Should College Athletes be Paid?
Debate Rounds (3)
Just as there is evidence for college athletes to be paid there is also a sound counterargument. What most people argue is that a free education is more than enough pay because it will last a lifetime or that paying athletes on scholarship wouldn"t be fair to the average college student working their way through college. Those are both true and valid points but they are flawed.
President of the NCAA, Mark Emmert, says "the vast majority of college basketball players never make it to the pros"under 100 out of about 5,000 athletes"and an all-expenses paid degree provides a much better incentive than a paycheck. We want to make sure they get degrees, and that they really have the education that sets them up for life. That's the game-changer here. Not the 3 to 4 percent who make it to the NBA." These stats are true that majority of athletes will never play professionally and for those athletes who don"t go pro an education will be priceless and help them lead a successful life. But as Emmert calls it an "all-expenses paid degree" isn"t necessarily true. Students still have to buy their books, classroom supplies, and everyday items necessary to survive. College athletes are strictly forbidden by NCAA sanctions to accept any kind of monetary aid or anything along those lines. With their busy schedules these athletes have no time to be able to get a job to make money.
Paul Daughtery, a former adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and current columnist for The Cincinnati Enquirer, says "When you agree to a full, free ride at a university and you are a football or basketball player, you do so knowing that if you're good enough at what you do, you will get noticed. It's not as if you'll need to spend any time assembling a resume. Your game is your resume." That statement is true but as stated earlier only 3 to 4 percent of college athletes will ever play professional sports. That means 96 to 97 percent of these athletes "resumes" will be useless. In his article Paul also says, "Bob Knight once said the best argument against paying players is that it diminishes the value of an education. That's as true now as it has ever been. For every athlete demanding a paycheck, there are 10 deserving non-athletes who can't afford to walk in the door. To whom a college degree would mean more than a direct deposit every couple of weeks." If colleges were to pay their athletes it would be saying that their sports are more important than their education. There are qualified students dying for the chance to go to college who simply can"t afford it and these college athletes on scholarship are demanding to be paid. NCAA rules state that athletes can"t have a job while playing in their sports. Not all athletes are on full ride scholarship so they have no way to generate money other than student loans. Some leagues such as Ivy League or Division III can"t even give out scholarships so these athletes have to find a way to pay for everything.
The NCAA argues that scholarships and free education is enough, but what exactly does a scholarship entail? Professor Allen Sack of New Haven University would say scholarships aren"t what they"re cracked up to be. "In 1973, four year scholarships were relegated to the scrap heap," says Sack. It wasn"t until 1957 that the NCAA finally allowed schools to give out scholarships. These were four year guaranteed scholarships regardless of your athletic performance or injury. But in 1937 the NCAA changed scholarship guidelines to a year-to-year format. Athletes are now only guaranteed one year of education. If these athletes are to get injured or perform poorly they will lose their scholarship and their education. This rule takes the focus away from education and puts it entirely on athletics.
"NCAA rules prevent college athletes from being compensated in any way connected with their sport other than a very limited athletic scholarship," says writers Schnell and Scupp of CNN. Athletes can"t receive money for textbooks, groceries, school supplies, or money for trips to visit home on breaks. Where are these athletes supposed to get the money they need to survive? Especially the athletes who come from homes with very low incomes.
One of the critics biggest argument against college athletes being paid is that they are "student-athletes." These athletes are at the college because of their athletics, not because of their educational abilities. As previously stated, if an athlete doesn"t perform well or gets injured playing their sport they can lose their scholarship. That takes emphasis away from the fact they"re supposed to be students first, not athletes. These "student-athletes" spend, on average, 41.6 hours a week on their sport and only 38.2 hours a week on their education. That"s the time that they"re required to spend on their sports rather than their school work. Plus that"s the equivalent of working two full time jobs every week. If an athlete is forced to spend more time on their sport they are no longer a "student-athlete," at that point the athletics are coming first.
Why is it now possible for athletes to receive pay? This situation is much like the Civil Rights Movement. If one paid attention while they were in U.S. History they might be familiar with the court case Brown vs. Board of Education. This supreme court case called the "separate but equal" laws, also known as the Jim Crow Laws, inherently unequal. This meant that segregation was now illegal because it was proven "unequal" in the court room. Brown vs. Board of Education gave the Civil Rights Movement a legal precedent. Without the supreme court overturning the Jim Crow laws the Civil Rights Movement never would have been possible. Rosa Parks would"ve just been another black woman thrown in jail and we wouldn"t even know who Martin Luther King Jr. was. Without legal precedent the movement had no power. Now athletes have their legal precedent.
Gordon Schnell, a well off lawyer in New York, says "thanks to a decision by National Labor Relations Board last week and a class action lawsuit filed against the NCAA, the questions have moved out of the theoretical and into the courtroom." Gordon is one of many lawyers arguing this case in court. "The lawsuit challenges the NCAA's rules against player compensation as an illegal agreement among universities to fix the prices paid to college athletes," says Gordon. The NLRB found that Northwestern University"s football players are in fact employees of the school which legally gives them the right to unionize. They called the players employees because they are forced to put football first or risk losing scholarship. The NCAA still claims that college players are "amateurs" and that paying athletes will no longer keep college athletics "pure."
Amateurism is a myth. Jeffrey Kessler, a well known sports attorney, says that, "the reality is that it is already pro sports for everybody but the athletes." The NCAA is generating billions upon billions of dollars through college athletics. The schools are getting a big cut of the money and so are the coaches. In most states, a team coach is the highest paid employee. The schools and Conferences get massive lucrative television contracts and sponsorships from huge companies. Yet the athletes still don"t get a cut of the profits. It seems that everybody is benefitting from the athletes hard work except for the athletes.
Ramoji Huma is the former President of the College Athlete Players Association says, "College athletes, they earn their way through school. This is not a gift. They put their bodies on the line, I believe that amateurism is a myth. This is a multibillion dollar industry. ... We're not against that, but to exclude players from the spoils is un-American. It's illegal, it's inappropriate, and amateurism at this point is being used as a tool to strip the players of their fair market value." The NCAA is using the term "amateur" as a medium through which they can deny players their right to be paid for what they do. Huma uses the term "fair market value." Huma and Drexel University did a joint study in which they found that the average fair market value of a collegiate football player is $120,00 and $265,000 for the average basketball player.The average fair market value of a scholarship is only $23,000. This means that college athletes scholarships are not even close to the value they should be. This needs to change. Pretty soon college athletes are going to be doing lockouts just like NBA and NFL have been recently. Whether the NCAA likes it or not, change is coming.
Alexandrethegreat forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con didn't rebut anything and didn't make any kind of case. At least he didn't forfeit ALL the rounds. But conduct both for the round he did forfeit, and frankly for his conduct in this debate. Arguments, obviously, to Pro since Con presented no real ones. Pro, your S&G needs a bit of work, and your formatting could stand another edit as well--your wall-o-text definitely suffered from readability issues. Luckily, your opponent posted so little that scoring S&G against you seems ridiculously unfair. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
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