Should College Athletes Be Paid


Jair Garcia

The lingering question that has been unanswered for years by the NCAA is “should college athletes get paid?“ This question has been around for quite some time, making waves on several big news platforms. Many former college athletes that went on to play professionally have brought awareness to this issue. Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Patrick Kearney, Adrian Peterson, and the list goes on. I, alongside many others, believe college athletes should be paid for the work they put in.

College athletes sacrifice far too much for no compensation. They’re under constant stress, physically and mentally, spending countless hours putting their bodies through grueling workouts. Moreover, they bring in plenty of money in ticket sales alone, not to mention merchandise sales and fundraisers. The least the NCAA could do is give them 10-20 % commission on ticket sales. This would give the average college athlete around $ 1,000 to $ 3,000 every month, although the paycheck amount would vary depending on the schedule, or if athletes are in season.

Adrian Peterson, a running back in the NFL and former college athlete, explains how colleges take advantage of top prospects in his interview with Bleacher Report. “If LeBron would’ve gone to college; they would have made thousands off Lebron solely”. LeBron is a perfect example of why so many athletes would rather try other ventures, like overseas or minor leagues, after high school. These opportunities promise athletes more immediate financial success than playing for a college team.

“Another way the NCAA could pay athletes is in the form of a 401K, which will help them with investments later on in their lives. It will show them how that money could work in their favor even if they don’t continue their athletic journey” states Adrian Peterson in his interview with CNBC. Although this money isn’t going directly to the players, it benefits them in the long run. This payment plan would give college athletes valuable savings for any future ventures. Statistics show that 1 in 10 professional athletes are bankrupted within 3 to 10 years after retirement; 401ks would set up college athletes for financial success once they finish competing.

College athletes deserve to be paid, and shouldn’t be used as free promotion. Colleges need to stop milking athletes’ talents for free and start rewarding them for all the hard work they put in every season.