Should Athletes be Paid in College?

By Tyler Gutwein, Staff

Colleges recruit athletes to play for them and hopefully win a championship. These athletes put their bodies on the line to win. However, they don’t get payed to play. While the NCAA wants to maintain amateurism, many players are wishing to be paid, which we have seen with the Ball brothers going to Lithuania. This has brought up questions on whether or not the NCAA needs to give these players at least some room to work with.

The current rules do not allow these players to get paid, or even sign an agent. If a player does this, then the NCAA can deem them ineligible and they may not participate. This means that guys who go to get drafted and sign with an agent will not be allowed to come back to the school to play if something doesn’t go right.

I don’t want to be paid in college. I’d be happy with just a scholarship that pays for college. The case should be, if you get an offer from a school that you get an option to either get scholarship or paid but not both. This would allow athletes to use the money as they see fit. I would argue that money to athletes can be a dangerous game as many are just learning how to conduct themselves without their parents. So they will party more and more; this will lead to more arrests as these kids figure out ways to get more illegal substances or get more alcohol. The issue is more complex than a simple payment. They need to figure out a way to ensure these athletes are in line and not using it. That’s why I’m saying it is not beneficial to give these athletes cash.

Agents aren’t able to represent athletes openly and no written agreement can be made. Many are brought on as an overseer to the athlete, but can not be giving the students their services. Students are then pressured to get their name out by themselves, still while learning who they are and how to conduct themselves. The NCAA makes this very clear; they never come out and say it to everyone. However, the number of players who sign after a season shows that side of things. Saquon Barkley signed with an agent after his incredible season for the Penn State Nittany Lions. The amount of athletes like Saquon who sign with an agent after they are done shows how afraid they can actually of the rules that keep them from getting noticed. The rules were set in place in order to ensure a student-athlete gets their education first. However, in this age of the one and done athlete, these rules act more like a road block than a path. This can also be bad for pro teams because they can’t chat with an agent representative that could give them a look into who that athlete is. Johnny Manziel is the best example of this. A lot of people knew that there was going to be a strong transition period for him, but nobody knew the extent. His partying style of life hurt him and the Cleveland Browns. He was then cut two years after being drafted.

The NCAA is a great thing for everyone looking to get to that next level. They give the education while the players get to get better. Many do so under scholarship which acts like a payment and ensures little to no student loan debt. The agent rules can be rewritten as to ensure players can be represented. Thus professional teams could understand who the man actually is. The development of the athlete is what is important to the pro teams. So in short, the athletes should not be paid cash, but be allowed an agent that will help them off the playing surface.