Is Paying College Athletes a Necessity?

Olivia T. - LLI Columbus

The topic on whether or not college athletes should be paid is a major discussion that continues today. Yes, it is true that some athletes are given a full tuition, scholarship covering, and housing. Some viewers may say that is the compensation for playing, according to William Boore, “College Athletes Do Not Deserve To Be Paid, Now or Ever.”

However, many studies prove this statement is false. Madison Martinez states in her article, “Should College Athletes be Paid? Both sides of the debate" that, “being an athlete is a full-time job. The students spend so much time missing class, at practice or games so they have no time to make extra money for other personal necessities."

A regular full time job is not an option for an athlete.

A contradicting statement from Dave Anderson, “Top 10 Reasons College Athletes Should Not be Paid," implies that all of the necessities are included in a scholarship, so the money that would be given for compensation would create more debt for the athlete.

However, the “necessities” of an athlete can not be determined by a general list.  Clothes, living supplies, etc. may not be provided in the same manner as to a student with a job. Anderson describes athletes compensation as a fault because the money given would cut some of the smaller organizations. This statement too is very avoidable. In order for an athlete to be paid, it would be based on the profits made by that group so that no other organization would be hindered.

Amateurism is defined as “someone who has not gained a competitive advantage in his/her sport or gained any profits” according to "NCAA Amateurism and College Athletics." This term can be differentiated from a college athlete because they receive no payment and are authorized by a separate set of rules. Although they are very similar, Amateurism is worth protecting because as stated in "Amateurism Official Site," it is very crucial to maintaining the upkeep of an academic environment, allotting that all student-athletes are just that; students first, athletes second. 

Restricting payments for college athletes may have its losses, such as slightly reduced profits for the schools, obligating athletes to pay taxes (according to “Should College Athletes be Paid? Both Sides of the Debate”) or the chance of having an athlete transfer for better money opportunities. But there may also be benefits that come with this as well: like having satisfied players, potentially earning more profits for a university than before, more school advertising and overall more opportunities.

Is having satisfied players important?


These opportunities will more than likely benefit the campus just as long as they are willing to take the chance. 

All in all, the debate will continue for a while longer, but put yourself in the shoes of a college athlete. What would you want? Is extra money a necessity? Or will you let your necessities be determined by others? 


  • "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.