Why College Athletes Should Not Be Paid - Free Argumentative Essay


Over the past few decades, college athletic has become more popular among Americans. This helps National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA to earn millions of dollars r annually and now there is a debate whether the college athletic should get compensations beyond their scholarships. The National Labor Relations board of Chicago defines an employee as a person who has signed a contract to perform agreed service for another; employer is in control and gets payment in return (Hardin, James and Timothy 46). According to these standards the players may be considered employees based on their time and effort. However, college sports are not all about money. The opportunity to play a game that a person likes should not be equated to a job.

According to NCCA approximately 2% of high school sportsmen are given a chance to compete for college athlete. It is a privilege for anyone to get this opportunity, let alone the scholarship. This is one of the highest levels any athlete would dream to compete in, therefore, it should not be taken for granted. Collegiate athletic are driven by passion for an individual to become successful in both sport and life. The athletic scholarship is worth between 20.000 and 50,000 dollars per year (NCAA 67). Moreover, this does not include their medical and travel allowances, professional coach and also the chance to audition for professional jobs. All their expenses are fully paid by the universities where these athletes were chosen.

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College athletics especially division 1 provide a huge source of revenue to universities and college. It is earned through sales of tickets, television contracts and other merchandise related to sport. A recent study conducted in the University of Texas showed that athletic program earned revenue of approximately 120,000,000 dollars. Yet the players are not compensated. NCAA declares that a person is not eligible for sport if one have ever received payment or promised it (58). Athletes work very hard to bring revenue to the university yet they are not rewarded monetary value.

There are reasons the game student participate in colleges and universities referred to as college sports rather than professional sports. This is because the players are college students. People go to universities to improve their skills and learn how to perform their jobs better. In college student plays in in order to be pros and not to receive paycheck. Moreover, universities pay enough money to build training facilities, coaches, scholarships and directors to enhance their chance for win. If college paid the athletes there would be no more opportunity to cater for these expenses. The college helps the players to be a part of team by giving them scholarships and thus making school affordable. In addition, paying the college athlete would in turn ruin the role of the university the main purpose of which is to educate. The knowledge and skills they get in the university is not equitable to the money they would get if they were to get paid. There are many people who have suggested several reasons why the college athlete should be allowed to get compensation, but those arguments are not adequate because the main objective of a university is to educate rather than provide sports entertainments. Despite the hindrances in the system, pay to the student athlete contradicts to the primary function of education institution.

Education and scholarships

The collegiate-level athletes get higher education in colleges and universities that most of their high schoolmate would not afford. In addition, they will graduate with a degree. In other words, these players are already paid through the scholarship which is awarded according to a player’s talent determined by the training coach (“Athletic Scholarships” 23). In addition to the university degree, the student learns values that will help them in real life situation and work once they leave college.

Before they start demanding to be paid, let’s take into account the benefits they already have. The athletic scholarships are enough to cover all the expenses a student will require for a period of four years including tuition, books, medical care and meals. Most universities charges between 30,000 and 50,000 per year. In other words, each student is reimbursed the amount of money an average American would make annually.

An additionally college degree allows a student to earn more money that one would make with an ordinary high school diploma whether the student get a professional job or not. A graduate student makes an approximate additional 1 million more in their lifetime. Moreover, the students get the privilege to travel around the world.

Money allocation

Most people believe that colleges and universities make off money with the help of athletics. A sport analysis conducted indicated that only 23 out 238 departments in public schools had generated enough money to pay for their expenses. The revenue obtained from athletics however does not outweigh the cost of running the athletics programs despite the sports being used as an attraction to a university. The revenue obtained is used to pay salaries to the staff. The cost of tuition of each student is less than the salary of an athletic trainer which is 44,720 dollars according to the bureau labour statistics. These are the staffs that make the athlete to become professional and most schools can not even afford to pay the staffs, let alone the student athlete.


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Contractual Agreement

During university admission the student signs the scholarships contractual agreement. While studying at the university, the student not only gets an opportunity to play the preferred sports at a better level but also earn a university degree. Therefore, money compensation is not part of the agreement and should not be debatable matter during their tenure in the university.

Before signing these contracts, the students are aware that they will not receive extra compensation from the organization. The signing of contracts declares they are now playing for their university rather than individual. Also they represent the organizations that sponsor those universities including Nike, Adidas and Under Amour. These companies sponsor the universities as well as the athlete students. A recent study showed that the athlete student spend about seven hours weekly outside for practices.

In other words, the universities would be forced to eliminate some sports in order to pay some athletic teams. Generally, not all the universities have the capability to pay the athletes and this would result in fact that some sport has to get cut in order to get the amount required for compensation. All athlete dedicate their time to sports, therefore, it would be unfair if some its kinds were cut. If several teams were eliminated some student would have no sports and all their effort will be totally wasted.

Living the Dream

College athlete should realize that it is a privilege to get certain opportunity that most of their age mate aspire to have. They should give the game their all because that is what they love. The game is not a duty or an hourly job, but if they are paid this is what it would mean. The dedication and the passion of the game would be lost. Therefore, the question should never be about how much money the game is worth.

The favourite sport is about fulfilling their dreams. The players should be proud and passionate about how winning a game will bring gratification (Schneider and Robert 25). They should do it for the completion and the glory it brings. It is about the sacrifices an individual makes for his or her teammates he/she have trained with and for the name of the school.

It is a chance to play a game a person is passionate about for another four year. Also it is a privilege rather than a job. The college athletes are not professional ones who are paid salaries and allowances for the sport careers. This is because in college a person has access to education through participation in sport where they earn the scholarship to pay tuition and other expenses.

College athletes are not professional

A student athlete focuses on education and sport unlike professionals who focussed on sports alone. This makes the student athlete to be more passionate about sport because they are playing for the school rather than the money. If the athlete were to get compensation the innocence would be taken away. The funds that are used for academics would also reduce if they were to get paid. Also being an athletic student one is already isolated from university; therefore, compensation would increase this gap. At the end, the athletic departments would become more of a business rather than focus on helping the athlete to attain education. According to Bleacher report scholarship are met to facilitate education for student who cannot afford to attend universities. Neither were they to attract top athletes to school who had no intention to get education. When the students are allowed to be compensated, that is what a scholarship would become.

Nowadays, full scholarships are awarded to the most talented athletes rather than the needy student who cannot afford college education; universities appeals through athletic programs making it harder to attain a scholarship ("Federal student aid" par 6). If the athletes were to get paid, university popularity would be measured on the amount of compensation instead of the quality education offered. In other words paying the student will be harmful to both universities and students.

Disadvantage to small universities

Additionally, if all universities started paying athletes, this would make a difference between bigger and smaller university athletic teams. A bigger university has more revenue; therefore, it can be able to obtain the best player. On the other hand, smaller universities would not be able to afford them thus will be disadvantaged. The college sports should not be centred on the money alone. The athlete should focus more on the sport they play because not every one is lucky enough to receive the aid they do.

NCAA ensures the student’s well-being and the institution has a responsibility to maintain a good environment where the activities are conducted in a way that encourages academic success and personal development. The program of collegiate athlete is also maintained an essential component of educational program in such a way that the student athletes become a part of the student’s community. In every university or college the academic standards are designed to promote education and are consistent with the student’s society.


College sports are more of students' vehicle in attaining a graduate degree rather than a career. The access to education is dependant upon continuous participation in sports for which they receives the scholarship. Most students’ athlete graduate university without students loans which most other students have. Participating in the intercollegiate athletics is student athlete’s choice as a part of educational experience; therefore, there is a distinction between the collegiate level athlete and professional one.

Though many are in favour of salaries, the universities spend a lot of money for the players benefit and also for the sport to which they participate in. This might cause a lot of problem relating passion to salaries. The scholarships they get should be seen a privilege because many of their high school student cannot afford it. Therefore, student athlete should not be paid.

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