Every year, college sports generate an enormous amount of revenue. The National College Athletics Association (NCAA), a nonprofit governing organization that presides over 357 Division 1 colleges and universities in the United States, reported in 2019 that their athletic departments generated a total of $18.9 billion. But where does all this money go? The majority goes to television programs, sponsors, NCAA operations and colleges to fund scholarships, travel, academic services, compliance, and drug testing.
Everyone associated and a part of college sports are benefited financially except for the college athletes themselves. This fact has sparked many debates over whether college athletes should be paid or not.
Since, college athletes sacrifice themselves and so much for their sport they should require some compensation. According to College Sports Madness, a sports media group, “Various statistics suggest that college athletes spend at least 40 hours per week dedicated to their sport, including games and training sessions.” This is the amount of time spent on a full-time job and this does not include time spent on their academics. This leaves short amounts of time for athletes to spend on academics, their social life, or a paying job to help shoulder some expenses while in school. This potentially subjects their financial wellness and could cause their grades to suffer.
Not only do they sacrifice their time and money for their sport but athletes also are sacrificing their bodies, putting themselves at risk of getting life threatening injuries. College athletes’ images and performances create public exposure for their schools benefiting their schools financially. They do all this only for the love of their sport or potentially to receive a chance of going pro. In fact, only 2% of college athletes go pro.
The NCAA needs to take action and allow college athletes to receive compensation. By paying college athletes, they would receive a huge financial burden lifted off their shoulders, along with more time to focus on their academics which will ultimately lead them to graduating college. Also, most student-athletes would graduate with a degree that would help pursue a job in their chosen career field which would also increase the graduation rate.
Opponents of college athletes receiving compensation argue athletes already get paid in the form of scholarships. However, that argument is not adequately substantiated since only 2% of student athletes receive full scholarships. If they are paid, the funds from practicing and playing will help cover costs that a scholarship doesn’t and support themselves and their families financially. It is not surprising to see students retire from their sport that they love because their future earning potential depends on their education instead of their athletic ability.