Warning: Controversial Matter
Candice Wiggins: On whether or not college athletes should get paid.
by Candice Wiggins | @candicewiggins
The Great Debate of the new decade in the sports world is: should college athletes get paid?
This was one of the many questions I recently attempted to address as a speaker on the Collegiate Athletics panel at the 2010 Ivy Sports Symposium at Princeton University. (by the way, Princeton, and all the Ivy League schools for that matter, are so dope. Such a distinguished atmosphere.)
So should they? Shouldn’t they? We all want answers and we all have an opinion. My name is Bennett, and I ain’t in it, but allow me to be the moderator as we discuss this controversial topic:
First off, why shouldn’t college athletes get paid?
Seeing as this is the current state of affairs, I’ll start with the argument that people make as to why college athletes should never be paid.
Basically, in the eyes of many, they already are paid, if you consider the fact that they are on a scholarship. The scholarship for the average school can be worth as much as $50,000. That’s $200,000 in four (or five) years in exchange for playing a sport at an institution of higher learning. So, the question in the minds of many then becomes, “Should college athletes be paid more than they already are?” That’s the real question for those who argue that the idea of college athletes getting paid is ridiculous.
Another point to keep in mind is the fact that the only two teams that bring in any revenue to schools are football and men’s basketball. In effect, those two sports are solely responsible for funding every other NCAA sport. So, if college athletes were to get paid, where would the money be coming from? Would it be coming from just what those two sports bring in? Paying players would hurt the school’s budgets drastically, if it was even feasible in the first place.
So, knowing all that, why should college athletes get paid?
This is the hot topic, “the 5th dimension,” so to speak. The reason why athletes should get paid— in the eyes of some—is simple: everyone else is profiting, why shouldn’t the athletes? If they bring in “X” amount of dollars to a school, why aren’t they entitled to any of it?
Some also find it unfair and inequitable that, while players receive nothing beyond scholarships, there’s no limitations as to how much coaches can earn. In addition, some see it as unfair because there’s only a small elite group that is in charge, and this groups sets a limit on the amount the athlete can get paid (through scholarships), but sets no limit on themselves. The result of that? The bad news? Something that’s being referred to as a “black market” in college sports is taking shape. If athletes got paid or compensated, would we have these same issues? In the minds of those who believe they should get paid, the answer is no.
Of course, there are many, many other issues involved in this debate, but I’ve done enough moderating for now….
Fair exchange, or armed robbery? What do YOU think? Let me know your thoughts on this highly controversial topic! I have my thoughts, but when it comes to this issue, I must say, it’s a pretty balanced war.
Up for debating this on Twitter? If you hit me on my Twitter page, I’ll fire back my opinions. Remember there’s only 140 characters or less, so only the minds up for that challenge need apply.