Nauset Horizons

Should College Athletes Be Paid?

Jeremy Poyant, Reporter

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Do you know how much money the NCAA makes annually? According to the official NCAA website, the answer is roughly 1.1 billion dollars. Every year, the NCAA puts out the highest quality product of sports entertainment featuring some of the worlds greatest athletes. With all the revenue being made by the NCAA, a bigger question must be asked. Should NCAA athletes be compensated for the time and energy they put in to make the NCAA money?

Of course, student athletes should be compensated for their work. Nauset student JP Dysart said “with the amount of time these athletes put in to their sports and academics they absolutely deserved to be compensated, especially if they are going to be put on TV weekly to make money for the NCAA.”

The average student athlete spends around 45 hours a week on the practice field, in the gym, or doing something that’s mandatory for them to do if they want to compete. Sure these athletes receive exposure which could propel them to play the sport they love for money, but statistically that’s not as promising as it sounds.

Situations like Kevin Ware who played for the University of Louisville also make for a great argument. Ware was a stud student athlete on the Cardinals Basketball team, and looked to be on the path to become a pro if given the opportunity. On March 31, 2013 in an elite eight game during the NCAA tournament Ware suffered a gruesome injury that basically ended his basketball career.

Not only is the window small for these athletes to go pro in the first place, but their dreams could also be shattered in one quick moment. For sports like Major League Baseball and ice hockey which have the highest percentage of college to pro those athletes still only have less than a 10% chance. Then sports like basketball and football see less than a 2% chance of turning pro. So with that being said, the opportunity to play the sport these athletes love for money isn’t very good.

Then you have to consider the amount of money these athletes could be making if they spent their practice time working at an actual paying job. Even if they made minimum wage which federally is about $7 they could make about $9,500 a year while still attending school.

Nauset’s James McCully who recently committed to UNH to play soccer says, “I think the amount of money college athletes make should depend on the salaries of the pro players of that sport.” So The college athlete should be making a percentage of what the pro players for their corresponding sport make. How is it fair that the NCAA can sign a 10.8 billion dollar deal with

CBS (a national television provider) and these students don’t see a single penny of that money. They have to put on the show that makes that money, yet can’t even go to dinner with a coach if they aren’t paying for it themselves?

“If student athletes received a stipend of $10,000 (the amount of money they could make if the worked) the amount of problems this would solve would be ground breaking” says Myles Pellegrini.

If these student athletes were granted a stipend, then all the struggling high school athletes who didn’t grow up in the best parts of the world won’t be tempted to accept big illegal payments from larger schools. The NCAA has been dealing with scandals like these for years, including very recently with the University of Arizona’s Deandre Ayton, who is thought to have accepted $100,000 to attend that school. Sure $10,000 isn’t $100,000, but it would be a lot less tempting to break the rules if you weren’t worried about where your next meal came from. If these athletes would have some spending money their lives would be changed dramatically.

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Should College Athletes Be Paid?