Should college players receive compensation for their on-field efforts? It’s a contentious topic that has gained popularity in recent years. While some contend that paying collegiate athletes would invalidate their status as amateurs, others feel that paying these student-athletes is only reasonable given the amount of time and effort they put into their sport. I chatted with Justin Ahamed, a student at Thomas A Edison High School in Jamaica, Queens, New York, to obtain a student’s viewpoint on this problem.
Ahamed opined that collegiate players should unquestionably be compensated for their contributions to the team. “It’s unfair that they don’t receive a portion of the money that they bring in to the university and the NCAA,” Ahamed said.
One of the main arguments against paying college athletes is that it would remove the amateur status of college sports. However, Ahamed disagrees. “I understand that concern, but I don’t think paying college athletes would necessarily make them less amateur. They would still be students who are competing in college sports, but they would also be compensated for their hard work and dedication. It’s not fair to expect them to devote so much time and effort to their sport without getting anything in return.”
Another concern is that paying college athletes would create an unfair advantage for schools with larger budgets. Ahamed acknowledges this possibility but believes that there are ways to ensure that the system is fair for everyone.
“Revenue-sharing models could distribute the funds among all college athletes based on their contribution to the team, rather than just giving the money to the star players. This would ensure that everyone has a chance to benefit from the system, regardless of the size of their school’s budget,” Ahamed said.
The NCAA, which oversees collegiate athletics in the US, has been reticent to permit student-athletes to get paid outside of their scholarships. However, rules that will let college players to make money off of their name, image, and likeness starting in 2023 have been passed in a number of states, including California.
The decision to pay collegiate athletes is a complicated one, and both sides have strong points. Ahamed, however, thinks that the ideal option is a reasonable and equitable revenue-sharing scheme.
“It would preserve collegiate sports’ amateur status while allowing athletes to accept financial pay. In order to help collegiate athletes get ready for life after athletics, colleges and institutions could offer them additional support, such as access to financial literacy classes and career development tools. It is still up for question whether college players will be able to get compensated fairly for their work on the field.”