College Athletes Need Money Too

Dequan W. - LLI Akron

To pay or not to pay, that is the question. College athletes are plagued with the term “amateurism”. The NCAA says that amateurism is one who “has not profited above his/her actual and necessary expenses”(NCAA). This, NCAA, is a lie. 

Even though the NCAA pays for the overpriced education the students get, they neglect to realize that student athletes are actually human beings. Student athletes do have a job, and a hard one at that. They have to perform at 110% every game. But, here’s the catch: To perform at all, a student athlete must maintain a certain GPA. So if an athlete misses classes or study time to practice or play a game, it has to be made up. 

Oh, and speaking of practice, you have to compete against your team during practice for at least four grueling hours, putting both your physical and mental health on the line. You have to be early to every team event to be considered on time. And with some extra working out, you might make the starting line up and get that full-ride scholarship for doing your job. 

Student athletes then have to deal with life, as many other college students do. They have no money and no time to do anything. BUT, student athletes cannot reasonably get a paying job OR accept any money. That is amateurism, being expected to be a full-time student AND a full-time athlete with no money or help. 

NCAA, that is a high expectation. Can these men and women at least get some clothes or food? What about their hygiene? At least give them a Walmart gift card. 

But still, there is more. William Boore says that college athletes don’t deserve to ever be paid, but he admits that the coaches make millions off of the unpaid players (2011). He forgot to mention that the schools make even more money than that and maintain their campus and staff salaries with the revenue that these athletes bring. Texas A&M makes $190 million annually off of sports (Gains 2016). Football, of course, is the most dangerous and most lucrative, producing $121 million (Id.). These particular football players have maybe a couple thousand spent on them for their equipment, food, and travel expenses. And that’s assuming that their equipment is new. 

So again, to pay or not to pay? The men and women that produce millions of dollars and sacrifice their minds, bodies, and lives for an education. They have no time and no money, and only little hope to get a full-ride scholarship. Give these people a stipend. Give them a minimum wage. But stop making them work for free. 


  • "Amateurism." Web blog Post. 15 September 2017.
  • "Amateurism Eligibility Requirements." Web blog Post. 15 September 2017. 
  • Martinez, Madison. "Should College Student-Athletes Be Paid? Both Sides of the Debate." Web blog Post. BlogCollegeXpress,  20 March 2017.
  • Boor, William. "College Athletes Do Not Deserve to be Paid, Now or Ever." College Football. Bleacher Report, 6 June 2011. 
  • Mandel, Stewart. "Why the NCAA Won't Be Paying College Athletes Anytime Soon." NCAA FB. FOX Sports, 15 Nov. 2016. 
  • Wilbon, Michael. "College Athletes Deserve to be Paid." College Sports. ESPN, 18 July 2011. 
  • Tracy, Marc and Strauss, Ben. "Court Strikes Down Payments to College Athletes." The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 30 Sept. 2015.