Why College Athletes Should Be Paid

The popularity of College athletics has increased exponentially over the past few decades. Naturally, a result of this increase in popularity is an increase in revenue. Colleges depend on their athletes to bring in loads of money, so if that’s the case, then why are they not paid? 

An infographic comparing the combined salaries of both head football coaches and college athletes
New York Times

My only reason for why colleges should pay athletes is that colleges immensely benefit off their student-athletes (2-min read)

Reason 1: Colleges immensely benefit off their student-athletes

Colleges generate billions of dollars in revenue from sports fans who want to watch athletes play, and universities rely heavily on student-athletes to make money for other athletic and even academic programs. In 2018 alone, just 65 colleges out of 2,078 in the NCAA – less than 3% – were responsible for making $7.6 billion in revenue for football.

Colleges don’t even come close to breaking even; in fact, colleges make an enormous economic profit from these games. Since the profit from the game is all thanks to college athletes, the athletes should make something in return, too.  Some might say that students’ benefit is getting a scholarship into a college, but when athletes are awarded a scholarship, they don’t make an economic profit. In fact, athletes are considered lucky if they break even. Even so, it’s impossible for players to both study and practice football.

They spend over 50 hours either practicing on the field or working out in the gym, which leaves them little time to take advantage of the academic opportunities at their college. Early on, they’re told by their coaches to take easier classes that they can brush off without having to spend too much time. If they ever have to choose between taking a class or attending football practice, their decision is obvious.

While most college students party and get drunk on weekends, college athletes are in the gym placing an enormous amount of physical strain on their bodies. These athletes wake up sore and must go through another day of rigorous training, all while simultaneously having to worry about their financial status. College football players are being used like tools, which is absolutely unacceptable. 

Others say that these athletes choose to participate and that they shouldn’t be paid for what they choose to do. However, they play the sport out of their love for the game. The athletes shouldn’t be taken advantage of because of their hearts. Pay the athletes. 


  • In the status quo, college football players are paid nothing by their institutions, even though colleges make billions of dollars in revenue off of their football student-athletes
  • College athletes spend most of their free time at football practice or the gym, so they deserve to be paid for their efforts





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