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College athletes, like other athletes, spend most of their time playing games, practicing, and travelling. All these activities coupled with studies make time a valuable asset for them. College athletics placed some colleges at a competitive edge in the past (Griffin, 2008). These colleges have a good athletics performance and, therefore, they attract more students. This implies that good athletes considerably increase the popularity of their respective colleges. According to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), college and university athletics students should not receive any payment for their performance (Griffin, 2008). The body argues that scholarship awards given to these students should only compensate for their appropriate contribution (Griffin, 2008). Similarly, colleges’ athletics officials, together with this body, suggest that due to this change, professionals and commercial enterprises are prevented from exploiting college athletes. However, in my opinion, being a college athlete is a full time job that requires compensation in terms of both scholarship and money.
Football and basketball programs generate millions of dollars annually in the US athletics. This implies that college coaches and administrators collect healthy paychecks at the expense of college athletes (Griffin, 2008). As affirmed by NCAA’s numerous deals with sports television channels, college and universities athletics programs generate a considerable amount of money (Zimbalist, 2006). In this regard, colleges should treat their athletes as other college employees and compensate for their contribution. The failure in this regard means that colleges will not only be violating their students’ rights, but will also violate their decency. Thus, money generated from all these programs should equally be distributed among all the stakeholders and students are the majority of them (Zimbalist, 2006). In the current system, awarding college athletes with only scholarship is not only exploitative, but also unfair.
Similarly, by not paying college athletes, college coaches and their athletics directors fail to motivate students to explore their talents and abilities (Zimbalist, 2006). If colleges are to pay their athletics students, these athletes performance is going to improve considerably. Just like in the workplace, increase in payments will not only motivate the athletes, but will also improve their overall performance. Correspondingly, if athletics students are paid, they may use money in other entrepreneurship pursuits. In this consideration, they will learn numerous life skills allowing them to be self-reliant.
Contrary to NCAA’s perception, commercial enterprises will not exploit college athletes if they are paid for their participation (Merino, 2011). However, student-athletes can earn millions of dollars through commercial advertisements resulting in numerous benefits for themselves and their institutions (Merino, 2011). In this regard, students can learn how to endorse products, sell memorabilia and get more speaking gigs. After college, these students will have an added advantage if they continue with the same commercial activities unlike other beginners in the market. In addition, through these payments, colleges will professionalize athletics and other ball games (Merino, 2011). Students-athletes are going to focus more on their talents allowing some to become full time athletes and earn a livelihood at the expense of athletics. By so doing, more students are going to explore their talents to the fullest with the aim of adopting athletics as their profession.
In conclusion, colleges and NCAA should acknowledge students’ contributions in athletics by paying them and openly accept their commercialization (Egendorf, 1999). Similarly, athletics students should not be contented with scholarships, as they do not fully cover their expenses throughout college life. To stop the ever-increasing cynicism among college athletes, we must fully acknowledge their contribution and compensate them appropriately (Egendorf, 1999). Failure in this regard means that athletics will continue to make a lot of money for the universities and colleges at their own expenses.