To pay or not to pay? That is the question … and it's a question that's becoming more widely speculated. College athletes currently are not paid for their play, but many believe that this could, and should, change in the future. Here's a closer look at the pros and cons of paying versus not paying athletes.
Making the case for paying college athletes
►NCAA exploit: Perhaps the best argument for paying college athletes is the fact that the NCAA is making millions off of their performances, yet athletes are entitled to nothing … no paychecks, no endorsement deals, no hiring agents, no opportunity to provide for their families, etc. No nothing. Yet the NCAA rakes in millions.
►College sports would be better: Another good reason to pay college athletes is that it would make college sports much better. That's because star collegiate players would be less hesitant to turn pro as underclassmen, as many do it just for the pay day. Paying college athletes would likely mean players would stay longer, thereby making games much better.
►Less corruption: If athletes were paid, gone would be the days of boosters ponying up money to lure star recruits. College sports wouldn't just be better, they'd run far more ethically.
The case against paying college athletes
►Sorting out the logistics: In college sports, football and basketball are the big revenue sports, while tennis, cross-country, track and field, rowing, gymnastics, volleyball and more are typically non-revenue sports. So how would a pay system work at the college level? Would it be a socialist system, where every athlete earns the same amount, regardless of what sport they play? Or would athletes that play the revenue-generating sports be entitled to more?
►They already receive a free education: Many people have a hard time with the thought of paying college athletes simply because they're getting a complimentary education in exchange for their sporting talents. While a good portion of college students exit school with tens, perhaps even hundreds, of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, the thought of athletes getting a free education via scholarship and then money on top of that is hard for some to stomach.
►Lack of incentive: Many believe that professional athletes don't care as much about winning these days because of the money they make. Not only could this become a problem with college athletes, but college players may also be unmotivated to attend class and act as a true student-athlete.