The argument whether a student-athlete should be paid to play or not be paid is one that spans the ages. College sports are considered to be of amateur status by the NCAA. Therefore they believe student-athletes should not receive a pay check to participate in a sport. However on the other end of the spectrum, many critics believe that student-athletes should receive pay for play because not only are they participating in a sport, they are entertaining the spectators. They believe that if performers in the entertainment industry are paid, why not pay the college-athletes.
Are student-athletes considered student-athletes or employees? The NCAA stands firm by the rules that student-athletes are not employees, therefore should not be treated as employees. Critics disagree with this NCAA ruling, and believe that due to the large amount of revenue the student-athletes generate, they should be paid for their efforts as employees are paid. The NCAA statistics show that, “only 30 percent of Division I football and 26 percent of Division I men’s basketball programs post revenue over expenses.” The fact is that most all NCAA championships “lose money.” The overall revenue primarily earned from the “Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championship, helps 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member institutions learn and compete in 23 sports and 88 national championships.”
If student-athletes receive monetary rewards for playing they could be considered professional. Therefore, if a student-athlete is paid to play and treated as an employee or professional would they then have the same rights under the Federal Labor Laws? Such rights as to form unions, negotiate wages, hours and working conditions? The federal labor laws differ in many states, especially in the more southern states, and only apply to private employers’, this might affect the larger public schools, such as perhaps the University of Georgia or the University of North Carolina.
Robert and Amy McCormick, law professors at Michigan State University, believe that some student-athletes attend college to play sports and that due to scheduling conflicts between class and practices they do not have full choice as to what major they would like to take (Cooper, 12 – 13). “The way football and basketball players in Division I programs manage juggling sport and school, the McCormicks maintain, undermines the NCAA’s contention they are student-athletes.” (Cooper, 12-13).
The NCAA believes “that a student-athlete is a student first and athlete second.” Student-athletes benefit more than from playing a sport that they love. The graduation rate is higher among the student athletes than the general student body. “NCAA studies show that student-athletes enjoy high levels of engagement in academics, athletics and community: have positive feeling about their...