College Athletes Should NOT Be Paid
By: Josh Cooper
Over the past few years there have been debates on whether college athletes should be paid as if they were professional athletes. College athletes are guys that are trying to get to the pros and therefore, are not paid because they have not made it yet. Because these players are in college, they should never be paid to play their sport.
There is a reason why it is called college sports. It is called college sports because the athletes that play in it are students and not professionals. Just like any field, you go to college to hone your skills and learn how to do your job. College sports are no different from this. I am a broadcast journalism major and no one pays me to set up interviews, anchor a show, or broadcast on the best college radio station, U92 FM. The reason why no one pays me to do any of that is because I am learning my field in order to get paid when I get a job. In college sports you play to get to the pros, not to earn a paycheck as a student.
Another big reason why college athletes should not be paid is because colleges are paying enough money to build facilities, pay coaches, give scholarships, and pay athletic directors to make sure that they have the best chance of winning. If colleges pay their athletes, there will not be as much money to go around for any of these things. Also, in a bad economy like this, they can’t afford to pay athletes. If a school wants to pay a big-time coach, they can’t pay their players. Also, they are already helping their players get into the school by giving them their scholarships so that they can make school as affordable as possible.
What people forget about college athletes is that they are student athletes. The word student comes first before athlete. In college, they are students just like everyone else. No one gets paid to get that A+ or to get that pat on the back for doing well on a test or on an activity at school. In college, you are supposed to learn how to grow up and how to manage your life. You are also supposed to get a job in order to support yourself and learn what it takes to earn a living in this country. If colleges pay their athletes, it defeats the purpose of any of this because you are hurting the players’ integrity.
Adding to that, can anyone imagine if colleges pay their athletes, how tough it will be for coaches to discipline their players even when the player knows, even if they screw up, they are still getting paid a lot of money . This affects character and it affects how they will act if they go out in the real world and play professionally. College teaches you about life and tells you to be disciplined, and it is very hard to be disciplined when you are getting paid a lot of money.
Also, the reason why college players are going to college these days, especially basketball, is because they weren’t good enough for a team in Europe to pick them up. In that case, they have to learn how to play better in order to reach the pros in the NBA. If you are not good enough to play professionally, why should you get paid to play in college, a place where you learn about everything? While other students are trying to earn that difficult engineering degree or become that physician which are the most important jobs in our country, people need to take a step back and see that college athletes should be treated like everyone else.
The biggest reason why college athletes should not be paid is because it would ruin a culture. Paying a college athlete money separates them from the student body. One main reason why a lot of people love college sports is because the players are students just like you and are in the classroom and you see them on campus. Because of this, you feel as if you’re closer to them because they are just as part of the community as other students are. Paying a college athlete takes a lot of that buzz out of it because it separates them. It says to the students, these players are getting paid and that they are more important than anyone else at the school. Because of that, college would lose a lot of fans because that was one of the best things about college sports. If colleges pay their athletes, college sports will never be the same and will never have that same buzz that people always get when the band plays and the team steps on the court or field to play.