For years this has been an ongoing debate, and my opinion on it isn’t going to change anytime soon.
No, they shouldn’t.
I realize that student-athletes help generate a profit for their schools, but they are being paid through scholarships, whether it’s a Division I athlete on a full ride, or a Division III athlete who gets $8,000 in “book money.”
Any athlete who doesn’t think it’s enough is, frankly, being greedy. Being able to go to school for free because of a sport and only worry about personal expenses is a privilege in my mind. I’m already in the books for $100,000 in loans, I can’t imagine a world where I only had to take out $3,000 each year for personal expenses. After getting a degree, paying that loan money back would be like spitting in the ocean.
Sure, a lot of time is put into athletics, never mind the fact you have to budget your time to get good grades. However, I’m sure it’s a lot better than having to bus tables five days a week.
If student-athletes were to be paid, where would it end? Would we have to extend this type of system down to the high school level? I know there are a lot of high schools out in Texas that are making bank on Friday nights for football.
Not to mention there would be no reason for a student-athlete to go to a smaller school if they are just going to get more money at a larger one. Once it becomes about the money I don’t see a way for smaller schools to keep up. I know that if I’m going to get more money, I would much rather sit the bench for UConn basketball than start at Quinnipiac. Let’s be realistic, the only fair way to compensate athletes in the first place would be based on a percentage of what the school is making, and smaller schools don’t turn out the same earnings in ticket sales, merchandise, etc.
If we start down the road of further compensating student-athletes it will only be chaos. None of us are stupid; rules are broken. After learning about the University of Miami football scandal, I can’t imagine what the more successful football programs are doing for their players.
What I’ve always loved about college sports though is that there aren’t any contract disputes, demanded trades, or lockouts. There is no business aspect of it, the purity is what makes collegiate athletics so great, and I just hope that never changes.