Is It Time To Pay College Athletes? | Robert Littal Presents BlackSportsOnline

Is It Time To Pay College Athletes?

by | Posted on Friday, April 1st, 2011
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Should college athletes get paid? I constantly hear this question tossed around and while everyone has their opinion it’s quite clear that colleges and universities make big money off their athletic programs. Before I get into the argument on whether or not college athletes should be paid let me point out three things. (1) The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), colleges and universities earn billions of dollars from athletics with a lot of it coming from big named sponsors such as Nike, Pepsi, Fed Ex, ect.  (2) Athletes are recruited for entertainment purposes and not academic purposes. (3) Paying athletes is as much a part of college sports as recruiting. Some schools get caught. Some don’t.

Let’s start with point #1. The NCAA, colleges, and universities make mega bucks off collegiate sports, especially football. The Texas Longhorns football team was valued at $119 million dollars for the 2009-10 season. $30 million came from alumni and fan donations just to get in line for season tickets. These people donated $30 million for the CHANCE to get season tickets. Gatorade and Nike also paid big money just to sponsor the Longhorns. Texas made it to the BCS National Championship game that year and out of all the money generated the players were only allowed to receive gift bags of up to $500. That’s it. Players are walking around here acting as representatives for their respective colleges and universities, donning Nike apparel and drinking Gatorade while the NCAA is getting paid off of all of that.

Point #2. Athletes are not recruited for academic purposes, but for entertainment purposes. Colleges don’t care what an athlete’s GPA is or how well they did on their ACT/SAT; all they care about is athletic ability. No one cared that Derrick Rose didn’t actually take his SAT. Memphis found out about it way before it was national news, but they still allowed Rose to play. If they could have found a way to keep it under wraps it would still be an unknown violation. The point is they didn’t care about his academics. They recognized that Rose was a talented guard and did what they had to do to make sure he was in a Tigers jersey. Athletic departments are all about winning. Winning means sold out stadiums and big money endorsements. Which means more money for the NCAA, colleges, and universities.

Point #3. Athletes are already getting paid. They may or may not be getting big money paydays, but they are definitely getting paid. What do you really think happens when high football school players show up at national signing day, having already verbally committed to another team, and all of sudden they have a change of heart? Instead of signing with the team they verbally committed to, they sign with another team that had been recruiting them. You think it’s just because they really had a change of heart? Or because they wanted to stay close to home? It’s probably because the other team offered them more of a financial advantage. Kentucky and North Carolina aren’t at the top college basketball just because of tradition like most people would lead you to believe. Those teams have big money college basketball programs that can afford top talent.

Do I think that athletes should be paid? I’m kind of on the fence when it comes to that issue. On the fence meaning that I have both legs draped over one side of the fence and I’m just barely holding on to the top because I’m not quite ready to let go. What I’m trying to say is that while I’m leaning more towards letting college athletes get paid, I recognize that a majority of college athletes receive major benefits like full scholarships, free tutoring and world class athletic training. I also recognize that paying college athletes would be a little more complicated than a simple rule change.  While the debate will continue to rage on I’m not sure if athletes will ever be able to get paid “legally” while in college.

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  1. RT @BlkSportsOnline: BSO Post: Is It Time To Pay College Athletes? http://bit.ly/ft7MKf ( by @Nicki_Denise )

  2. Pastor C says:

    If all collegiate athletes received money, college sports would be more corrupt than ever. Superstar egos would form, the heart and character would diminish, and we would have the PNCAA.

  3. RT @BlkSportsOnline: BSO Post: Is It Time To Pay College Athletes? http://bit.ly/ehLcKk

  4. Dave says:

    Isn't their education being paid for enough? if you pay them any more while their in college, if/when they make it to the bigs it'll make them that much more selfish and we'll have more self-absorbed arrogant athletes to hear whining and complaining and get tired of…

  5. Number one I will say that MOST of the good ones are paid in college whether people want to acknowledge that or not. Some are paid in cash; some are furnished with vehicles/rental homes on the sly from either institution reps or alumni; some of their "cash" payments come in the form of being hooked up with "jobs" at companies owned by affiliates/alumni which they get paid from regularly without actually working. There are many ways colleges work the system. I do NOT think that college athletes should be paid. Why? Because college is the last level of football wherein it's about the love of the game. Professional sports revolves around politics MUCH more than the collegiate sports do and it's all about making a buck, etc. I say let these college players enjoy playing just to WIN. Pros or not, it will be the last level they ever get that enjoyment. Aside from that, it's annoying enough to hear professional athletes always moaning and groaning about their contracts like they are walking around poor… now we want to do the same with players that haven't even proven themselves worthy of making football their profession? I think not…

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