College athletes get paid big bucks

Editor’s Note: In this Future view , students discuss the monetization of college sports. Then we’ll ask, “Throughout the country over th...


Editor’s Note: In this Future view, students discuss the monetization of college sports. Then we’ll ask, “Throughout the country over the past decade, fraternities and sororities have been closed for reasons ranging from hazing to insufficient revival. Is Greek life over? Should we abandon this old way of creating academic friendships and social networks? » Students should Click here submit opinions of less than 250 words by August 30. The best answers will be posted that evening. Click on here to submit a video to our Future View Snapchat show.

The United States has a unique culture of amateur collegiate athletics, and it offers benefits such as scholarship opportunities, increased alumni engagement, student interest, and distinct school traditions.

The main value of this culture, however, does not come from impressive feats on the field or fun tailgates on campus. This stems from the fact that student-athletes are students: able to balance a rigorous athletic regimen with coursework and graduate school. It’s meant to be a testament to what can be accomplished with passion and dedication, rather than a show of what professionals are paid to do.

It’s hard to imagine paid student-athletes finding that balance. Some universities have already been caught trying to minimize the student aspect of student-athletes to maximize the athlete part. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and other schools have witnessed academic fraud scandals, in which universities sponsor bogus courses or give unfair preferences to student-athletes. Monetizing any aspect of college sports will further encourage the reduction of student-athletes to mere professionals, when the fact is that students can be stars too.

—Rafael Arbex-Murut, University of California, Berkeley, Information and Data Science

It’s like any other part-time college job

To say that the NCAA “now allows monetization of college sports” is misleading, since the NCAA has allowed monetization of college sports for decades. March Madness, as a hackneyed but paradigmatic example, generates billions in revenue every year. It is not that a previously non-profit enterprise is now monetized, but that the unfair exclusion of student-athletes from this lucrative enterprise has finally been rectified.

For some star athletes in mainstream sports, student-athlete endorsements are an early start to what could eventually become a career in professional sports. But the vast majority of student-athletes play niche sports that don’t offer the opportunity to sign lucrative contracts, no matter how accomplished an athlete is. And for them, paying student-athletes would create small-scale financial opportunities that would be no different from any other part-time job. As a student-athlete on the Columbia fencing team and a former member of the United States National Team, I applaud the NCAA for finally acknowledging that we student-athletes have as much right to take advantage of our athletic abilities than our schools, sports programs and national programs. sports associations do.

—Karolina Nixon, Columbia University, philosophy and economics

What about education?

The new practice of paying student-athletes has already begun to separate the haves from the have-nots in college sports. Those who play high-income sports at schools in major sports conferences have been able to take advantage of their exposure to already earn huge sums of money. Student-athletes attending small universities or playing low-income sports were not as rewarded.

Last year, there was a huge disparity between the exposure offered to players such as, say, University of Alabama quarterback Bryce Young and Boston College women’s lacrosse star , Charlotte North. With cash now on the table, recruits are likely to decide where they will go, perhaps not for the education they will receive, the coaching they will receive, or the many other factors critical to long-term success. , but rather the school’s brand recognizability and sports market. Many will be tempted by short-term monetary gains, which is detrimental to the sustainability of collegiate sports as we know them.

—Kieran Murphy, University of Colorado, Political Science

It’s not bad to pay for talent

Paying student-athletes is a necessary fix to the NCAA’s operating business model. It never made sense that a college football coach like Nick Saban could make millions when his players could be suspended for enjoying a free dinner at an off-campus restaurant.

Although critics of the name, image and likeness policy argue that a free education is compensation enough, they should consider a 2020 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research that claims college football players in the most prestigious conferences would earn $360,000 a year under 50. /50 revenue shared with their teams. Many athletes in football, the NCAA’s most popular sport, come from poverty. How is it fair to deny these young athletes a life-changing opportunity to improve their standard of living and opportunities?

It would also help women. According to data compiled by Opendorse, once football is removed from the equation, women account for 52.8% of NIL transactions. Other sports have managed to create a compelling product while allowing athletes to earn their value. It’s time for the NCAA to do it too. In what other context is it considered wrong for talented people to be paid for their services?

—Corey Walker, University of Michigan, History

College sports are losing money

Despite the buzz surrounding student-athlete compensation, most commentators are missing the biggest problem in college sports. According to an NBC report, 80% of NCAA Division 1 public schools charge fees to students for participating in athletics. In some colleges, 80% of athletic revenue comes from these fees. As people debate student loan forgiveness, we should also focus on cutting costs. In 2017, Bloomberg reported that at least 13 schools’ football programs lost more than $150 million each. UC Berkeley sports cost nearly half a billion beyond the revenue generated by those sports.

Despite the feeling of many that colleges earn huge amounts through sports, the truth is that most schools don’t earn enough to justify these programs. In fact, the Golden Bears used Berkeley revenue so much that research funding for the school was strained in 2017. While China produces more STEM doctorates than the United States, is it right to focus so much on indebted sports? I’d rather fund the next Albert Einstein than the next Tom Brady.

—Alicia Liu, Swarthmore College, math and economics

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