Should College Athletes Get Paid?

Olivia DeRose and Catherine Omer

For years fans have debated whether or not college athletes should be paid. They commit most of their time to practicing and playing all across the country. While some college athletes may receive scholarships, many are walk-ons and still have to worry about paying student loans. But many people are opposed to this idea, and fear that it will take the passion out of the sport, and athletes might be in it for the wrong reasons.


Why Athletes Should Get Paid

Many college students have to work a job to afford going to college. Unfortunately, many college athletes don’t have time between sport events, school, and studying to have a job. This justifies why college athletes could possibly benefit from getting paid, but there is much more to the story. Even though they have to balance the work and school daily lifestyle, sports often get in the way of their academics. Whether it is missing class or simply not having time to study, they are swamped. And what do they get out of it? Nothing. Besides the possibility of getting drafted into the major leagues. If they get paid, they may focus more on their performance now that there is more at stake. They also won’t have to worry about their financial situations, so that removes a lot of stress from their minds so they can focus. Coaches also receive a generous salary. Coaches of well-performing teams even have a larger salary than some of the teachers and professors with advanced degrees. If the coaches are receiving such a large salary, then surely the student-athletes can receive a salary too. On average, the college coach receives $823,000 dollars a year, but several coaches have an annual salary of millions of dollars, including the coach of Duke’s basketball team, Mike Kryzewski, who makes a whopping 9.7 billion dollars per season, while some students only receive $20,000 a year in aid.


Why Athletes Shouldn’t Get Paid

While College athletics takes up a lot of time, getting paid might be worse of an idea. Almost every single athlete is on a scholarship for their school.  After all, College coaches make a big salary; so shouldn’t athletes too? Here’s the problem. If you make a salary; than you know you have to pay taxes. Making a salary from sports, would mean athletes wouldn’t have a scholarship anymore. Taxes can be high enough that the athlete would be barely making an income. It would make it harder for college athletes to pay for tuition and even harder to live a good lifestyle on it. Another reason why athletes shouldn’t get paid is because it would change their motives. College athletics is meant to be an extracurricular activity while pursuing an education. If athletes were paid, they would most likely direct their focus on athletics instead of their education. Their motive would also change for recruitment. Instead of choosing the school that is best suited for them both educationally and athletically;  athletes would choose the school that offers the biggest salary. 


In Conclusion…

It is obvious to see why this has been such a debate for the past ten years. While some colleges are all for paying their student-athletes, some fear what this would mean for recruitment, and the athletics scholarship program. Do you think college athletes should be paid? Feel free to comment your opinion or any interesting facts you know about the topic down below.