Should College Athletes Get Paid?

UCF Kicker Donald De La Haye

Damond Talbot

UCF Kicker Donald De La Haye

Is it fair to have athletes entertain an audience and not earn any of the revenue that the school or the NCAA pulls in?

Many people know that college is a tough time, especially if you want to get a good paying job. Some students spend all day and night doing projects or studying in the library just to get that grade they aspire to have. All while working a regular job to have enough money to fuel their body for those long night studying sessions, and buying clothes, toiletries, and transportation. What about people that also play sports? Everyone knows how demanding college sports are. So, how are college kids supposed to go to school, study, do homework, go to practice, and work, all in one day? Now don’t get me wrong, I know many colleges athletes get their tuition paid for, but none of these athletes are looking for a full-time salary in addition to scholarships.  Athletes just want enough money to get by day by day without working.

There is so much time that goes into practicing and playing games at the collegiate level. So much so, that it is hard to play a sport, get good grades, and make money all at the same time. Many outstanding high school athletes opt not to play college sports solely because they do not want to juggle between school, sports, and work. Former UCF kicker, Donald De La Haye, had his scholarship revoked after the NCAA found out that he monetized his YouTube channel. They deemed that he was using his glory to expand his growth on YouTube, and in turn, make more money. De La Haye explained, “So I’m working hard — basically like a job, filming, editing, creating ideas — and I’m not allowed to make any money. And if I do, bad things will happen,” as cited in a New York Times article. Why doesn’t the NCAA want him to make money off his YouTube channel? Why don’t they just pay him instead of making him decide between his schooling or his only source of income?

Some may say that college athletes get their schooling paid for in return for being an athlete, but that can only go so far. Getting a scholarship only helps students after they are done with college by removing the added stress of student loans. Meanwhile, at school, they do not have money for food, clothes, transportation, etc. I think that even if the NCAA takes a percentage of the game revenue and divides it up between players, it will help the players through the season so they have more time to focus on schooling.

I believe college athletes should get paid because they work so hard to do what they do, and it is not guaranteed that they will be paid to do it professionally. Some fans pay upwards of $1,000 to watch players like Zion Williamson play in college, but the actual athletes get none of the money that the NCAA makes from their name.