Throughout the past years, col…

10 October 2018

Throughout the past years, college athletics have experienced exponential growth in just the United States alone. No matter if its basketball, volleyball, baseball, or football, ever since the 2000’s, collegiate athletics have raked in thousands of dollars each year to their own schools, as well as an increasing fan-based viewership. In reference to USA Today, the sports column has a page that, in detail, shows the collegiate revenues they make from sports. Sitting at the number one position is Texas A;M with $194,388,450, while spot number four is reserved for Alabama with $145,277,366 (Sports Finances). Even with this lump sum of money, student athletes are not making any compensation. But the NCAA rules clearly state in the amateurism page, “You are not eligible for participation in a sport if you have ever: Taken pay, or the promise of pay, for competing in that sport” (Amateurism).

Because of this law, many athletes are taking illegal, black market money to help afford their college fees.

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Though many people will argue they are just students and should not be paid for their athletic abilities, I disagree and say even though they are considered amateurs, student athletes who are not on scholarships struggle to pay their tuition and are more likely to not finish their degree and move to the next level of play. Student athletes are the number one reason why the departments make a lot of revenue. The viewers watching fall in love with the players and the game they play and the money flows from them. These individuals work all day long to bring in revenue for their Universities, but never make any of that money back. Athletes are technically working for the schools and creating the most revenue for the colleges that gets little attention outside of the sports. Every other athlete beyond this level are in the paying field yet collegiate athletes are not.

In sports digest one wrote, “College athletes are being exploited by their schools, which make millions of dollars off of intercollegiate athletics” (Sports Digest). Athletes are being used to boost the personal image of colleges, yet are getting no credit for it. People often say that once an athlete is paid they should be considered professionals. This statement lacks support when the Amateur Hockey League pays their athletes even though they should be considered ameteur. Saying that college athletes are amateurs also says they cannot promote themselves to potential professional level coaches. The NCAA clearly says, “student-athletes shall bea amateurs..

.and should be protected from exploitation by profession and commercial enterprises” (Amateurism). Although in 2000 the NCAA approved of student athletes being capable of part time jobs paying up to $2,000 throughout the school year. Even this sounds quite ridiculous considering the costs of education has risen in previous years that the $2,000 can barely cover school feels, but students are also not allowed to promote themselves. The question arises with the amount of time spent dedicated to not only the teams and their sport but school as well, how would they ever have time for a job? ESPN conducted a documentary called “Fab Five” featuring one of the players from Michigan saying how hard it was to see his own jersey in the stands with his number but without his name, yet the sponsor was promoting his number and he made no compensation off of this. Later in his speech, he explains how he could not even afford his own jersey that the fans were wearing for his mother. Some others that support student athletes, is that “full-ride” scholarships are not actually covering all their expenses.

Many athletes are not able to afford for their parents to watch one of their athletic games or meets. A good example of this is from 2010 when a “Duke basketball player was valued at $1,025,656 while living just $732 above the poverty line and a scholarship shortfall of $1,995” (The Price of Poverty in Big Time College Sports). With so much publicity of these athletes, it clearly goes without saying no one reports about their poverty levels. But with the lack of money, they resort to the black-markets. Where people who support the university give them money, cars, or mostly anything they want as long as they go to the university that the person supports. There has been multiple cases of these wrong acts, but one that has stood out amongst most is the Reggie Bush case, who was a running back during 2003-2005 for the University of Southern California. He violated NCAA rules by being paid from individuals of that university in order to persuade him to attend there.

After receiving the Heisman Trophy, his case appeared with all these violations and was forced to give the trophy back. Bush came from an un-wealthy neighborhood and although he received a full-ride scholarship he was not able to afford all his fees. His mother at the time was also struggling to pay her bills and a supporter of USC offered to pay his mother’s bills. Bush was pressured to take this offer since there was no other option for his mother to afford those bills, including her rent. If he was to be paid by the NCAA for playing, he would have chosen any university of his liking. Although these supports action are not illegal, they cause problems with team competitions amongst the NCAA. The universities that use this skill to their advantage recruit top players in sports, this causes other school to partake in this act to try and make the game fair.

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