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Should College Athletes Be Paid?

There has been an ongoing debate across the country lately as to whether college athletes should be paid or not. Don’t get me wrong, this debate isn’t new, but it has recently heated up due to the controversy surrounding autographs that Manziel supposedly signed for money, which is an NCAA violation.

Johnny Manziel allegedly signed hundreds of autographs in at least six separate signings where he was paid money. There is video showing him signing autographs, but none of him accepting money. I don’t want to get into that story much though, as that’s not what this article is about.

The NCAA is big business and it’s difficult to say whether college athletes should be paid or not. There are positives and negatives on both sides of the debate. However, I currently don’t think there is a feasible way for NCAA athletes to be paid in a fair way without ruining collegiate sports.

How Much Does the NCAA Earn in Revenues

According to the NCAA they earned $871.6M in revenue during the 2011-12 season, which is the last season with official data available at the time of writing this article. Over 80% of the revenue was from television and marketing rights fees and over 10% from the championships.

Some may assume that the NCAA pockets all of this money, but that simply isn’t the case. Roughly 95%+ goes to Division 1 programs while the remaining 5% goes to operations and salaries not directly related to any college program according to the NCAA website.

Why I Think Athletes in College Don’t Need to Earn Money for Playing

Don’t get me wrong, college athletes put their bodies on the line and forgo a lot of the college experience in order to play sports. They have to attend classes, meetings, workouts, practises and they rarely have time to do anything else except focus on studies and sports while in college.

The problem I have with college athletes being paid is it would cause too many liabilities and it would also make the game more unfair in my opinion. The best recruiting programs often have the most success in college sports, but paying athletes wouldn’t change that.

Bigger programs would be able to pay the best athletes to come to their school and we’d be in the same situation. Another problem I have is how would wages work? Would a superstar running back at Alabama be paid the same as the 3rd best linebacker on Vanderbilt?

If every college had to contribute a fair percentage into a “pool” in order to pay out wages equally to each college athlete that’d be fine, but there are thousands of college athletes working hard across the country in sports other than basketball/football and it wouldn’t be feasible.

These college athletes are in most cases receiving full ride scholarships, which include a dorm, food money and more perks. They get to go to school at some of the best universities/colleges in the country and earn an education for free while playing the sports they love to play.

Basketball players don’t even need to attend college if they don’t want. If they want to make money they can simply play a year of basketball overseas or in another league before entering the NBA draft. However, football players have to basically play college football to be drafted.

Some say that college athletes should be able to capitalize on their likeness/brand, but that would cause problems as well. Often the big stars are made because of the massive fan bases at certain programs. If Manziel played at San Jose State most people wouldn’t know who he is.

If college athletes could sign autographs and make money from their likeness athletes would start going to the programs with the biggest fan bases where they would have the best opportunity to cash in and that would hurt the game more than it would help in my opinion.

Also the majority of players wouldn’t make any money from signing autographs, as fans only want autographs or memorabilia of superstars. This would mean only the best players would make money, which isn’t fair. Plus these superstars will be paid in a few years when they’re drafted.

Athletes make a lot of money for the NCAA, but a lot of money goes back to them in the form of scholarships, traveling, training facilities, food and much more. Paying college athletes would be a problem unless each athlete was a paid the exact same amount of money.

The best college athletes who contribute the most to NCAA revenues will be paid when they’re drafted by the NFL/NBA. The large majority of college athletes aren’t drafted, but if they were smart during college they now have a degree that cost them next to nothing to earn.

Like I said at the beginning of this article, I’m not opposed to paying college athletes if it’s fair for everyone regardless of skill or school. If only the best athletes or programs are going to be paid the majority of the revenue than I would be against that because it would hurt the sports.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting. Follow Scott on Twitter


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