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Is it time to pay college athletes? NO

April 28, 2014

Over the past couple of years the topic of paying college athletes for the work they do and money they earn for their respective schools has been circulating rapidly.

College sports generate nearly $11 billion a year in revenues, and many argue a portion of those profits should be given to pay student-athletes; however, I disagree.

It is my belief that the experience, education and life lessons learned while in college consist of enough reciprocation for the work college athletes do on the field.

Yes, these young men and women earn millions of dollars for their schools, but what they get in return is much more valuable than money.

Many student-athletes get put on scholarship, which often times pays for room and board, tuition and textbooks. For a regular college student these costs can be upwards of $40,000 a year.

The NCAA website explains that most student-athletes go pro in something other than sports, which I think supports the fact that they should not be paid for playing sports through college. If this statistic is true, which I mean come one, of course it is, those student-athletes are ultimately playing sports as an extracurricular activity and their real motivation is the education they are getting and the skills, experiences and degree the receive after their four or five year stint in school.

I have heard multiple people complain that because these students are not compensated for their work and time on the field they should get payment because they are unable to get a job due to practices, games and other events they are required to attend. Again, I just cannot wrap my brain around it. I do not understand how partial or full scholarship is not enough compensation for the hours spent in the weight room, film room and in between.

There is definitely a maturity factor as well. What 18 or 19-year-old do you know that would be completely responsible and safe with hundreds of thousands of dollars? Athletes are often the center of attention with certain on campus altercations and events, paying them for their efforts in their sport would significantly increase deviant activity and risky behavior.

Because of the age of athletes, the environment they are in with other young adults and the potential for even more drastic campus events, altercations and incidents I really believe that an additional compensation of a salary or wage is unnecessary.

I think there is something to be learned through the process of being an amateur and moving upward into an actual career. Many college degrees, mine included, require internship credits in order to graduate. As I’m sure all students and recent graduates can agree that most of these internships are unpaid. Instead of getting paid in the monetary fashion for the work you are doing, you have to pay your college for the credits being awarded for the internship.

I think this example goes hand-in-hand with the debate of paying student-athletes. On top of being in school, they are doing something they enjoy, trying to perfect their skills and getting an education. In my eyes that is the same as what a normal student does during their college career. You are working hard toward your end-game goal, which is walking across that stage at graduation, grabbing your diploma and beginning the hunt for your first full-time position.

The rewards received from establishing yourself in the real world once your conventional learning process is over completely outweighs the costs, annoyances and struggles spent during your time in college. Eventually, athlete or not, everyone will receive their dues for the work they have done and the accomplishments they have achieved.

— Michelle Meunier, Staff Writer

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