Should College Athletes Be Paid?

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College athletics is very popular across the country. Many of these athletes have earned scholarships for their athletic abilities and have made a commitment to their sport and university to perform on and off the field. This commitment however goes unnoticed because athletes do not receive a profit from what the college receives depending on the team’s success. Colleges may think that scholarships are enough to keep a player afloat but is it fair that they don’t get credit for the colleges’ amount of profit earned during the year?

This is specifically noticed in college football. Quarterback Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M was suspended for the first half of his team’s season opener due to Manziel being accused of signing autographs for money. NCAA athletes are not allowed to sign autographs and receive a profit from it but it was unable to be proven that  he received profits from the autographs according to Time Magazine. Manziel was the first freshmen to win the Heisman Trophy and not only did his team have a great season but the head coach and the school itself benefited from him. Head Coach Kevin Sumlin received a big pay raise and is now being paid $3.1 million this year.

The media exposure of Texas A&M increased as well but some of that was because of the school switching to the Southeastern Conference (SEC). This is an example of how a college player should benefit for the school’s success and not receiving anything for their sacrifice. Could this lead to players asking for money and how will it affect college athletics?  “These players are earning money when they were offered scholarships,” says graduate student John Santamaria. “It’s disappointing that over the past few years the talk in the NCAA among all the sports has been about university profit and conference realignment taking away from what matters most involving the student athletes and their play on the field.

Throughout college, athletes receive free education for not only their athletic abilities but academic as well. For example, former Michigan basketball player Chris Webber received free education throughout college and the exposure led him to become one of the best players in Sacramento Kings history. However, according to a documentary this year, his shirt was sold for 75 dollars in the campus store and no money went to him. After hearing this, according to the Huffington post, Syracuse basketball Jim Boeheim said “he got his money during college and not $30,000 to $40,000”. He also called college athletes being paid the “most idiotic suggestion he ever heard”.

Another concern involving paying the college athletes has to do with video games. When gamers play the NCAA football and basketball video games, the athletes’ names are not seen. Because of this, Time Magazine reported that Ed O’Bannon of UCLA and Sam Keller of Arizona State have sued EA Sports and NCAA for using their likeness in video games. This brings a dismal future to college sport video games unless the players receive the credit that they deserve for the popularity of the video games.

NYIT’s athletic department sponsors 11 Division II teams and one Division I team (Baseball) and many of the student athletes have earned scholarships. Each athlete works hard to keep their scholarship and them getting paid would increase the pressure even more. There will be changes in the near future with college sports and it may either bring a positive or negative effect to our society.

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