and they accept the promises of payments in a game contest. They must also give a verbal or a signed commitment with a reputable organization in sports. College players that want to go to the Olympics in some sports may also choose to be paid.
Based on both sides of the argument, it is discreet to conclude that, implementation of a payment scheme for college athletes is a positive development. However, the scheme should be exempted from labor regulations and be made an internal affair of the college administration. The revenues derived from athletic activities should be shared with the players because they play a pivotal role in their generation.
Allen,Sack & Ellen Staurowsky. College athletes for hire. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998.
Schneider, Raymond, “College students’ perceptions on the payment of intercollegiate student-athletes: Statistical data included”. College Student Journal, 2001. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCR/is_2_35/ai_77399630/?tag=content;col1
Shulman, James & Bowen, William The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 2001.
Zimbalist, Andrew. Unpaid Professionals: Commercialism and Conflict in Big-Time College Sports. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 1999.
NCAA Sports Contracts and Amateurism http://sportslaw.uslegal.com/sports-agents-and-contracts/ncaa-sports-contracts-and-amateurism