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Colleges Shouldn’t Pay Student Athletes

Student athletes bring much value to their colleges and universities and work extremely hard, so some think they deserve payment. The payment could take the form of salaries or some profits from selling autographs and apparel with athletes’ names on them. However, students’ primary reason for being on campus is (or should be) to learn, and their scholarships are enough compensation for their efforts. On top of this, paying athletes would diminish the purpose of institutions of higher education and lead to issues concerning how much to pay and how to raise that money.

These students are called student athletes, not professional athletes or even athlete students. Their institutions are institutions of education, not athletics. Universities spend enough money on scholarships, facilities, and media promotions for athletic programs without adding student payment to the equation. If athletics become much more important to universities, education will become merely a secondary purpose. Universities are supposed to value academics, not athletics, so payment undermines higher education’s purpose.

Even if paying college athletes were a good idea, more issues would arise from taking this action. Different sports programs generate different amounts of money for universities and the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). Should the amount paid to athletes also be unequal? If some players, such as football players, make more than other athletes, that could also lead to a lawsuit focused on Title IX because female athletes will make less money. Also, schools in smaller athletic conferences would have an even harder time recruiting good athletes because these schools wouldn’t be able to offer as much compensation.

Cost is a third issue. If schools pay all athletes, the cost will strain budgets that are often already strained. The cost could even lead to athletic programs being cut, giving athletes fewer opportunities to play. Decreasing spending for academic services would be an inappropriate solution to balance the budget.

At many universities, student athletes already get more scholarship money and facilities than the brightest students do, even though universities are supposed to be for education, not athletics. So, athletes don’t need more compensation from schools. I’m open to the NCAA sharing some of its proceeds with student athletes, though, in recognition of their hard work, high value to athletic programs, and inability to gain work experience while in college. But as long as they’re students, their studies are more important than their sports and should be viewed as such by colleges and universities.

Photo: Boston Public Library, Flickr Creative Commons

 

Darla Word

About Darla Word

I'm a writing tutor and editor from Michigan. My favorite subject to write about is writing because making better writers is my calling. I also enjoy reading, singing, swimming, and cardmaking.

Darla Word

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