University of Rhode Island basketball player Hassan Martin pumps up the crowd at the Thomas M. Ryan Center

Division 1 College Athletes Should be Paid

It’s a Saturday afternoon at around 4:00 and you turn on ESPN to watch the big college football match up with all of your buddies. College football games on ESPN? So ESPN is raking in money from college athletes that aren’t paid?

According to Tyson Hartnett of the Huffington Post, the NCAA and CBS signed a $10.8 billion television agreement over 14 years. Student athletes are core marketers for their schools and are required to commit a tremendous amount of hours a week to not get paid. College athletes should be paid because playing a sport in college is a full time job; they provide for an inconceivable amount of income for their school and miss a significant amount of classes.

According to Marc Edelman of Forbes, “the typical Division I college football player devotes 43.3 hours per week to his sport-3.3 more hours than the typical American work week.”

When a Student athlete is committing more than 43 hours a week, they do not have time to get a job.

What people don’t understand is that a scholarship does not equal money in their pockets.

When a college lacrosse player needs to go to the laundromat or buy gas for his car, what money is he using? Student athletes do not have any source of income because their sport dominates their time. Being a Division 1 student athlete requires a rigorous schedule that does not allow enough time to pool any income for necessary personal expenses.

Another significant reason why top of the line student athletes should get some pay is that they make their universities and the NCAA millions of dollars.

115,109 fans pack the University of Michigan’s “Big House”

Forbes Magazine finds the University of Alabama reportedly grossed $143.3 million in athletic revenue in 2014.

That is more than all 30 NHL teams and 25 of the 30 NBA teams.

The players for their schools are basically employees to the school making them millions of dollars, with not even a small portion of monetary compensation.

A highly regarded professor at The University of Ohio State will not make 4.3 million dollars in his lifetime yet; the head coach of the Ohio State football team (Urban Meyer) makes 4.3 million dollars a year. Just as Michael Wilbon of ESPN said, “the players are virtually employees of the universities, which not only violates common decency but perhaps even the law.

Not only does being a student athlete consume your social life and negate your ability to maintain a job, but it also takes away from classes and school work. Student athletes are held to the same academic standards as all other students.

One astonishing fact found is that the BCS championship football game between Florida St. vs Auburn was played on Monday January 6th. This football game required Florida St. players to miss the first day of spring classes. The Division 1 NCAA basketball tournament requires student athletes to miss up to 6 days of classes. Students who are athletes on the side, or employees for their schools making them million?

Many argue that scholarship money is enough for the student athletes. Another opposition to this idea is that the athletes who rake in the most earnings are most likely going to play on the professional level anyway so why should we be paying athletes when they are bound to be millionaires as it is?

It is clear that Division 1 athletes deserve to be paid. After all are they students or employees?