should college athletes get paid 

Should College Athletes Get Paid

What do you consider a professional? According to the definition of a professional is “following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain:”Collegiate athletes that are on the level of Division 1 are unpaid professionals with the burden of having to go to school. Coming from a sports background my opinion on the topic is very biased as I believe that college athletes should get paid and I’m going to use statistics as well as information from people that know more about the subject than I do to justify my position.

The difference between a professional and a collegiate athlete is that one gets paid and the other is not allowed to accept payment in exchange for play, as well as not accepting endorsements from brands such as Nike or Adidas. We always see collegiate athletes on TV wearing the same gear that is provided to them by the school; the exception to the rule is when a college athlete pays for the gear they wish to display. For example, Duke University has a basketball program endorsed by Nike, and athletes who wish to wear gear of a different brand are required to buy these items on their own.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) controls all of college sports and from their standpoint they believe that college athletes are students first and athletes second which is true. However, these college athletes solely aspire to be professionals in their respective athletic fields, similar to students who are accepted into specific programs of a university aspiring only to become professionals in their respective fields. In 2006, the NBA issued a rule stating the college athletes who wish to enter the NBA draft must be at least 19 years of age during the calendar year, meaning they must attend a minimum of 1 year of schooling. This led to the term “one and done athletes”, who look to stay in school for the minimum 1 year before declaring entry to the NBA Draft. The lack of pay is the source of the frustration of these athletes, as they wish to begin earning money to match their hard work and dedication. In the years prior to 2006, basketball players like LeBron James (in 2003) and Kobe Bryant (in 1996), who were both supreme athletes at the time, had no intention of going to university because they believed no reward for their talent was unjustified. During their time, they were able to jump straight into the NBA from high school.

Other former college athletes have come out to describe the hardships that they would face during their time in college. Athletes face the hardships of lack of money as well as lack of time to get a job to pay for things they need such as food. In “It’s Time to Pay the Tab for America’s College Athletes” Kareem Abdul Jabar states that “Here we are nearly 50 years later and the arguments for and against haven’t changed. Portland Trailblazer Shabazz Napier described his experience as a college point guard in 2014 that was eerily, and sadly, so close to mine: “We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food in. … Sometimes, there’s hungry nights where I’m not able to eat, but I still gotta play up to my capabilities.” The only thing that has significantly changed is that the NCAA, television broadcasters, and the colleges and universities are making a lot more money.”

This is one of many instances in which former college athletes and current professionals have spoken out about the NCAA inability to help their players out former UCLA point guard and current Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball said in an interview that “Everybody knows everybody’s getting paid,” Ball said. “That’s just how it is. Everybody’s getting paid anyway, you might as well make it legal. That’s how I feel.”

In my personal opinion college athletes should be getting paid, in today’s world a Division One athlete is worth around $170,000 and they don’t see any of that money, the NCAA uses their image, they televise them to the world, they host events in which they promote the big games such as March Madness.

One of my good personal friends plays soccer for a Division One school Binghamton University. In a quote from him on Thursday October 18th, 2018 at 4:10 pm he stated that “As a student athlete I believe that if attending a division one program which requires a tremendous amount of time and commitment, athletes should be getting paid. It might not look that hard on the outside but it’s extremely difficult to manage time between school and sports, especially during the season of the sport because the teams constantly travel. It’s a big commitment as mentioned before, and athletes should definitely receive some type of income.”

For a college athlete to waste so much of their time trying to become a professional athlete seems insane especially when it’s not guaranteed. According to the statistical chance of becoming a professional is less than 2 percent (except baseball) make it from college to professional athletes as of 2012. Putting in all that work whilst not getting paid seems outrageous especially when the odds are stacked against you. As a college athlete you must spend all your time either training for the sport you are in or studying because in order to compete in collegiate sports you require a minimum of a 2.3 GPA. Between games preparations and practices, gym sessions, and studying, college athletes are left with no time to find a remedial job that offers a minimum wage to pay for accessories not provided by their universities. The NCAA’s strict rules on scholarships eliminate the chance of athletes getting jobs, because most of their time most be spent recovering from workouts, as without proper recovery time they risk getting hurt and losing their scholarship.

There is a split debate between whether college athletes should be paid or if they are getting paid through their scholarships, in David J. Berri’s article “Paying NCAA Athletes” he says that  “Soit seems clear that college athletes are frequently exploited by the NCAA. It also seems clear that the obvious solution is for the NCAA to abide by the same rules we see in labor markets in non-sports industries. Specifically, it is illegal—outside of sports—for firms to collude to limit the compensation of employees.” They feel exploited having a “nonprofit” organization make so much revenue off your face and your name. it seems unjustifiable because the the NCAA is worth over 1 Billion dollars with all their broadcasting contracts where most of their sports are televised. Constant advertising these big events such as the bowl games in college football or march madness in college basketball these two sporting events make the NCAA a very wealthy company.

In Tim Parker’s article “How Much Does the NCAA Make off March Madness” he states that the NCAA makes so much money off this event that it’s unbelievable they call themselves a nonprofit organization. “Basically, March Madness is the NCAA’s bread and butter. College athletics’ governing body will earn somewhere around $900 million in revenue from the tournament, representing about 90% of its annual revenue. On the surface that seems like cause for outrage, especially in light of how much the players earn: nothing.One of the most lucrative contracts connected with the tournament is the one for the broadcast rights. In 2010 the NCAA signed a 14-year, $10.8 billion contract with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting, paid over the 14-year term. The deal was extended in April 2016 for a combined total rights fee of $8.8 billion that will keep the tournament on the networks until 2032.”

Maddie Weiss and Nathan Noble talk about the exploitation of the athletes and how they are being treated unfairly “It’s unfair that the NCAA and some big colleges make millions of dollars because of talented athletes, but those athletes don’t get any of that money. They work hard and make sacrifices. Players on top college football teams devote 43 hours per week to practice and games, according to an NCAA survey. That’s more hours than most Americans work each week. Although the NCAA says college athletes are mainly students, the athletes often have to miss classes for games. Players on teams that do well in basketball’s March Madness tournament could miss two weeks of classes.”

Thus far I’ve spoken about the positives of college athletes getting paid, as well as the positives of athletes getting paid there are also many negatives. Young adults making an exorbitant amount of money won’t know how to manage it. Their lack of education may lead to impulsive spending at such a young age and may leave them in a financial instable position in the years to come. With the prominence of so much new technology and gear readily available to the public at the mere touch of a finger, these young athletes will likely spend their money inappropriately.

Many argue that because they are considered “student-athletes” their job isn’t as an athlete but as a student. That, for me personally, is the biggest debate that they can make. Which although true the amount of time spent on the field of the sport outweighs the student part of college athletics. Many times, thee “student first athletes” are required to miss class for weeks at a time due to traveling and game times. Any free time these athletes get goes directly to working out. Their summers are seemingly non-existent as they must cut their holidays short to report back to school for pre-season training weeks before the scholastic year begins.

For the first time in over 10 years there has been a poll coming out of Seton Hall that says 40 percent of people agree that college athletes are being exploited for their talents and their marketability with all the advertising they do from commercials. They are used as cash cows and the players see none of the money. A lot of the time these big schools bring inner city athletes into these college campuses where they see these extravagant stadiums and locker rooms and gyms, and a full staff and they take advantage of them because the students are the reason that they are willing to afford all this stuff and then some.

A question iv asked myself for years is, “why don’t athletes go overseas to play professionally for a year until they are eligible to get drafted? There are many upsides to going to play overseas for a year; the athletes are competing against similar-or-higher level athletes for a salary and they are competing against others who have undergone a similar pathway to professionalism, and who could possibly offer tips and how to succeed in this field. These athletes they are competing against have experience in this field and can certainly offer advice to the younger athletes that can improve them. In an article written by Jeffrey Dorfman on he states that “If a basketball player didn’t feel that qualified as “pay,” his only choice was to play in a pro league overseas for at least a year while waiting to be eligible for the NBA. A few basketball players did take the overseas route, but most seemed to believe college was more valuable, implying they place a very high value on the coaching, networking, and exposure they gain from playing in top college programs.

However, a new option is about to be made available. The G League is the minor league for the NBA, providing basketball players not quite good enough to play in the NBA with a place to develop their skills in hopes of advancing to the ultimate stage. The NBA just announced that starting with the 2019-2020 season, the G League will offer top 18-year old basketball players “select” contracts of $125,000 for a year in the G League.”

People are becoming aware of the corruption going on in the NCAA and are instead forming programs like the NBA G-League and the JBA to pay young athletes to play the game of basketball instead of attending college. When these young adults would rather go to a different country to play professional sports there’s a problem because they are willing to give up their education for money. Young athletes should be allowed to get paid while gaining an education as if they were taking part of a school internship working towards their future goals, the NCAA should be responsible for paying these athletes as they would not only do an ethically and morally good deed but would also gain a big following of supporters.

In conclusion athletes in college are being underappreciated and exploited for the purpose of the NCAA making billions of dollars a year. These young men and women spend their whole lifetime training for their sport and its quite wrong for them to be unfairly used for their talents. The least the athletes deserve is some compensation for them to live their daily lives while not having to worry about finances

Works Cited


Brothers Taverna (23-01 Steinway street Astoria New York) (resume)

  • Worked as a bus boy, developed people skills by dealing with customers

Steinway auto repair (23-05 Steinway street Astoria New York)

  • Worked at a family business as a car mechanic, learned how to do basic car repairs such as changing oil as well as changing tires. I’ve been working here and learning for about 3 years now, I’ve learned how to speak with customers on the phone.

Special skills 

  • Know how to use Microsoft office
  • Speak multiple languages (English and Greek)
  • Ability to learn quick and adapt to different scenarios

Volunteer work 

  • Coaching younger children in soccer
  • Thanksgiving food drive for the home-owners association in Astoria queens (2013-present)


  • I play soccer competitively


  • I went to Saint Demetrios high school in Astoria, New York (class of 2017)
  • Currently attending The City College of New York as a full-time student
cover letter

To whoever this may concern,

My name is Andreas Efraim, I am 19 years old. In my life I’ve worked in places such as restaurants as well as in a mechanic shop, I’ve worked with many people throughout my life and I’m more than capable adapting to my environment. I worked at brother Taverna a small restaurant on the corner of Steinway street and 23rdavenue I worked as a bus boy, it was a good working experience which taught me how to communicate with people and especially the ability to sell myself. In my career of working in a mechanic shop I’ve learned manual labor such how to change a tire on a car or even do a simple oil change. These two professions are very different in their own respective ways and I’ve found a way to excel at both.

self reflection

I registered for this class late and in all honesty this class has nothing to do with what I want to pursue but I’m very glad that I took this class, I went from being a non-confident writer who made many mistakes to be a more confident writer and I tried to eliminate the mistakes that I made.

Over the course of the semester we have done many projects, I learned how to do a proper resume along with a cover letter which will help me when applying for future jobs, this is not something in which I knew how to do prior to taking this class, I had never really had a job where I needed to have a cover letter and resume. On the next project we were set to write an op-ed, this task was one in which I have never heard before but I picked my topic and I ran with it, admittedly I didn’t put much effort into the one page assignment, but then we did the conference paper which at first seemed like a very scary task but then I got a great idea for my project and couldn’t stop writing until I completed 8 pages when the minimum you could do is 5 I was one of the first to finish the paper in the class. I did this with the help of professor Brener she would check it and send it back and give great feedback on the paper and when I did my last sumbission I was very confident that my work was going to get an A. I have learned a lot from this class especially how to analyze what is being asked and being able to put those thoughts onto paper.

This class especially helped me with my confidence because I wasn’t the strongest person when it came to group work and when I was partnered with 3 other strangers we all worked well together we came up with an idea and then when it came to our turn to present we were  very confident and ready, this class has helped me tremendously it made me expand my vocabulary as well as not to be bothered by a paper that says 8 pages, it’s given me confidence to know that I can tackle any assignment that comes my way.