Opinion: College athletes should be paid


Benny Burke, Writer

The debate on whether college athletes should be paid has posed serious ethical arguments between both sides. Many argue that college athletes should be paid, while others argue against it.

As of now, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has presented some ideas and plans to help college athletes make money. These athletes would be allowed to make money from their “name, image and likeness.” But they will not be paid by the school directly. Numerous states have passed laws to allow them to be endorsed as well. 

The NCAA and its schools as a whole makes around 19 billion dollars a year from college sports, while about 8 billion dollars makes its way to the NCAA as revenue. This is more than half of the money that the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB) make combined. The combined total is between 33 to 34 billion dollars. However, as the association has stated, payment won’t come directly from them or the athletes’ school. They can only gain money from sponsors, businesses they create, social media, etc.

An argument could be said that these players shouldn’t be paid because they already have scholarships and so much more. Although this may be true, the NCAA makes too much money off of these players to not let them be endorsed in one way or another. This would simply be ethically wrong.

According to the NCAA website, the 1,100 schools in cooperation with them spent about 3.7 billion dollars on coach compensation alone. The average salary for a college football coach is 2.7 million dollars, according to USA today, while top coaches make upwards of 7 million. As for basketball coaches their average salaries range from 100,000 to 7,000,000. But, with these inordinate amounts of money, it would be thought that the players would also get a cut of the money— especially because athletes are the entire source of the monetary. 

On Dec. 16, the Supreme Court decided that the NCAA had transgressed federal antitrust laws. By restricting which players could receive compensation from third-party sponsors and advertisers. So, as of now, big steps are being taken toward the goal of paying these athletes.