College football and men’s college basketball are two of the most highly anticipated and most watched things on earth. Everyone loves tuning in to CBS, ESPN, NBC and other major TV networks on Saturday’s during the autumn season to watch some college football. Fans all across the world love filling out NCAA tournament brackets for men’s basketball during March Madness. Those two sports are thrilling, breath-taking and epic at the college level just as much as the pros. Those two sports are also anchors in providing the NCAA with money. Endorsements, Television deals and a lot of other money-making opportunities wouldn’t come to fruition if it weren’t for the Division I athletes. Because of their contribution to the schools’ funds and the NCAA as a whole, college athletes of these two sports, basketball and football should get paid.
Outside of men’s basketball, football and women’s basketball to an extent the NCAA doesn’t bring in much revenue from the other sports such as softball, baseball, volleyball and etc. Football and basketball are the sole money makers. As reported by Chris Smith from Forbes, CBS and Turner Broadcasting made over $1 billion off of the basketball games for both the men and women alone. As a whole the NCAA makes at least $6 billion a year. The NCAA then spreads the money amongst the Division l schools, sports sponsorships, and a few more things that include grants for the schools as well as student assistance funds. Once colleges receive the new-found money or extra money, whichever the case may be, colleges start looking for players to give scholarships to and the trend continues.
Most, if not all athletic scholarships cover the player’s school billings such as books, classes, food and housing. A lot of people figure that this diligence is enough for college athletes and should be considered as their pay. But even with the scholarship and all of the different facets it covers college athletes still deserve more because of the risk they’re taking and the exposure they provide schools with.
For example, the three biggest names last year in college basketball were Julius Randle (Kentucky,) Andrew Wiggins (Kansas,) and Jabari Parker (Duke). Each of these players were highly sought after because of their rank amongst others in their class as well as the guys who were already playing at the college level. Having been highly profiled athletes, each of these guys brought major attention to their schools which equated in getting a lot of nationally televised games, commercials and other big marketing deals. Without playing in a single game for their respective schools each player still managed to bring in money. Once the season actually rolled around tons of fans bought tickets. Why, you may ask, because big names sell. College basketball is like any other business; if you have you have the best product you are guaranteed to sell.
On the football side of the equation Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, was box office to the max. A&M got extra media attention because of him, more national games and even sold more tickets. They even sold that praised him. If it hadn’t been for Manziel, A&M would not be in the position they are in now. Manziel’s impact on A&M was ridiculous. Shirts, jerseys, cups and other fan items were all being bought because of Manziel and his brand. Manziel was A&M’s product. Having Manziel on board also helped with their move from the Big 12 to the SEC.
Along with bringing in money, college athletes also put their lives at risk. In basketball the injuries are far less gruesome but can still be detrimental; in football concussions happen, neck injuries happen and plethora of other serious injuries can happen in this dangerous yet fun game. Aside from injuries the players also get held to a higher standard. One wrong slip up and they could get their scholarship taken away like professionals could get their contract voided. Since they’re getting held to such a high standard why aren’t they getting paid like professionals do?
College ball isn’t an easy task either. It’s not like high-school, and how you could just come in and just play for fun or play whenever you like. In college you actually have to work and perform. Especially if given a scholarship. But sometimes working hard can be a bit of a drag especially if you aren’t receiving anything in return. The scholarship helps with a lot of different things but it doesn’t necessarily benefit the players in other aspects of life such as players who happen to be parents or guardians for their families back at home.
As a matter of fact there are a lot of college athletes who happen to be parents and could use a few extra dollars here and there to help support their children. Others, who may not have that same need could quite possibly use a few dollars to help them get from place to place. Everyone’s needs are different, but the money earned from the hard work that’s being put in on the field or court could help players out tremendously. Paying the college athletes would also minimize the problem athletes have in obtaining illegal money and other, benefits from agents, or persons who shouldn’t be involved with them; that would minimize a lot of the suspensions that happen.
All in all, college athletes should get paid. College sports is nothing but a business and like all businesses employees should be paid. The players deserve it because of the hard work and effort they put into being athletes as well as students and in some cases parents. With billions of dollars being made off of these athletes through various marketing outlets, the NCAA would be smart to give out a portion to the athletes to help minimize some of the problems that exist now. The NCAA is after all, a model of the professional leagues. If they (pros) can pay the players the NCAA can too. After all they already have their version of a contract, plus it’s the right thing to do. Why be selfish with the guys who are the cause for money coming in?