Why College Athletes Should Be Paid

Jay Mote, Journalism I Student

Every fall millions of fans across America gather around the TV or travel to different stadiums to cheer on some of the best, young collegiate talent. Kids with unlimited potential ready to fight for a spot in the highly regarded top-25 rankings and to boost their draft stock and attempt to fulfill their dreams of making it to the NFL. Finally getting a chance on the national stage and hope to make an impact that will cement them in college football history. College football reals in more than $4 billion each year. The top-50 coaches in Division 1 college football make over 3 million each season. However, most of these young adults are not lucky enough to be given a chance by an NFL team. For these people, their dream is over and they failed. They have spent the past three to four years risking severe injury to make it to the top, but never did.


First, some athletes do not get a chance to show their talents. They may come from smaller schools, and be overlooked because of their size or physical traits, or just unluckily have become known to be injury-prone. There have been cases of unlikely heroes rising to the top of the league like Russell Wilson, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, who was overlooked because of his small stature but defied all odds and proved he was one of the best. Another example is Tyreek Hill, wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs, who came from West Alabama, a relatively unknown college that is over-shadowed by the better, more marketable teams in the area. These types of stories do not happen often though. Many football players do not get their shot to prove themselves like these two did. This is one reason why college football players should be paid is because they could have the talent to go pro, but do not get a chance and that isn’t a good reason to keep them from getting paid for what they do in college.


Secondly, college football players are paid because there is money to give the. With college football bringing in more than $4 billion dollars a year, there must be money to go around. The top-50 collegiate coaches rake in a little over $3 million each year. With some of the best minds only making a small fraction each season, where is this money going? Statista.com says that the NCAA makes $3.44 billion off media rights. Most of this coverage is on the best football players in the country, but they will not see a penny of it. The NCAA is making bank and their rules do not allow their moneymakers to receive money for bringing this revenue in. The NCAA did change their their rule about letting college athletes make money off their social media account and likeness. These athletes could now earn potentially millions of dollars on sponsorship deals using their name, image, and likeness. This is a huge win, but more must be done, especially for the lesser-known athletes.


In conclusion, college athletes should be paid. Not all of them get a chance to make money in the NFL so they should get money now. There is also money to go around with the billions of dollars made by the NCAA every year. Things are improving for these college stars but there is room to progress further.