Exploitation of the Athlete

Kennede T. - LLI Dayton

Student athletes, specifically college athletes, should not be paid for the efforts they make in college sports.  These athletes are being “paid” in other ways, such as their tuition and room & board being paid in full, and the exposure they receive.  Let’s step back and evaluate the situation.

In the essay written by William Berr, “College Athletes Do Not deserve to be Paid, Now or Ever,” he asserts the fact that “athletes are given a free education, and everything it entails, which is worth plenty of money.”  The average tuition for state and private schools range from $9,650 - $34,000 per year, excluding room & board, and other fees (CollegeData.com). That’s about $38,600 - $136,000, without other fees beings added in.

 $136,000 is a big chunk of change that most student athletes don’t pay for nor can afford.  

You’re essentially getting paid to do what you love.

On the other hand, being a college athlete is a full-time job - they should be compensated. These students bring in revenue for the colleges, resulting in these schools making millions, “universities make millions and millions of dollars off of these athletes while the players – the ones people pay to see – are not being paid" (Berr). 

According to Madison Martinez, “college football and men’s basketball programs earn far more than any other athletic program" (Should College Student Athletes Be Paid:  Both Sides of the Debate). In this article, she establishes the point that because these students make more money than the other athletic programs, they are in the position to pay their athletes.  

You’ll think that this topic would be near and dear to my heart, due to the fact that my 19-year-old brother is a college athlete. In his case, he received a partial scholarship. Would he be eligible to be paid for playing football? There are tons of factors that would go into the decision making behind “should college athletes be paid.”  Do you pay all athletes the same? Does the size of the school matter?  If all student athletes, male or female regardless of their sport, can’t be paid equally, then no one, no sport team should pay their athletes.


  • "Amateurism." Web blog Post. NCAA.org. 15 September 2017.
  • "Amateurism Eligibility Requirements." Web blog Post. NCAA.org. 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.