College Football: The Argument for Paying Players

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College Football: The Argument for Paying Players
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The argument, "Whether or not to pay college football players," receives more discussion each year. There are valid points for, and against, this highly charged topic.

It seems more and more fans and members of the media join the ranks of those in favor of the idea each year.  Their reasons seem to be based on logic, facts and fairness.

Arguments against appear to be based on emotion, idealism, and an unfounded fear of change.

One thing is certain: The more revenue college football produces—the more the argument heats up.

The following are some of the most compelling arguments in favor of paying college football players.

1. ADMIT THAT COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS A MULTIBILLION-DOLLAR BUSINESS

ESPN's Rod Gilmore, who can be found covering college games during the season, says, "It's time to end the charade of amateurism in college football and let the athletes share in the spoils."

Gilmore makes an excellent point when he says, "At one time college football was consistent with the mission of a university to educate and provide for the well-being of the student body, but it is no longer very different from the NFL."

He continues, "Like the NFL, the money college football earns comes from television, marketing, media rights, and luxury box/suite income.

Richard Roeper, of the Chicago Sun Times , concurs. He claims that, "Everyone knows that major college ball is minor-league pro ball."

Roeper asks, "How is it that universities and coaches continue to make millions off the efforts of 'amateur' athletes who could get suspended for accepting a few bucks on the side?"

2. FAIRNESS

HBO and Sports Illustrated's Frank Deford writes, "In all fairness, college athletes should be paid."

Deford feels its unconscionable that big-time college football players go unpaid. "They are employees, and deserve to be paid based on the National Labor Relations Act."

Deford makes another great point. He writes, "All Olympic athletes had to live by the 'amateur ideal.' But all that has changed. The only athletes who are not paid are our college football and basketball players—whose numbers, ironically, include so many poor African-Americans."

3.  COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS NOT FOR FUN

Michelle Hill, of the Sports Networker contends, "Who says college sports is for the fun of it? It’s a multi-billion dollar business and players should be compensated for their time…heck, everyone else is. Schools get paid. Coaches get paid. Team medical staff."

Players of today are under more scrutiny than ever before. The media, and the fans, can be ruthless in their attacks on players, who average 20 years in age.

Scholarships are removed as fast as they're offered.

4. PLAYERS PRODUCE REVENUES FOR TV, SHOE COMPANIES, AND CONFERENCES

The Illinois Business Law Journal writes, "Athletes are producing revenues not only for the schools, but also for shoe companies, television networks, and the conferences in which they belong."

Kelly Whiteside, of USA Today, agrees. "The NCAA averages better than half a billion dollars a year in revenue. This does not include payouts from 28 football bowls, which exceed $184 million and goes to the conferences."

She wonders, "Why aren't athletes in revenue-generating sports such as men's basketball and college football paid?"

5. ATHLETES WILL STAY IN SCHOOL LONGER

With pay, athletes will have the option to stay in school longer and finish their degrees.

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