The Dilemma of Paying Collegiate Athletes

It’s an issue you see everywhere these days. Johnny Manziel selling his own autographs, and then making the sign for pocket change on the field. It really raises the question about whether or not college athletes should be compensated by their institutions. That has been one of hottest topics to hit the sports world in the past decade. As recent NCAA scandals have broken the surface and enraged fans, it has brought the issue firmly into the limelight. Students and fans alike have expressed their opinions about the issue; maybe the athletes should have a say.

“No I do not believe they should be paid, they receive a free education and they are given the opportunity to apply their craft on a national level,” said an anonymous Shepherd student.

While some students feel that athletes should not be paid, there is evidence that shows that the NCAA is taking advantage of highlighting these athletes without having to pay them.

Everyone knows that March Madness is huge business for the NCAA. As people around the nation focus intently on collegiate basketball, ridiculous amounts of lost work time gets racked up during March and some of April. CBS and Turner Broadcasting make more than $1 billion during the tournament. In itself, the NCAA brings home $6 billion annually. Not bad when the players are providing free entertainment.

With the money the NCAA is making on student athletes, why can’t the NCAA compensate the athletes they depict and highlight week in and week out? Well, the current situation is still in the legal system. The NCAA is currently in court with some current college football players about their likeness rights in the EA Sports “NCAA Football” series of games. The lawsuit will determine if amateur athletes should be compensated monetarily or continue to just provide scholarships and housing.

The NCAA has always been about providing an opportunity for athletes to make a name for themselves before turning professional. The real issue though is the integrity of the NCAA; is the NCAA taking advantage of young athletes for monetary gain or are they really providing the a stepping stone?

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