Is it time to Pay College Athletes?
Colleges and universities around the United States are making millions of dollars from free labor. How are these academic institutions getting away with such a devious, underhanded deed? They are classing top athletes as amateurs and reaping the rewards of each sportsperson’s hard work.
You may wonder what the fuss is all about when it comes to collegiate athletes not being paid. They get a free education, right? Wrong. Although university teams are able to give out scholarships, Division I basketball programs are only allowed to hand out 13 scholarships. These are usually divided amongst players and some scholarships are only partial. Therefore, athletes and their parents are on the hook to pay the rest of the way.
Still not convinced the NCAA and college athletics are broken? Consider that the highest-paid public employee in the US is Alabama football coach Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide head coach earns over $11 million a season while public employees such as teachers, police officers, and fire fighters earn a fraction of Saban’s wage.
According to a study completed by GoBankingRates.com, found that the top 39 highest-paid public employees in the US are all Division I college and university basketball or football coaches. That statistic should not only anger Americans, and those students attending the schools, but it should reinforce the idea that the players should be getting paid. The coach only does so much, he – and in every case it is a he – is not putting his body on the line.
In a recent ESPN interview with commentator and basketball analyst Jay Bilas, he stated players should be paid to prevent them from being exploited. His use of the term ‘exploited’ is a well-chosen word. Players are being used as indentured servants as they chase their dreams of being professional athletes.
In most cases, collegiate athletes will never make it to the professional ranks and they may not even have a good education to fall back on. Therefore, making money for the future could be a way to set themselves up post-collegiate sports.
Of course, Bilas’ comments came after reports of Nike paying Zion Williamson to play at Duke made the news. Bilas argues that companies such as Nike pay universities millions of dollars in exchange for using college basketball players as billboards to make back ten times what they pay the schools.
Everyone is making money off of college sports and university athletes except for the players. In any other line of work, there would be an outcry by the public; but it seems most fans either turn a blind eye to the situation or are ignorant to it.
Nike’s alleged payments to Williamson’s mother for her son to attend Duke shouldn’t shock anyone. For over 40 years, athletes have been going to universities thanks to third-parties paying them to do so.
In 1987, Southern Methodist University’s football program was put under the “Death Penalty” after the NCAA found it had paid athletes. The practice had been going on for years and the likes of Eric Dickerson and his family made a lot of money. Anyone who thinks college athletics are squeaky clean is naive.
One thing is definitely for sure, it is time for schools to stop paying such exorbitant funds to coaches and give some of that money to players putting their bodies on the line.