As March Madness comes to a close, a little gremlin in the sports world resurfaces. As of right now, no collegiate athlete is being compensated for their time on the team. Each year, the debate is brought up again as to whether or not these college athletes (especially those in Division 1) deserve a salary for their work.
In good conscience, we cannot allow these students to continue to play unpaid. According to the NCAA, as far back as the 2011-2012 season, the March Madness college playoffs generated a hefty $871.6 million from commercials, tickets, and concessions. There is no way that the NCAA is unable to spare a small portion of 871.6 million dollars to give to the players. It seems crazy to me that someone can be a part of a nearly billion dollar industry and remain unpaid.
This problem reaches across sports, as in June 2017, Donald De La Hayne, a UCF kicker was booted off the team for making money off of YouTube. Because his channel was garnering views from videos showing off his football abilities, the NCAA considered him to be receiving money for playing football and therefore ruled him ineligible to play. The NCAA is being far too strict with college athletes who are already essentially slaves to their sports.
Finally, the NCAA rulebook reads that, aside from pre-season practice and vacation periods, athletes cap at four hours of practice per day, and twenty hours per week. The amount of time college athletes spend practicing per week is greater than the average amount of time college students spend working a part-time job, which is approximately 16.1 hours (Federal Bureau of Labor). Sports constitute as much as a regular paying job: players have to work for a set amount of hours, put in effort in what they are doing, and sacrifice their time which could’ve been spent studying.
Thus, it’s only fair to pay the collegiate players that work hard in a million dollar industry to bring us entertainment. College athletes should be paid.
– Lily Lowndes