Should college athletes be paid or not?

Kameron Key

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In this Nov. 8, 2014 file photo Michigan running back De'Veon Smith (4) runs against Northwestern during an NCAA college football game in Evanston, Ill. A Republican lawmaker in Michigan introduced a bill Dec. 2, 2014 to block collective bargaining for athletes that is on the fast track through this lame-duck legislative session, though there are no reports of such efforts at any of Michigan's public or private universities and opponents say it's a non-issue in their state. Athletes at Northwestern, a private school, voted in April to form the nation's first union for student athletes, a case the National Labor Relations Board has not yet ruled on. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

In this Nov. 8, 2014 file photo Michigan running back De’Veon Smith (4) runs against Northwestern during an NCAA college football game in Evanston, Ill. A Republican lawmaker in Michigan introduced a bill Dec. 2, 2014 to block collective bargaining for athletes that is on the fast track through this lame-duck legislative session, though there are no reports of such efforts at any of Michigan’s public or private universities and opponents say it’s a non-issue in their state. Athletes at Northwestern, a private school, voted in April to form the nation’s first union for student athletes, a case the National Labor Relations Board has not yet ruled on. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

Back in March 2014, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of a couple of football players from Northwestern University who were attempting to unionize. It was a major win for student athletes in their fight against the money juggernaut that is the NCAA. The ruling potentially sets up a big fight between student athletes and the NCAA regarding whether college athletes deserve payment for their services and could eventually end up going to the Supreme Court.

College athletics and athletes have a huge amount of fans and support. It is more than just “a game” to fans and players. For some, it’s a way of life. The student-athletes go out and play the game they love for their school. They pay to go there and play for that school, but wasn’t it the school who recruited them there and wanted them to come to their school?

These student athletes dedicate a lot of their time to practice and to travel around the country to participate in their respective sports. They practice at least once a day, plus a few games every week. Even in the offseason, they train and practice to get better and stay in shape for the next season.

The student-athletes are the reason why collegiate sporting events are such a big hit in the first place. Schools can only offer so many scholarships per team which means not every student-athlete receives one. For those stand-out athletes that do receive a scholarship, in most cases it’s not enough to cover all of a student’s expenses such as food, travel, books and more.

Paying college student-athletes could actually go a long way. If this point would be considered, it might help to finally stop the abuses happening behind the scenes; abuses such as recruiting infractions which offer the athletes special “privileges” or “benefits” to make sure the player comes to their school.

The other side of the argument is intriguing as well: The athletes are still in college and are too young to be paid for playing a sport.

They have a point. The 18-to-22 year olds are in college, and we can’t forget that. College is supposed to be a time to learn, have fun, and prepare for the future. They are just playing a sport; they are just playing a game.

Many people say the top collegiate athlete’s main goals are to make it to the big leagues, get paid, and be the best they can be. College athletes should have to prove themselves and make it to the pros before they get paid, like it is now.

According to Joel Mendelson of the Independent Florida Alligator, despite enormous profits from football and men’s basketball for the NCAA and a small group of universities, most college sports are not profitable, in fact, many cause the school a loss of money.

According to a recent study, just 22 schools profited from football (typically the biggest college sport based on profits) during the 2009-2010 academic year. College football is hardly the cash cow that some believe the sport to be.

There is a case either way you look at it, so just sit back and enjoy watching your team, because, why get your panties in a twist when you could go watch some college sports instead?

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Should college athletes be paid or not?