For years, college basketball has brought in billions of dollars for universities, and athletes do not receive any of it. Their pictures will be on posters, their names on TV, and their work generates money for the school, while they get paid nothing.
In 2010, the Southeastern Football Conference became the first athletic league to break "the billion-dollar barrier." This money was earned from ticket sales, concession sales, merchandise, licensing fees, and television contracts. Large corporations give money to universities for college sports to receive a profit from the sporting events.
Professors at universities are at the mercy of what the athletic team will allow. Friday, who The Atlantic titled "a weathered idealist," claims the school abides by network's filming schedule. He told The Atlantic in an interview that UNC will "shut down" at three if a television network wants to broadcast a football game on a Thursday night. However, this takes away from the student's education, and Friday expressed his concern.
America is the only country that has such a high demand for hosting college sports. March Madness alone has an estimated 80 million TV viewers. ESPN created a new channel, ESPNU, solely dedicated to college sporting events. Other cable channels such as Fox Sports, have done the same.
With all the money being generated from college sports, the fact that athletes are not being paid is a general concern. UNC trustee, Don Curtis, told The Atlantic that some football players could not afford the bus fare home. He believes college athletes should be paid.
However, some believe this would take away from probity and unity of college sports. Several former college athletes disagree.
The NCAA makes billions of dollars yearly, so do universities, as well as corporations, all because of college athletes, some who can hardly afford food, and they do not receive a dime.
The Knight Commission members argue that their payment comes in the form of scholarships and experience.
"Scholarship athletes are already paid, in the most meaningful way possible: with a free education."
While many college athletes do receive a free education, participating in a college sport is a full-time job. According to USATODAY, the average football player practices 43 hours per week, baseball players average at 42.1 hours per week, and basketball players average 39.2 hours per week. A majority of college athletes do not have time to work while giving their sport and their education 100%. While some schools offer meal plans and housing to athletes, food is not a college student's only expense.
USATODAY claims paying college could actually help them stay in school. Some athletes withdraw from college due to financial issues even with a full scholarship.
Other sources argue that smaller sports do not generate enough income to pay their athletes, so it is not fair only pay a portion of athletes. Also, smaller schools cannot afford to pay their athletes, which raises the question: "Why would athletes go to a small school when they could go to a large school that would pay them to play a sport?"
It is logistically fair to pay college athletes a portion of what they help the NCAA and their school earn. Even if their earnings are small, having enough to keep them on their feet while practicing 40 hours a week and trying to keep up with their school work could make a difference in their education. However, many argue that is in not ethically fair because the integrity of sports would be ruined. Also, not every sport/school generate enough money to pay all of their athletes. It appears no changes to the system will be made to the system anytime soon.
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