College sports is one of the biggest money producing venues out there. Each year it seems to get a little bigger and more people are spending more on college tickets and paraphernalia. I think that college athletes should get paid. A lot of athletes come from poor families with little hope for a bright future. Then you have the university, coaches, athletic directors, and others making millions of dollars off of the talent of these athletes, and the education they receive at the colleges are almost worthless.
I would like you to try and put yourself in a situation that happens to many young athletes. You are reaching the end of your high school career. You have recruiters after you to join their amazing team and attend their topnotch school. You finally decide on a school to attend and prepare for that next step in your life. You tell your family good bye with hope that you can make something of yourself to help provide for them. You come from a family that has very little. Your parents scrape up all their hard earnings to give you the best life possible, but that seems to never be enough.
You make it to your future home for the next few years. Life starts, and it is quite the adjustment. You are thrown in a whirl wind of training daily and going to class. It is a big adjustment trying to keep up. In order to play you are required to keep a certain grade level. Being the star athlete, there is a lot required of you. There is a need to wear certain clothing brands, promote certain companies, and the pressure of people who pay to come see you and your team play. You may even be put in a video game without your knowledge.
With all of that going on, you will hear about how much revenue is coming in because of you and your teammates. The coaches, universities, and athletic directors are making millions. Even though you have a full ride scholarship, you still are barely making it through each month.
How does this make you feel? Others are making a lot of money off of your talent and hard work.
Too often the players that are sought out are poor, black, and uneducated. Studies have shown that eighty-six percent of college athletes live in poverty. You hear about athletes that sleep in their car or couch serf while holding down multiple jobs. They are trying to survive in a world where all they know is poverty. University of Connecticut’s star point Shavazz Napier quoted, “There are nights that I go to bed and I am starving.” He isn’t the only one who worries about where his next meal might be coming from. You would think that with a full ride scholarship that a meal plan would be included. The average scholarship does not include meal plans.
Colleges will prey on them with luxurious facilities. These facilities may contain flat screen televisions, barber shops, bowling alleys, and the best training facilities. You have so much money going into baiting them, instead of being used for something better.
The education they have going into college may be very little. It isn’t unheard of if they cannot even read. Most likely they come from a family who has not been to college and too has very little education. They aren’t there for an education, they are there to play sports for that college an bring in money.
On top of worrying about food and a place to sleep, you then have to worry about the strain on your body. A risk that comes from playing sports is injury. Seventy-Eight percent division one athletes sustain injuries that can take them out of the game and then alter their chance to go professional. There is a chance you can get better and make a come back but sixty percent are chronic. That is a high number. That is their future that they have worked so hard for that is now gone.
Not all sports make a lot of money. There are two sports that bring in the big bucks. College football and basketball are the two that bring in a lot of revenue. Last year college basketball generated more than one billion dollars. College football is a multibillion dollar business. There is a lot of money being made just by these two sports alone.
A lot of people make good money off of these two sports. Between college merchandise, sale of tickets, and marketing contracts, these people will take their cut. With billions being made, they too make big money. For example, you have Alabama coach Nick Saban who signed a new eight- year contract worth seventy -four million dollars.
You also have video games being made and for a time the athletes were unaware of their image being used. But that is another source of money being made from these athletes. After being found out about the video games, athletes were able to take that to court and get it to where they can receive some money from it. However, it is put into a trust fund account that cannot be touched till after their college career.
With them having a full ride scholarship, one would assume that they can leave college with a degree and get a good job. This is not the case. I mentioned earlier that some go into college not able to read. How do you expect them to keep up the grades to play? University of North Carolina got caught for allowing their top athletes to take fake “paper classes” so that way they can keep up their ability to play their sport. They aren’t the only college that plays this game. It is common that they will put the athlete in the easiest classes so that way they can pass. With all of the time the athletes put into their sport, which is up to sixty hours a week, there really is not a lot of time for them to study.
With their easy classes, some being “fake” I think it is safe to assume that their degree will not be very valuable to them for their future. In fact, they refer to these degrees to be like the ones from Trump University. Worthless. It is just a piece of paper that has no value. They cannot do anything with it or get a stable job with that degree. Sadly, the average full ride scholarship does not walk away from school debt free. The average student has about $3,200.00 in debt, a lot of it being due to having to pay for food and other things. Sometimes they walk away from college even more poor than they did walking into it.
The students who do make it big and go pro have earned that. That isn’t the end of their problems though. You have people who will want to use them for their money and fame, and then you have the fact that these athletes who were once in poverty or some below poverty, are now making millions of dollars. That is a big change for them, and they end up burning through that money in no time. They have had no money management taught to them. Now not all of them are like this, but it does happen, and it is sad to see. I do believe that if they were to start being paid in college and taught how to manage money from their income from sports, that they would have a higher chance of managing their money better. The last thing anyone wants to see is all that hard work go to waste.
In general, I do believe the money being made from college athletics is being wasted in so many areas. I do not think that college coaches need to be making that much money. I do think that the welfare of the student that they are recruiting needs to be their top priority. I feel like you have these big sharks that only care about winning and take advantage of kids who put their heart and soul into the one thing they love the most. They bait them in and a few do make it big, but the rest get thrown out and back to trying to survive with little or no tools for success.
I do believe that college athletes should get paid. College sports is basically a full-time job for them, and it is the one thing they are truly there to do. I think it is great that they have the chance to go to school, but it doesn’t do any good when they are there to take the easiest class, and to get a degree that is good for nothing. Most of the students are poor and come from poverty and being able to go play for a college can be a lift altering event for them. Unfortunately, the athletes seem to be sought after so that other people can take advantage of them and make the money.
The amount of money made is insane. When billions of dollars are being made, I think that the athletes making it happen should receive some of the profit. They too have to eat and pay bills. How can you expect them to function when they are required to practice sixty hours a week, study, and work. It just isn’t realistic. The coaches and colleges need to be thinking of their ultimate future and helping them have a real future.
If they are to have a real future, they need a real education. That should be a top priority for the coaches and colleges. They need to put their greed to the side and find a better way to make it work. Again, I think they should be paid for their time put into the team and the University. With that money earned they could be teaching these kids how to manage it which will help them be more successful in the future. Especially if they were to make it to the professional leagues. They then would have an idea of how to manage all that money that will be coming in if they were to make it there.
There are so many things that could change for the better, and still have a great team. If they were to be taken care of, then maybe they would even play better than what they are now. Pay the athletes. Does not have to be a lot, but they deserve a piece of the cake that they helped make.