College Athletes Should Not Be Paid Money

College Athletes Should Not Be Paid Money

College sports can be defined as “amateur contests whose players come from a restricted subset of the population of athletically talented individuals who we require to be regular students seeking academic degrees” (“Intercollegiate Sports in America”, n.d.). But the reality about college sports is not as simple as the definition of college sports. With the progress of time the concept of college sports has been transformed from an amateur to a professional one and this is because now-a-days the participants in college sports do not merely participate to compete and to show their talent, upholding the prestige of their respective educational institutions, but most of them are much more inclined towards earning money and accomplishing self-gains.

College athletes should not be paid money for their participation and performance and there are several reasons behind the concept of such non-payment. Primarily the lure of financial gain withers away the sportsmanship within the participants of college sports. The inflow of money in college sports can be a disaster for the budget of most of the universities and this in turn can affect severely on the programs and policies related to academic progresses. For an example, the absurd coaches’ salaries that most of today’s colleges spend for winning football bowl games and basketball tournaments (for earning monetary rewards) should be counted as a wastage of money as such huge amount of money, if spend in strengthening the educational systems of these concerned colleges might render better results in terms of creating an educated workforce for the future.

Education is a primary source of money and college athletes are provided with this basic means of earning money by their respective colleges. So it is never fair or ethical for such students (who are also athletes) to ask for monetary rewards for representing their colleges in sports events and for upholding the prestige of their respective colleges by winning sports competitions. Colleges must start to get concerned about such issue because if they carry on paying their student athletes for representing their institutions then actually they are going to put these athletes in jeopardy, and this jeopardy will emerge because the greed for money through participating in sport events will actually reduce the interest of these athletes in receiving higher education, and such disinterest is not at all desirable on the part of a population which is going to be the future of the country. And this fear is looming large in the realm of NCAA, as this governing body has understood 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. If it currently appears that the universities “don’t really care” about the athlete, paying them would intensify that belief, not dissolve it” (“Intercollegiate Sports in America”, n.d.).

The administrative body of many of the colleges in the United States argues that it is better to pay the college athletes to participate in inter-college sport competitions and win monetary rewards as such financial rewards are actually used in developing the overall infrastructure of the colleges including the educational framework. But this is only a partial truth because there are different other games apart from football or basketball spending on which the colleges actually drain their money without any potential return on investment. It is noteworthy that “only a fraction of Division I football and men’s basketball programs turn a profit…The other Division I football and basketball programs as well as sports such as baseball, softball, golf, hockey, women’s basketball (minus a couple of notable programs), and just about all Division II sports not only fail to make money, but actually drain their athletic budgets. The outcome here would be inevitable: Forcing athletic departments to pay its football and basketball players would result in the eventual elimination of most, if not all, of the non-revenue sports” (“Intercollegiate Sports in America”, n.d.).

In the money game the colleges often are forgetting that their athletes are their students first and sportsperson later on. They are forgetting the simple truth that “mind that student-athletes are not employees of the university, rather they are students first and athletes second” (“Intercollegiate Sports in America”, n.d.). The primary duty of any educational institution is to enhance the knowledge of its pupil but in today’s America most of the colleges are much more inclined to enhance their prestige in the realm of sports and thereby earn more and more money by winning inter-college competitions. And due to enrolling in the rat race of earning money through sport competitions these colleges are actually forgetting that they are paying money to their student-athletes, increasing their monetary demands, deviating their focus from education to money-making, and thereby, putting their future at stake. So, judging from this angle too, it must be admitted that paying the student-athletes is unethical and immoral.

Moreover, it should not be negated that by paying money to the student-athletes the economically sound colleges are creating a disparity in the realm of college sports. This is because the colleges who have more money in their treasury are much more able to pay more and more money to their student-athletes and to their coaches while other colleges with less monetary strength fails to higher big-shot coaches and are less able to pay sufficient money to their student-athletes. And such inequality in the expenditure is actually affecting the domain of college sports because the highly paid coaches are much more motivated than their low-paid counterparts, to bring the winning trophy to the respective colleges which hired them. So, it is observable that some of the colleges in order to earn money through college sport competitions and most of the student-athletes in order to secure themselves financially are actually paving the way for the spread of economic disparity at the very basic level.

It is a reality that “From the moment the full-scholarship papers are signed, each participant’s role is very clear: Schools accept the responsibility of the student’s tuition, meal plan, and boarding, while the athlete is provided with the opportunity to earn a degree, engage in college life and play their favorite sport in a well-organized, and often high profile fashion” ” (“Intercollegiate Sports in America”, n.d.). But the student-athletes, due to the influence of the modern trend of earning money through representing their respective colleges in sport events, are actually misinterpreting the agreement and they have now taken the academic part as granted and they are now considering formal education less important than participating in college sports as the latter for them is now a means for earning money. And now it has become an undeniable fact that presently “a college education is not held in the same esteem and worse yet, some see it as simply an opportunity to earn money” (“Intercollegiate Sports in America”, n.d.).

In conclusion, most of the colleges have now enrolled themselves in the rat race of earning money through college sports and this has paved the way for student-athletes to show their disregard for formal education and their adherence to the money-making policies like participating in college sports and winning competitions for their respective colleges. This is a harmful trend and if this trend carries on then the time is not too far that colleges will be producing greedy sportspersons respecting only money as their God and disregarding education considering it as an obsolete thing which is unworthy in gaining financial profits.

(1,242 words)


Intercollegiate Sports in America. (n.d.). Lombardi. Retrieved March 11, 2013, from

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