In this day and age, college sports, especially football and basketball, have become “big business”. In basketball, there is March Madness and the Final Four. In football, there is the recently-created National Championship, with the top four teams competing for the ultimate prize. Universities, especially those with nationally-ranked teams, earn millions of dollars through ticket sales, TV contracts and endorsements.
The NCAA has recently decided to allow college athletes to financially benefit from the use of their names, images and likenesses. It is still to be determined exactly how student athletes will be compensated.
Is compensating college athletes good or bad?
Arguments In Favor
College athletes allow their respective universities to earn fortunes, so why shouldn’t the athletes be compensated? They risk permanent injury in playing for their school. They add to the school’s luster, bolstering alumni loyalty (and giving) and providing enjoyment for the student body. They can influence high school students to attend their college.
The purpose of college is education and preparation for life; paying students big money misses the point of college. Money in college sports has gotten completely out of hand. Premier college athletes today receive full scholarships, paying for virtually all college expenses. This could amount to well over $50,000 at certain colleges. Paying an athlete, say, $100,000 a year wouldn’t amount to much more after taxes than a full scholarship. Finally, the idea of paying a teenage athlete a large sum of money at such an early age may cause that person to make bad life choices.
There are many issues to consider. How should athletes be compensated? By allowing them to earn money from product endorsements? By earning a salary from their college? If so, how much should college athletes be compensated? Will there be guidelines? Should the “market” decide? If colleges are allowed to pay athletes a salary, will there be bidding wars for prize high school athletes and the publicity that goes with “signing an athlete to a college contract”? Will a college try to get a student to transfer to its school by offering a financial package that the student’s current school can’t match? What about women athletes? Shouldn’t they be compensated as well? Arguably, the most followed sport at the University of Connecticut is women’s basketball. The school benefits greatly from its women’s basketball team. And what about the outsized salaries of college basketball and football coaches? Mike Krzyzewski, Duke’s basketball coach, receives an annual salary of nearly $9 million, many times more than the university president. How fair is it for coaches to receive huge salaries and for their players to receive nothing?
Is there an inherent contradiction between college being about education and the big business that college sports has become?
Here are links to a few articles on the subject:
Come share your thoughts on this interesting subject.
1460 Broadway, New York, NY, 10036