Should College Athletes Get Paid?

Laura Parker
ENG 131.01
Dr. Lucas
30 April 2014
College Athletes
One of the biggest controversies with college athletes is the fact that they don’t get paid to play. Many people believe that collegiate athletes should get paid, but many others believe they shouldn’t. Not only do people argue that they shouldn’t get paid, they believe that they are already paid with scholarships. The people who oppose the idea of athletes getting paid say that in a sense they are getting paid because when they get out of college, they don’t have loans to pay back. Although there is logic behind people’s arguments as to why college athletes shouldn’t get paid, I am here to inform you of the reasons and legitimacy behind why college athletes should get paid. You see, the scholarship I receive as a student athlete doesn’t fulfill my financial needs.
What things do college athletes need that requires them to have money, one may ask? One thing that is important to athletes is their nutrition. How can college athletes maintain a healthy nutrition and diet when they don’t have money to buy food when they are hungry? As Napier states, “we do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food and sometimes money is needed” (qtd. in Waldron). In his interview, Napier explains to The Connecticut Mirror the struggle that college athletes go through making the university money and then not having enough to support themselves in the end. All the fame and fortune that athletes bring to universities, and then the universities aren’t there to support the athletes. “According to the New York Times, NCAA rules allow schools to provide one meal a day (plus some snacks or energy supplements), and one dietitians group warned the NCAA in 2012 that its athletes are underfed and should be provided with more food options” (Waldron). With college athletes not getting enough food and the right diets, this affects their performance which later can affect the University.
College athletes are responsible for bringing revenue to colleges and universities. People like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar agree that student athletes should get paid for their part in bringing money to the universities. He states, “Football and basketball are on national TV. They generate money for all of these national sponsors and advertisers. It’s incredible how much money is being made. The president of the NCAA makes $1.7 million a year, yet the people who are performing and generating this cash do not get to participate in any way” (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). The problem that people see with this is that Jabbar only refers to paying the athletes that bring in revenue. If college athletes are going to be paid, then all college athletes should be paid whether they bring revenue to the school. Most college sports require students to burn calories and use energy, if the student athlete doesn’t have money to get food after practices, workouts or games that’s when they become underfed and malnourished. Agreeing with this, “while Brennan didn’t necessarily shoot down the concept of paying athletes completely, she pointed out the obvious issues that could arise with all athletes likely wanting a piece of the pie” (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). Brennan sees the flaws in the idea of this, but likes and agrees with the idea of college athletes getting paid for their influences and effect on the colleges and universities. Whether the sport that the college athlete plays brings in the least amount of money for the school, the time and effort the athlete uses when trying to make that sport better can cause them to lose energy just like the other sports. If one college sport was to receive money for their skills and talents and so they could have money to eat, then all sports should receive money.
Along with Jabbar, Adrian Peterson from the Minnesota Vikings believes that college athletes that bring in the revenue should be paid. He strongly believes that “without the players how much money do they make? They make no money without the players” (Adrian Peterson). When Peterson played for Texas A&M, he states that the University made money off of his jersey and ticket sales. Also stated in the same article, “NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s stated desire to require college players to spend two years in school before declaring for the draft” (Adrian Peterson). In other words, they want to stop college athletes from leaning for the drafts so that their university sports can become better programs and make more money off of the players. Without these players, the universities wouldn’t receive as much as they do now. Peterson’s argument about how without the players, they make no money, it supports the argument and reasons as to why the colleges and universities should pay their athletes.
Being a college athlete and only being provided meals at certain times, causes it to be harder for me to eat when I’m hungry. Knowing that I and other athletes generate revenue for the school, but they can’t give us money for food or get my necessities makes me believe that the school doesn’t care about their student athletes. When all is said and done, many people who believe student athletes are being paid enough by receiving scholarships, but the ones that really understand are the ones that experience it first hand, the athletes.

Works Cited
“Adrian Peterson: College Athletes Should Be Paid – CBS Minnesota.” CBS Minnesota. 9 Apr. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
“Kareem Abdul Jabbar on Crossfire: Pay Student Athletes.” YouTube. 20 Mar. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Chiari, Mike. “Kareem: NCAA Athletes Should Be Paid.” Bleacher Report. 21 Mar. 2014. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
Waldron, Travis. “UConn Star: College Athletes ‘Have Hungry Nights That We Don’t Have Enough Money To Get Food’.” ThinkProgress RSS. 7 Apr. 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.