University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
College Athletes Should not get Paid
College athletes who already receive scholarship money should not be paid by the university to play sports.
It would be unfair to other students if the university paid athletes to play college sports, although many may disagree. Scholarships granted to student athletes cover tuition, fees, room, board and textbooks, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association website. Some athletes receive scholarships that cover only a portion of these expenses, but many still receive exceedingly more aid than the average student.
The average value of a full, in-state public school scholarship is $15,000 a year, according to the website. The scholarships awarded to outstanding student athletes are valuable in countless ways. Without them, many would not be able to pursue their academic or athletic goals. The individuals who receive these scholarships are exceptionally talented and work very hard to earn the money awarded to them.
Despite this, the fact still remains many student athletes have everything provided for them in college, giving them a distinct advantage over their peers. The experience of playing on a college team itself is valuable, working much like an unpaid internship for other students. For non-athlete students, however, the experiences of unpaid internships do not come along with a full-ride scholarship. In a way, college athletes are already getting paid. Universities should never have to shell out even more finances just to satisfy their athletes.
Many athletes argue that because they do not have time to get a job, they should be paid by the university and have extra money to go out with friends or afford new clothes. However, many college students are broke and deal with these inconveniences on a daily basis. Not being able to afford things is a way of life in college. Furthermore, the jobs most students do find pay minimum wage and cannot sustain constant trips to the mall. The average college student eats frozen dinners and Ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner, not expensive restaurant food. The wages average students earn from their low-income jobs mostly go towards rent, tuition and groceries—expenses many college athletes on full-ride scholarships never have to worry about.
Additionally, if universities paid college athletes, it would make the disparity between large and small university athletic teams even greater. Larger schools with more revenue such like University of Texas would essentially be able to buy out the best players for their teams, putting smaller universities at a greater disadvantage. College sports and the athletes who participate in them should not be centered on money. Athletes should focus on their passion for whatever sport they play, and be grateful they can receive the aid they do.
If universities started paying college athletes, it would be grossly unfair to the peers who work hard just to make ends meet. Student athletes who are already awarded scholarship money to attend college should not be paid any additional amount on the side.