Josh H. Iowa

College Athletes Pay

College athletes should be paid because they are risking their health, generating money for the NCAA, and this could help them mature before going professional.

Dear Future President:

There are over 460,000 student athletes that compete in 24 sports at the college level in the United States. Participating in a college sport takes away a good portion of their free time that could be spent studying or improving their social life. These athletes deserve to be paid because sports take away from their social and educational life.

Athletes risk their health when they play for the enjoyment of fans. From 1900-1905, 45 athletes died in football alone. That’s not counting the large number of athletes that had their lives shortened or were affected by diseases like CTE, dementia, etc. Student athletes also suffer the risk of traumatic injuries while playing sports. For example, in the 2013 March Madness NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, Kevin Ware suffered a horrific leg compound fracture that caused his right tibia and fibula to protrude several inches from the skin. He was never the same basketball player and he couldn’t walk for months.

These athletes also generate millions of dollars each year for the NCAA. With all of the tickets being sold to watch these athletes combined with all of the fans that watch the games on television, these college kids attract a lot of money. In the 2011-2012 athletic seasons, athletes made $705 million, or 81 percent of the NCAA’s revenue. That number has also continued to rise over the years, and it could soon be over a billion dollars.

If college athletes were paid, they could also support their families earlier and wouldn’t have to go pro before they’re ready, just for the money. Michael Beasley was selected 2nd overall in the NBA Draft after having an outstanding freshman season in college. He believes that if he grew up in a better financial situation, he would have stayed in college longer but his family could not afford more years of college for him so he had to enter the draft before he was ready. "I grew up poor, dirt poor … Everybody is different. Me? If I came from a better financial situation, I could have been there two, three or four years." He wouldn’t have had to leave as early if he could have gotten paid in college to help pay his family’s bills. If he could’ve stayed longer, he could’ve been more prepared and would’ve possibly had a better professional career.

I think that a productive way to pay these athletes would be to pay them according to how many fans they bring in and how much money they generate. This would help because then the popular teams that are better than other teams can get paid more than the worse teams that not as many people know about. As president, it is your job to enforce laws that make this country a better place, and this law would help the youth of America financially and educationally.

By: Josh H