Should College Athletes Be Paid Research Paper

Pages: 5 (1693 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports

¶ … College Athletes be Paid?

Whether college athletes should or should not be paid has been a subject for debate for many years. As athletes get stronger and more proficient at younger ages, many college athletes are capable of doing what professional athletes can do - and that means they have the opportunity to move up to the "big leagues" after they finish college. Some of them even leave college to pursue professional athletic dreams before they have finished their degrees. They do not see the point of continuing with a degree when they are able to receive hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars per year by playing their sport professionally. If they were paid, would they stay in college instead? Is that a reason to offer them money when they are still in college, or would that further hamper them from actually getting an education? The arguments are heated, and important.

Discussed here will be the arguments both for and against paying college athletes for their playing and their abilities. The reasons behind each argument will be addressed, in order to understand what most people find acceptable and why some people think that these athletes should be paid while others feel it is a poor choice. The difficulty with this issue is that there are no studies providing empirical evidence about college athletics in the sense that they have been paid in the past. College athletes have never been paid in the way that professional athletes have, so determining whether paying them is good or bad is mostly conjecture and opinion. This is important to note, but it does not negate the validity of the arguments regarding this very important issue.

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The Argument for Paying Athletes

TOPIC: Research Paper on Should College Athletes Be Paid Assignment

According to those who believe that college athletes should be paid, they deserve to get a percentage of what they are providing to the school and the coaches. In other words, the coaches who work with college athletes receive large checks. They also get perks and bonuses that they enjoy - especially when their team has a winning season. Because of that, they bring in a lot of money for themselves and the university where they teach (Nocera, 2011). Additionally, the merchandise and marketing of the team brings in billions of dollars per year across all colleges that have sports teams. This money is a huge financial boon for the colleges and universities, but what about the players? What do they receive. Beyond a college education, they are not given anything. They see copies of their jerseys for sale in the campus bookstore, and they see thousands of fans screaming and cheering from the stands, but they do not see anything in their bank account - while the school and its coaches get rich off of what the players have to offer (Nocera, 2011). Many would not consider that fair.

In the past, some schools have experimented with paying their players a stipend for the work that they do on the field or the court. The amount was $2,000, but there was such an issue made of it that the amount was cancelled (Nocera, 2011). Of course, those who signed up when the amount was in force will most likely still receive it, but that does not mean that others will be able to get it - even though it was previously offered to some. Paying athletes is important, the school argued, not because of the money they make for the school but because they work so hard and they often do not get a completely free ride in the sense that all of their tuition and other fees are covered. In other words, that $2,000 stipend was believed to be something that would help to cover the cost of tuition and other fees for those students - not something that was used to actually "pay" them.

Still, many colleges (and athletes and the parents of those athletes) believe that college athletics is less of a sport and more of a money-making endeavor for the college (Eassom, 1994; Hill, 2007). While the students are, technically, there to get a college education, the argument is that they are given a high level of breaks and are provided with easy classes so that they can stay eligible to play their sport. For them, the college experience is not about learning and their resume is their actual playing ability. They are being watched and monitored when they play, and those who do exceptionally well are often "drafted" right out of their college careers and into professional sports, where they will be paid handsomely. For those athletes who do not make it that far, though, the issue is more about how hard they work while they are in college and how much benefit they provide to their school. Being paid for that is important, just like being paid for any other job.

The Argument for Not Paying Athletes

The history of college athletics does not allow for them to be paid, and why should history be changed at this point? Many athletes want to be paid while they play their way through college (Hill, 2007; Nocera, 2011). Their families also often think that they should be paid, because they work very hard and they bring in a lot of revenue for the school. However, there are two solid arguments as to why these athletes should not be paid for what they do. First, they are already being "paid" in the sense that they are getting a free ride academically and financially. They, in exchange for playing a game they are good at and that they enjoy, are provided with a college education. Getting a college education is a privilege, not a right. Many people want to attend college, but not all of them can afford to do so. Additionally, many who do get through college do so with the help of grants and loans. When they get out, they can owe tens of thousands of dollars in student loans.

Naturally, that is a frightening prospect and one that can keep people from attending college at all. With that in mind, why should these athletes be paid anything more than the cost of their college education? They are already "making" $25,000 per year or more, simply by not being required to pay the cost of their college tuition. That is something that has to be carefully analyzed and addressed, and it is the main argument as to why it is not necessary to pay people who are college athletes. Just because they are not being handed a paycheck does not mean that they are not being healthily compensated for the "work" that they do in playing the game. These athletes do work very hard, and they often struggle with their studies because of it. Better and less demanding schedules would be more important to them and their future than giving them money on top of their education (Hill, 2007).

Another reason not to pay athletes, and one that not everyone gets behind or agrees with, is that playing sports is a choice, not a requirement. Even though some of these college athletes are very good, and a few even make it to professional status, the vast majority of them find that they do not play sports for money when they get out of college. If they have not learned another skill properly, they will not be able to get a good paying job that will sustain them and their future family and lifestyle. They are taking a huge gamble with their future by attempting to pin it onto making it big in the sports world. If they put all their time and effort into sports at the expense of their studies, they will have a… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Should College Athletes Be Paid" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Should College Athletes Be Paid.  (2012, July 13).  Retrieved July 31, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Should College Athletes Be Paid."  13 July 2012.  Web.  31 July 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Should College Athletes Be Paid."  July 13, 2012.  Accessed July 31, 2021.