Under Review: Should Division-I college football players be paid?

Affirmative Argument

By Kyle Nichols

Being from Florida, I grew up watching college sports, especially college football. I am a big college football fan and watch the Florida State Seminoles play every weekend. They play week after week with enormous pressure to win each Saturday. The players know if they don’t play well they will get benched. They also know that if they lose, their coach’s job is on the line.

Now, let’s look at the NFL.  They play in front of large crowds as well with enormous pressure on them to perform. The NFL players know that if they play bad they will also get benched and if they don’t win, their coach could also get fired. Same game, just different levels of play; the biggest difference is when you go pro the players get paid. College Athletes do not get paid nor can they accept any kind of money outside of what their scholarship says they can receive. That means they may be going to school for free or that half their tuition is paid for or maybe even just their books are paid for. Some argue that is how college athletes get paid and that is a valid argument.

What needs to happen is to look at things farther. These college athletes get their schooling for free, but that does not leave them with any extra cash. For college football, they start in early August and finish in January. Then they get about a month or two off and spring season starts up. Where is there time to get extra spending money or go out and work to make rent?  I feel college athletes should have the opportunity to take funds to offset the cost of their living expenses.  Florida State has an average football game attendance of 75,601 with each ticket starting at $50.00. These players make so much money for their schools and yet they see none of it. I do not think that college athletes should get paid what NFL players get paid. I do think that college players should get a stipend. It does not have to be a huge amount, but something that helps the athlete have enough to cover everyday expenses. These athletes do more than win games on the field: they help build enrollment at their school, they help bring new updated building to their campuses and all they receive is their schooling for free. The players should receive more for all that they do.  A college education is a great gift; however, for the time and energy they put into their sport there should be more return on their investment to the college or university.

Contrary Argument

By Tim Bowdoin

Should Division-I college football players get paid?  My answer to that is: they already are paid.  Most D1 players have huge scholarships, barely having to pay for their  education.

So why should they get paid more along with their scholarship money?  They are already getting an opportunity for a better future and a better education, for a small fee.  Paying D1 football players is not fair for other students at these schools.  These students, for the most part, do not get the generous scholarships that these athletes receive.

These players are also “paid,” to a degree, in status.  The fame and exposure that comes with being a D1 athlete leads these players to be praised as celebrities. Texas A&M quarterback Johhny Manziel, for example, consistently found himself in the headlines, even during the offseason.  If they are revered like pro-athletes, shouldn’t they be paid like them?

Paying these athletes would ruin the game and ruin the reason why people love college sports. It would take the amateur aspect out of the game. The fact that these athletes are playing for the love of the game and not a contract is what draws fans to college sports.  Today, many professional athletes are just in it for the money and are always looking to score new contracts or endorsement deals. NFL players are known for holding out during training camp because they want more pay.  Honestly, it’s an embarrassment to football when a player does this. They are already getting paid more than doctors!  This is why people love college sports so much: They are playing the game because they love it.

If college athletes start getting paid, it makes it possible for the same uglyness in professional sports regarding money to happen in colleges.  There will be a few college players who will say, “Wait, I deserve to get paid more.”  And it will just go from there, taking college football in an ugly direction.

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