On Monday night, college football fans everywhere watched the College Football Playoff National Championship game between Alabama and Georgia took off at 8:15 eastern standard time, to await the winner of the SEC. Taking place in the Mercedes Benz Stadium, the city of Atlanta could see an estimated profit of $100 million from this single game. Though this is good for the city of Atlanta, the athletes playing this game who have a less than 2% chance of going pro will not see a single dime from their time played, many think this is unfair for these athletes to generate large income for corporations yet leave with nothing to show. Would the idea of student-athletes getting paid help alleviate the problem or make it worse?
Even though student-athletes receive scholarships from their perspective schools they represent, some students do not have the means to even have food, yet they see their coaches drive around in luxury cars and they sometimes turn to other options to make income, even if some ways are not legal. The possibilities for what the college sports world are absolutely endless of what they could do. Here are a few problems and solutions that would come about if they were to decide to do so.
If student-athletes were to be paid for their time spent at their university, this could alleviate the stress off of low-income families who struggle to send money to their student-athletes. From 2011-12, the NCAA revenue was $871.6 million, slightly more than the Netherlands GDP in 2014.
A supplemental income from the NCAA could also compensate for the number of injuries student-athletes receive that can sometimes lead to lifelong problems such as CTE. With an income from the NCAA, this could help families when trying to take care of their injured children.
While there are many positives to athletes receiving an income from the NCAA, there is also a downside.
When you give young adults large amounts of money, they often times will handle the money irresponsibly. A team who plays Division II football will be paid far less than a Divison I team such as Georgia Tech. Students would wonder if they were being paid based on their ability or if other aspects would come into play. Teams could be ripped apart if one student-athlete was financially elevated over another. The final aspect to take into consideration is whether they would even go to class? Even though some athletes skip class already, many athletes won’t even put forth the effort to attend class so the concept of a student-athlete is down the drain.
If the NCAA was to make the decision to pay student-athletes, would this anger traditional students who get no payment for attending school? Would the NCAA finally buckle into pressure and possibly give the athletes what they deserve? Issues will arise on both sides regardless of what they do, but one thing is for certain: the system that allows the NCAA to make millions of dollars each year off of student-athletes needs to be changed.