Should College Athletes Get Paid?


Minsung Kang, Editor

Whether or not college athletes should be paid or not has been a considerable debate for the last couple of decades. Many student-athletes from big schools have been proposing that they should be paid, but the NCAA has been denying this request every time. These athletes should be paid because without them, there will be no income in the first place for these colleges. The athletes are the ones that perform every night for the program, and without them, the annual income for most of these D-1 programs will plummet. For example, Duke’s ticket price doubled from last year because of the “Zion effect.” Everyone from the nation wanted to see the Freshmen sensation of Zion Williamson, and the ticket sales increased almost by double. The March Madness game tickets for last year were $5,400; however, after the emergence of big-time players like Zion, the ticket price has nearly doubled up to $10,652.  This shows how much the players affect the image and value of these college game sales. Additionally, the players of these programs also bring in outside brand deals from companies such as Under Armour, Nike, and Adidas. These companies invest in these D-1 programs so that their company can be shown more in front of National TV.


 In addition, high school players going into college have been heavily considering going straight to the pros. For example, Jalen Green, a top prospect in the 2021 draft, went into the NBA G-league with a contract and avoided the college route. This trend will only further with other players going for the money rather than college. Now, we all know these D-1 college programs may pay or give a couple of grand to these players to persuade these top-name players to attend their programs. 


However, this may jeopardize these players’ careers when these interactions happen. Former Michigan legend Chris Webber, a member of the Fab 5 during the ’90s, has also dealt with this issue. He was involved in a lawsuit when he received some cash from the college president before his college career as a wolverine. Due to this lawsuit, his accolades and retired jersey were brought down from the stadium. His Collegiate name was scorned by the public for a brief period. Although he is seen as an NBA and College legend, his persona and image were almost ruined by these scandals, which would have never affected him if the college athletes were legally allowed to be paid. Therefore, to prevent and justify the massive upside of these players, the NCAA should consider paying these players before Athletes just go straight to the pros to feed and help their families out of poverty.