This I Believe

Zach - Syracuse, New York
Entered on September 6, 2007

I firmly believe that college athletes are treated like indentured servants. There are two sides to this argument. One may argue that a scholarship athlete getting a free education and a degree which otherwise they may not have had a chance to earn is compensation enough for the time they commit to their teams. However, I do not believe in this theory. College athletes devote an obscene amount of time throughout the year towards their team. Playing for a Division I athletic team is a year round commitment; it does not end the day the season ends. The off-season consists of practicing and working out, for many athletes this takes up several hours a day.

These athletes are also required to attend class and fulfill the same requirements as regular students. Because of this tremendous time commitment it would be nearly impossible for these student-athletes to have the time to have a job in order to make money. Without the ability to earn an income, how are these collegiate athletes expected to live college life to the fullest? The fact that the NCAA penalizes players for accepting money from boosters in order to better their college lives is absolute nonsense. These athletes generate millions of dollars in income for their schools and they don’t benefit from that money at all. The jerseys of the popular players are sold everyday and those players do not benefit from that at all either.

I do not believe that every Division I athlete should be paid. Only players on teams that generate revenue should be compensated. All athletic programs are able to look at their revenues and determine which of their teams are generating the most cash inflow. In most major colleges this would include the football and basketball teams. These are the teams that usually have many thousands of fans show up at their games, purchase merchandise and spends money at the events on food and drink. Each school should individually look at the balance sheets to determine who is making money for the school. The players on the teams are the ones bringing the money in, so why shouldn’t some of this money reach the players pockets?