26 November 2013
Paying Players Shouldn’t Be in the Playbook
In recent years, the argument about whether or not to pay athletes playing at the college level has become a matter of national debate. Currently, the ruling is that college athletes cannot be paid. This is a stance that should be maintained. Paying athletes to compete at the collegiate level is unfeasible because it would cost colleges too much, influence student’s educational decisions and create an unfair financial atmosphere between athletes and non-athletes.
Paying college athletes is a bad idea because of the cost associated with it. According to equal rights policies and other rules by the NCAA, colleges are required to pay all athletes, regardless of gender, sport played, publicity for the college from the sport, or proficiency in the sport. This means that colleges like the University of Tennessee, which has over 500 student athletes, would have to devote a large portion of their athletics budget to paying student athletes. According to Jim Walker, these massive costs may cause colleges to close less profitable activities like tennis or golf in an effort to save money for the big, money-making sports such as football and basketball (1). Women’s sports would likewise be targeted, as they usually operate at a higher cost than they bring in revenue (Walker 1). For colleges operating with lower budgets, having sports programs may become completely impossible. As sports editor Al Dunning said “Where are athletes going to play- and receive scholarships- when all but the richest schools go broke?” (1).
The promise of a paycheck could definitely be a deciding factor in rising students college decisions. A quarterback with the choice to go to a major university and play third string for a few hundred dollars a semester or play for a smaller school first string with a larger paycheck would probably choose to attend the smaller school. This could also become a major issue for smaller schools that can’t afford to pay their athletes a competitive wage. As a result, these schools would likely get less skilled players, causing their sports programs to suffer. As their programs become worse, their funding would likely drop, causing them to have less of a budget to use to pay players. In the end, these smaller schools could potentially have to give up their sports programs entirely due to a lack of players, because they simply don’t have enough funds to pay students what they could make at another university. School issues aside, if this paycheck became more of a factor, students might not look quite so closely at the academic prospects of the school. Allowing a salary to decide where a student would go to college instead of academic pursuits would be a horrible failure on the part of universities. On the surface, it seems like an innocent enough deciding factor for students, but delving deeper the malevolent truth is brought to light. For almost...