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The Main Cause of Paying College Athletes

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The phrase “student-athlete” is used all too often to describe nothing more than athletes who occasionally attend class. There are college athletes out there who never have to go to class, never have to turn in assignments, and can still have a GPA high enough to play. These kids are not getting an actual degree. They are recruited by the school to do one thing and one thing only which is to play. They are promised an education but the effort is not always there in the classroom. 

The phrase ‘student-athlete’ refers to individuals who participate in an NCAA sport while attending a university full time. The lives of student athletes revolve equally around both the classroom and the sport of the athlete. Athletes spend an incredible amount of time improving their skills so that they can perform to the best of their ability. When athletes are performing at their highest potential, colleges make the greatest revenue off of them. Not only do athletes have to deal with an immense amount of pressure from their athletic responsibilities, but they also have to balance a full course load of college level classes. Many college students struggle with passing their classes, and they aren’t even dealing with the dual roles and responsibilities that student athletes do! Between their classes and athletic duties, student athletes do not have time to work on top of playing an NCAA sport. Many college athletes come from low income families, and are only in college thanks in part to their athletic scholarships. 

Because a student athlete cannot work, they rely on their families financially for support. This can be incredibly difficult for families who are struggling to make ends meet as it. Successful student athletes are known to be the pride and joy of their universities, and often represent the traditions and values that the colleges stand for. Acting as leaders on and off the field, student athletes spend a great amount of time and effort committing themselves to not only better their sports, but their academics as well. Student athletes are held to high standards due to their magnified presence and reputation in the media and sports culture. Their skills as athletes contribute to the overall marketability of a college, and pull in millions of dollars in game revenue every season. For reasons like this, I believe that college athletes should be paid for their role as athletes.

The NCAA does not, however, allow any of the athletes to be paid no matter the sport. Student-athletes should be paid for four main reasons, for the amount of time put into sports, the potential risk playing sports has, the improper use and distribution of money, and the motivation to finish college. Student-athletes should be paid because they sacrifice so much time for their school and sport. Half of the student-athletes play a sport because it is the only way of getting a degree in college, and for the other half it is their way into the professional leagues. On the other side of the spectrum, I do see why student-athletes are not paid. College athletes should not be paid because of the fact that they are not employees. The second reason why college athletes should not be paid is the fact that they’re students first and foremost. People who argue that student athletes should not be paid say that athletes are already paid from the scholarships they receive and that student athletes cannot be paid due to their amateur status. The NCAA stands strong in their belief that college athletes should maintain an amateur status and that, if they were compensated, they would be considered professionals. 

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The Main Cause Of Paying College Athletes. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 7, 2022, from
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