College Athletes Paid to Play: Money or Memories?

Photo from Google.

A debate that all athletes think of, should division 1 college athletes be paid? 

J.J. Watt, a well known Houston Texans defensive end never was paid in college. He originally played at Central Michigan and then decided to leave and become a walk on for the well known Wisconsin Badgers.

J.J. Watt went to college as a walk on getting no scholarship money for his play. He now has become the highest paid non quarter back in the NFL signing a 6 year 100 million dollar contract with the Texans.

They Do Get Paid…Through Scholarships

The reason students go to college is to get an education, not to be paid to go. College costs money, that they could be paying for, but instead they get scholarships which pays for their education.

Getting your education payed for, and getting to play the sport you love- that is what all athletes dream of.

Kids do not start playing a sport to make money later in their life, they play because they love the game. The love of the game will take you further than any amount of money could.

An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.
~ Emil Zatopek ~

This quote is perfect for this idea- the athletes should not be playing with the fear and worry of how much money their play will earn them. These young men and women should be playing for the hope and dreams they have of winning the championship.

College athletes earn their scholarships in high school where their dream of becoming the athlete they are comes into reality. They earn the scholarship so they can can keep playing the sport they love.

Scholarships are money aren’t they? They pay for things that normally the college student and family have to pay for. So money is involved, and is used to further education- not to enlarge egos.

According to Mark Murphy, Director of Athletics at Northwestern University, athletes who are currently receiving scholarships can earn close to $200,000 over four years of playing their sport (Meshefejian Pay to Play). Which is about 2 and a half years worth of pay for an adult, and very much more than a college student getting paid minimum wage.

Meshefejian wrote in his article Pay to Play, “There are several persuasive arguments as to why college athletes should be paid, but those arguments ultimately fail because the first duty of a university is to educate, not to hire entertainers” (Meshefejian Pay to Play).

What if college athletes did get paid?

The world of college athletics would be very different, in ways we may not even think of. These athletes would be playing for the money- not for the love of the game.

College sports would not be the same- the athletes would work for the money and fame. They would not work for the pride of accomplishment when they win the big game- nope, it would all be about the  money.

Some say the talent these athletes have is worth paying- is that really why you work hard? For the reward of money.

When you train, do you train with money on your mind? No, you train with the idea of winning the big game or championship. Money does not keep us going- the love of the game does.

I do agree, these athletes are very talented and hard working people, but do we have to reward them with money for that?

Why can’t they just be rewarded with praise and their hard work paying off- because to me that is what really matters.

You owe it to yourself to be the best you can possibly be – in baseball and in life.
~ Pete Rose ~

Although athletes are producing revenues not only for the schools and students scholarships, but also for shoe companies and television networks that show the games. (Pay to Play) Which gives the arguement that these athletes should be paid for creating profit for the schools.

According to John Brill, college football and basketball generate more money than the NBA, a total of more than $6 billion yearly (Brill).

College is a time of finding out who you are or who you want to be- and some find themselves through sports. You want to be your best in sports, so you can find yourself and be the best you that you can be.

If you pay these athletes, they will find themselves in the money that they earn. The will pride themselves in the money, instead of being proud of who they are as people.

Just remember that next time you think you want to pay them- how will the find who they are as a person when all they want is the money?

So, do you really want to change college athletics? They get so much attention on this subject because people watch college athletics as they are now. How does paying the give any more attention?

College athletes get thousands of fans at their games or matches each year to cheer them on, it does not make a difference if they have money in their wallets or not, you are there to cheer on athletes who play the sport they love.

Michigan_Stadium_2011 Image from Andrew Horne

Paying athletes may not change the sport you buy tickets for, or the game you flip on to on the television to catch a glimpse of, but behind the scenes if where it really matters. Behind the scenes where you don’t always see into- that is where it could really affect most.

Achieving a goal does not need money to thrive on- it needs hard work and dedication.



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