Should college athletes get paid? NO (Jim Joyce sucks btw)

Submitted by UMxWolverines on June 2nd, 2010 at 10:01 PM

My buddy tells me that has to write a paper this week, I ask him what about, he says "whether or not college athletes should get paid". I said hell no they shouldn't! He says they should since they bring in so much money to the university. Yeah! They money they're earning is going towards funding for all the things they get for free, including: classes, travel, food, housing, classroom maintinance, and all the sports facilities that don't cost you a cent! All of this is free, so do your best to use it all wisely and you will end up being paid after you get out of college! What do you all think on this issue?



June 2nd, 2010 at 10:10 PM ^

Although their value to the team is worth more than the tuition plus all the free gear they get, but NCAA teams are not pro sports franchises.  They are not private for-profit entities.  There isn't an owner or CEO raking in money on the team's profits, and the players are all students as well as players.

That said, that's not the biggest reason not to pay them, IMO.  If we started doing this, the amount of scandal that would be involved in college football would be outrageous.  It would only be the wealthy alumni bases that even had a shot at doing well, and kids would not longer pick schools based on tradition, or education, or even depth chart or chance of success, they would pick it based on who paid them the most.  This would completely ruin the game.  So, no, they should not be paid.


June 2nd, 2010 at 10:10 PM ^

Roe v Wade 11:00pm

Health Care Debate 12:00am

Immigration 1:00am

Pearl Harbor Conspiracy: 2:00am

Gallarraga v Joyce 3:00am

Chappaquiddick 4:00am

Oswald 5:00am

Rodney King 6:00am

Work 7:00am


June 2nd, 2010 at 10:35 PM ^

Colleges can't pay players?

Oh, shit... Well, I guess that explains today's mail.

~ USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett

Marley Nowell

June 2nd, 2010 at 10:46 PM ^

I think their scholarships should be guaranteed for 4 years regardless of injury or on the field performance. This ensures they at least have time to finish their degree.


June 3rd, 2010 at 2:43 AM ^

That's an interesting premise.  What about team dismissals?  They're usually so vague - undisclosed team rule violations and whatnot.  Does an offer give you the chance to just slack off and bum around AA?  

I don't think that's what you're suggesting, but I also think it would have to be a little more complicated than a straight up guarantee.  

Scott Dreisbach

June 2nd, 2010 at 11:06 PM ^

I understand the argument that they are already being paid via their scholarships.  I think its very difficult to wrap your head around being a full time student plus a full time student athlete.  They put in long hours in the classroom and on the field, and the university makes millions of dollars off of these kids.  You weren't buying a generic number 7 or 20 jersey in 2004-2008.  You were buying a Chad Henne or Mike Hart jersey.  They are under a tremendous amount of pressure to perform in the classroom and on the field.  I think they should see some share of whatever profit the athletic department makes off ticket sales and jersey sales.


June 2nd, 2010 at 11:16 PM ^

Even if they were to only get paid for the merchandise they sell with their name on it, that gives a huge advantage to large schools like USC, Florida, Texas, and even Michigan. If you think the Big10 was really the Big2 before, wait until players see that they can make 10x as much money at Michigan and OSU.


June 2nd, 2010 at 11:36 PM ^

That's a big issue by itself...if you pay the athletes you might as well become a pro league simply because the universities with more money will get all the good athletes.  So much for staying close to home.  If you wanna pay them, then take their scholarships away and give ME some of that money.


June 3rd, 2010 at 12:57 AM ^

Smaller football programs that lose money already would still have a problem, but the NCAA could cap the amount that players would be paid.  This would at least limit competition based on pay between big-time programs.  This might limit some blue chip recruits from going to lesser programs for the opportunity for earlier playing time, but I think there would be a similar pecking order of schools going after recruits to what we see now.  The programs that would be able to afford the maximum player stipend would usually be the successful ones that top recruits are interested in anyways.

Scott Dreisbach

June 2nd, 2010 at 11:34 PM ^

I think its even more difficult to understand how hard these kids have it when they have to travel to away games.  If you are a basketball player, you know that you are going to have at least 9 out of town, overnight travels.  Have you ever tried studying on a bus or on an airplane?  They miss out on opportunities to attend office hours or get extra help at the study tables at the academic center.  


June 3rd, 2010 at 2:47 AM ^

The big varsity teams usually get assistance and understanding from their professors, at least when I was there (mid 00s).  Also courseload is something to take into account - most of these guys/gals aren't taking 18 credits during the season.  The new athletic academic center is a big help too, I'm sure.

The student athletes who really suffer the travel curse are club varsity and club teams.  You don't get as much leeway with those, but sometimes still have rigorous travel requirements.


I'm not trying to say being a varsity student athlete is a cakewalk, but they do get opportunities that balance out any hardships due to practice times and travel requirements.


June 2nd, 2010 at 11:17 PM ^

The NCAA should throw out 95 percent of their rulebook and end "shamateurism" for good.  If I was in charge, I would allow schools to pay players and I would find a way to guarantee that anyone who ever played on scholarship would be allowed to attend classes as long as they need until they graduate. 

The schools make millions of dollars off of athletes; it's time to give them a realistic slice of the pie.


June 3rd, 2010 at 3:06 AM ^

What about that engineering student who is on academic scholarship? You know, the one who also works a local job and gets paid, but doesn't have any academic expenses. Same situation, except one makes millions for the University and works his ass off for free.


June 2nd, 2010 at 11:32 PM ^

Right, no one profits from bowl games or recruiting sites. A team can't cut you whenever they want. The prestige of the university is not enhanced by the success of the football team therefore attracting more donations and more tuition. 

I could really use a wish right now, wish right now, wish right now-ow-ow....

I don't think players should be paid either but, the argument in the OP is severely flawed. That said, they should get more than they get especially in regards to guaranteed scholarships (pending academic eligibility, non-criminal behavior, etc) and products licensed by the NCAA. Pool it all up and break 'em off a piece (Tebow gets the same as nameless walk on 3142).


June 2nd, 2010 at 11:38 PM ^

but it should be the same stipend for each player. the majority of high profile college athletes don't come from financially stable homes and they really don't have time to work while in school. this way the kids have enough money to live while they're in school but the bigger schools don't get an advantage over anyone else.

Blue Durham

June 3rd, 2010 at 10:04 AM ^

that it probably wouldn't stand up in court if a player sues for price-fixing.  Recall that about 15 years ago the Ivy leagues, MIT, and a few other schools were getting together and setting  their acedemic scholarship offers.  This practice got slammed for collusion, as I recall.

Once NCAA athletes get paid, keeping the amount to be paid fixed or limited will be impossible with all of the legal precedent out there.  What we will then have is the NFL for 22 and under.

david from wyoming

June 2nd, 2010 at 11:42 PM ^

What is the difference between say a Michigan lacrosse player and a Michigan tennis player? Both would bring in the same amount of income for the school and once you factor in the school run tennis facility, the lacrosse player is cheaper. Do you pay the varsity tennis player and shaft the club lacrosse player? Or maybe you just pay the football and hockey players since their sports have a net profit and hose the tennis player? There are so many issues here that you think one little internet thread is going to stumble upon the 'right answer'?

The only thing that will happen is a bunch of people will have their own opinions and a few people will get pissed from this debate.


June 2nd, 2010 at 11:54 PM ^

Football gets a piece, Men's Basketball gets a piece, maybe Hockey (maybe). No one is profiting from any other sport (not talking about Universities). Lacrosse players being compensated with scholarships aren't getting exploited. Football players are definitely getting exploited.

david from wyoming

June 3rd, 2010 at 12:15 AM ^

(I might be reading your post wrong...) So is it just a question of which sports make a profit for the school? What about football players at small schools, such as Wyoming, where the football team doesn't make a profit? Does a school still pay them, and at what amont? What is stopping a big school that makes tons of money from paying their players at a level that mid or small school could never hope to match?

Any way you look at it, if you pay players, it's a situation of the rich getting rich and the small school getting hosed.


June 3rd, 2010 at 12:49 AM ^

My previous post in this thread summarizes my position: all players in all FBS programs get the same cut. Same for Basketball. Billions are made off of these people between bowl games and video games and other streams

I explicitly said that the fiduciary health of the programs has nothing to do with this. They have their own reasons for continuing their programs whether they're profitable or not.

The Rose Bowl and EA are definitely for-profit organizations. Who is EA paying royalties to? How about CBS for March Madness? How about the MCalibur 1st Annual Non-Denominational Holiday Classic Bowl? What's the NCAA's justification for pimping these guys out? 

How much is a different question than what was asked in the OP and I'll admit that it's a difficult thing to get a handle on.

Here are some proposals:

  • Transferable four-year scholarship that can't be taken away from them unless they are academically ineligible or expelled from their school.
  • An insurance policy covering the demonstrated brain damage players sustain that won't show up until long after their playing careers are over. Think Muhammad Ali.
  • How about a full yearly contribution to an IRA while they're enrolled?
  • As an outright stipend, give them what is typical and customary compensation graduate students for being GSI's. One rate paid by the NCAA to all players on the books. Cost of living doesn't apply because they have no expenses. 

I think those are all reasonable and fair for a work force that generates billions upon billions of dollars. 


June 3rd, 2010 at 2:08 AM ^

While I don't agree with the end conclusion, I respect this argument.

The thing I would certainly like to see instituted is guarenteed 4-year scholarships (for football and basketball).

However, one problem with that (which I allude to below) is that most student-athletes do not receive full rides - football and basketball are the only sports that come anywhere close to giving all their players full rides.  Most student-athletes have partial scholarships, some a small fraction of a full-time ride.

So, if you consider that, then football and basketball players are already getting some extra (much extra) dough.


June 3rd, 2010 at 12:05 AM ^

write a paper about this not long ago.  My view is yes, they should absolutly be paid.  They are forced to go to college, or other, for atleast 1 year for the NBA and 3 for the NFL.  In my opinion this should be illegal as we are keeping adults from earning a living that they may deserve.  If there wasn't a requirement for them to wait x amount of time before being allowed to go pro it would be a different story.  Thats my story and I'm sticking to it.


June 3rd, 2010 at 9:10 AM ^

So you agree, there aren't many ways to make money in football or basketball without going to college. The NBA wont let you in so your only other choice is to leave the country for a year... does that really seem reasonable to you?

High profile players are good for the NCAA, but the recruitment of these players is putrid with corruption because of how much money is generated by the sport. If players were given some of the action legitimately, they'd be less inclined to stray to the dark side.

At least give them the option: Stay for four-years and you get, I don't know, $40k of the billions of dollars in wealth you helped create. Don't stay and you get squat, make your choice young man.


June 3rd, 2010 at 9:49 AM ^

This kind of hyperbole does nothing but torpedo your own argument.  Calling these players responsible for creating billions of dollars of wealth is ridiculous.  By that logic, even Lane Kiffin is grossly underpaid.

As long as it's constitutional and legal to set age minimums for things like driving, voting, smoking, drinking, sex, and everything else, then there should never be any problem with a private organization like the NBA setting age minimums as well.  They have that right, and there is nobody in this country that can claim the right to earn a living in any field.


June 3rd, 2010 at 10:24 AM ^

Get thisstrawman outta here. I'mnot saying that the NBA shouldn't be able to set a minimum age requirement. I also didn't say the the players are solely responsible for  the money they generate for their schools, the NCAA, and the sponsors of each. 

What I did say was that the playes are the basis of a multi-billion dollar industry; are you denying that?

I also said that it is in the best interest of the universities and the NCAA to encourage high profile athletes to participate in college basketball and not go overseas to get paid to play. Are you denying that?

I understand that you disagree, but explain to me how I've torpedoed my argument and where hyperbole exists in what I've said.


June 3rd, 2010 at 10:34 AM ^

Your hyperbole comes in the notion that players are creating billions of dollars of wealth and not receiving any of it.  In terms of investment in vs. compensation out, they're the best-paid people in the whole enterprise.  And they're not the "basis" of the industry any more than, say, the fans are.

Of course it's in the best interests of the universities and NCAA to encourage participation in college basketball.  Given the number of players that do (thousands upon thousands, every year) vs. the number of players that don't (maybe one every couple years that goes to Europe) how can you possibly say they're not doing it well enough?


June 3rd, 2010 at 11:57 AM ^

Further evidence for my point that players being paid relative to the amount of money they bring in is a totally futile exercise.  Pay everyone the same or pay nobody at all.....this idea of getting paid arbitrarily based on your sport is ridiculous.


June 3rd, 2010 at 11:13 AM ^

They are forced to go to college, or other.  The pros lock out the athletes for x amount of years, which benefits the colleges they choose to go to during that time.  Where could the highschool football players go?  Canada?  The only real choice is to become a hired assassin for 3 years until you can bolt for the NFL.  I know the unions are trying to protect their older veterans for longer but not considering a highly qualified individual because of age is unjust.  You won't hear the colleges complain, they are scooping up the money from it.


June 3rd, 2010 at 12:24 AM ^

Sticky subject because, on the one hand they are college athletes who already get to go to school for free, but they definitely get taken advantage of/exploited.