Sports

NCAA: Unfair Cartel or Justifiable Nonprofit?: Should NCAA players be paid for their athletic abilities?

      Recently, the media cycle has included a plethora of coverage about alleged unfair financial policies by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).The debate regarding NCAA athletes getting paid is not a new one, as for years critics have claimed that the NCAA profits unfairly off of the work of their student-athletes. The NCAA is a multi-billion dollar “nonprofit,” all the while their athletes have to deal with financial pressure. According to the National College Players Association, “86 percent of college athletes live below the poverty line.” A shocking statistic, especially with the amount of money that the NCAA seems to be raking in, generating over a billion dollars in 2017.

      What does the NCAA have to say? In their gargantuan 500+ page student-athlete handbook, they explicitly state that any athlete receiving compensation for their sport is prohibited. That being said, the NCAA provides hundreds of millions of dollars worth of scholarships, training camps, rehabilitative services and other benefits to players. Many of the more talented student-athletes receive full rides to their universities. In addition, schools have the option of giving athletes a stipend. While not a salary, this is surely beneficial to recipients.

      Perhaps the nature of the NCAA is a matter of opinion. On one hand, some critics argue that paying student-athletes completely devalue the integrity component of playing college athletics. Still, in a truly unfriendly economy for Gen Z, any financial contributions potentially not being delivered tangs with the sense of injustice. It is quite likely that the NCAA is not the only contributing factor to the lack of economic prosperity that face student-athletes, and maybe point to greater economic problems in the country.    

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