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I Want My Cut! (The Quest To Pay NCAA Athletes)

In a multibillion dollar industry, athletes around America are feeling used as sort of the poster board for their school by creating revenue so great. Student who play sports and are on athletic scholarships are disciplined for selling autographs, trading memorabilia and other items for cash that the school is not providing for them. The NCAA is the only business where you make billions of dollars but you don’t pay the people. The great debate of whether or not college athletes should be paid for participating in sports has become more and more talked about with the recent stories of student athletes trying to earn money from autographs given to fans in exchange for cash. The NCAA stresses the importance of the college athletes remaining students first, athletes second and the NCAA in no way believes that paying their athletes is morally correct. There have been many proposals as to how this can possibly work for athletes to get paid to avoid the lying in sports. Experts have said that although the probability of athletes getting paid is unlikely there are still ideas to somehow give players an incentive that is not monetary but valuable. Kansas State University head coach Bill Self says: I use to be totally against it, I use to be totally against anything other than room, board, books and fees. But I’ve change, and the landscape of the game has changed. But when you send students across the country to play, to miss more classes and the school benefit from that financially, why shouldn’t the people who are responsible for that benefit and that would be the players. This statement has sparked an uproar and analysts have said that a lot of people undervalue the college tuition, other than the money distributed for books and room and board athletes need some other incentive that is more useful to that student. The athlete provides so much for the University in terms of the coaches’ salary, the publicity, prospective students etc. analysts are saying that a simple stipend for all athletes (Self, 2012). Last year the NCAA brought in 875 billion dollars in revenue. It is understood that because college athletes are considered amateurs, student athletes many of whom never receive scholarships, are unable to accept handouts regardless of the personal economic hardships. But what exactly is considered amateur status? We as athletes wake up, go to school, study, go to practice and perform at the highest level. What is so amateur about that? The average salary of a Division I College football coach in 2012 is 1.64 million, is he an amateur coach? (Forbes- Patric Rishe, 2012) The contract that I signed through the NCAA stated “We own the likeness of your image forever and throughout the universe” (NCAA). When the Supreme Court ruled that colleges could, in fact, sell/promote their college gear through sales with the number and names of the athletes on them, this added a big boom to the business. In 2011, Turner Broadcasting and the NCAA agreed on a March Madness Exclusive Rights TV deal worth 10.8 billion dollars alone. So with all this information, how could you blame athletes who may not be receiving scholarships from their university to not go and sell items they may not use for money? Personally, I am not on scholarship and am financially struggling to come up with simple things as food for my apartment amongst other things. Although IUP is Division II the rules still apply, but is much easier to get away with because no one is that prevalent in this area that would generate that much of a profit for someone to notice or care. Recent cases of Jonny ‘Football’ Manziel receiving money for autographs have really brought back the issue that the compensation for these athletes should be pushed harder. Now as everyone Jonny Football is definitely on scholarship through the Texas A&M but as stated by the NCAA the rules still apply and even though he received money for something he had written with his own hands, he cannot profit off of it because seemingly EVERYTHING belongs to the NCAA. This is not the first case of players receiving money. Arian Foster, Reggie Bush and Cam Newton all have admitted to either receiving money or products from individuals in exchange such as tattoos, movie tickets, cars, sneakers etc. How can this be resolved with each side being equal is still up for odds, but as the popularity in college sports has grown, it is and will become even harder to do this. A user on twitter said “Really amazing to think these guys are letting 300-pound men slam into them, full speed, FOR FREE.” ((Laurenhh86), 2012) For someone who’s not a regular twitter user it was interesting to see exactly how many people have weighed on this conversation, mostly being big fan enthusiasts who of which are tired of seeing the NCAA ‘Pimp’ athletes while increasing tuition and cost of room and board. I propose you to think thoroughly and with the evidence I have to presented to weigh in on this much talked about topic. Players who have received already items from outside the university will never tell, but that does not mean in any way it is not still going on. While watching an episode of George Lopez , I noticed big time recruite

rs were sending his son gifts and his parents items to sort of sway his opinion to one side of the other. This is very common as well but the catch is you cannot accept anything from anyone and if you choose to, you will be banned from the NCAA. Now the only reason the NCAA knew about it is because the younger son was caught selling the t-shirts given to the parents at the mall. Cases like these do happen and could potentially screw up athletes from playing the next level, but how is it that athletes cannot accept items from recruiters but the school in which they choose can use their name in major deals for business if they choose that specific school. Spike Lee said “The NCAA is the biggest pimp in the world” and after reading research and articles… I couldn’t agree more(NCAA).

Whether you believe paying college athletes are the way to go or not. It at best, opens the dialogue for colleges to appeal morally to the athletes they sit in front of each year promoting hope and opportunity only to realize your their loyalty is to your ability to being in revenue through your talent. 

How do you believe college athletes should be compensated, if at all? 

Would you allow your child to play college athletes if they were not on scholarship? 

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