Recently, Louisville Mens’ Basketball coach, Rick Pitino, was terminated along with a slew of coaches from other various collegiate basketball programs, after an FBI investigation revealed a scandal regarding the recruiting of players. Although there were a variety of crimes committed in this investigation, the main one was paying players money to play at certain colleges. Under NCAA rules it is illegal to pay players, and since they knew this all the coaches who did this are obviously at fault. However, moving forward these rules need to change because it’s been making colleges richer while screwing over NCAA players for far too long.
The average colleges player commit about 43.3 hours a week to their sports, while the average American is paid based on 40 hour salary, according to an article on Forbes.com. In case you didn’t already know, playing college level sports is not easy and the amount of time invested into players’ crafts is basically the same as working a full time job.
Based on the success of their sports teams colleges usually have their rankings go up and in effect are more competitive about the grades and standardized test scores of the students they accept. This in turn allows them to then raise the price of their tuition as well, which means colleges are more than benefiting from having the country’s best players on their sports teams.
Furthermore, colleges also make money from merchandise and apparel after the success of these teams, while the players aren’t allowed to be in commercials or market their own names, according to NCAA rules. This is morally wrong, to profit of someone, who isn’t allowed to profit off themselves. It’s not fair that players aren’t allowed to take advantage of opportunities they worked for.
The vast majority of players don’t make professional sports teams, and having a paycheck makes the time spent much more meaningful than just a degree for their service to the college. Furthermore, considering the risk athletes take that could result in terrible injuries, no compensation just seems ethically wrong.
Finally, the NCAA is an 11 billion dollar industry, that is constantly brokering new TV deals. On top of that, they pay their sports staffs more than a modest salary, with people like Alabama head football coach Nick Saban making more than 11 million annually. Players don’t need the millions pros make, but some sort of compensation is well deserved considering the risk and dedication to their respective sports they put in on top of school work.
If the NCAA wants to stop these recurring scandals from ruining their name and to finally clean up college athletics, the answer is simple: pay the players.