The Debate of the Decade
November 14th, 2015 by Brendan Pierce
It is such a simple question, but the answer is a lot more complex then yes or no.
Paying college athletes is an extremely complicated scenario because there are so many sports, schools, and conferences that distributing the money equally would be a nightmare.
However, I think that the resolution to this matter is fairly simple.
College athletics is a business and it comes down to which sports make the most amount of money for the NCAA.
There is no question that football and basketball are the most popular sports at the collegiate level.
In fact, the NCAA and CBS/Turner Sports agreed upon a deal from 2011-2024 worth 10.8 billion dollars to televise the March Madness tournament. That is nearly 11 billion dollars for three weekends of television every year.
In addition to that monster contract, the BCS and ESPN agreed upon a deal in 2011 for four years worth $500 million dollars.
Not many TV stations would be willing to air the national collegiate fencing tournament for a couple billion dollars.
Many people will not like this idea, but basketball and football are the two sports that have raised the most money for the NCAA.
College basketball and football have turned into the minor league system for the pros.
These kids are not your typical college students. They are on national television on a daily basis, and the NCAA is profiting off of their success.
I’m not saying that these guys should be getting paid millions of dollars like the professional players, but they should be receiving salaries similar to minor league baseball players.
If football and basketball players receive some sort of salary, they would be more willing to stay in college and receive a degree.
At the end of the day, 99.9% of college athletes will not play professional sports, so for them to receive a college degree would be ideal.
With the exception of football and basketball, not many players from other sports are rushing to get out of college and enter the pros.
With that being said, I believe that all athletes should be able to profit off of their own name by signing autographs and other sports memorabilia.
Now, the second half of the debate is deciding how much money each team will receive to distribute throughout the roster.
Only teams in the power six conferences should receive money to pay its players because those are the schools that bring in the most talent and the schools that most people want to watch. These conferences include the Pac-12, SEC, ACC, Big 12, Big East, and the Big Ten.
This is a fair solution because the players on the Loyola basketball team should not be receiving as much money as the members of the Duke team.
Each team in the power six conferences should be awarded a certain amount of money that they can distribute to their team however they would like.
With that being said, I think that there should be incentives for winning your team’s conference tournament despite the conference you play in. Each player should receive a certain amount of money if they make the March Madness tournament and gain additional money if they advance throughout the tournament.
When you look at college football I think the same thing should be done. The power six conferences should pay their players and distribute the money however they please. Then, if a team advances to post-season play, they should be rewarded for playing in bowl games.
This is an extremely controversial topic as many people have different views on how the NCAA should handle college athletes. It is a very complex situation as there are many solutions and no concrete answer.
However, at the end of the day I think that the NCAA should pay certain college basketball and football players. They are the ones that bring in the most revenue for the NCAA, so they should be rewarded for it.
It will also make them want to stay in college longer, so that they can receive a college degree.
College athletics has turned into a full time job. Since athletes are taking classes all year round, many of them can graduate in two and a half years. This would encourage them to stay in school longer, as it will help them in life after basketball or football.
No matter what the NCAA comes up with to solve this dilemma, there will always be critics to this subject.
For me, it makes the most sense to pay the athletes who generate the most revenue and that is why I think certain football and basketball players should be paid.