Most athletes dream of the day when all they see are dollar signs, but is college too soon for that to become a reality? Should college athletes get paid? While I admire the work ethic and commitment college athletes give to their programs, they should not be paid for four main reasons: financial responsibility, academic integrity, passion for the game, and the potential controversy of compensation between players. College athletes should not get paid.
College students are not yet financially responsible enough to manage huge salaries. Since college is the first true experience for these kids to manage their own money, we should take precaution in the way they earn it. College is the natural time that most students learn to manage the little money they may be entrusted with, in preparation for a full salary after graduation. It’s all about baby steps and college is an important baby step in life preparation.
The second college students start making money, they lose their incentive to engage in classes. The purpose of college is to earn a degree SO THAT one can begin a career to make money. If you pay the athletes right from the start, you can say goodbye to them taking their education seriously. It sends the wrong message about priorities. Let’s face it, many students already don’t want to attend classes and the last thing they need is one more reason, let alone a big reason, not to go.
The second money is put on the table, college athletes will begin to embody the pro ideology. The only motive they will have for the game will be the number of zeros on their paycheck at the end of the season. It is well known that college athletics is vastly different than professional sports. The competitiveness, excitement, and passion within college games will fade faster than you could say, “touchdown.” This is exactly why college athletes shouldn’t get paid, because the intensity of the games will plummet and fans will begin to disappear.
Finally, college athletes getting paid would lead to way too much controversy. Instead of feeling gratitude for the income, it would become all about who gets paid more and by how much. How will the athletes be paid? Will all athletes be equally paid or will it be based on talent or performance? Should they receive a bonus for extra accomplishments or should it stay at a base number? There are way too many variables that would take away from the purity of competition.
Getting paid for your athletic performance is an accomplishment that needs to be earned. It should remain a professional athlete’s reward and a healthy incentive for athletes at the college level. It will make all those zeros taste so much sweeter when they make it into their professional careers.