Is Free Education Enough for College Athletes?


What would be the benefit of college athletes being paid?

Coming from high school, athletes can get partial or full rides to colleges. Meaning that education, books, tuition, and sometimes even living are completely paid for. They go the extra mile for training and practices which can come down to missing important events like family related events, holidays, and breaks. Also, could this make the athletes have a better drive and be willing to give up some advantages other students get? Colleges make money off of sports by T.V. deals with athletes included, college spirit stores, and jerseys with players names on them and the players don’t get any of the expenses.  


Photo Courtesy of Skip Daughtery. Gathered by Icsis Washington. Noah Frith making an important touchdown in the big rivalry game against Etowah. 


The athletes in the NCAA have to handle having a good education and practices every day. They bring tons of revenue to colleges. They have to pay for their own food and sometimes living, but they don’t have time to pay those expenses. Having to pay for everyday things, this can cause athletes to be involved in boosters, drugs, and any type of illegal situations.

Sometimes the athletes home life can have financial problems or issues and the athletes getting paid could send money home to their families. Players could be getting a free education and supporting their families back at home. Also, players would be willing to stay longer. The graduation rate of student athletes would go up, which was recently recorded as 86% but in each division the rate varies. 



Photo Courtesy of Diane Allen. Photo Gathered by Icsis Washington. Dylin Hardeman shooting a free throw to put Woodstock in the lead. 

The usually work/practice includes 43.3 hours a week, which is 3.3 more hours than a work week for a regular American. Student athletes often have to miss school days and classes for games that also bring revenue to the school. Also, it is somewhat unfair for the athletes because the coaches get paid for the players breaking

records, reaching the offseason, and winning big games although it was the players who brought them there. Most profits from college athletics do not go towards academics. Instead, they go to the coaches, athletic directors, and some administrators. Players shouldn’t a large salary like the coaches do,


Photo Courtesy of Diane Allen. Photo gathered by Icsis Washington. Dylin Hardeman being announced as one of the starters against Cherokee.

but something for promoting the school and to stay financially stable. Most of all, people players deserve to be paid because of how much money they bring to colleges and playing is basically a “job” for the athletes.   

What would be the reality of athletes being paid?

If athletes were to start getting paid, it would give people a reason to talk about paying other students in the school. “If we pay the athletes maybe we should also do it for the first violinist in the school orchestra, or the lead actor in theatrical productions, and perhaps popular professors should allocate course enrollment slots to those students who bid the highest” according to Andrew Zimbalist of Most athletes would complain about not have equal amounts of a salary. Also, colleges don’t have enough money to pay all of the student athletes attending and make the cost of going to college for regular students more expensive. The students aren’t professionals and this isn’t a career for them, they are students getting free education by their participation in sports. The athletes may not have a reason to try as hard for the sport of they are being paid to play and also if they aren’t interested into moving to a higher level.

Athletes could tend to forget about which school brings a better education or major interest for them. Some may choose a school that pays more, but doesn’t give the best education than another offer that has a higher education.

Be Paid or Free Education? 

If colleges pay their student athletes, it comes with a reality check. The students would have to pay for income tax, tuition, living, and anything a normal student at college would have to pay for. If athletes were paid with a $100,000 salary instead of a $65,000 scholarship, they would have to pay $23,800 in federal income tax and $6,700 in state taxes, a total of $30,500.


Photo Courtesy of Skip Daughtery. Photo Gathered by Icsis Washington. Noah Frith gets an amazing pass from Garrett Bass and gets a touchdown. 

In my opinion, I think the athletes should be paid. Even though there’s doubts of being paid, I think the students could thrive more and be able to not only help themselves, but their families back at home. Also, the athletes could be paid back for advertising, jersey sales, and bringing attention to the college.

Opinions of soon to be college athletes: 

“I don’t think college athletes should be paid because they are basically getting paid with the monthly stipend and all our education will be paid for.”- Noah Frith, a Liberty University commit for football

“It gives the school unfair recruiters and students could commit somewhere that has less of an education and do it just for the money.”-Noah Frith 

“I think college athletes should make a profit off of their jersey sells and signatures, they should get a portion of the money.” – Dylin Hardeman, a Senior and Columbus State University commit for basketball


Photo Courtesy of Diane Allen. Gathered by Icsis Washington. Dylin Hardeman waiting on the sideline while teammate shoots a free throw.

“The athletes shouldn’t be paid for playing though because they are there to play and should only make a profit by working hard and making yourself known so students at the college and locally can buy your jerseys and signatures.”- Dylin Hardeman.

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