by Austin Kellogg
Having been born into a very sports oriented family here in Nebraska I became fascinated with athletics at a very young age. Playing sports throughout middle school, high school and nowintramurals in college I try to stay involved as much as I can. When I can’t play sports I can do the second best thing, watch them. My favorite sports to watch are at the collegiate level especially when my Nebraska Cornhuskers are playing. Recently there has been a debate over whether or not those student athletes playing those sports should be paid. I believe paying student athleteswill hurt universities and college sports as a whole.
Universities across the country have an enormous amount of expenses that must be paid from year to year. Their budgets are getting thinner and could not afford the extra cost of paying student athletes. Blake Duffin, a published writer in The Daily Cardinal, says “According to USA Today, only 23 of the 228 athletic programs at NCAA Division I public schools produced enough money to cover all of their expenses. In fact, very few schools do not accept subsidies for their programs” (Duffin 4). Paying student athletes would make a lot of universities either cut other programs budgets or eliminate their sports programs. I would hate to see universities cut their athletic programs because student athletes must be paid.
Student athletes want to be paid for playing their sports, despite the fact it could phase out their sports from universities; it seems to be a catch 22. Although most student athletes are already getting paid from universities, the scholarships athletes receive eliminate the cost of attending a university which includes tuition, room and board, sometimes even food and clothes. Horace Mitchell President of California State University-Bakersfield and on the NCAA Division I Board of Directors says “… they earn scholarships to pay tuition, fees, room and board, and other allowable expenses. Collegiate sports is not a career or profession. It is the students’ vehicle to a higher education degree” (Mitchell 2). The ability to play a collegiate sport is a great opportunity, which a lot of people would love to have including me. On top of being able to play the sport they love for four more years, student athletes are getting the entirety of their college expenses paid. Student athletes are starting to get greedy and want to be paid on top of all their scholarships and perks. Education is the reason these student athletes should be attending college in the first place. Obtaining a college degree is a difficult task and people should take pride of achieving that goal. Some student athletes use collegiate sports for a gateway to professional sports. For few of the student athletes that might work out, but if he or she blows out their knee after the first year in a professional sport and never recover fully what would they do? They are possibly stuck, some people may go back to school and some may not ever tap their true potential because they never finished their degree. That’s a risk they take with not truly valuing an education.
Paying student athletes would not only hurt universities and their educational integrity, but also the collegiate sports as a whole. Collegiate sports have become such a large part of American society, and no one would want to intentionally hurt them. If colleges would have the ability to pay their athletes, bidding wars could ensue over the best college athletes. Why would this end up being bad? Again only 23 Division I universities ended up making enough money to pay of all their expenses for a year. This would create unfair advantages for well-set economic universities that would be able to pay more money to athletes, which would make the same team’s annual champions. This would damage the competitive nature of college sports. Lynnette Reitz, the coach of the women’s soccer team at Lock Haven University says “If they were to be given extra money, we could see institutions that have endless resources field a team, in theory, who could all be NFL prospects” (qtd in McGovern 3). Reitz’s statement could very well happen for the very top division I universities. Collegiate sports would never be the same again if student athletes were to be paid.
College sports are my favorite things to watch either on TV or in Person. Granting I love nothing more than heading down to memorial stadium on Saturday; tailgating before the game than walking through the sea of red to watch the Huskers beat down whomever they are playing that week. That’s what I love about college sports they create memories and great times that people will never forget. Paying student athletes would change the whole dynamic with college sports. It would put more pressure on the players and anger the fans when players are not playing well although they are getting paid. Paying student athletes is a step in the wrong direction and I believe they should not be paid.
Duffin, Blake.”Column: Paying college athletes is wrong and impractical.” The Daily Cardinal: University of Wisconsin – Madison. 15 Nov. 2013. LexisNexis Academic. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
McGovern, Sean. “Earn to learn: paying student athletes.” The Eagle Eye: Lock Haven University. 7 Nov. 2013. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date 18 Feb. 2014.
Mitchell, Horace, and Marc Edelman. “Should College Student-Athletes Be Paid?” U.S. News Digital Weekly 5.52 (2013): 17.Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 Feb. 2014.