Why Not Swimmers?

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Swimming is a sport where you use every muscle in your body in many different ways. College swimmers train for many hours every day, almost every day of the week, but do not get as much recognition for their hard work. With the talk of paying the football and men’s basketball players while they’re in college brings up the question “Why?”

In the 2016 Rio Olympics there were 124 athletes competing in the Olympics that were in college, of those 124, 46 were swimmers. Those swimmers train their whole lives to get where they are and do not expect their college to pay them for playing a sport at their school, however, they do get scholarships that help them pay for college and save money.

Football and men’s basketball are also sports played in college but they are the most popular sports because of how much money they bring into the school. Collegiate swimmers work just as hard or even harder than football and basketball players but do not get as much attention because our society sees football and men’s basketball as the dominant sports in our country. Football and basketball also get the nicest facilities and the most care, so why would we pay them?

Many people think of swimming as a leisure sport or activity and don’t see it as one of the most intense sports. Swimming has four competitive strokes that require you to push yourself in ways you never thought you could before. In swimming you can’t sit out and take a break during your race, you have to finish it. So when people say swimmers don’t work hard or aren’t in good shape, they do not know what swimmers do and what they go through to get to where they are. Swimming should get more recognition for the sport because people that swim in college worked their whole life to be a college swimmer and more people should appreciate that.

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Even though football and men’s basketball bring in millions of dollars every year, doesn’t mean they are the only sport that earns money for the school. But only the major schools with the best football and basketball teams get a lot of money. It’s also the major schools that pay their coaches millions of dollars to coach the team. Colleges spend so much money on the football and basketball teams there is less money for other sports at the school.

If colleges were to pay their players they would have to get the money to do so from something else, because football and men’s basketball do not have enough money to pay every players the correct amount. Getting enough money would mean getting rid of something else at the school. Colleges would most likely get rid of other smaller sports that don’t bring in as much money, but the smaller sports still have athletes that want to play in college and succeed in the sport.

The largest football stadium in the United States is the football stadium at the University of Michigan. Why wouldn’t the largest stadium be for the NFL? The schools have so much money they spend on making their football and basketball facilities very nice and big and don’t have extra money to use for the other sports that also deserve to have a nice facility. Colleges put so much effort into supporting the football and men’s basketball teams they sometimes forget about the other sports the school has to offer.

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As a student in college their main job is to be a student and get an education, not only focus on sports in college and not care about getting a good education. Sports are meant to be an “after school activity” where after school you go and practice and become better at the sport. If you do play sports in school you are a student-athlete, not an athlete-student. Your school work and grades come before sports and your education is your first priority.

As a swimmer myself and starting to look at colleges, I’m not focused on who will pay me because I know my job in college is to graduate. Even though schools do not pay swimmers, they do give scholarships. Scholarships are given for every sport and they help so many people get through college with little to no student loans. If a football or a men’s basketball player is given a scholarship they should not also be expecting for the schools to pay them, they are already getting almost a free education with scholarships.

Why would a college pay an athlete when they already get almost a free education? Why wouldn’t the colleges pay athletes in other sports as well? Football and men’s basketball are not the only sports with athletes that go pro. Swimmers can go pro too, they can swim for Speedo, or Nike. It’s not as big as the NFL or NBA but the swimmers that swim for Speedo or Nike go to the Olympics and many of them win medals at the Olympics, and the Olympics are bigger than the NFL and NBA.

Everyone knows football and basketball are the dominant sports in our country, but they are not the only sports that are important to people. Swimming is important to me and many other people, we work very hard to be swimmers and all sports deserve to get the same benefits as football and men’s basketball players, and if they get paid, all athletes should get paid because all athletes work hard to get where they are.

Works Cited

Chudacoff, Howard P. “Let’s Not Pay College Athletes.” The Wall Street Journal. N.p., 28 Mar. 2016. Web.

Hruby, Patrick. “Should College Athletes Get Paid? Ending the Debate, Once and for All.” The Atlantic. N.p., 6 Apr. 2011. Web.

Nocera, Joe. “A Way to Start Paying College Atheltes.” The New York Times. N.p., 8 Jan. 2016. Web.

Pielke, Roger, Jr. “Why Not a Degree in Sports?” The New York Times. N.p., 14 Sept. 2016. Web.

Thelin, John R. “Here’s Why We Shouldn’t Pay College Athletes.” Time. N.p., 1 Mar. 2016. Web.

Yankah, Ekow N. “Why N.C.A.A. Athletes Shouldn’t Be Paid.” The New Yorker. N.p., 14 Oct. 2015. Web.

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