The sports culture is an important component of overall college experience at many American universities. It may not be unreasonable to argue that just as certain universities attract students due to their academic reputation, there are also universities that attract students due to their strong sports culture and history. The examples of such universities include University of Florida, University of Alabama, University of Oklahoma, and University of Southern California. The universities with strong sports culture tend to go to great lengths to hire some of the most talented high school athletes in the nation. Even though these athletes create significant publicity and revenues for their respective universities, the maximum compensation they usually qualify for is full college scholarship. This needs to be changed because not only the current system is outdated but it also significantly downplays the contributions of the athletes as well as encourage them to skip college to join the professional sports leagues. Thus, the college athletes should be paid because it will not only be fair to the athletes but will also yield significant economic and social dividends for the university
The college athletes should be paid because they generate significant revenues for their respective colleges. These athletes should not be treated differently from the employees of a for-profit corporation who get attractive salaries and may also be entitled to a share in the organization’s profits. The top ten colleges with the highest sports revenue in 2014 generated an average revenue of $144.8 million while only spending an average of $12.4 million on scholarships . This is a clear evidence the colleges with strong sports program are not fairly compensating their student athletes. The average spending on student scholarships by these top ten sports programs was not even 10 percent of the total revenue earned from the athletic activities.

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The college athletes should be paid just as employees in a commercial venture are paid. It is important to realize the colleges rarely treat their sports programs as anything less than a commercial venture. In addition to selling game tickets, the colleges also earn from the merchandise such as the sports jerseys adorned with the names of their star athletes. Moreover, the colleges earn revenue from the fees paid by the commercial broadcasters such as TBS, TNT, and ESPN etc. . If the colleges do not pay to the student athletes, they are essentially treating them as unpaid employees or free labor.

It is also important to pay to the college athletes because doing so will encourage the athletes to stay longer in school . Many college athletes come from poor economic and social backgrounds, thus, the incentive to leave college to join professional sports league is always strong. If the colleges start paying their athletes, many athletes could be motivated to finish college which, in turn, means the college sports fans will be able to watch them play for longer. This will help the colleges as well as students are more likely to attend a live game if their favorite athlete is playing. Thus, paying the college athletes is not only right but also allows the colleges to benefit from the economic power of their star athletes for longer periods of time.

Being an athlete is not much different from having a full time job and this applies to college athletes as well. The college athletes are expected to wake up early in the morning even if they may not have classes or classes in the morning, attend practice sessions , and travel to other places to play away games. These are the tasks performed by the athletes in the professional sports leagues as well, and the athletes in the professional sports leagues are paid millions for their services. Similarly, the college athletes are also bound by the sponsorship contracts the college may have with corporations such as Nike. It is only fair to treat college athletes as employees who also happen to be students because college athletes are usually recruited for their athletic potential rather than academic potential.

Paying the college athletes may inspire them to work even harder. The colleges could also try innovative solutions such as performance bonuses to further inspire athletes to work harder. The college athletes also deserve compensation because they are always at the risk of serious injuries that could jeopardize their prospects in the professional league or even a non-sport career after college. Thus, paying the college athletes may actually boost their performance on the field and improve the track record of the college’s sports program.

The college athletes should be paid because they generate significant revenues for their respective colleges. It is only fair that the athletes get to share in the revenue generated through their hard work on the field. Paying the college athletes may also inspire them to stay longer in school which, in turn, will benefit the college and its students who passionately follow their college teams. The college athletes deserve to be paid because their responsibilities are not any different from a professional sports athlete or a worker in another field. Last but not least, the college athletes may be motivated to work harder and perform even better on the field. Thus, paying the college athletes is morally right and it may also boost their performance.

    References
  • Gaines, Cork. Chart shows the simple reason why college athletes should be paid. 9 October 2015. 25 October 2016 .
  • Hartnett, Tyson. Why College Athletes Should be Paid. 21 October 2013. 25 October 2016 .
  • Peebles, Maurice. 7 Common Sense Reasons Why College Athletes Should Be Paid (According to Jay Bilas). 3 December 2015. 25 October 2016 .