Should College Athletes Be Paid?

*Articles reflect the views of the author and or those quoted and do not necessarily represent the views of CCBC or the CCBC Connection.

The question as to whether college athletes should be paid has been popular for the past decade and it has only intensified recently due to scandalous headlines. A few weeks ago a report released stating that several current and former NCAA Basketball players such as Deandre Ayton, Collin Sexton, Markelle Fultz, and Dennis Smith Jr. were receiving payments from various Universities. This scandal shook the NCAA world and intensified when an audio tape was released as proof.

University of Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller was heard speaking about paying $100,000 to recruit Deandre Ayton. Many people were not shocked however, as they believe that there has been corruption in the NCAA for a long time and that the athletes should be paid in the first place. I completely agree that college athletes should be paid because of how much revenue they generate.

Contrary to what the NCAA states, the students are prioritized as athletes over students. Students are often forced to miss classes because of games and there is no bigger example than the current “March Madness” Tournament. Students are travelling all over the country playing basketball and in the process making a lot of money for their school and the NCAA. Just a few years ago, the NCAA announced a massive TV deal with CBS/Turner Television for 8 years and $8.8 billion dollars. I find it odd that the NCAA can make billions from TV deals, but refuses to pay athletes a single cent.

That does not seem fair to the student athletes because they are essentially being used to make money for the NCAA and the athletes do not get any of it. The NCAA makes them miss classes for “March Madness” or any other televised event and because of that the student athletes should be paid.

The college athletes are being prioritized as workers, and workers should be compensated for their efforts when they make their company money. College athletes should be paid because the NCAA treats the athletes as workers and workers should always be fairly paid.

People believe that receiving a full scholarship and a free education should be enough but I believe it’s not. There are several examples of NCAA athletes having to starve because the school cafeteria is closed and they do not have any money to get food. After all, the student athletes do not have time to get a job because their sport is like a full-time job and they also have to attend and study for classes.

The full scholarships are not enough because they have to devote all of their time to school and their sport and have very little time to focus on other things. The balance between school and sport can be very difficult for many of these students.

Considering the amount of time these “students” spend on conditioning and practices, the athletes should be more fairly compensated. The NCAA and the athletes’ respective universities make money off the work that these students put in to be in tip-top shape throughout the entire year.

The NCAA markets the college athletes, yet the athletes cannot market themselves. Most of the college athletes are not going to become professionals. Therefore, they should be allowed to take advantage of the temporary fame that they have and be compensated. If these student athletes are going to be devoting all their time for a sport with there being no certain future in it, they should be able to receive compensation.

Not only do college athletes help the NCAA generate revenue, but they also substantially increase the school’s visibility and in turn their bottom line. When big-time athletes go to a school people want to go watch those athletes and this often results in major increases to admission. They are also able to cash in on that student’s fame in merchandise sales.

These NCAA athletes have been oppressed for far too long, they have been providing the NCAA with free labor for decades. The NCAA claims they just want to protect these student athletes but have no issue with using these student athletes for their own financial gain.

Over the next few years, something will come up that will force the NCAA to pay these athletes what they deserve. Ideas like LaVar Ball’s junior basketball association which would serve as an alternative to college basketball and would actually pay these athletes are good in theory but until they come to fruition the NCAA will reign supreme.

I think and hope NCAA athletes will eventually end up getting paid. It is just a matter of when.


  1. Max 26 April, 2018 at 22:47 Reply

    No we shouldn’t, and I sure hope we don’t as it would eliminate sports that do not make money and lower levels of competition.

  2. Corday Gaskins 1 May, 2018 at 12:07 Reply

    I believe college athletes should be paid. Colleges are making millions of dollars off there athletes names and likeness. Colleges think paying for there education is good enough but it’s not. Majority of college athletes doesn’t make it to the pros. Young adults shouldn’t have to struggle while Universities are making money off of them.

  3. Asia F 9 December, 2018 at 11:38 Reply

    After reading this article, I can honestly see both sides of the argument. I understand athletes bring so much money to the school, especially if they play for a team that wins consistently. I know that all the games, tournaments and the gym area itself bring forth a lot of guests and of course money. I ran track in high school, so I know how it feels to win time after time and not receive anything from your school. College athletes spend countless hours working on their craft while also trying to stay focused on their studies, which can be tough, so I understand why they would want compensation. On the other end, other students that didn’t come there for sports, but for academics, still bring forth a lot of revenue for the school. Without 4.0’s and other high gpa’s I don’t think it would really matter how good a school does in sports if they cant keep up their grades. I understand athletes devote a lot of time to practice, but some of them also have terrible grades. I just feel like if you are going to pay top athletes than you should also pay those students who have 4.0 GPAS since, in my opinion, they both bring great things and revenue to the school.

  4. Deja Ballesteros 13 December, 2018 at 00:58 Reply

    College athletes deserve to get paid because most of them worked hard to get there and only play during college and stop after. Most college athletes do not make it to the pros therefore they should get paid while they play in college. If they can work hard to perfect their craft and maintain grades to stay on the team why can’t they get paid for it. But I also think that if they get paid for all 4 years they are in college then profession leagues would be at a decline because most people depending on the sport do not want to play longer than six maybe eight years.

  5. Parth Kumar 11 March, 2019 at 17:48 Reply

    Thank you for the great read! I believe that college athletes deserve to get paid as well because they are the ones working hard to get to the next level while going to school. Most college athletes don’t make it pro, therefore never having a chance to be paid an athlete’s salary. If they work hard and maintain a good GPA while being on a collegiate team, why can’t they get paid? Most athletes are on a scholarship of some sort, but can’t afford to eat when college cafeterias are closed because they can’t work, compete and study at the same time. The NCAA makes a ton of money and should compensate for the players that make them this money.

  6. Norman Wheeler 11 May, 2019 at 18:57 Reply

    I definitely believe these athletes should be paid. These college are using these athletes for their profit,and the athletes get nothing in return. This is why these athletes take bribes. Alot of them come from very poor neighborhoods with struggling famlies. Furthermore, the college’s are you using the athletes likeness in video games and on jerseys. They are putting there bodies on the line year after year, and for what possible fam.

  7. Kennedey 12 July, 2019 at 14:07 Reply

    I definitely agree with both sides of this because at one point I was a college athlete. I personally think that college athletes going to school for free should be enough, but the amount of work they put in could deserve some more credit. College athletes are the ones that make an image for the school. Some students wont go to a school unless if the sports teams are good because they are what keep the school spirit. College cost thousands of dollars so to have it handed to you just to show up to practice on time I think that is all a college athlete deserves because with that you travel, you get priority, free apparel, and sometimes free food. College athletes also have a coach and others to automatically lean on when they need support, regular students don’t

  8. Luke 11 December, 2019 at 17:49 Reply

    I agree, the money generated comes from ticket sales, jersey sales, and television deals. The players are unable to get money for their own jersey being sold. The fans buy tickets to see their favorite players play but the athlete doesn’t see a dime of that money. The problem at hand is the NCAA doesnt allow athletes to accept endorsements. This could allow the players to get paid in some form while not providing them with an unnecessary salary that would be almost impossible to figure out how to implement.
    I will also add that in the process of trying to make it professionally a good number of players get seriously injured and some even paralyzed. In an article written by Jim Thomas the average number of college athletes injured is 12,500 per year. The players risk their future and bodies every practice and game day while trying to prove themselves. They can damage their bodies whether that be a sprained ankle, broken bones, or even concussions. Many athletes suffer concussions which can cause a great amount of long term damage even leading to CTE.
    The solution is quite simple and both sides win. Allow athletes to be able to accept endorsement deals. If the main concern of the NCAA is to help the athletes and make sure they have a good future, this is the perfect addition to their scholarship deal. This isn’t an opportunity to exploit players but to help them out financially. The point is to show the athlete that they have other options besides doing everything they can to make it to the professional league when they probably won’t. Not every opportunity for every athlete is equal.

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