Student, Athlete, Employee ?


From playing on scholarship to playing for cash at a collegiate level would make college athletics a decent job with a tuition reimbursement program and I’m not buying it.

I get it, college as a student is hard enough as it is, and factor in a time demanding athletic regimen…you have yourself a full schedule and what seems like an unrealistic window of free-time. For years now, big name college athletes in various sports have been trying to get four to six figure digits in their bank accounts before making it to the professional level. What I feel they (student-athletes and supporters of the idea) do not understand, is that college is not a place of work, but a place of study and stepping stone used to further ones education in order to obtain the big bucks.

Nine times out of ten, the first thing to leave someone’s mouth when having this conversation is typically: “These colleges and universities have an abundant amount of revenue which a good majority is generated off of their student athletes.”

That’s a fair statement, sure, but no college or university, big or small, has enough money to pay every student-athlete. Point blank. Look at what’s already on their (athletics) payroll: building, maintaining and renovating facilities, paying a plethora of coaches, a generous amount of scholarships and of course, the athletic directors, who have the obligation of putting the right people in place to ensure a winning program.

Despite barely having enough funds to get by, they are however saving money by being on scholarship. See, my biggest thing is this, even if the NCAA did try to advocate for paying their athletes, how would they go about figuring out a base salary for these athletes? How about trying to accommodate Alabama’s winning football team then having to turn around and figure out an appropriate salary for their swimming and diving team? Duke’s basketball program definitely has enough funding to accommodate its’ players right, because that’s the face of Duke, but what about their soccer team? Boomer Sooner softball is pretty hot right? Can their program support their subpar hockey team?

See where I’m going? We, myself included, associate a lot of these big name schools with their winning programs in their respective sport, overlooking the athletics in between. The problem with the idea of schools paying their student athletes is the question of where to start. Does a school look at how much each athletic program brings in as a whole, maybe just within their sport, or do you pay these student-athletes by talent just like in the pros or do you only see bigger figures if you’re a top All-American player? It’s simply just too much of a headache to figure out who gets what.

As I stated before, when making such an argument for a student athletics payroll, we must consider how funds are being distributed, like to the facilities and coaches.

Not only do colleges not have enough money, but it would also defeat the purpose of going to school.

I get it though, why waste a year in school when you know you’re capable of going to the next level? Here’s why, because it’s cool to know you’re a sure lock on breaking into the pros, but how sure are you on the longevity of your time spent within the pros? See, college isn’t just preparation to transition you from student to professional, but it’s an investment you make to ENSURE that you’re fully equipped for what’s coming next.

I’m not saying staying a full four years will automatically give student-athletes ten plus years in the league (although it would help) but it will give you better opportunities just based off of being better prepared. I have never once heard anyone say “oh yea, that kid stayed one too many years in college.” Never.

Two years later, the NCAA has pleased the masses and are now paying its student-athletes. Hypothetically speaking.:

Okay, so now it’s 2020 and student-athletes are now getting paid…and here comes everyone with a reason as to why other students should be getting paid. I can hear it now, “if we pay the athletes maybe we should also do it for the first violinist in the school orchestra, or the lead actor in theatrical productions,” and since these schools have such an exuberant amount of income to throw at its athletes, maybe, just maybe the popular professors could allocate course enrollment slots to the students who bid the highest…just a thought.

All this talk about paying everyone that’s not already on payroll is just balderdash, and essentially would make attending college much more expensive, also making it harder for the regular everyday student to make that self-investment Besides, having to pay student-athletes money would just create a rift on campus between the two sides (students and student-athletes), putting the student-athletes on this I’m untouchable/ more important pedestal. Bad for business on all angles.

The culture of college sports is already being tainted by the one and done system, so let’s not ruin what’s left by attempting to bring professional finances to a college platform.


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