Should college athletes be paid?

Collegiate sports take more precedence today as evidenced by avid fans, despite temperature or weather, covered in paint to support their teams. Hardcore alumni and students can always be counted on to cheer at games, even if they are miles away from their home turf. With this fixation on college athletics, the issue of whether college athletes should be paid or not continues to survive, especially in the wake of the Cam Newton controversy.

 Kelly Whiteside, from USA Today, notes that it is unfair to the athletes that their schools make such a large profit and yet they do not receive any of the money writing.  “They see their jersey numbers on the racks of the campus bookstore, but they don’t see any share of the profit. They see their coaches drawing million-dollar salaries and their schools and conferences taking cash from corporate sponsors, but they don’t get a whiff of the action.”

   Ashley Orosco, a college sports fan, feels that college “athletes work so hard and the college is getting so much money but they’re not really seeing any of it.”

   So why are athletes not paid? Many feel that the athletes are at college for an education, not for paid performances. Ms. Amy Kafantaris, Academy Latin teacher and an ardent collegiate football aficionado, believes that “If the athletes want to be paid, there are professional sports for them. They are supposed to be spending their time learning an academic.”

 Dr. Kaaron Petrick, a fan of college football and basketball agrees, saying that “College sports do generate a lot of wealth and perhaps that should be shared with the athletes, but students should go to college to learn academics and that should be their primary focus.”

 However, many college athletes do spend a large amount of time involved in both the classroom and their sport. “My life pretty much evolved around academics and athletics,” says Sara Petrick, a former athlete on the University of Florida’s track and cross-country team.

 Petrick further notes the time-consuming nature of collegiate sports mentioning, “When I’d wake up, it was the first thing on my mind… If anything, it was more than a regular job would entail, because I would spend so much time thinking about it and preparing for it, not to mention actually practicing or competing.”

 Yet these athletes do receive a lot of perks and huge amounts of money go into giving them the top sports equipment and training available. Scholarship athletes, especially, reap many benefits. Stephanie Sturgill and Dr. Steve Chen, writers from The Sport Digest, acknowledge that “When athletes accept scholarships, they are provided tuition, books, meals, housing, and sometimes graduate assistantships. Student-athletes may also receive special treatment when it comes to academic issues, for example priority scheduling, tutoring assistance, and excused absences.”

Jason Whitlock, an ESPN columnist, believes that college athletes are given too much already and that “They need to be slapped back into reality. People need to tell them just how good they’ve got it.”

Currently, The National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA, remains firmly opposed to paying college athletes. However, Dexter Rogers, from The Huffington Post, writes that “Technically, the NCAA is not-for-profit entity, yet it generates mega-bucks and vast sums of money are generated from television contracts. Also, the conferences and individual universities are stacking tall chips as well.

These facts and opinions support that college athletes should be paid for their hard work and effort in school.  If an athlete performs particularly well in a competition or is bringing in vast sums for his or her school, then a bonus could be added to their pay. If they begin to do poorly in school, a portion should be taken away. Likewise, if they do well in class, they should be rewarded.

Even though the debate ensues over the question of college athletes being paid or not, fans will

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Should college athletes be paid?