Updated: Oct 21, 2019
Since the start of the NCAA when it was founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910 college athletes in sports such as football and basketball have been granted scholarships for their talent but never paid. It has become a major issue in recent years due to the realization from players that they risk their careers going to college and the NCAA makes money off their names and is a billion dollar business, so the players think they deserve some of that money. Should College Athletes be paid?
Like mentioned, players risk their careers going to play in college and if they get injured or something happens to them their stock plummets and professional teams won’t want to take them in the draft. An example of this is Inky Johnson, the college football player who went to the university of Texas and was months away from being a top prospect in the draft and making millions, but in his last college game he sustained a career-ending injury and didn’t get any of that money he was supposed to. This risk could be avoided by taking away the one and done rule (which requires players to go to college for one year before entering the draft) because today’s players are so skilled they could go to the professional level immediately if they wanted to, or just pay the players!
Many players are already being illegally paid by their coaches to entice them to come join their school. It is turning the NCAA into a scandal-filled market and paying players would make it a level, recruiting playing field again. Many players have also lost out on million dollar contracts because their careers went downhill in college.
Whether its from injury or off-the-field issues. It is unfair that players devote more hours a week into their sport than school or work because their school requires them too, yet they don’t get paid for it. People try to argue that their education is already paid for but in reality, the student-athlete title is a joke.
Most college players just show up to class to meet the minimum requirements so they can play their sport because that’s all they’re focused on. An example of this is Ben Simmons who plays for the Philadelphia 76ers. When he went to LSU he claimed himself and most of his teammates as well as friends around the league went to class first semester, maintained their 1.8 GPA that's required and then they never go to class again because they were going to the NBA in a couple months and are getting their bodies ready. A 1.8 GPA is literally nothing so the NCAA stating that it is a student-athlete culture is a lie because the athletes don’t even utilize it.
Regardless, the NCAA uses their players faces and names on all of their jerseys and commercials and merchandise and the players don’t make a dime off of it. The NCAA is an 11 billion dollar business so they should be able to pay their players some of it for making the brand what it is.
To help solve the dispute between the NCAA and its players. The NCAA should be ordered to pay their players a base salary that is appropriate to let the players have their own money to spend while they are required to travel with the team.