NCAA student athletes should get paid depending on what division they play in.
Division I athletes balance a demanding practice schedule, travel time for games, and school. Student-athletes go above and beyond what a normal student does. Schools should compensate them accordingly.
(1 of 2) Next argument >
Division I athletes work tirelessly to help their teams win, working about 40 hours per week for their schools in practice time and game time. In addition, student-athletes must travel for away games, increasing the time dedicated to their sport. Compensation in the form of a scholarship simply isn't enough. Many student-athletes struggle with financial security, something which could be fixed by employment. However, Division I athletes dedicate so much time to their respective sports that it makes it impossible to get a steady job. Additionally, the financial insecurity most athletes face forces them to drop out of college early, making their athletic scholarship effectively worthless. Division II and student-athletes should be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine if they will be paid. Depending on their skill level, the athletic department should pay the student-athlete a portion of the revenue that they help bring in to the school, whatever that may be. Division III student-athletes should get paid only if their athletic abilities generate sizable revenue for their school. While athletes struggle with financial security, the NCAA makes $1 billion per year. Furthermore, the NCAA prohibits athletes from making money through endorsements or autographs. The NCAA effectively bans athletes from making money off of the things they excel at--athletics. The NCAA should not only pay student-athletes (depending on their division) but allow all student-athletes to make money through endorsements.
Compensation in the form of scholarship to a school that awards degrees to student-athletes who stay for the full four years is fair. A degree can get anyone a lifetime of opportunities in the field of their choosing. Student athletes work exceptionally hard for their schools, and they are compensated equitably. While the NCAA shouldn't have to pay student athletes directly, athletes should be allowed to make money through endorsements while playing at the collegiate level to relieve the burden of financial insecurity.