College athletes have enough already


Yahoo Sports first reported On Feb 21., that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been investigating corruption within some of the countries biggest college basketball programs, who allegedly allowed agents to compensate players while in college.

The report has reignited a popular debate among collegiate fans, analysts and The NCAA about whether college athletes should be paid.

Many fans and pundits feel that a system in which schools make enormous sums of money on the backs of “free labor” provided by college players is unfair and immoral. Additionally, many feel the system is broken and obviously no one is following the rules anyway, so a way to fix corruption is to compensate the players. There are two problems with this fallacious reasoning to pay players.

First, to adjust rules to match an organization’s corrupt behavior is a pretty sad excuse for change. That’s like saying, “power plants are going to dump toxic waste anyway, so let’s just let them do it.”

Second, it is a simply not true that universities are making huge sums of money off of their college programs. In 2012, only 23 of 228 division I schools made a profit with their athletic department, according to a report by USA Today in conjunction with Indiana University’s Sports Journalism Center.

Scholarship athletes have access to health care, training, tutoring, nutrition advice, tuition, room and board, all for free.

Additionally in 2015 the NCAA change their rules to allow student athletes to receive stipends of a few thousand dollars per year, according to a report from

According to an article on from 2013, total cost of benefits to scholarship athletes ranged from $50,000 to $125,000 depending on the cost of tuition and boarding. To say that student athletes are exploited, ignores the fact that they are given a tremendous and valuable opportunity to either train for professional sports or have their mind and career path opened through a free college experience.

College students have always been poor and lived off ramen noodles. The difference for average students is they have to actually pay to be poor and leave school with tremendous financial debt or they work full time to help pay for school. Student athletes get “paid” more than enough for what they contribute and to say they should also get salaries is insulting to the average college student and cheapens the value of a free higher education.

The simplest and fairist solution seems to be for NCAA to adopt the Olympic Model. That would mean allowing students to use their celebrity to make money and receive benefits.

If the local owner of a diner wants to give players free meals because they love the team, so be it. If a student has enough celebrity to sign and sell autographs then they should be able to do it.

There are many ways to allow students to receive additional compensation based on their status as popular athletes, without just making popular college sports professional leagues and completely throwing out the amature system.