Paying College Athletes Essay

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Introduction and statement problem3
Historical background4
The case in favor of the study6
It will compensate for More Than Just the book work6
It will offer more bite for the Suspensions7
Social and economic adjustment in the school8
Players put their bodies on the line for their schools.9
It will help in the financial responsibility lesson.10
Football is more of employment than a P.E11
It could help in keeping More Players in School11
The outcome of the study13
This research paper attempts to explain how and why "compensation to play" can be so advantageous to college athletes. This essay employs the argument that paying players to play has more positive impact than the negative effects. The paper as well indicates that initiating ‘’pay to players ‘’ into effects in college athletics is realistic when it comes down to the facts. It presents the supporting argument on the idea of considering ‘’pay to play’’ and then explain the reasons for allowing the compensation aspect to happen in the world of college football today. The essay uses several sources that assist in backing up the points being made (Nocera, 2011). It will also give answers to various solutions to different issues.

Key words: athletics/ college/booster/college football/NCAA/pay to play/ sports/NFL.

Introduction and statement problem

The most recent topic of discussion going around the colleges has been the idea of payment as far as sports are concerned. College athletes from various universities and colleges demand sports unions as well as the amount of the royalties when video games are produced containing the names and images of such players. The research topic is combined with the non- athletes like Jay Bilas of ESPN. The issue might be new, but the reality is that it is currently overruling the sports houses and programs. The proponent of this idea suggests that the athletes need to be paid because they are performing. It is an excellent view because the participants bring in a lot of money and in support of that, tend to perceive that the money is excess which is not in the planning of such events (Nocera, 2011).

College athletes are like a business: there are millions of dollars used in updating stadiums, training facilities, and another department of athletics. A lot of money is being flooded with these events, and the athletes benefit in many ways, but still, the athletes deserve compensation. The argument concerning the payment of the athletes has been dormant for a while. The athlete-students have interpreted it, and the NCAA regulations that approximately 50% of the athlete-students must graduate is unnecessary. But for the interest of the students, the college athletes are not paid with the stipends being circulated for food and other essential without paying the participants for their involvement (Wellman et al. 2017). The primary reasons why the athletes need payment include:

The work rate for most of the athletes is more than the students. The NCAA has rules that intend to limit the training hours for the players to 20 hours on a weekly basis. It is surprising that a good number of the athletes do not train within the set deadlines. According to the survey conducted by the NCAA in the year 2011, Division I football players average their training hours to about 43hrs a week, followed by the baseball that averages at around 42.1hours then men’s basketball was ranked third with the exercise time being 39.2. These are the figures during the season, which makes it a full-time job for both the athletes. Many of the players, primarily the athletes are operating on scholarship that compensates for their room, tuition and board. Also, they cover the annual stipend of the range $2,000 and $5,000 yearly.

Historical background

The issue of discussion is to consider the possible reasons why the colleges should pay their students to play for their collegiate level football sports team. It has been referred to as ‘’pay to play’’. The idea has been around for more than a decade but has grown in the past few years due to the instances like that of Reggie Bush and the loss of his 2005 Heisman trophy in the year 2010. He not only lost the trophy winner title but as well his football statistics were entirely wiped out. It all happened to Bush because his college, USC, was paying and offering gifts to football players, which was more of violation of the rules of NCAA. NCAA is an institution that deals with the sporting activities in the colleges in the United States. Currently, college athletes are supposed to be compensated. It is difficult to point out exactly when the idea of paying footballers was first introduced in the colleges. Regardless of the time when it was brought up, it is a big deal in the field of college sports. The idea has both the opposing sides and the positive aspects, the pros in this issue outweigh the cons.

According to Nocera (2011), the matter does not only affect the actual student-athletes that have more significant effects on the colleges that would not be responsible for paying the athletes. Most schools claim that they do not have enough money to spend on the football players. Although sport like football generates income to the colleges through the television airing as opposed to the lesser watched games that do not attract the attention of the television and might even lose money in specific instances. Some colleges offer high school students pay if they sign with their universities. Some of such deals have given the students up to $ 2,000 after signing the agreement letter. But it is disappointing to realize that these institutions, later on, fail to pay the footballers their $ 2,000 (Nocera, 2011).

A few weeks after the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) decided against suspending the payment, the students who were already promised the compensation did not receive it. But if any football player gets the scholarship after signing the deal, they would possibly lose the income of $ 2,000. However, a handful of players suffered their share of $ 2,000, and a similar portion did receive their cash. They had the opportunity of winning the money without failure or hindrance of their status. The key stakeholders in this field include colleges, footballers and the NCAA (Nocera, 2011). The schools form the number one participants in taking care of the paying of student players. They have the chance of choosing on the amount of money to be spent on the players as well as how the process would be carried out. The students act as beneficiaries of the entire program. The NCAA is the major stakeholder in the issue because, without their presence, there would be no payment for playing football.

Majority of the institutions generate money because of the athletes. According to the bylaws of NCAA ( players are blocked from giving the opportunity of using their pictures or names for the adverts, as well as promoting. The colleges are under the NCAA since they rely on the organization to come up with the sports regulations at the college level. Then the football players would now fall under the college (Dawkins et al. 2016). They are the primary emphasis here but have very little say over the matter. The students only follow the instructions from the college and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Purpose of the study: The primary aim of the paper is to identify the possible reasons for initiating payment for the college football players in most of the American institutions.

The argument in support of the research

It will compensate for More Than Just the book work

Paying the footballers might be important enhancing the effort of the individuals willing to take part in the activity. Whenever the players are compensated, they do not feel worried about trying to go into the professional world of sports to get paid. The students would have the urge of staying in the school compound to build their football career. Also, they would stay longer in school to earn their degree instead of shifting to the professional sports to receive the compensation. On the other hand, some students do not come from well-off family backgrounds. Therefore, they cannot rely on the families for money. Due to the demands for college sports, the players might have difficulties in having a job on top of their sporting career and schooling at the same time. It would assist the athlete to obtain some cash they can spend without any worry. If college football players earn decent middle-class income, the majority of the players would have the capacity to send some money back home to support their parents. It is a form of encouragement to the guardians to encourage their sons and daughters to stay in school. Some parents would be in a position to sacrifice little time and money for a few more learning years to improve their draft stock or receive the degree (Keolanui, 2014).

Money paid to the football players in specific could take care of expenses like medical bills in case of injuries on the pitch. If the players get seriously injured, it might put an end to their career or season as a footballer. If such happens, then there is a high possibility of losing their athletic scholarship. College football is among the most profitable sports in the gaming systems. It is because these are the sports that get more of the television attention. Football in the colleges has various bowl games that are held every spring. With all the income the football games earn the schools through tickets, there is a feeling that they need to have it instead of spreading it back to other sporting activities.

It will offer more bite for the Suspensions

The payment aspect is vital in reducing the instances of cheating as well as the number of matches and games a player has to get engaged in together with the teams that would get suspended in the process. It traces back to the fact that the participants would not be worried about being in trouble for receiving cash. According to the NCAA, the situation at the moment, accepting money in return for participating in a sporting activity is a crime. The punishments for such actions include suspension of teams, games as well as players. But with the paying for play, then none of these will be experienced shortly. Money paid to the footballers could partly settle medical bills in case of injury because they run the risk of injury while in the pitch or tournament (Keolanui, 2014). Professional footballers have the contentment that the amount of money they make can usually cater for their medical expenses at the time of need. The college athletes together with the footballers do not have that freedom, but they are faced with the possibility of losing their career in case of any serious injury, which is accompanied with the loss of scholarship.

Social and economic adjustment in the school

College football is the most profitable sports in the tertiary education centers than any other. It is one of the sporting activities that get much time as far as television coverage is concerned. College football has two different bowl sports. Some people consider the players like any other uncompensated workforce in their right (Sanderson & Siegfried, 2015). The extent and the amount of time they spend in practicing and competing is comparable to the employees working at various organizations. The majority of the college football players lack permanent jobs because of the time they dedicate to exercising in the field, which they would have considered using that chance to get the ‘’real job.’’ Because of this, the players have the feeling that it would be fair getting paid after hard work in the field. If ever footballer or athlete gets paid, it will assist in eliminating the idea of inequality amongst the teammates of any single team. They will feel at the same level across the team members when it comes to the generation of income while in the college sports’ team (Sanderson & Siegfried, 2015). It will as well act as an encouragement to most of the young upcoming talents because the cash will serve as an incentive. Compensations in most cases boost the performance of an organization, and so is the morale of football team. The more players that would join the athletes or football side will translate to a more above average college students playing. There are high chances of the team getting better with an increase in revenue collection through the tickets: more people will enjoy watching the sports depending on the performance and quality of the game. In other words, the university will increase its earnings through sporting because of the more number of athletes or footballers in the industry. These are the bit of the argument that makes payment of the athletes more supportive.

Players sacrifice their bodies for their colleges

Football tends to be a rough sport, and most of the participants have very short careers. It is true that players who usually stay in the university for four years might have the opportunity to sacrifice one or more years of earning potential in the NFL so that they can stay longer in the college to obtain degree. It is not a guarantee that a player can improve his/her draft status or, even more significantly, avoid the injuries while playing more years of college ball. NCAA college football is a big business, and there is an extensive business, and there is no need of considering anything more than the holiday bowl season to see that which is a boon to the NCAA and most of its members. Most of the suspensions on players are made when during conference sports early in the season when the games usually have a little less meaning. Any unusual punishment just derails the program and the players who are dedicated to their talents. If the participants in sports were compensated, there are more direct impacts to the selfish and judgment character. Preferably, it would be advisable to educate the players to be responsible for their actions and acknowledge the consequences of breaking the sports regulations. It might be essential to learn the outcomes of being suspended from the college while making little money unlike receiving suspension without pay and receiving a massive fine in the NFL (Keolanui, 2014).

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It will assist in teaching the Financial Responsibility

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports Paying players would make them responsible for obeying the rules while on the pitch as well as the entire career. It also prepares them to play in the NFL. The play would be very reluctant to receive a steady paycheck in signing the autographs or make money through the illegal means. There nobody that would feel for the footballers who get greedy but end up breaking the regulations. If the players have the opportunity of receiving payment, it will solve abuses like getting money from agents and boosters. In case players are paid, they will not worry much and could as well prevent breaking of the rules and getting into trouble for receiving cash through the bad deals that are against NCAA. For example, getting money from others that would as well break the rules. If compensating players were allowed then none of such misunderstanding would be a challenge.

Most of the top recruits in football come from the inner city, humble background or country and the college environment is a new experience. A good number of the young people in the major universities within the United States come from families with the above average incomes in nationwide. A significant percentage of the football star go as far as helping various players solve the issue of social and economic disparity, but is ever there. It would assist in leveling the playing field as well as promoting the players to adjust to having a job and earning (Keolanui, 2014). It is discouraging that we expect the players to be celebrities in most of these colleges, but we are not sure whether the players and their families have enough food to eat, clothes to protect themselves. There is no need for the players to stay for so long in the colleges if they can get to the big leagues.

Football is more of employment than a P.E

Playing football should be considered as a job, not a P.E: it more of an employment opportunity other than fun in the school compound that fulfills the requirements of the physical education. The college football is like a business entity where the participants have the routine of spending extra time in the film sessions, exercising in their alone time and ever ready for the opponent.

On the other hand, the body demands of the players are very extensive, and they have very little time to keep up with the studies or get employed in the part-time job for extra earning. Students working in the laboratories at night or spend their day at the bookstore get a living and makes more money for their colleges. Contrarily, the college football players sacrifice their bodies on a daily basis and risk many injuries every day and every game with no pay. The idea that most of the players have no capability of qualifying to the universities that they play for can merely mean that their physical efforts are appreciated more than their academic work. Therefore, the material aspect of them needs to be rewarded with good cash than just the opportunity of interacting with some of the elite students from junior schools. The same students can act the role of the players while in college, but they cannot earn revenue for the institution like their colleagues (Gomez, 2012).

It might help in keeping More Players in School

For many of the football players in the college, participating in the college soccer comes with a cost that can have more significant effect on their ability to generate money in the NFL. The substantial injuries can impact the draft situation for most players that the players can undergo while still in college. The initiative of paying the college footballers will ensure that the income of the players can take care of their future (Keolanui, 2014). Most of the scholarship players have their careers start and end at the collegiate level. Both the university and the NCAA can generate money by selling the jerseys and other items including the likeliness of footballers, yet the player does not receive any cash. Running backs have apparent short professional careers, and a number of the teams still prefer running the ball. If a running back gets the Heisman trophy with career duration of four to five years in the NFL, his excellent years might have been at the university/college level (Keolanui, 2014). It is only making sense to receive the payment at this time. It is incredibly unjust if we consider the many businesses outside there like NCAA that makes a dollar but do not pay its workers. The students are pulled away from their family members to cross the nation to a scenario where football is given the first consideration and learning is an afterthought. A significant number of these footballers are not Rhodes scholars and do not have the pressure to perform in the classrooms, and are dropped into the most expensive colleges that are joined on merit.

The football players are winning some cash to the country and the NCAA. Therefore they deserve compensation since they are the exact people who draw the fans and other stakeholders into the stadium and playing pitch. The focus on television is the players and not the coaches: When the ABC, ESPN and the FOX capture all these people. Some individuals have a feeling that the college players are still very young and they might not know the best way to handle the money. It is a misconception of the youths. The payment would offer the best opportunity for life stories as the players grow up to mature and responsible beings. The United States should start paying any college athletes because it would assist the people all over the world to be more accountable when coming up with decisions. In a fair and reasonable labor industry, the workers who take a lot of risks are compensated for the courage. But in the situation of NCAA, the players who go through debilitating injuries are in a continuous growth. The organization keeps the member colleges from giving players excess salary regarding rooms, and tuition and board (Wellman et al. 2017). The NCAA is more of a cartel: an organization that is independent acting as a cohesive department where the individuals aspiring to be future members must provide three years loyalty service. With the funds that could cater for the football player’s compensation, for instance, colleges spent additional money on weight rooms, tutors, advisors, coaches and locker rooms. The coaches influence the large percentage of such funds.

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The outcome of the study

The proponents outweigh the cons for this situation. It will be an easy task to eliminate the sports that do not earn any form of profit. It will be easy to create revenue for the teams instead of just using the money generated by other games to assist the non- income earning teams which would be used in paying the players. Many sports in the college would focus on making the profit for the individual schools. Also, being eliminated from the schools, universities would enhance the fair distribution of money among the institutions: football sector has been making revenue for many other teams after a long season of struggle without compensating the players. The fans like to watch and support the college football because they are significantly amateurs playing. They can relate to such feelings of the sporting activity. In the bid of increasing the efficiency of paying the players, the colleges and the universities should offer such payment directly. If the schools have a feeling that student-athletes should not receive that cash while still in college, then there is a possibility of the funds being held until after college and even pay the bonus to those who are graduating (Sanderson & Siegfried, 2015). It is an excellent incentive for the athletes, and they are compensated for the hard work.

There are still many doubts about whether the changes will occur and soon. History speaks a lot concerning this issue. Possibly we will have to debate, argue, fight and write about the compensation issue but it will die and come back to the normal situation without any fruit. One of the best ways for the university and the college presidents to attain real transformation will be through the acknowledgments that the schools are working as minor leagues for the pro football and consider treating players accordingly: compensate them for their labor.


The issue of paying players has emerged among the top challenges in the college football over the past few decades. Various possible solutions have been provided, including the offering of stipend that covers the full cost of attendance and enabling the players to sign advertisement deals. Football generates enough money through the television airtime to support such initiatives, and in most cases, the revenue from basketball and soccer are used in funding other sporting activities instead of rewarding the players in a big way.

According to the recent poll by the Washington Post, 52% of the black Americans adults believe that the full scholarship is sufficient to pay for the college football players. However, approximately 54% of the African Americans would wish that the young players in the colleges should get money proportionate to the revenue they generate. Only about 31 percent of the people of color agree as compared to the 59 percent who feel that the NCAA structure of amateurism should continue. The study also found that 41% of the Hispanic thinks that the college footballers should be compensated. Fewer Americans believe that the collegiate scholarship of four years is enough reward for the collegiate athletes (Karaim, 2014). Another latest research was conducted in the year 2013 by the Seton Hall Sports Poll that was first shared by the Yahoo Finance had 60 percent of the persons surveyed feeling that the scholarship is sufficient strategy for payment.

It is clear that the success of the colleges in the intercollegiate athletics attracts significant donations from the university alumni as well as the tuition-paying students due to the presence of the high profile football plans. However, a smaller percentage of people are aware of the effort and dedication the university players put towards the competitions in football (Keolanui, 2014). They are mistreated mentally and physically, but their payment issue remains a big debate in public. They earn their colleges millions of dollars despite the amount of control that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has over them: they even check on the players’ educational qualifications (Wellman et al. 2017). The students who fail to maintain the requirements of the NCAA have a high risk of losing their scholarship. They should get paid as a form of appreciation to their efforts, injuries and the time they spend training for the games.

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Nocera, J. (2011). Retrieved from pagewanted=all

Gomez. J (2012). Facebook Survey. DO YOU THINK COLLEGE ATHLETES SHOULD GET PAID? Posted on March 25, 2012. Notif_t=feed_comment

Keolanui, c. (2014). The sportster report. Top 10 Reasons College Football Players Should Get Paid. Etrieved from

Readdy, T., Raabe, J., & Harding, J. S. (2014). Student-athletes’ perceptions of an extrinsic reward program: a mixed-methods exploration of self-determination theory in the context of college football. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 26(2), 157-171.

Staurowsky, E. (2014). College athletes’ rights in the age of the super conference: The case of the All Players United campaign. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 7(1), 11-34.

Sanderson, A. R., & Siegfried, J. J. (2015). The case for paying college athletes. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 29(1), 115-137.

Wellman, A. D., Coad, S. C., Goulet, G. C., & McLellan, C. P. (2017). Quantification of Accelerometer Derived Impacts Associated With Competitive Games in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I College Football Players. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 31(2), 330-338.

Karaim, R. (2014). Paying College Athletes. CQ Researcher by CQ Press. CQ Press, 11.

Sanderson, A. R., & Siegfried, J. J. (2015). The case for paying college athletes. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 29(1), 115-137.

Dawkins, M. P., Trimbur, L., Griffin, P., Cooky, C., & Hylton, K. (2016). Making Sports More Sporting. Contexts, 15(3), 12-21.

October 20, 2021

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