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Should College Athletes Be Paid? — Check Out Our Debate

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As more news comes out about how universities are treating athletes, whether student athletes should be paid is becoming a national discussion. Here are our thoughts.

AJ:

If you’re a college athlete in a program that is making your school money, you deserve to be paid. College athletics has been big money for years and years and years. Most of those college athletes are destroying their bodies and getting next to nothing for it. Major universities are making billions upon billions of dollars in basketball and football programs and athletes are getting compensated next to nothing.

Recently Northwestern students brought a suit against their university to organize a union and be paid. I’m all for it.

A degree is such a small fraction compared to what the university makes — even if their school costs $100,000 a year, I don’t think they’re getting a fair shake. Most people just assume those athletes will be paid eventually when they play professional sports. But in reality, most do not go on.

I firmly believe college athletics should be treated like a business and a job and a separate entity from the university. They should be employees and not students. If they want to include tuition as a bonus, fine.

Andrew:

Tuition as a bonus? No, no, no. We’re off the rails here. There is no such thing as paid student athletes. You’re either professional, or you’re a student. If kids are not getting a good education from the school they’re playing for, THAT’s where we need to look. Paying players is just stupid. The schools are making big money off these kids? What is a school? It’s several different programs on one campus. The money the football and basketball teams make buys new equipment for gymnastics, it repairs the pool for the diving team, it flies the track team to Eugene for their meet. No one is getting rich off student athletes while they get nothing. Kids are given the opportunity to play at the top of their game and in return they get a college degree.

And a college degree is not nothing. They cost about $20,000-$50,000 a year now for the cheap schools. The athletes ALSO get room and board. They are ALREADY richly compensated. If you’re unhappy with the education you get, play for another school!

All of this said, if a school is not allowing the athletes to succeed academically, reform is definitely in order.

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