College athletes have for a long period been seen as just students. A student’s main purpose in college is to do their studies. However, students may also choose to pursue sports as part of the extra-curricular activities recommended by schools. College athletes are perhaps the most popular students of any college known to perform well in various sports. This is because of their input in putting their school’s name on the national and even worldwide map. This plus other reasons explain why college athletes need to be paid. This paper looks at some of the most important points in favor of the argument that college students need to be paid. To start with, college athletes sacrifice their study and free time to practice and in some instances play matches. Unlike professionals with a contract that allows them the time to attend training and matches, college athletes do not have this luxury. Instead, they are forced to balance between academics and practice schedules. In some instances, they are even required to miss classes for important games that are to be televised and consequently bring revenue to the school. The notion therefore that they are just students is not true. This is because they put in the hard work in training while fellow students engage in part-time jobs that earn them an extra coin. Because of their effort and struggles to balance between school work and practice schedule, college athletes need to be paid.
Another reason why college athletes need to be paid is because college sports generate huge revenue. The NCCA makes billions in revenue from college sports with a huge amount of this money remaining in the hands of a few coaches, athletic directors and administrators (Edelman 1). From such a point of view, it is only fair for college athletes to be well compensated for the huge amounts of revenue they help generate. College sports coaches are known to earn huge obscene salaries which some of it could be channeled towards paying athletes and consequently motivate the students. Like professional sports where salaries are mostly guided by the revenue generated from the sport, the same principle should be applied to college sports. All college athletes should be paid for the revenue they generate through their participation in college sports.
College athletes also need to be paid because of the pain of injury cost. Injuries are a common happening especially in contact sports such as football. By taking part in such activities, the students expose themselves to the risk of injuries that could derail either or both of their academic and sports career. With no long-term healthcare plan by the NCCA for athletes who succumb to serious injuries while participating in college sports, college athletes continue to walk on a tight rope. College athletes who end up pursuing a career in sports risk having their professional contracts terminated if the existence of an injury incurred during their time in college comes to light. On the other side, interference on their health will most likely also affect their academic performance negatively. For putting their health at risk, and the possibility of having a lifetime full of healthcare from injuries incurred in college sports, college athletes need to be paid.
Those of a contrary opinion may argue that college students are just amateurs and therefore don’t deserve compensation. However, it has been proved that in some instances college athletes put in as much time in training as professional athletes especially given the lack of controls on excessive hours (Sanderson & Siegefried 127). While college offers “free education” that goes a long way in positively impacting the lives of students, that education is hinged on the well-being (health) of students. Therefore, for their sacrifice, effort, time, and health risk they engage in, college students need to be paid.

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  • Byers, Walter, and Charles H Hammer. Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Exploiting College Athletes. Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1997. Print.
  • Edelman, Marc. “Forbes Welcome.” N.p., 2014. Web. 9 Dec. 2017.
  • Sanderson, Allen R., and John J. Siegfried. “The Case For Paying College Athletes.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 29.1 (2015): 115-138. Web.