Should College Athletes Be Paid?

Growing up, I looked up to many professional and collegiate athletes. I grew up coming to Monmouth and watching many of the girls on the soccer team before I was even in high school. After watching many college games, I wanted to be just like the girls on those championship teams.

I ended up playing soccer my first semester of college at a different university, but I quit shortly after due to the effect it had on my mental health. Although a college athlete’s work ought to be rewarded and recognized, I don’t think student-athletes should get paid to play in college.

The sole reason for this is that many athletes get put on scholarships, so they come to university for little to no cost. However, there are certain costs that may not be covered by scholarships; thus, there should be other ways for athletes to make money in college. I believe that while there shouldn’t be a salary given to them directly, there should be a multitude of other options for them to make money and get recognized as an athlete.

I believe that after your freshman year of college you should be able to do sponsorships with companies and make money off of merchandise that you sell. This is something that allows athletes to be recognized and make income, rather than getting a salary from being a part of the team.

College athletes work very hard and train every day to get better. This is something that can be mentally tasksating, but the reward in the end is something that no amount of money can buy. Being an athlete in college is a privilege and that is another reason that athletes shouldn’t get a salary. In other words, how would universities fairly pay each individual athlete? How would it be fair to pay a player who shows up everyday and gives it their all the same amount as another teammate that slacks off? This would not be fair.

NIL, which stands for, “name, image, likeness,” is a form of student athlete composition that allows athletes to monetize themselves. This is the best way to give athletes an opportunity to make money, while still not giving them a set salary.

Lastly, a salary takes away from the fun of the sport and makes it a real job. College sports are something that should be taken seriously, but they are also something that you should be able to enjoy and have fun with.

To be a college athlete you need to have dedication to your sport, and work hard every single day no matter what, and I feel as if playing a sport in college is something that is rewarding enough. I personally believe that there is no need to be paid to play a sport that you love. It should be an honor to simply wear your college’s uniform and that be enough. The support of your coaches, teammates, and family members should also be something that is more than enough; no amount of money should change that.