Football players on a football field

Why College Athletes Should Be Paid

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Do you know that college sports bring in between $30 million to $40 million to the universities every year? This isn’t a small figure. No wonder, many universities lay so much emphasis on sporting activities. However, it’s sad that the players aren’t paid for their sweat.

This happens, even though these players break their backs year in year out, but can’t enjoy the fruits of their hard work. This isn’t fair. Though some might argue that some college athletes get scholarships to play, while others get free education, it is obvious that what these athletes bring to the universities is far much more than what the universities give them in return.

Let’s explore some reasons why college athletes need to get paid.

Athletics Can Be a Source Of Income For The Students

Students who take part in athletics do not have time for side hustles. To them, there’s nothing like free time. This is because most of the time, they will be in the field practising.

The NCAA requires that the time students take in the field should be limited to only 20 hours per week, but this isn’t the case. Many students report that, on average, they spend about 28 hours in the field every week. Some spend far more than that.

The time the students spend in the field is more than the time many people spend on part-time jobs. This denies the students an opportunity to work as their colleagues.

Even though they sometimes get tuition waivers and some stipends to cover standard college expenses, they never get any cash to pay for incidentals such as clothes, recreation, and food. Doesn’t this justify some payment for college athletes?  Of course, it does.

Paying College Athletes Would Make Them Healthier

Another reason why college athletes should be paid is that a student can not manage to study, participate in sports activities, and also work part-time. A student who attempts to do this will end up leading a stressful life, which is not good for his or her health.

When college athletes get paid, they’ll not need to look for employment elsewhere to take care of their daily needs. They will concentrate on their studies and sports activities without having to worry about how to make ends meet.

It’s also disturbing that the images of some walk-on players are used by the NCAA to generate revenues, but these players are never compensated. This makes these students feel misused and adds more to their stress.

Paying College Athletes Provides Relief For Their Families

Since college athletes can not involve themselves in any income-generating activities, they depend on their families for upkeep.

These students are not allowed to sell any personal memorabilia or autograph items to generate revenues. This means all sources of income are blocked for them. If they get paid, it will be a great relief to the students and their families.

It Provides Another Motivation To Play

As stated earlier, tuition waivers or scholarships may not be enough to appreciate the contribution made by college athletes to their respective universities. This means another form of motivation is needed for the students. Paying them is an incentive to play more and perform better.

This is also a way of encouraging them to become professional athletes. As of now, the NCAA reports that less than two per cent of college players and up as professional players. By offering college players a stipend, something like a work-study program, many of them would have a reason to play and become professional players.

 They can use the money to pay for other expenses not covered by their scholarships. Students who know they won’t continue with athletics after graduation are more likely not to give their best.

Paying College Athletes Would End Corruption

This is perhaps the most important reason why college athletes should be paid. Are you aware that there are apparel representatives, agents, shoe executives, coaches, and other professionals who conspire and pay recruits to join certain colleges? This is a practice that has been going on for years but is covered from the eyes of the public by those involved.

Paying high school students to select particular colleges is an offence that needs to be stopped at all costs. The best way to do this is to pay college athletes. When high school students know they’ll get paid while at the universities, they would allow themselves to get manipulated.

Paying College Athletes Would Attract Players Who Can Stay Longer In The Program

Students join colleges to earn degrees. This is their top priority. However, students who plan to take athletics as their profession may consider college life as a stop on their journey towards becoming professional athletics.

 If they are paid while in college, most of them would be willing to stay longer in the college program and earn their degrees. If not, some may give up along the way.

Paying Athletics Would Lower Tuition Fees

This may sound weird, but it’s the reality. Some might think paying college athletes would lead to an increase in tuition fees. That’s not the case. When college athletes are paid, there would be increased competition among colleges to pick the best athletes. These colleges would be forced to improve their facilities to encourage enrolment. They will also have to set tuition fees at manageable levels to students to encourage enrolment.

The Rate Of College Graduation Would Increase

Many good athletes drop out of college to join the professional league and start earning to support their families. This is particularly true for students from poor backgrounds. Paying these students would ensure they remain in colleges until they graduate.


The benefits of paying college athletes need not be overemphasized. Many of these students put their souls and hearts into sporting activities, but they come out without any rewards. This has made many people believe that the NCAA has the best model for getting cheap labor – reaping more from students, but they don’t pay them.

Sadly, they expect the students to perform well in athletics just as much as they expect them to perform well academically. This can never be possible unless the students are paid, so they don’t have to worry about their day to day expenses.

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