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Paying College Athletes: Arguments for Fair Compensation

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Should college athletes be paid? The intensity of the argument to pay college athletes has escalated in the past few years. Picture a world where every college athlete was paid by their schools to play. The controversy it would have on an organization like the NCAA. There are many questions regarding the benefits of paying college athletes and to not. Questions like: Where would the money come from, do they get paid the same for different sports?

There is no question that there are a few cons to paying college athletes. Mostly all college athletes are on scholarships. They help pay for a student’s schooling while they play the sport they play. If scholarships were taken out of the idea, and only salaries were handed out, then you would think it would be more affordable. If they gave students salaries, then it would lead to them paying taxes.

After that, depending on the athlete, taxes could be high enough to the point where they don’t earn anything and they cannot pay tuition. Payments would not be such a good idea. Athletes would be forced to commit to the highest bidding college or universities. Eventually, they would transfer the next year due to a higher offer which would be a huge financial step for those schools. A scholarship is the best fit for college athletes, buying what they need instead of what they want.

Before you know it, college sports will be 100% a business. That being said, that business could lead to a decline in the other college programs. The money from the college sports comes from these said programs which means the least popular programs would unfortunately get the boot. That could potentially deprive students of a chance to gain the proper education and experience at the college they attend, since their necessary program is cut. If that ever happened, it would be even harder for non-athletic students to get the proper care for their desired major.

Those who usually debate against paying college athletes say it would change the nature of college athletics. Realistically, playing sports in college is hard to do. Even though there are hundreds of players on a field, does not mean they eased their way there. And that goes for any sport, you have to be able to participate at a high level than high school. It is difficult to earn a position on a team. It is a dream many have to make it pro, sport analyst Dave Anderson states about 7% of high school athletes move to the next level. Another 2% of these athletes reach the Division 1 level.

For college athletes, it is not just about playing the sport. The key word in college athletes is college. These students are expected to achieve good grades in order to remain eligible to play along with earning a degree. If a student athlete does not maintain the proper grades in their classes then it could have an effect on play along with handling the discussion on an ideal scholarship. Though the educational attainment of college athletes has become a major concern in the United States, there has been little research on the relationship between participation in college sports and educational attainment. We studied more than two thousand athletes over 10 years at a major western university and found that athletes were less prepared for college and achieved less academically in college than the general student population.

There are others such as parents of these student athletes and fans of these different sports that think otherwise on the debate. One of the good reasons why college athletes should be paid is that it provides athletes to get good exposure. Every Saturday there are a bunch of college football games, top performers get rewarded with awards, for example the player of the week, and that goes for all sports. Exposure is a big thing in sports but some also agree it should be saved for the professional level like the NFL or the NBA. That exposure can be a distraction for college athletes. Some players can even lose concentration on play as they are attached to the media which is why they should not be paid

In conclusion to this argumentative essay, it should be acknowledged that it would be a hard process in trying to pay college athletes. The NCAA should not be discredited on one issue due to the mishandling of others. It is always the student athlete’s responsibility to perform at an expected level while also being a college student. With that being said, college athletes should not be paid is a valid argument that continues to be discussed today.

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Paying College Athletes: Arguments for Fair Compensation. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 31, 2023, from
“Paying College Athletes: Arguments for Fair Compensation.” GradesFixer, 18 Mar. 2021,
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