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Pay Issues for Collegiate Athletes

Info: 3824 words (15 pages) Essay
Published: 8th Feb 2020 in Sports

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Pay for Play

 Many fans of college sports feel that collegiate athletes do not deserve to be rewarded for the amount of hard work these athletes put in every day of the year. This is probably due to the fact that these people are only fans of the sport, and not people with inside access to the daily life of these college athletes. Collegiate athletes at numerous universities and institutes around America come from poverty stricken environments. Compensation for your labor and time is something that is needed by many, but not all of these collegiate athletes because all of the athletes do not come from the same types of backgrounds. Some of these athletes have parents who can provide them with money for things outside of what the school provides, and most of them have parents who do not have the resources or money to even be able to drive down to their child’s school to visit their child. Paid play is a vital resource; therefore, it should become a requirement by the National Collegiate Athletics Association that Universities compensate its collegiate athletes.

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One reason that the NCAA feels they shouldn’t pay these players is because the pay would have a negative effect on the athletes’ education (Hruby). The NCAA feels that if these players were to be paid then they would not feel there is a need to put energy into their classes because they aren’t being paid to go to class, but they are being paid to workout (Hruby). If the NCAA wanted these players to excel in their classwork, then they should require a certain grade point average for these athletes to be able to receive compensation and continue to have their finances for education paid for.

The NCAA does not fully understand the competitive drive and grit that these players have grown to have over their lifetime of playing these sports because they are not around the athletes enough to understand the daily trials and tribulations of a collegiate athlete. If players were required to put in a certain amount of work in the classroom to be paid, the athletes competiveness would lead them into obtaining high grades because that would be the athlete’s goal.

Collegiate athletes go through many trials and tribulations with the endorsements that their teams are under. These athletes undergo rips, tears, and many more problems with the apparel and equipment that these companies provide for them, and these problems and problems that athletes who outside of the NCAA would make millions of dollars off of. For example, in a Duke basketball game Zion Williamson, the 6 foot 7 285-pound Duke basketball player, ripped through his Nike shoe and broke his ankle in the first 40 seconds of the game (Engle). This is a perfect example for why these collegiate athletes should be paid for labor because if Zion was not in the NCAA he would have made millions off of this mistake, but he is under the NCAA’s armature rule so he is not allowed to make any profit off of this problem. This is insane because this production mistake Nike made caused Zion Williamson to breaking his ankle.

Athletes across the United States, other than Zion Williamson, also play for universities who are under contracts with billion dollar brands such as Nike, Under Armor, Jordan Brand, and Adidas. These athletes show off and promote these brands product every single day in numerous ways, but do not receive a penny of a reward for their valued contributions. Yes, the NCAA refuses to pay these players, but why do the big time companies also refuse to pay these players? These players are models for these brands; therefore, the athlete’s promote these major brands to people across the world for four straight years. Models deserve to be paid for their work, and brands who are not willing to compensate models for their work are not deserving of having these athletes as their promoters. If these universities are supportive of the idea that their athletes should be paid for play in some sort of way, then the universities should find brands who will compensate these athletes for their promotion (Hruby). These athletes are in need of some sort of income to help provide for their living.

There are many different levels of collegiate sports such as: Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, and Junior College (JUCO). All of these different levels and divisions are different in many ways outside of just their locations. The colleges in some in the Division 1 level have better athletes, campuses, and more money than the colleges in the Division 2, Division 3, and Junior College levels (Burrel). These colleges do not have equal amounts of money to provide for these players, but these colleges are all members of the National College Athletics Association (Ayres). The NCAA is a big time business that profits billions of dollars off of their athletes across the nation (Vcortez). A major problem with athletes being paid is that the pay would not be equally distributed because not all Universities profit the same amount of money. To fix this problem the players could be compensated by the NCAA and not the schools in which they attend. If the NCAA were to pay all of its athletes then it would be eqally balanced throughout all of the athletes; therefore, the fact that the lower division schools do not have the money to provide its players with will no longer be a problem.

The NCAA and all of the universities and colleges that it is partnered with generates billions of dollars yearly off of their sporting events for sports such as: football, men’s basketball, track, soccer, lacrosse, golf, and baseball (NCAA). One way that universities generate money daily from the thousands of fans who pay for tickets and purchase things at the concession stands at games (Brooks). Another way that universities generate money from these sporting events are the television networks who stream the events, and also the companies that sponsor the collegiate sports teams (Brooks). The NCAA and the universities collect billions of dollars off of sporting events and the athletes who perform in them, but the performers do not see a penny of the money because the athletes are amateurs. The reason fans get out of the bed and drive to stadiums and pick up remotes on saturday’s is to see how the collegiate athletes perform. Stadiums that seat 100,000 fans sell out with tickets priced at 70 dollars because fans genuinely support what these college athletes are doing. College athletes are the reason behind why the NCAA makes all of its money and it is insane that these athletes do not make a dime off of what they do. College athletes should be paid because they are the reason behind why we people spend their money on watching the sport and buying t-shirts and accessories of the team. Without the student athletes there would be no fans, and the fans are the reason why there is a circulation of currency throughout the NCAA. The way that the National Collegiate Athletics Association treats its athletes is unjust and cruel. These players are comparable to circus animals when it comes to th daily things thingshey do, what they earn, and what their job is (Mandell). College athletes perform in front of millions of fans per year doing acrobatic things that are amusing to the human eye. These athletes and circus animals are comparable in what they earn because both of the athletes and the animals are not paid for anything that they do. The job of a circus animal is to stay healthy, be fed, perform, practice what they do, amuse the fans, and to go to sleep. Outside of the fact that collegiate athletes go to school and learn, these athletes are adults who have the same duties as a circus animal (Mandell). The college coaches do a lot less labor than the college athletes, but the coaches are the only people who are a part of the team that get paid.

 College athletes in different levels and divisions receive many different perks based off how high of a collegiate level you play on. Although the different divisions of college sports are division one, division two, and division 3, all of the divisions are broken up into many different conferences based on where the college is located and how successful the team has been. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) contains schools such as: The University of Alabama, The University of Tennessee, The University of South Carolina, University of Arkansas, Auburn University, The University of Georgia, The University of Kentucky, The University of Florida, Louisiana State University, The University of Mississippi, and others (Edwards). The Southeastern Conference is the hardest conference to play in for college football. These players are usually some of the highest recruited players coming out of high school. Athlete’s in the SEC are bigger and faster than most other players in college football other than players in the ACC. The massive sizes and great amounts of speed that all of these players have sometimes leads to massive injuries because of the competitiveness of the game. The players play very hard, so these hits can easily knock someone out or end another players season if you don’t play safe. Players in the SEC usually get vaster numbers of gifts and things than players that play in other conferences. Athlete’s that play college football in the SEC also have very high chances of getting selected to play professional football in the National Football League and the AFF than football players in other college conferences because they are more acclimated to playing at a high level of football because of their size, speed, agility and competitiveness (Schrotenboer). The other college conferences are also great and have some very good players, but the SEC is just a different type of football. There are many big time players around the country that play division 1 FBS football that are better than people play in the SEC though. These big time players play in conferences such as: the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, PAC 12, Conference USA, FBS Independents, Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference, Sun Belt Conference, and the Western Athletic Conference (Henshaw). There also big time players who play division 1 football in FCS conferences such as: The Big Sky Conference, Big South Conference, Colonial Athletic Conference, FCS independents, Great West Conference, Ivy League, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Missouri Valley Football Conference, Patriot League Conference, Southern Conference, Southland Conference, Southwestern Athletic Conference (Henshaw).

 Another major conference for college sports is the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The ACC conference has held some of the best athletes to ever play on the east coast of the United States (FOX). The ACC conference isnt as much of a hard core conference as the Southeastern Conference, but the ACC athletes are also some very athletic players with some very spectacular talents. The Atlantic Coast Conference is also a very hard conference to play in, and usually some of the highest recruited players on the east coast play in this conference. The athletes in the ACC conference also receive many gifts and things of that sort. The Atlantic Coast Conference is very competitive and usually the best skill players (Wide Receivers, Cornerbacks, Quarterbacks,

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Running Backs, Linebackers, and Safeties) come out of this conference because this conference is not as smash mouth as the Southeastern Conference, but these players play more fast pace. The  players in the ACC conference usually go to the National Football League combine and have the best times in their drills such as: 15 yard shuttle, the 40 yard dash, and the L drill. These drills are very necessary for NFL scouts because they show how fast a player is. The Atlantic Coast Conference consist of teams such as: The University of Louisville, The University of Virginia, Clemson University, Florida State University, Syracuse University, The University of Miami, Wake Forest University, The University of Pittsburgh, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Boston College, The University of North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Duke University, and North Carolina State University (FOX). One team in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Clemson University, has been the most successful team in college football in the past 4 years. In the 2018-2019 season Clemson Universities football team became the first team in the NCAA to ever go undefeated and win the National Championship. The Atlantic Coast Conference has a lot of teams in a lot of sports that have become legendary and accomplished things that no other team has accomplished. The ACC has many legendary college coaches who have coached in this conference and these coaches have received ridiculous amounts of pay for their players play while the players have received zero.

 The NCAA has many special events such as national championships and bowl games where their players receive rewards and gifts for playing in a game that is a bowl and or a national championship. The NCAA gives their players many oppourtunities, gifts, and rewards, but these gifts are not given to everyone. The most common teams to play in these special games are teams who play in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Southeastern Conference. These gifts for being in bowl games are great. but there are not comparable to the stipends or “cost of living” checks that these players receive. The higher the level of collegiate sports you play the higher the amount of money your “cost of living” check will be (Labobelli). These players do not have money to pay for their living outside of sports so the NCAA feels that they should lend a hand and help a little. The NCAA gives cost of living stipends to teenagers who play collegiate sports as a support check. This check is highly valued to these athletes, but the reason behind why the check is necessary it very deep. 86 percent of college athletes come from poverty strickened environments .

 People who grow up with the drive to want to be successful and play college sports usually come from backgrounds to make them have hunger to be successful. These young kids and teens grow up trying find ways to get out of the situation they grow up in and give their families a feeling of success and comfort. People who come from nearly nothing make it their mission to come up on something. Either teens these days go down the wrong road and end up in the streets, in jail, or working under a paper hat. There are not any successful pathways that don’t involve being different than otheres that a child or teen in a poverty strickened neighborhood could go down. This is the reason why there is so many young kids in today’s world in so much trouble because the kids fear to be different. The youth of today feel that being “different” than others is weird. Kids and teens who grow up living in low income housing or neighborhoods that are considered “projects” seeing a lot of negative and that becomes what they are a custom to doing and knowing. People who grow up in this setting do not want others to feel that they are not they same as their peers.

 The NCAA’s “cost of living” stipend that they provide for their collegiate athletes is something that many of these teens are glad to have, but it is not all that they need or deserve for their labor. Not saying that these athletes are deserving of pay that is equal to the pay of a professional athlete, but they deserve and need more that they are paid. Many of these athletes families rely on these stipend checks that their college athletes receive and some families are financially stable enough to provide for themselves (Labobelli). These stipend checks help out these athletes with things that their universities do not provide. Some things that the stipend help the students out with are: going to get a bite to eat, going out and buying clothes, going out and buying shoes, going to spend time outside of school to enjoy themselves (Labobelli). The “cost of living” stipends are not against NCAA rules, and they are a great way to help the young men and women take their minds off of adult situations and enjoy college life (Labobelli). These teens have a lot on their plate dealing with traveling for games, practices, class, homework, and etc. With the amount of things that these athletes are required to do it should not be a stress for them to find a way to gain in a financial standpoint just to survive with food (Labobelli). University of Virginia linebacker Rob Snyder said, “Sundays you’re on your own for food until Sunday night, so breakfast and lunch,”, and “If you don’t have any money then you won’t eat so it’s very helpful with that.” (Labobelli). Collegiate athletes across the nation from time to time have starved over long summer nights because they are not provided money to purchase any outside food. The cost of living stipend is a great step in the direction of ending that specific problem, but there is much more that could be provided for these young athletes to be able to sustain a healthy and comfortable lifestyle outside of eating food out of the university cafeteria and wearing the clothing that the university provides for its athletes. For example, Mike Greene, defensive lineman for James Madison University, wears JMU football clothes that the school provides for him almost everywhere. When Mike gets home and his parents are around to assist him with finances he then has the oppourtunity to buy nice clothes and do things that are not done everyday by the college athlete. This is a problem that occurs across the nation and it must stop here. Athletes do a lot for these universities and their reward for doing so should benefit their outside lives.

College athletes deal with a lot more than regular college students. College athletes travel for games on days that they have classes, have practices before and after their classes, have to also go to class, study for tests, do their homework, and to find time to sleep. Regular college students only have to find time to get to class, do homework, study, and party. The daily regiment of college athletes are a lot more rigorous than regular students that they do not get rewarded for it other than their free school lunch, free schooling, and their cost of living stipends. College athletes usually start at the age of six training and doing everything in their power to be the best they can in schooling of grades K-12 just so they can have the oppourtunity to play college football and get the college training that will prepare them to be a professional athlete. The college athletes have sacrificed the fun of their young lives with working out and doing homework in replace of going out and having fun and enjoying themselves with friends, so these athletes are deserving of a greater reward for all of the hard work they have put in over the years and all of the sacrifices they have made just to be where they are now.

Works Cited

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