A Corrupt System
Athletes all around the country train their whole lives for the chance to play at the division 1 level. These athletes have little interest in school and train because of their love for their respective sport. The idea of paying these college athletes is not far fetched. The NCAA makes a lot of money from athletes, and in return players receive stipends each month to take care of expenses, but this is equivalent to pocket change compared to what the NCAA makes.The NCAA takes advantage of their athletes by seducing them with luxury gifts. Scholarships are the form of pay for these guys and Scholarships are worth near nothing, and college basketball and football players in Division 1 need to be paid fairly for their contributions toward The NCAA.
The start of commercialized sports began in 1892, between Yale and Harvard. This was the beginning of the profit maximizing sports that we all know of today. (Beamon) The NCAA margin of profit is ridiculous. Schools started to overlook how smart people were and started to accept people solely on how talented they are at their sports. Colleges give out full scholarships to this day to athletes that do not even go to school for education. This depreciates the value of a scholarship. Scholarships were meant to be a reward for academic efforts earlier in life, and now most scholarships we see going out to students are athletic scholarships. These scholarships are not always full as well. Sometimes it only includes tuition, and sometimes its can be less than half. Just because schools say they give scholarships does not always mean that they are fully paid college and room and board contracts
With the athletes generating nearly 1 trillion dollars in the last 40 years, getting a degree and a well paying job would only account for 5% of their contribution. This is slavery. Although no one is being forced to do anything, they are enticed to work hard every year just to have the smallest chance to go pro. While all the executives and coaches are banking off of them. Athletes that do not make it pro are hurt the most from this system. After 4 years of grinding and generating your school millions, your left with a degree that is worth virtually nothing. No Special talent was developed because these schools pushed these kids through classes and pass them without them learning anything. Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants is a prime example of this. He would never go to class but then show up once for the exam and magically finish off with an A. Saquon is obviously in the league, but for most of his teammates in college, they will not be taking their talents to the next level. Now most of these guys are extremely un-educated. I think that’s what the university’s want just so no one is smart enough to speak out against them. It may have worked for years in the past, but this is a new era, people are getting smarter and sticking up for themselves more than ever. This situation is almost identical to the situation in the catholic church, when they would charge you so you don’t have to go to purgatory. Then came along Martin Luther and just like Luther, players today are breaking away from the norm and standing up for what they believe. They will not let the rich and powerful university’s take advantage of them anymore and in the future we could very well see a shift in power. power to the people.
College football and basketball is a business. Scholarships are not guaranteed and can be stripped for them at any time the programs feel they are not performing well enough for them. Schools can do this because they know there are thousands of kids that would kill to be in the spotlight and play for them. These players are considered amateurs, this is the argument NCAA chooses to side with of why they do not offer these guys contracts. If the NCAA does not want pay them, they shouldn’t advertise their athletes. The March Madness basketball tournament alone brings in an average of 80 million viewers. This generates billions of dollars for these schools, because on top of revenue generated from these events, it puts their school on a pedistal and attendance rate greatly increases as people go to some of these schools solely on the purpose of being a fan of their sports programs.
Scandals have started to come up all over the NCAA for football and basketball all the time. Schools that have exceptional athletes try to give them more than the 500$ stipend allowed. In 2010 the University of Southern California (USC) got sanctioned for their efforts to maintain running back Reggie Bush. USC bought Bush’s mother a new house rent free. As well as new cars and other non cash assets. This brought a lot of out lash because Bush was very poor and USC was just trying to help the kid out since they are not able to pay their players. Some people get angered by this because they think college athletes are armatures. Technically they might be, but they are generating revenue. It would be fair to pay the people that generate so much money for schools. ( Branch)
Athletes have such a disadvantage, because their is no union, and they are bossed around from the so called business of the NCAA. It is a monopoly that has total control over its employees. These athletes work for a business that doesn’t even pay them. If they are to speak up they are most likely kicked to the curb and told if they are not happy, then dont play. Pay to play is greatly impacted by public sentiment as well. The public still agrees with the fact that they are college students, but this is more of a jealousy factor over anything. People think that since they were not paid during their years, that athletes should wait to go pro. This logically makes sense so a common person that never played a sport, and doesn’t know how much time is put in to be good at a sport. It would be unfair if everyone was nationally televised and put in extreme pressures to perform, but thats not the case. These athletes are branded by their schools and bring in a huge cash flow, one that students do not bring to their universities. These athletes are not students working for a degree, they are already in a business working for a chance to move into another business.
The NCAA is full of profit craving sharks. These people only care about their pay checks and will do anything to increase them each year. They give the players lavish lifestyles to keep them happy. Players get to experience the 1st class life of the rich elite for the 4 years that they are in school. This keeps the athletes in a mindset where they only think about the now, and not what their futures will be like. With hundreds of millions being poured into stadiums and facilities, these players will have a life not many other people can live. Alabama just made an extension to their stadium totaling in over 600 million just on renovations. That should give you an idea on how much these top tier schools make off of their top sports. There are currently 6 executives in the NCAA that make north of 700,000$ a year. These people are working jobs where they direct and advertise other people to make money.
Athletes do not often speak up about not getting paid, because often they are offered illegal forms of pay. Athletes receive anything from houses to cars. This may seem like they are getting paid, but often these valuables are only short term. Along with the 500$ stipend each athlete receives, they get new phones, TVs, apple watches, gold chains, designer clothes and other expensive things to keep them happy, as well as fame. The fame doesnt last forever but for atleast the 4 years they are in school they have a chance to be the talk of espn journalists and other big news networks across the world. These goods often increase in value, depending on how big the game that they won. Along with trips to the white house and other ways they get to spend their time as champions. (if they win) It is not known to the public( I have multiple friends that play at the division 1 FCS level) but these things are often taken away from the athletes after their years are done in college. This is extremely disturbing because these athletes work so hard and the closest thing they get to pay only lasts during the time they are in college. There is no saving and the athletes do not get any richer while playing for the NCAA. When athletes win bowl games or big championship games, they are gifted with anything they want, from vacations to cars. This is not put out to the public and is one of the secrets of the NCAA. Maybe if people saw this they would agree on paying these players as short term professionals so they can legally receive a fair pay day.
Scholarships are opportunity. They path way for new lives for people who worked really hard to get it. It is a reward system for the few. Opportunity. One word means so much to what College is. What they give and who they help. They dedicate their lives to furthering human development. Without them there would never be an elite professional sport because everyone would just be under developed and average. They give individuals who come straight off the street and turn them into millionaires. How can one say they are bad people when Colleges are helping all these underprivileged kids succeed. They build the people that will eventually run our world and that doesn’t come at a free price, but they try to help and give students scholarships. It may seem extremely controversial that NCAA does not pay athletes, but they have a scholarship, and besides they are working to hopefully go pro. The money there is worth the wait. The whole point of being an ameature is to not get paid. You must work up the ranks in the sport and make it to pay level, if not Colleges still give free school to do something else with their lives. The NCAA is all about opportunity, but not about equality. You may disagree with their methods, but they don’t care because they will still make billions, also if athletes got paid, it would defeat the purpose of school. The price to attend these big schools will rise greatly. Students would also be asking for pay since the athletes get paid, and it would put colleges at a real disadvantage. Colleges’ infrastructure would start to crumble and all of these big schools would fall. In the end there wont be any schools for these athletes to play at, so there will be a ton of wasted talent all because athletes got greedy. College athletes are already on scholarship, so if colleges were to give them a pay day, They would take that away, and athletes would have to pay them, and for most of the athletes, they would be in debt, and not even have the free education anymore. One could say that scholarships are better then getting paid cash. College sports have been around for decades, the corrupt system needs to end and there needs to be Reform.
In Most Universities, athletics is held at a higher standard than education. Athletes are treated like superiors in society, and receive a lot of attention. Colleges try to make it so these guys can do the bare minimum and still get a degree, but there comes a time when services are not enough, and these guys need money. When players do not have enough money to return home over the summer, that’s when you know there is trouble. The NCAA makes over 1 billion dollars a year off of huge TV contracts, and they wont even give their players money so they can use their breaks. (Sanderson) Most universities are dedicated to athletics over academics for a number of reasons. One is that legislation. Most people enjoy Football and Basketball, and if schools dedicate most of their time and money toward sports, they will be allocated funds by the state toward their football programs, because most states have a large following backing their university’s sports programs. Another reason is that they may increase private donations if they prioritize sports. Famous athletes like Michael Jordan donate millions of dollars back to their Alma-mater as a thank you and for school pride. Just the presence of high profile sports greatly increases a schools likability. Many big schools like Penn State and Alabama would be virtually nothing if there were no big sports programs.
Scholarships are a terrible excuse to say its pay for athletes. These are not guaranteed and are worthless to athletes. They go to college to play not to learn. It is a way for colleges to save money, they provide a service instead of cash, so they save a ton of money. Corporations banking on these players such as Nike and Under Armour, are not even allowed to endorse them. Which I do not think they care about that rule because it saves them a ton of money and they are not taking any of the fall during this controversy if things were to go right and players are paid. Only University’s will pay for it, but these big businesses are just as much in the wrong as they brand the players with their logo, and support the argument that they receive scholarships, so they don’t need pay. The Same companies that market their business as being for the players. Players show off their shoes and market their brand and in return big corporations don’t even pay them. These sharks steal from the poor to make themselves richer and they do it on a promise of a contract if they go pro. The big key word is If. Most college athletes in the top earning sports do not make it to the pro level, but they still put in just as much time and energy as the ones that do make it.
Athletes that graduate as students have it the worst. These people got through their whole college career laying low and doing the bare minimum. Their diploma may say they graduated, but it does not say they are educated. They will go into fields where they may only last a short period of time due to lack of education toward their degree. This really hurts them because they have a worthless degree because jobs won’t hire people that do not know how to do the job their diploma says they know how to do. They are supposed to be experts in their field after college but instead wind up having freshman level academics. This causes many athletes to be unemployed or working jobs that didn’t even require a college education in the first place, like construction or part time football coach. Some of those jobs pay really good, but for a school to pay athletes with an education they didnt even use, while they gave them their talent for 4 years is un fair. Colleges are basically getting talent for free.
The men that run the NCAA are so rich and powerful, it is going to take more than just the athletes to get fair pay. We need to take action as well. The public needs to speak out against this more to create more change. These men that run this will not stop and the only way for them to start paying up is if we do something about it. Im not saying boycott the games or anything, but if we start a conversation and spread awareness about the real issues that are going on then maybe we can get some help from more powerful individuals that will help our cause. Reform is a must for the NCAA. They still operate on the same values when it was established in 1902. We need a more progressive platform that will support our players and change with time. The athletes deserve better and the NCAA won’t make it better without a change in the public’s heart.
As you can see, the NCAA’s corrupt values need to end. Instead of trying to hide the cars and other valuables players get, they should make their business legitimate and start signing players solely on the purpose of their sport. So Universitys can focus their scholarships on academic purposes. Nothing is free in this world and work shouldn’t be either. These players are making their schools millions, the least they could do is pay them. But it starts with the people starting a conversation. The players want to speak out but feel as if what they have is “good enough” but in reality they know for sure how badly they are being ripped off. If universitys dont want to change then these players will find other ways they can make money. It is a big waste of time going to school if one is only there for sports. They would go straight to the NFL but there are rules that you must play atleast 2 years of football before going pro, which is a way for the NCAA to ensure that they will never lose any money. The broke scholarships must come to an end and athletes must get what they deserve.
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Sanderson, A. R., & Siegfried, J. J. (2015, January/February). The Case for Paying College Athletes. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/43194698?pq-origsite=summon&seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents