Collegiate corruption: Why college athletes deserve to be paid


by Ethan Diamond, Staff Writer

Some of the most well-known sporting events around the world include the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series, the Olympics, the World Cup, and March Madness. What do all of these events have in common, except for March Madness? The athletes are paid. College athletes draw in bigger crowds than most professional events, yet the players that kickstart all the revenue don’t even get to make money of their own. I believe that college athletes should be paid for the amount of work and time they invest in their sport and how much money they make for their respective colleges. According to a 2020 study, most colleges make upwards of 100 million dollars a year from athletics alone.

There’s something fundamentally wrong with the way college sports make money, and essentially, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is wrongly profiting off young, aspiring athletes. The opportunity to represent your school is a privilege, but big-name universities make tons of money off innocent student-athletes while players struggle in other areas of their life, such as getting a good education. According to a recent study, the average GPA for a college athlete is about 3.0, which pales in comparison to the average college student’s 3.15 GPA.

Some might say that college athletes get paid through scholarships. However, that isn’t the same. First off, only 1% of college athletes get “full-ride” scholarships, meaning they don’t have to pay at all.  Just over 50% of student-athletes in Division I received scholarships, about 60% of Division II athletes received scholarships, and nobody in Division III received a scholarship. Plus, scholarships only pay for schooling, and not for anything else that the average college student might need, like food, water, and other necessities.

Over the last few years, the NCAA has shut down any attempts by an athlete to make money. In 2017, two Iowa University swimmers named Chris Dawson and Tom Rathbun launched a brand-new company with a GoFundMe page. They had made over $600 before the NCAA shut it down after stating that college athletes couldn’t use their name to promote their own business. However, their names weren’t even part of the product, it was part of their GoFundMe account bio, something that likely had no impact on the amount of sales whatsoever.

The way the system is set up today demonstrates greed and a lack of respect towards hard-working athletes that do everything they can to help support their school.  It is clear that even though college athletes don’t make any money right now, something needs to change, as the colleges they play for are essentially robbing them of their hard-earned money.