Should College Athletes Be Paid?


Christian Lalin, Staff Writer

          On January 7, 2019, Clemson football defeated Alabama by a score of 44-16. In this game, both schools received well over eight million dollars, and throughout the year, the two football programs generated over $175 million each in their seasons (  Additionally, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) organization raised over one billion dollars because of college athletics in 2018 alone. With all this money in amateur sports, many college athletes and fans raise the question: should college athletes be paid? The simple answer is no. Though these athletes generate plenty of money for these colleges, they receive various benefits that more than equate their value to these institutions. 

          To begin, besides a full scholarship (already considered a form of payment) to the college and the benefits that come with that, athletes receive numerous benefits, such as medical care, money for food, lodging, elite-level training, and much more. Through these amenities, colleges not only give their athletes many valuable tools that will assist during their college experience, but also benefits that prove as advantageous in the long term, even after graduation.

          For example, over 65% of college athletes are employed well after they retire from their athletic sport. In comparison, the average college student only has a 62% chance of being hired, according to the NCAA. This implores the question, why? Well, college athletes are afforded additional benefits such as social and business networking events, and they impress employers with their high level of competition and public recognition. College athletes, though crucial to the success of many universities, do not deserve additional compensation as they receive many perks denied to the typical student and often receive a free higher education.   

          Finally, proponents of paying college athletes ignore the possible ramifications, such as the impact that it will have on college competitions. If, as a society, we decide that paying college athletes is acceptable, then we risk losing the high stakes of college competition that we have all grown up to know and love. If we decide to pay college athletes, regardless of the amount of legislation and regulation put in place, college athletics will become corrupt. The largest universities with the greatest amount of funding will begin to dominate the playing field, which leaves smaller, lower funded colleges behind.

          The delicate line between student-athletes and professional athletes will diminish and ultimately college sports will be rendered useless. For these inevitable repercussions and the huge benefits that college athletes already receive, college athletes should not be paid.