Scholarship for Student Athletes

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Imagine being a student-athlete, it’s a full time job, bouncing between weight rooms, the court/field, classes, and film sessions. College athletics are extracurricular activities, but the schedules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournaments require an extended period in which student-athletes must miss school. Not only do they miss class, but they are absent for nationally televised games that make a lot of money and receive millions of views. Colleges and Universities are making money off of student athletes, and are not compensated for their high performance and participation in sports. The NCAA should compensate student athletes who participate in revenue- generated sports because of high risk of injury, to help lower income students, and to promote fairness overall.

The NCAA formally known as the Intercollegiate Athletics regulates 1,281 North American institutions and conferences that bring in about $10 billion annual revenue, mostly through football and men’s basketball. The two sports that bring virtually all of the money big time college football and men’s basketball, more than half of the players are black. Studies suggest whether you’re black or white affects how you see this issue whether or not student athletes should be compensated. Colleges and universities aren’t required to spend money on long-term medical care or four year scholarships.

When you’re watching the big game on TV, and you see the color of most of the players out there, some say it sends a message, “Black lives don’t matter”, says The Washington Post (Blackstone 1). Overtime the NCAA has enacted several rules and regulations to promote fairness such as Title IX, which calls for gender equity. This has impacted the intercollegiate athletics during the past two decades. To promote fairness overall we must compensate student athletes for their hard work and participation which generates revenue to both schools and the NCAA.

Many student athletes put their bodies through hyper-strenuous activities and are highly prone to many types of injuries that require professional assistance and care. Student-athletes have lost their scholarships while they were still enrolled in college but unable to play because of injuries, like Patrick Courtney, who played football at North Carolina A & T State University. Courtney suffered from hernia injury during training camp that required surgery. He was injured again when he rejoined his team on the field, and was forced to transfer when his scholarship was not renewed the following year.

If you suffer a career-ending injury and can no longer participate, some institutions will not continue to provide you with an athletic student scholarship. Paying these athletes a fraction of the revenue that they generate for the school could be filled with medical expenses, after beating their bodies through years of intense athletic competition. Also if loss of scholarship is a result of an unsteady recovery, student athletes should be compensated to continue academic studies at the University.

Lower income student athletes struggle to maintain financial stability so they should be compensated. Being a student athlete hinders students from being able to find time to commit themselves fully to their school work or to outside jobs that could provide them with some sort of income. Although student athletes are committed to forty or more hours per week to their sport more than many full-time jobs, players aren’t considered employees. It is nearly impossible that one could keep up with their schoolwork, let alone generate a life-sustaining income for themselves.

Nigel Hayes, the star of the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team, held up a sign on ESPN’s “College Game Day” reading “Broke College Athlete. Anything Helps.” Attached below was a Venmo account where people could send funds. Nigel wasn’t ashamed to say it wasn’t fair that he couldn’t afford a plane ticket home for Thanksgiving while he was playing for a team that made millions (Kessler 1). All student athletes should be compensated for participation in sports, especially to help with personal matters such as food, personal care, family support, and family visits.

Allowing compensation for students athletes will help to promote fairness overall. Student athletes are the ones working hard out on the court and field. Coaches may have a big effect on a team, but it is up to the athletes to get the job done. Referring back to student athlete Nigel Hayes, who wasn’t afraid to speak about how majority of elite basketball and football players were black while, “Their coaches all happen to be white and get paid millions”. Coaches receive bonuses for breaking records, and winning the big games: athletes receive none of it (Harnett 1).

Despite devoting numerous of hours a week to their sport most of the year, student athletes lack basic economic rights under the NCAA’s restrictions. Students are recruited and operate under the NCAA, fully commercialized, multi-billion dollar industry that regulates players to the point of exploitation. All television revenue, tickets and merchandise sales, promotions and other sources of revenue got to the NCAA, the schools, the coaches, the event staffs, and everyone others who are involved in the business except for the athletes creating the value. The NCAA should implement a compromised agreement with Universities to authorize payments or compensation to students to promote fairness overall.

As many continue to debate the topic of “Should college athletes be paid”, many seem to oppose the idea. College athletes should not be paid for participating in sports because they receive a full-ride scholarship which is an invaluable experience. A college degree is something so many bright Americans struggle to afford, let alone attain. Many believe that being a college athlete is a privilege and rare opportunity because of the difficulty to earn a position on a college team. To rebuttal the opposing idea of whether or not student athletes should receive compensation for their participation in sports, many college athletes don’t receive full-ride scholarships.

There are many different types of scholarships, one being a partial scholarship which is a pool of money that is divided amongst the schools team. While not a full ride, a partial scholarship offer can cover a portion little to none. Not all offers come with a monetary reward. Most times the reward is a spot on the roster. A preferred walk-on offer means the coach is interested in a player but cannot offer any financial assistance. Preferred walk-ons can earn a scholarship as they progress on the court or field, but nothing is guaranteed. The acknowledgment of paying student athletes should never go unnoticed and will continue to bring awareness to the situation, while others disagree with the solution.

The NCAA regulates and administers laws that are to be abided by student athletes, schools, and coaches. In order to promote fairness overall, a solution must be put in place to compensate student athletes for their dedication and participation in sports. Each college/university depending on Division the school falls under, students should be signed to yearly contracts similar to professional athletes to help determine compensation based off of revenue generated. There will be a pot of money from revenue generated to the school that a fraction of the profits will be disbursed equally to student athletes to compensate them.

The money will come from TV broadcast, merchandise sales, ticket sales, advertisement, and other sources of revenue the school generates off of student athletes in addition to them receiving scholarships. The NCAA will be responsible for yearly observations of school revenues and disbursement of money to student athletes. This may be complicated for the NCAA because of the large number of schools and multiple sports that fall under their organization. It is possible for it to be done, but it will take a lot of hard work and dedication just like student athletes to get the job done.

Overall, the fight to gain awareness to the problem of student athletes who are at high risk of injury, some from lower income backgrounds, and fairness overall will soon be addressed and the NCAA will have to compensate student athletes for their hard work and participation. This change will help schools receive more high school students who are interested in both sports and academic studies and will compensate them in order to take care of medical expenses, help their families, and overall fairness.


Cite this paper

Scholarship for Student Athletes. (2021, Feb 26). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/scholarship-for-student-athletes/

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