College Athlete Pay: An Op-Ed

Nolen Cooper, Reporter

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College athletes collectively make billions of dollars for their schools and the NCAA but are “paid” in tuition.
The argument of athletes being paid in tuition is a bad one because they may have classes paid for, but must pay for food, transportation if none is provided, clothes and supplies for school. This is still a major problem for full ride college athletes, because they may not have time to get a job when they are constantly at school, practicing or travelling for games.

Many player also choose to enter college solely for the chance at going to the major leagues or getting drafted by a team. Once these athletes go to the majors, they lose their scholarships and if they end up being a failure on that stage, they can not return to the college unless they want to pay large amounts of tuition, because of the NCAA rules that prevent college athletes entering the draft to return to the school is they are not drafted.

Last year, the NCAA would allow students to declare for the NBA draft but if they did they would lose their scholarship and would not be allowed to return the college if they go undrafted. This was later changed to allow the students back if they go undrafted. This still does not make up for the fact that these athletes aren’t getting paid.

Zion Williamson is one of the most popular college basketball players right now. People are willing to pay upwards of $3,000 to see him play one game, yet he does not get any of the ticket sale or jersey sale revenue, because of the NCAA rules against paying players. Williamson also got injured very badly, and if his injury had been so bad he could never play basketball again, then he may lose his scholarship, because the primary reason he goes to that school is for basketball.

The NCAA needs to fix this by allowing schools to pay athletes even if it is maxed out at $5,000 a year the athletes need some compensation other than tuition and scholarships.