Should College Athletes Be Paid?

money manziel

Why not start this blog with a boom?

One of the biggest topics in the sports world right now is whether or not the college athlete should be paid. If you turn on “First Take” on ESPN, you will most likely hear Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith debate this topic. If you listen to sports radio, you will probably hear callers discussing this topic. You cannot avoid this subject within the sports world.

Not only is this relevant in mainstream sports media, but it is also something that hits home with students at Queens College. I have debated this topic in various journalism classes, and have found that students who are not athletes may not agree with the fact that the college athlete should get paid. The athletes themselves tend to think they should be paid, but who wouldn’t want to make money for something they do?

Speaking as a college student that is not an athlete, I do believe that these student athletes should get paid. It is hard enough for myself to balance classes, friends, family, free time and work. Imagine being a student that has to do all of that, but also dedicates countless hours a week practicing, exercising and working out.

Many college athletes do not have the time to get jobs for themselves, and it also becomes increasingly difficult to keep their grades high. When someone commits so much of their time to a sport, I think that they should be paid.

This topic really started to culminate when college football superstar Johnny Manziel got in trouble for allegedly taking money for signing autographs. Under NCAA rule, players are not allowed to make any money off of their name. This means that they cannot sign autographs for money, make appearances for money, sell their jersey, etc.

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Johnny Manziel Signs Autographs

When someone reaches the superstardom that Johnny Manziel has reached, I see no reason for them to be restricted from making money off of their fame. If I were a singer at Queens College and put a YouTube video up of my singing, I would be able to profit if I reached a certain amount of views. I would be able to sing for people for money. Why can’t a college athlete make money off of their skill?

If a college can make such a dramatic amount of money off of their star player, shouldn’t the player make money as well? Between ticket sales, jerseys, memorabilia, etc. the college can make so much money off of a name like Johnny Manziel, not to mention the networks that broadcast his games.

If someone like Manziel were to suffer a dramatic injury this season, he may see his professional career end before it even started, leaving him with no options for his future, or at least setting him back many years. If someone like Manziel has to put in the insane amount of work that they have to put in in order to make it to the level of fame he has made, he should be reimbursed.

If college athletes were to get paid there would be some problems. Schools with a larger budget would be able to pay athletes better, making it very hard for smaller schools to get talented players. Even if there were a standard pay across the board, some schools would not be able to afford it, and it would lead to athletes not giving their all.

In my opinion there is a very easy way to fix this. You do not have to pay the college athlete, but you can allow them to make money off of their name. This will coerce an athlete to become great in order to be able to make some money. If someone becomes as famous and talented as Johnny Manziel, and someone wants to pay for their autograph, let them. This will put some money in the athletes pocket, while also making them want to be better so they could make more money. Jersey sales, autographs, appearances, etc., would give the athlete the potential to make a large amount of money before reaching the professional level.

This would cut down on talented athletes going to the same schools that can afford to pay them better. This equals the playing field for the colleges, and provides incentives for the players.

Please leave comments! I would love to discuss these issues with everyone!

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About Nick Cocchiaro