Should College Athletes be Paid?


O’Neil, Daniel X. Football Field. 2011. Flickr. Web. 28 Jan. 2016. <;.

The NCAA is one of the top grossing companies in the United States. This company has many employees, and most of the employees go unpaid. These employees are student athletes. NCAA athletes also are held to a high social and academic standard.

College athletes produce a large profit from ticket sales, merchandising, and etc. According to, a typical NCAA athlete devotes 43.3 hours a week, 3.3 more than the average employee around the United States. The top ten income-producing colleges make an average of over one hundred million dollars. If student athletes receive money, it is in the form of a scholarship; however, only top athletes receive scholarships, but the occasional preferred walk-on pays full tuition with a hope of earning money for tuition. Non-scholarship athletes deserve a cut of income. If colleges shared profits with student athletes, more players would receive financial support from the university. If players received money instead of scholarships, the money would allow them to buy a better tutor, school supplies, and other educational necessities.

Student athletes are held to a high academic standard on top of the responsibilities of their sport. NCAA athletes are required to maintain at least a 2.3 Grade Point Average. Some argue that athletes should be held to an even higher academic standard. Student athletes have to hold a higher than average GPA, on top of their practice and game schedule that often has players traveling around the country. With the amount of travel along with the sport itself, students have little to no time to study and do homework. Athletes deserve to be compensated for their hard work in the classroom and on the field. The NCAA’s tournament schedule requires athletes across the country to often miss class. The national championship for football was played on a Monday causing students to miss the first day of spring classes. March Madness causes students to miss at least six days of class. Some argue that student athletes are able to go to college because they play a sport where they otherwise might not be able to afford it. However, they aren’t really being paid when they lose time in the classroom due to on field and court responsibilities.

College athletes are put under a lot of social pressure and often become depressed. When performing well, competitors are often the center of attention and idolized ; however, athletes often have hatred expressed towards them and demoralized after losing a game or a bad performance. In a game early this season, Blake O’Neill, Michigan’s punter received death threats after botching a punt. This punt led to Michigan losing. Some of those comments can be seen on With money athletes receive they could buy material things to make them happy. Success in college sports is a direct correlation in improving the application rates, increasing caliber of students.

In conclusion, college athletes deserve to be paid. Not only for the amount of money made for universities, not mentioning the social and academic standards athletes are held to.