Over the past few years, there have been debates on whether college athletes should be paid as if they were professional athletes. College athletes are guys trying to get to the professional level and therefore, are not paid until they get a professional contract. Because these players are in college, college athletes should never be paid to play their sport. More and more college athletes are becoming household names without shoe deals, video game endorsements or a weekly paycheck. And more and more often, people are asking if colleges and universities should pay student athletes. The answer is no. But should companies like Nike have to give student athletes a piece of their jersey sales? I believe that they should
The NCAA throws the word amateurism around far too often. When Tiger Woods was in college, he got heat from NCAA officials because Arnold Palmer took him out to lunch. There is a fine line between remaining an amateur and becoming a professional in the eyes of the NCAA. Turning pro does not guarantee endorsements and royalties; it simply means that an athlete will be paid to play for his organization. Payment for actual gameplay is the fundamental difference between professional and amateur status, so college athletes should not receive anything more than scholarships.
If educational institutions pay their players, the gap between major Division I schools and mid-major teams will only widen. Big name schools like Duke, Texas, North Carolina and USC would be able to pay exorbitant amounts of money to get the best athletes to play. This is the very definition of a professional athlete: “one who earns a wage in his specific field.”
The line gets blurry in the world of endorsements and outside contracts. A shoe deal in and of itself does not determine professional athleticism. These types of endorsements, although related to sports, do not necessarily mean that Nike, Adidas or Reebok are paying athletes to play a sport. What they are paying for is the...