Point/Counterpoint: Should college athletes get paid to play?

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Many college athletes argue that they should get paid because their dedication to the sport consumes any time they could spend working. However, the money that employed students and non-athletes receive from their paycheck typically goes towards college expenses like meal plans, tuition, room and board, and books. If athletes receive scholarships for these basic expenses, what do they need extra money for?

Athletic scholarships are comparable to academic scholarships. If a student scores a 32 on the ACT, they are using their talent for admission into college the same way a student who can run the mile under five minutes is. Similarly, brain surgeons are recruited by hospitals with promises of signing bonuses, insurance, and five-year-contracts the same way top athletes are recruited by the pros.Because of the advantages college athletes already receive, they have no reason to ask for more, unless we want to teach them the valuable lesson of having everything they want handed to them.

If outstanding collegiate academic performances are not getting rewarded with pay, then neither should outstanding athletic ones. ”

The education of a college student sometimes comes second to their sport. Advocates for paying college athletes need to realize that colleges are an educational institution. Athletics can either help pay for an education or prepare for the next level of sports. Everyone has to pay their dues as a college student, regardless of their long-term plan.

Another issue with paying college athletes is the fact that it makes the college playing field uneven. In this case, schools not financially capable of supporting athletes beyond a full ride are at a disadvantage to larger schools with larger budgets. Furthermore, students could end up playing for money and not for the love of the sport.  If the NCAA were to pay athletes, they would have to, due to Title IX’s push for equality, pay the quarterback the same amount of money as the swimmer and the same amount to the field hockey player.

Athletes also argue that if the college is making money off of their athletic excellence then they should get a cut of the profit. However, all of the money the college makes goes back to providing the program with better facilities, better coaches, or to a better college overall.