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Today, the NCAA is a multi-billion industry that benefits from the success of the athletes that serve it. They make roughly one billion dollars a year off of their student athletes. Many times these athletes commit themselves to their college programs for the three to five years they are there. Often these athlete’s bodies will face horrors as they gradually destroy themselves over time, but once that student is no longer a part of the team, they stop receiving benefits from their college for their injuries. I firmly believe that college athletes deserve to be paid for their countless hours of work and for the revenue they bring in for their universities.
It is critical to understand just how far collegiate sports have come in the last hundred years. The two sports that the NCAA benefits the most from are football and men’s basketball. Over time, football and basketball have become extremely valuable on the collegiate level along with a number of other sports which have produced such large amounts of revenue. And as for the future, the value of all of these programs will only continue to rise due to man’s hunger for competition.
Paying college athletes can have a multitude of benefits. For example, it will teach young men and women how to start budgeting in their day to day lives with bills and rent payments and so on so that when their athletic careers do come to an end the transition into the working world will be a smooth transition. Players could possibly be given contracts and would be bound to those contracts and would be deemed punishable if they failed to follow their contract’s rules.
Today college athletes are usually disciplined through physical punishment if they do something wrong enough whether it be on or off the field. Unfortunately, they are trained to work themselves beyond normal points of limitation. This means that if someone is having a recurring problem and they continuously perform these workouts, they will become acclimated to them and then the entire point of the punishment is inferior. But, if given a base salary and a contract stating that the team has the right to take their money in the scenario that they do breach said contract. Now you would have their attention because there’s no true means of getting this money back. The reasoning for this is the fact that money is truly power. This also poses a much better learning lesson for the athlete, unless you are military you will almost never be physically punished for something you do. If given the opportunity to be paid reasonably as they earn a degree, I feel as if athletes will become more inclined to stay in school longer in hopes of earning a degree.
Not only do the athletes want to get paid but they would also like to avoid any type of injury whether or not it is career-threatening. Often times professional organizations can offer better medical services than that of a college due to insurance reasons and resources offered to them. It’s also worth noting that some players leave early because they cannot balance and maintain the duties of athletics, school, and social life. Average career lengths in each of the three major U.S. sports are as follows: NFL 3.3 years, NBA 4.8 years, and 5.6 for the MLB. Considering you must attend college for three years for football, one year for basketball, and no college is required for baseball, it is fairly obvious as to why the career lengths are as long as they are in the professional organizations, as college career length increases, professional career length is decreased. It’s important to understand that every year college athletes are sometimes making the wrong decision in an attempt to get out of school/avoid injury and putting themselves into these professional settings that could be short lived with absolutely no backup plan. A choice must be made, whether the athlete makes it a 4 year decision or they decide to make it a 40 year decision is their own.
I do understand that paying college athletes may be consequential because athletes are already given scholarships and paying them may take away from the integrity of the game. But what a lot of people don’t understand is that almost all the time, teams will put in hours, days, months, and years of work all just to play a few games for the entertainment of others.
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