Should college athletes be paid?

Olayinka Gbolahan
Staff Writer

As most of us are watching and enjoying March Madness and the crazy reactions to the state of our brackets and predictions. It is also important to remember the real benefactors are not the student athletes playing sedulously. 

The discussion about paying college student-athletes has been controversial and the debate has been heightened because of the March Madness period. I personally think college student athletes should be paid based on the benefits they bring to the school. The argument that they are given scholarship based on their talents and that is a form of payment is so hypothetical because these student athletes are basically required to skip school for nationally televised games and away trips. They are also in less financially challenging and competitive majors because they have to juggle school work which is at least 12 credit hours in order to graduate in four years with their intensive “extra-curricular activity” which is also eating into their study time and may gradually decimates their overall performance academically and this would also limit their opportunities if they do not plan to play professional sport.

Also, the student-athletes are dealing with the pressures laying on their performance both athletic and academically which puts them at a psychologically stability disadvantage. They are also pressured to follow restriction like the inability to accept any monetary grant/aid from any individual and they also not allowed to monetarizes their image while still in college and they definitely cannot work because of their daily workload. This has really kept a large financial strain on them and their families. 

A counter argument that this is just an extracurricular activity and cannot be considered a job is, on average college student athletes spend about 43.3 hours a week on athletic conditioning according to Marc Edelman, which includes and is not limited to, bouncing between the weight rooms, the court for game day, practices, media session, film sessions and team meetings. This is 3.3 hours more than most full-time jobs on campus. If this is just an extracurricular activity then it is to be subject to more flexibility and should be less strenuous and time consuming. This is really reducing the time available for these student athletes to spend on other school clubs and extra-curricular activity. Thankfully, this is not affecting this student socially because they are at least famous locally which may not necessary be a good thing because of the lack of respect to their privacy.

It is actually ironic that the athletic administrators, athletic directors and coaches that argue against paying student athletes are being paid on average $1.64 million, according to Browne Clayton on career trend and really would not prefer to be paid like professors and school instructors and other Academic Administrator who are being paid $70,246 on average according to Locsin Aurelio of chron.com. This is quite revealing where their priorities lie and they can quit with the fake narrative of providing free education.

The school has also benefited tremendously from student athletes. Apart from the monetary benefits, school has also gain popularity and remained on the national map because of the relevance of their athletic programs. This has also helped their branding in attracting paying college student no wonder every college orientation is always spear headed by a college mascot the reviling image of athletic program. This is free advertisement, if you are not paying them as student athletes, at least pay them for admission models during media day and television broadcast

The school also benefits financially from ticket sales, food and drink stand sales and gears and wears sales. They also benefit tremendously from television broadcast rights, shoes and uniform deals, sponsorship and advertisement deals.

These are just some reasons why I think student-athletes should be paid for a job well done. This may also bring to question how the NCAA would financially distribute stipends across colleges and adjust their budget which I recommend them employing a budget analyst that has student interest in mind and would pay student-athletes based on their performance which reflects their talent and the hard work.

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