- Posted April 23, 2014 by
Show Me the Money!!
March Madness, BCS Championships, and even video games annually bring in billions of dollars to the NCAA and the universities who are engaged in such events. But the players, who perform year round to be the best at their craft as they can be, never see a dime. The money instead goes towards coaches’ salaries, updating campus needs, and even travels outside of the athletics department. Each year, the severity of this issue has increased. In recent years, there have been lawsuits against the NCAA and the first university, Northwestern, has come forward and formed a union. The NCAA disagrees with the formation of the union and states that college athletes, by law, are not employees and thus should not be paid.
My question is what traits exactly make an employee? According to Forbes, the average division 1 college football player dedicates 43.3 hours per week to football, which is 3.3 more hours than a typical American workweek. Also, the NCAA playoff schedules for both football and basketball ask the players to miss several days of classes in order to compete and bring in revenue for the NCAA and their university. As Edelman (2012) states in the article “The road to the NCAA men’s basketball championship may require a student-athletes to miss up to a quarter of all class days during their Spring semester.”
One of the main arguments against those who support paid college athletes is the fact that, in division 1 schools, the most recognized players already receive full scholarships. These scholarships roughly are around $25,000 for each player per year for a division 1 school according to the Huffington Post. While this amount of money might seem like a lot for a college student, none of it goes to them directly. These scholarships cover the random and unknown university fees, tuition, housing, and hundreds of dollars in textbooks. These scholarships disappear fast because they take up basic needs and the players never actually see that money or have the power to do with it what they wish. Being an athlete is a full time job. A typical day consists of; an A.M. workout, classes throughout the day, position meetings, team meetings, practice, and mandatory study hall. The agenda of a student athlete lasts from about 6:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. with the sport taking up so much time in the student-athletes life that they have no chance to find a job that actually pays them.
My point is that Division I athletes are being exploited. College Athletics date back to the mid-nineteenth century and quickly began to show the benefits of having a successful athletic program. The more success a program has the more media coverage the university receives, large amounts of money are being brought in, and alumni ties become stronger. With all of the effort, time, and energy that athletes year around put into their sport, ultimately supporting their university, they deserve better.