Over the years, the debate on whether or not to pay collegiate athletes, specifically Division 1, has increased greatly. With athletes bringing in millions of dollars to their respective schools, many believe its time to make a change. The debate has been ongoing since the 70s, maybe even earlier, but it really came to the attention of many in the early 90s, specifically 1995. Marcus Camby, a basketball player for the Toronto Raptors, admitted he took money and jewelry, from somebody who wanted to be his agent, while he was playing at the University of Massachusetts. This was one of many incidents that involved a player accepting money and other gifts from an agent and/or booster. I believe that college athletes deserve to be paid in some fashion. They devote their whole life to their sport, whether or not they are the starters, and most will not go on to the pros, even though they contribute to the team. They sell tickets, jerseys, T-shirts etc. for their school, and see none of the money. Coaches sign six figure deals with shoe companies, like Nike, Reebok, Converse, and the players are the ones wearing the shoes and jerseys, the coaches have on whatever they want. Even though just recently the NCAA Committee allowed athletes to get a job; between schoolwork, and practices, they dont have enough time to find a job. Most of the kids come from poor backgrounds, and dont have enough money to do normal college things, like going out to eat, going on a date, or out to the movies.
People believe that paying college athletes will ruin the tradition and innocence of the game. However, people forget that Olympians get paid, and most of them are amateur athletes. "Gold medallists from the United States receive a minimum of $15,000 for their success (from the U.S. Olympic Committee and the national governing body of the winner's sport), USA Today, Final Ed." These Olympians can also capitalize on endorsement deals and other additional bonuses, most of which are illegal in college athletics. The innocence of the game is already in jeopardy, in a June 24th, 1996 issue of The NCAA News, " Studies indicate that 75 percent of underclassmen have received cash or gifts from an agent." Thats a pretty high number, three out of every four are involved in illegal activities involving agents, and 90 percent of projected first round draft picks have had contact with an agent, (Steve Wulf, Time pg. 94). If they received some compensation for the hard work, this corruption would gradually lessen, because the need for money would lessen.
Just recently the NCAA allowed college athletes to get a job, but seriously, where are the athletes going to find the time to work. With classes, schoolwork, practices, and games (which include traveling all over the country), when are they going to fit in time to serve fries at Burger King. I guess its a good thing, says Indiana University freshman guard Michael Lewis. But between class and basketball, Id like to know when Ive got time to flip burgers. You have to be realistic, and having the athletes get a job isnt very realistic. Its hard enough now for the athletes to fit in time for themselves let alone work. After a long day of practice and school, theyll be too tired to go to work. No employer is going to want to employ someone that can only work such select hours, freshman gymnast Dominic Brindle.
Most coaches sign lucrative contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars with sports companies, and arent the ones wearing the Nike shoes or jersey, the players are. The marquee players sell jerseys with their numbers on them, but they dont see the money from them. Schools sign large contracts with television stations for millions (even billions) of dollars, to see the kids play. Why is it that these players dont get even a little of it back? Theyre the ones putting on the show; they are the ones that deserve some of the money. They sell the tickets, people go to the games to see the players, not the college presidents and in most cases not even the coaches,