Seeds: Once again, March Madness (aka the NCAA national basketball tournament) has descended upon us. Every year around this time, the nation points its attention to the young college athletes vying for a shot at their dream of winning a national championship. It is this attention that garners millions of dollars for the National Collegiate Athletic Association every year, money that the young athletes never see.
Core: As the NCAA’s profits continue to increase, so do calls for players to receive a salary. While a large number of college athletes receive either full or partial scholarships to the school to which they are signed, many argue that these scholarships are not the same as actual payment. Some argue that student athletes should be financially compensated for their efforts, especially since a majority of them come from low income families. In response, the NCAA changed its eligibility rules for incoming athletes; this rule will make it more difficult for high school athletes who struggled early on academically to play at the collegiate level. The change seems to disproportionately target students who come from less affluent backgrounds. This rule appears to be the NCAA’s attempt to quiet the calls for student athlete compensation.
Skin: Discussions over whether or not student athletes should receive compensation for their efforts occur year round, especially after athletes like Shabazz Napier, UConn’s former point guard claimed that he occasionally went to bed “starving” because he could not pay for food. Statements such as these send shockwaves throughout the sports world and reinvigorate demands for player salaries.
Leaves: While some argue that student athletes are being exploited at the hands of the NCAA, others argue that paying players would ruin the landscape of college athletics, making it nearly impossible for non-major teams to recruit impressive players since they do not have the finances therefore creating an extremely uneven playing field and ruining the camaraderie of college athletics. As it stands currently, it does not look like the NCAA will bend in their resistance to paying players, but only time will tell.
Food For Thought: Do you think that college athletes deserve salaries? Do you think that the NCAA should be allocating at least some of its profits towards players? Do you think that universities should be profiting this much from sports at all?