Division 1 athletes have it all: the glory of representing the school’s colors and honor, the pretty girls, televised games, and most have room and board along with classes paid for. Some think that all this is not enough for these young players; they deserve to be paid for their dedication and hard work. This is a very controversial topic because there is such a fine line between professional athletes and amateur athletes. College athletes get scholarship money for performance on the field or court, and the definition of a professional athlete is someone who gets compensation for on field or court performances.When you add a paycheck and agents into college sports, holdouts on contracts and greed start ruining a pure game. College athletics are special in many different ways, but the most important may be the fact that college athletes are playing for the love of the game and not the love of a buck. Controversy has followed the issue regarding college athletes and whether they should be paid to play. Both sides have convincing arguments; on the side of payment to college athletes believe athletes should be compensated because the athletes are the attraction when spectators come to games and when fans buy jerseys and other memorabilia.
Think of how much revenue star players bring the schools they attend, between jerseys, tickets, and money schools get for attending bowl games, the players should get a cut. If student athletes get paid then they have more initiative to stay in school and get a degree. Many people also think that if an athlete gets paid to play then the incentive to partake in illegal activities will be eliminated between players and agents. Most star college athletes do not have time for a job to make money so they need some other source of income rather than relying on family.For a college athlete, school and practice is a full time job and most would have a hard time juggling a part time job as well. But once we start paying college athletes than we cross the line from amateurism to professionalism. The argument against the payment of college athletes is based on the fact that agents, schools or boosters cannot pay an amateur athlete to play because that is the definition of a professional athlete. College athletes with full ride scholarships get free room, board, food, and get books paid for.
They also get special assistance in academics, get first pick at classes at some schools, so the question arises, aren’t athletes pampered enough as it is? When student athletes decide they want to attend a school and play a sport for that school, they are well aware of the commitment they are making. If they needed to have a job to support themselves then they would have to make the decision to do so. Schools offer athletes a education and the opportunity to play a sport on the next level; it is a stretch to ask for monetary compensation as well.Fans of college sports do not want the top athletes to choose the school they are going to based on the school’s budget. Part of the beauty of college sports is the connection players have with their schools; school spirit and rivalries make college sports what they are. If athletes are paid than they will see college as a job and not have the same passion that they do now.
Schools like Ohio State and USC would have a field day on blue chip athletes and become the New York Yankees of college because of their giant payrolls.Student athletes should choose a school for the educational values, the coaching staff and program prestige, not paychecks and other monetary benefits. Athletes have enough responsibilities and stress in the recruiting process without having to deal with signing bonuses, agents and worrying about paychecks.
When a student athlete is being recruited, it is open season for recruiters, they send beautiful hostesses to escort the players around campus and take them to parties. “College Recruiting: Are Student Athletes Being Protected. ”) In the NCAA rulebook it states, “ A member institution may not arrange or permit excessive entertainment of a prospect on the campus or elsewhere (e. g. , hiring a band for a dance specifically for the entertainment or the prospect, a chauffeured limousine, a helicopter)” (“College Recruiting: Are Student Athletes Being Protected.
” 33). But student athletes are taken to strip clubs by hostesses and to parties where drugs and alcohol are available. College Recruiting: Are Student Athletes Being Protcted. ”) That seems like a very unethical system to sway players towards your school.
Young student athletes that are 18 and 19 years old are being pressured by recruiters to attend a certain school with promises of playing time and popularity, what would happen when you throw money into the mix? People started paying attention to payment of players when a mediocre team would stack up on talent out of the blue, and more importantly the NCAA began to pay closer attention.The public started to see the reality of college recruitment especially after schools and boosters began getting punished for giving students money to play. Southern Methodist University received a two-year suspension of all football activities: which includes games, practices, and funding. One former player, David Stanley, went on the news and informed the nation that Southern Methodist University had paid him $25,000 to come to school and play football.The Mustangs football program took a big hit once the public found out about all of the allegations, and the NCAA took matters into their own hand by giving Southern Methodist the “death penalty” The full list of penalties included the 1987 cancellation, the cancellation of all 1988 home games, the extension of existing probation to 1990, the extension of existing bowl games and live television bans to 1989, the loss of fifty-five new scholarships over four years, the permanent ban of nine boosters, a reduction in the number of assistant coaches the school was allowed to hire, and a ban on off-campus recruiting until 1988 (SMU Death Penalty, Pony Express Profiled On ESPN 30 for 30’s ‘Pony Excess’). The harsh penalties issued by the NCAA killed the Southern Methodist University football program but the punishment was a warning to other schools that may be violating recruiting policies. The University of Sothern California did not learn from SMU and the mistakes they made because they followed the same path.
The Trojans got in trouble in June of 2010 when they were issued a two-year postseason ban in football and a one-year ban in basketball for the marketing and profiting of basketball player O. J. Mayo and football player Reggie Bush. Reggie Bush forfeited the Heisman trophy shortly after the suspension. The Trojans have been a proud football program for years, and the NCAA ban gave the football and basketball programs a black eye. The University of Southern California lost 30 football scholarships over the next three years along with a self-imposed scholarship reduction for the basketball team. (Forde) The NCAA discovered that both Bush and Mayo received funds to play as The University of Southern California. The NCAA ban left a sour taste in the mouths of USC coaches, players and fans.
The most recent accusation regarding recruitment and payment of student athletes involved Heisman winner Cam Newton of the Auburn Tigers. Reports say that Cam’s father, Cecil, was in contact with Mississippi State University and tried to sell his son’s recruitment for up to $200,000. Cam Newton did not receive any punishment for his the scandal because Cam did not try to sell his recruitment himself, and he is not responsible for his father’s actions. A recent study done by ESPN the magazine shows that some players today think that they deserve more than scholarship money to play for a school. When ESPN asked top high school recruits if they would accept $50,000 from a recruiter if they knew nobody would find out, over 20% said they would take the money.When asked what percentage of what they’re told by college recruiter is a lie, the average was over 60% (NCSA).
So it seems that college sports are corrupt enough as it is without the payment of players. Even though some say that paying players would cut out the illegal contact between agents and players, adding money is not going to do anything but complicate an already controversial issue. Paying college athletes to play takes the amateurism out of college sports and would make sports a business for students rather than a passion. When college fans go to games, they are looking forward to a crazy atmosphere with passionate players and fans.Every college game the players are laying their pride on the line, their pride for their school and self-pride. In the NBA, NFL, NHL and other professional leagues, it seems the passion is not there every game, only playoffs and big televised games. Professional athletes see the team they play for as nothing more than a company they work for.
There is no attachment in professional sports because many professionals do not choose the team they play for everything is a business. College sports are about passion, not business, and adding salaries to the college game makes it a business for student athletes. The college game brings something that no professional game can give you, players playing because they love the game and their team, not a paycheck.