Young Runs

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Should College Athletes Be Paid?

Should College Athletes Be Paid?

College sports bring in big dollars every year on the major college level. These programs bring $30 and sometimes $40 million dollars per year to the universities and colleges and the players get nothing. These are the same players who are breaking their backs for the university day in and day out and can’t get a share of that money and, to me, that does not seem fair. I know what you may be thinking: that these student athletes are getting a free education or have gotten a scholarship to play ball at that university. To me, that’s the least they could be doing.

When I look at college football on Saturdays and see packed stadiums with cheering fans paying big money for a ticket I say, what business out there could run a company and not pay its workers? You would think I was talking about some Third World country! Pay the players now, please!

Think about this one: most of the college coaches get six figure salaries– big college programs and small ones. Some of these college coaches get shoe contracts, some get T.V. and radio contracts and many other perks along the way. Also, if they are a good coach and win games they will be offered another coaching job somewhere else with bigger money and larger perks! The student athletes get nothing and, to me, something should be done about that. Please pay the players now!

They will keep telling you that the athletes are getting the free education, free books, free room and board and the chance at a good college education that will last a lifetime. So what! Pay the players! I see this whole college thing as slave-labor! Coaches make big money on the backs of these players. You hear stories about college athletes taking money or getting paid under the table. You hear these stories of players getting cars and lots of cash, you hear stories of players getting all of this and more on the side. You hear about the player’s families getting cars and houses to attend that college program. This goes on all the time in secret!

Why do the players take this money and cars and houses for their families and much more? Well one reason is recruiting; some college programs feel that in order to get a major college recruit they have to offer these things. Some college programs (not all) have to give something to get these kids. Some of these players come from poor backgrounds, so for these kids to get some money is a big deal especially if the players and their families don’t have money anyway.

Being a college athlete is very hard. In the first placed the amount of hours that these players put in is a lot–every day of every week. They are in class all day then there’s practice after practice, they go eat dinner if they can and then go study. Now all of this may sound simple to you but the amount of time these student athletes are putting in is huge. Then the coaches want more. There could be film to study and there could be times when they are being seen by the athletic trainer. As a student athlete, you have to focus on your studies and your athletic performance or they will try to get rid of you.

College athletics is hard. Sometimes at the end of the day you are exhausted and don’t feel like studying or if they have some kind of study table for the players you may not be able to totally focus and, oftentimes, your attention is elsewhere. Just think about the millions of people who go to work every day. They work long hours and may have long commutes to and from home. I’m sure the last thing working people want to do is spend extra hours doing more work. Most working people want to relax, maybe have a beer and watch some T.V. then call it a day. The big difference is they are getting paid for the service and time and college ball players are not.

Most of the college student athletes do not get their college degrees and one reason is the workouts and the games that they play. There is so much pressure to do well that something will fall off and that something is their education. College coaches have been known to look the other way as it relates to student athletes and their academics as long as that player can help win games.

For most college athletes, when their eligibility is used up the college programs have no more need for their services. Why would they? For 4 years these college programs have worked these young men and women to death every day. The college programs have gotten all that they could get out of these players and then some. At the college level or at any level it’s only about winning games and bringing in big money.

Take a look at baseball; if a high school baseball player is really good, he can be offered a contract to sign with a major league baseball team. Sometimes the offer is $200,000 and, I’ve heard, as much as $2 million dollars. Now if that high school baseball player takes that money then they forfeit their college eligibility. Some high school baseball players pass on the money to attend college where they can get better, sharpen their baseball skills and be drafted again by a major league team. Many high school baseball players take the money and take the chance to try and make it in the major leagues. A great many players never make it to the majors. Some playing in the minor leagues for years until they realize that their dream of playing in the majors is not going to happen and they move on to something else.

Once you take that money you can’t go back and try to play college baseball. The same is true for all the other sports. You’ll have high school basketball players trying to make it to the NBA; you have young men try out for the NFL. Many of these athletes never gave education a chance and many who are in college never got their degree.

College athletes struggle with their academics. Many do not graduate and some just quit altogether. College athletics is not for everyone and many student athletes can’t cut it so pay the players! Pay them something for all their time and their efforts!

When these college programs are playing in bowl games and making millions on the backs of the players and the players get nothing still, that’s wrong. When its “March Madness” time for college basketball and millions are glued to the T.V. every day for hours and the players are giving their all–they still get nothing!

Why would it be a problem to pay players? The schools are making millions of dollars any way. This is not Mexico or China where the workers are getting paid $1.00 per hour to make billions for some corporation–you know slave labor!

Why do you think players take money from many outside sources? Why do players get suspended from the team for breaking team rules? Why are college programs put on probation? It’s all because of money. You have many players coming from disadvantaged backgrounds where there is no money in their families. If these disadvantaged young student athletes had to pay for college out of their own pockets, most would not be in a college at all.

Some student athletes come from backgrounds where the educational system is not that good. Their school districts are under-funded and mismanaged. For many student athletes, their way out is an education with the full athletic scholarships. Playing a sport is their future. Many student athletes only focus on athletics thinking that one day they will be good enough to play in the pros. So when money is dangled in front of the faces of some student athletes, the temptation has to be overwhelming!

For a great many years we have heard stories of players and coaches getting in trouble because of money. We’ve heard of situations of entire college programs being killed off by the NCAA because of money being given to players. Why do they do it? Why is money a problem? One reason is because it’s easy to get certain types of players from certain kinds of backgrounds. Big-time college programs can only survive with big-time major college players so they pay them. We all know that paying college athletes is wrong (set by the guidelines of the NCAA). But this rule needs to change now.

If college athletes are getting scholarships then they can be paid. If players are getting paid, then I believe you would have more college athletes graduate from college because there would be a stronger incentive to work hard in the classroom. Larger universities pay college coaches more based on their performance and the players should get paid as well.

If the players are getting paid then this corruption would stop. No more booster paying players, no more college players selling their shoes, no more college players taking jobs that pay them big money just to work a few hours. It’s hard out there for a student athlete! Did you know that a non-student athlete can get a job to earn extra money and can work around their schedules but a student athlete can’t have a job until the school year is over and there are restrictions as to the type of job they can have.

In the game of college athletics, the rules are not fair for the college student athletes! The playing field is not equal. Pay the players!