Should College Athletes Be Paid: Closing the Argument

Phil HarrisonCorrespondent IAugust 4, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - NOVEMBER 18:  A detailed shot of a box containing $1 million dollars as seen on the first tee during the final round of the 2007 ADT Championship at the Trump International Golf Club on November 18, 2007 in West Palm Beach, Florida  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Despite my best wishes, the concept of paying college athlete's has reared its ugly head here recently, yet again.  It undoubtedly will not be the last.  This topic has always created a lot of debate, and it seems everyone has an opinion. 

At this point, if you have read this far, you have probably gathered that I too have an opinion.  I fall squarely on the side of the fence that college athletes should not be paid for a myriad of reasons, with no ifs ands or head-butts.

I first must ask the question that I ofter wonder about plenty of debates whether it be political, religion, or driving (ever notice that nobody thinks they are a bad driver yet there seems to be an accident every day). 

Ask yourself if you are forming an opinion, or simply regurgitating someone else's argument.  Ask yourself, too, if you are completely thinking about what would happen after the pay for play policy is put into place.  If you are not thinking for yourself, please stop now.  I say this for the sake of moving toward the argument of paying college players. 

I have a hard time believing that anyone that has made the argument for paying college players has really thought this argument out in detail. 

Sure, it sounds great that if a player is bringing in a lot of money for an institution, that they should be reimbursed for it.  After all, this is the United States, and people should not be taken advantage of.  What's rightfully theirs should be give to them, right? 

Let's all live the American Dream.  After all, "YES YOU CAN!"

What would happen if college player began to receive pay, besides justice prevailing?  I'll ask one simple question:  Where do you draw the line?  Do you pay everyone, or only the star players?  How much do you pay them?  Which athletes in which sports do you pay?  Do you pay men as equally as women? 

Are you starting to get the picture of the amount of turmoil this would all create. 

If you pay one person, you are opening the floodgates to an avalanche of problems.  In today's litigating society, I can only imagine the amount of lawsuits and hurt feelings we all would suddenly be talking about.  I can see a new niche of lawyers popping up right next to the ambulance chasers that are already out there.

How about one other simple question that nobody seems to begin to pose:  Where do you scrap together the money to pay whatever sample of athletes start bringing home the bacon?  Ummm, don't most colleges use their most popular sport or two to pay for the shortcomings of the other athletic programs that they have? 

In most cases, the other non-revenue sports only exist at many universities because of the cash cow football or basketball program.  There is also recruiting, facilities, equipment, and travel to pay for, not to mention the rising costs of athletic coaches across many sports.  This all means that to pay for this little justification athletic directors and school presidents would either have to cut many of the other sports (bye bye Title IX) or significantly raise admission prices to the revenue making sports at each university. 

Let's wrap this into a neat little bow now shall we? 

Please drop this argument once and for all.  High profile college athletes already get a free education and get the opportunity for mass exposure with the opportunity to make millions. 

Isn't this enough? 

If you still believe that college athletes should be paid, then get ready for high ticket prices, frivolous lawsuits and fewer opportunities for kids that want to play college athletics.  If this argument eventually gets legs and becomes a reality, I fear that the next tattoo generation may just begin to have corporate logos inked into their foreheads. 

Life comes at you fast.