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Amateurs Vs. Athletes Essay

1695 words - 7 pages

10 March 2014
Amateurs or Professionals?

Big-money college sports takes your breath away. College football and men’s basketball have become such huge commercial enterprises that together they generate more than $6 billion in annual revenue, more than the National Basketball Association. A top college coach can make as much or more than a professional coach. Powerful conferences like the S.E.C. and the Pac 12 have signed lucrative TV deals, while the Big 10 and the University of Texas have created their own sports networks. Last year, Turner Broadcasting and CBS signed a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal for the television rights to the NCAA’s men’s basketball national championship tournament ...view middle of the document...

The NCAA defines them as students first, but the players know better. They know they are making money for the athletic department. The NCAA’s states that it is protecting the players from becoming too greedy. The only thing it’s protecting is everyone else’s revenue stream. (The NCAA itself takes in nearly $800 million a year, mostly from its March Madness TV contracts.) For me, I believe that the ban on college athletes getting paid should be abolished and be replaced with the stipulation of them being paid (Branch).

Paying the students means that the money generated from the games would be in turn used as the income for everyone. This revenue would be distributed among the athletes, but the pay would vary by the sport. For example, students who play in basketball would get a specific income, while the athletes in football would get paid a different amount. So in that case the students who are in the more popular sport of the college would get paid more. Joe Nocera, from the New York Times wrote “College sports will become more honest once players are paid, and more honorable. Fans will be able to enjoy football and men’s basketball without having to avert their eyes from the scandals and the hypocrisy. Yes, it’s true: paying players will change college sports. They will be better, too" (New York Times). Scandals such as the ones that swirled around Penn State football and Syracuse basketball. The University of Miami player whom now in prison, convicted of running a Ponzi scheme which provided dozens of Miami football players with money, cars and even prostitutes. The Ohio State merchandise scandal that cost the coach, Jim Tressel, his job. The financial scandal at the Fiesta Bowl that led to the firing of its chief executive and the indictment of another top executive. Scandals such as these, make headline news quicker than if the president was to declare war. But why? Maybe because the reason behind all these infamous events is the issue of getting paid (Howe).

"I think that college players think they should be paid," Ohio States' cornerback Bradley Roby, "the colleges make a lot of money off of what we do as college athletes. Once they realize they're not getting any benefits for what they're doing every week, it just provides that more incentive to go to the league early" (Howe). Although the NCAA claims college athletes are just students, the NCAA’s own tournament schedules require college athletes to miss classes for nationally televised games that bring in revenue. How can the athletes be promised the full benefits of an education, when they have to miss out on it to bring in money? For the NCAA, they classify their players as amateurs, not professionals, as student athletes, not employees. This is how most colleges get away with paying them nothing (Nocera). To some people, they realize that student athletes on athletic scholarships are essentially paid because they receive free tuition, rooms, meals, some money for books and even...

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