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Cedar Cliff Notes June 4, 2014

9

Paying collegiate athletes: what’s at stake? Student-athletes deserve compensation Adam Wagner Sports Writer

College athletes work long hours and gain publicity for their university. Big-time sports create publicity and popular support for colleges, which frequently leads to financial contributions. According to analysis done by economists at Northwestern University and Mathematica Policy Research, more than half of newspaper articles about public universities are related to athletics. Sports revenues generated by such publicity and advertisements often go toward paying the coaches and trainers; they deserve to be paid, but so do the players. As Mark Edelman stated in his article “21 Reasons Why Student-Athletes Are Employees and Should Be Allowed to Unionize”: Student-athletes devote on average 43.3 hours to their sports per week Sports bring the NCAA over $11 billion The highest paid public official in 40 states is a state university football or men’s basketball coach. These statistics demonstrate the revenues brought in by the efforts of studentathletes, and how the players themselves receive little benefit from their work (other than the satisfaction a sport can provide). Paying them in a manner that does not allow wealthier schools to

pay players higher wages would reward players for what they do. Former college athlete Adrian Peterson feels that “as much money as universities make, some of that should come down to the players.” Besides the hours they put in, athletes risk their wellbeing at every practice and game.

Paying athletes harms college sports Lochlan Angle Sports Writer

Amateur: (noun) “A person who does something (such as a sport or a hobby) for pleasure and not as a job.” The word

Photo by Lochlan Angle.

Frequently, athletes’ scholarships depend on their health and success; if someone is injured, his or her athletic career may be finished. Student-athletes on successful sports teams help their schools to gain increased applications and revenues. They put in hours at a time, risking their physical well-being. Despite their efforts, student-athletes cannot autograph for money. All things considered, college athletes deserve be paid.

“amateur” itself comes originally from the Latin “amare,” which means “to love.” Thus, a true amateur is a person who does something just for the pure and simple love of it. That ideal of amateurism is at the heart of college sports--or at least it should be. Certainly at their best, college sports still embody such true amateurism. Unfortunately this notion is lost to many. Not only do extremely talented athletes leave for the professional leagues after

just one or two years of college, but there is also a growing movement to start paying athletes salaries. These arguments are unfounded. College athletes already receive scholarships that would render additional salaries superfluous. Athletes also enjoy the benefits of a free audition for the professional leagues. College athletes are already basically paid in scholarships to play their sports; thus, an additional salary is not warranted. Furthermore, the primary purpose of college is education-not sports--and paying athletes would de-emphasize that educational purpose. Paying the athletes would make collegiate sports into basically minor-level professional leagues, rendering college itself almost trivial. It is important to keep the “student” in “student-athlete.” Athletes are not labor; they are students receiving free college tuition who put time into their passion. That is the true reason why college athletes should play sports to begin with: the passion to compete. The pageantry, tradition, and that amateur ideal of doing something just for the love of it is the whole reason college sports are popular in the first place, and paying the athletes would destroy those aspects of the institution. Paying college athletes would end up being a detriment to collegiate-level sports as a whole, and thus salaries for players should not be implemented.


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