“I walked by the bookstore and they were selling my jersey, but I never saw a penny of profit from it,” said Jalen Rose, ESPN sports columnist and former basketball player for University of Michigan. For Jalen Rose, and many other Nation Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) players who were once in his position, finding money while playing sports in college can be difficult. As it stands currently, the NCAA does not provide its athletes with money for playing their respective sports.
College athletes should receive profit because they boost the reputation of college for whom they play. Le’veon Bell, former Michigan State University (MSU) running back, was a popular player on the football team. To many, he was a star player. When players similar to him come around, it is profitable for the school. Despite this, none of the players receive any of the money that they are “responsible” for. University of Michigan makes upwards of $150 million per year from college sports (usatoday.com). Because of NCAA rules, players that play the sports cannot profit from this money.
The NCAA, a multi-billion dollar non-profit organization, allows for coaches to receive large amounts of payment, and yet, the athletes receive little to no compensation. The amount that players receive should depends on the sport, the popularity of the sport, and how much the sport nets in profit for the school. Based on these factors, the athletes should at least receive a percentage of income from ticket sales and other income sources for the team. Alabama’s football coach, Nick Saban, will earn $11.125 million this year. Yet again, the players do not receive any funds.
Those who are against the payment of NCAA athletes may say that the students do not need payment. However, this is not always true because while the student-athletes may get scholarships and funding towards schooling, they receive no outside support besides that. In addition, NCAA athletes frequently run on a busy schedule. From practice, to school, to the weight room, and back to practice again, there is minimal free time in the life of a college athlete. This results in a lack of opportunity for college athletes to get a job, and thus, no opportunity to make money. Most college athletes still have to pay for day-to-day living expenses like food, clothing etc. Without a job, this can be very difficult.
NCAA athletes should also receive money because they frequently miss school for team events. Instead of their sport being an extracurricular activity for the students, the time commitment required by the sport consumes the students. In some instances, the “athlete” part becomes more significant than the “student” part in “student-athlete.” Unfortunately, a decision must be made.
With all of this, it is essential to remember that everyone deserves a chance to make a living. College athletes have no available time to work, so they have no outlet to make money. This makes it difficult for them to provide for themselves on a day-to-day basis. For this reason, it is important that the NCAA must fund its many players.