To pay or not to pay, the debate of the NCAA

Cade Richey, Reporter

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The NCAA has a cloud of controversy surrounding the subject of paying athletes. While some may consider a scholarship sufficient compensation, paying players is the right thing to do.

According to a 2011 NCAA survey, players spend an average of about 40 hours per week on athletic activities during their season. A work week consisting of 40 hours is what most people consider a full time job. That makes it almost impossible to have a job and go to school while playing a sport.

While some student-athletes might not have to get a job because their family supports them, many do not have a family that can pay for their expenses. The NCAA reportedly generated over one billion dollars of revenue in 2017. Who generates that money? The correct answer is the student-athletes. While a scholarship is nothing to scoff at, the players generate a lot more than their scholarship is worth. The NCAA has recently had some scandals that involved FBI investigations, with the most notable coming from the University of Arizona and its star basketball player Deandre Ayton. Arizona’s basketball head coach, Sean Miller, reportedly offered 100,000 dollars to a sports agent, to get Ayton to come to Arizona, according to ESPN. The FBI ‘wiretapped’ multiple phone calls which discussed six figure payments. Arizona isn’t the only team to come under fire. USC, Louisville, and Oklahoma State have also been under FBI investigations. A simple solution for the NCAA should be to give the kids some money for their contributions. The average head football coach at major colleges (division 1 FBS) make 1.64 million dollars, with the highest paid coach being Nick Saban at 11.125 million dollars according to USA TODAY. To put that in perspective, the average NFL coach makes 7 million dollars, while the average NFL player makes 1.9 million dollars, according to FORBES. The average NFL player makes 27% of their coaches salary, and the average would go up if not for the salary cap in the NFL. If the average NCAA football player made 27% of the money that the average coach makes, that player would make 442,800 dollars. While most players don’t think they should make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, they think payment is not only needed, but deserved. While not paying athletes isn’t right, the athletes also aren’t allowed to use their fame to make money. If an athlete wanted to accept an endorsement from Nike or other companies, the NCAA would not allow it. Is it right to keep a player from benefiting from their hard work and athletic accomplishments? If the best player in the country is in his last year of college and has a career ending injury, he would lose out on millions of dollars. In conclusion, if the NCAA doesn’t pay its athletes, they can lose in the long run. While it’s not widely popular right now, some basketball players go to different countries to skip playing for the corrupt system that makes up the NCAA. Players who go overseas can make money from their talent, and they don’t have to deal with the NCAA. They work on basketball for a year, and then go to the draft. That sounds much better than working for free while people around you make millions based on how well you do.

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