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College Athletes: Amateurs Or Full Time Employees

2546 words - 11 pages

Ever since college students started playing sports, back in 1879 when Harvard played Yale in the first collegiate sports game, the question of whether college athletes should be paid was addressed. From that point on athletes, coaches, and college administrators have brought forward points agreeing or disagreeing with the notion of paying college students. The students argue that they deserve to be paid due to the revenue that they bring for the college and because of the games they play and the championships they win. At first the idea of paying college athletes was out of the question, but now the argument has gone from a simple yes or no to a heated debate. Since college athletes are given a free education, they should not also be paid.
This argument has reached its peak of debate when Northwestern University football players planned to form a union in order to receive some form of representation. Northwestern quarterback, Kain Colter, started this movement when he reached out to the President of the National College Players Association, Ramogi Huma. He said, “This is about finally giving college athletes a seat at the table. Athletes deserve an equal voice when it comes to their physical, academic, and financial protections” ( Farrey). Huma filed a petition to the office of the National Labor Relations board on behalf of the players of Northwestern. Besides this being the first move towards a labor union in college sports what’s important is that the athletes of Northwestern are not seeking unionization due to mistreatment by Northwestern. According to Colter, “The school is just playing by the rules of their governing body, the NCAA.” Also, this isn’t about just helping players at Northwestern. Colter expressed how he wants to support players from other colleges in the country. He and other Northwestern players believe that the NCAA is to blame for this lack of representation. In other words, the alleged argument isn’t between the players and the college but between the players and the NCAA. **make clear who is making this argument
Although Colter’s move seems supported by numerous people, one of the major flaws with their argument involves the value of education. Dennis Johnson, author of Point/Counterpoint: Paying College Athletes, acknowledges that there is a growing fear about the notion of paying college athletes. He explains, “The fear of the NCAA, as it should be, is that the mere notion of paying college athletes undermines the university’s primary purpose—education, something far more valuable than a modest annual stipend proposed by many.” Also, one other popular decision with college athletes is studying one year and then moving into professional sports. Many people believe that athletes who only study for one year are not taking advantage of the gift that was given to them. Donald Remy, an NCAA Chief Legal Officer explains that college athletes might miss important opportunities. He says, “athletes attend college as a...

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