The Washburn Review • December 1, 2016 • https://washburnreview.org/5926/sports/sports-speak-dollar-sign-vs-athletes/
One of the biggest controversies right now is the dollar sign vs. athletes. It’s been said that money is the root of all evil, but where is the line drawn? The question has been raised for years – should college athletes get paid or not?
If yes, should they be paid bonuses for excelling? The opinions on this topic are everywhere. The first point for them getting paid has to deal with the dedication that players give. They are all under contract to behave and act certain ways. Depending on the school and level of competition, players are discouraged in taking part in outside games other than their training. Athletes are also considered representatives of their school. In that respect, they must always act appropriately, or face some pretty severe consequences. In other words, as an athlete you are a full-time representative of your school. It can also be argued that balancing multiple hours of workouts and hours of class work can be incredibly challenging.
However, there is a reasonable argument against this. Not all, but most of these athletes are on scholarship. They get paid thousands of dollars in tuition to come play for their school of choice. This is an opportunity that a lot of other students don’t get. Another argument can be made that they are getting paid in publicity. Everything they do is going to help them potentially to get to the next level in their careers and all they have to do was work hard on the field. One of the final arguments is that schoolwork may not be as hard for these athletes because of how prevalent tutoring is to them.
There are definitely very reasonable objections on both sides of the argument. We do know one thing in the end; every college is going to make acquiring good athletes a priority. So, will colleges be willing to take the extra step if athletes demand it? Should athletes go on strike? Should they step up and demand money? Should they be thankful for their opportunity? In the end, there is one thing for certain; college athletes probably wouldn’t mind getting paid at least minimum wage for the hours they put in, or even a weekly salary.
As a student this may be your time to shine. Stand up for the athletes. Why not stand side by side with your fellow classmates? They work hard for your school to become well known and to gain pride. You will have your institutions label on your back for the rest of your life; it is your duty to make sure that your label looks good. So do what it takes to be proud of your alma mater. If that means paying athletes what they deserve, then so be it. Speak out, and make it happen. In order for a spike, there needs to be a set.