College athletes deserve pay too?

Story by Jazmyne Irions, Staff Writer

   With sport seasons coming to an end many East Meck student-athletes are deciding what their next step in the future will be. East Meck has many talented athletes playing at the next level, they all might be playing at different schools but the similarity they all have is they will not be getting paid in college. The thing that makes the difference between high school, college and professional sports is the pay. Professional athletes in 2016 made between $60,000 and $88 million according to The crazy amount that all college athletes made in total that year was a huge sum of zero dollars.

   The two main college sports that viewers and fans watch and attend are basketball and football. All the bowl games being played in college football and the college basketball tournament, March Madness, bring in billions of dollars. In 2014 the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) made $989 million dollars, but with none going to student-athletes. The money is distributed in many areas of the association but the way they are going about it is totally unethical in my opinion.

   “They should get paid, they do more than professionals,”  Jonathan Perryman a non student- athlete firmly said. Getting paid to go to 6 A.M. practices, classes, mandatory study halls and still doing homework just like every other student seems like an amazing opportunity but unrealistic. Senior boys basketball point guard Tireq Morrow said, “college athletes should get paid because they are putting themselves out there on TV for free.” However, many people believe that student-athletes signed to get that exposure. To me if an athlete’s name and number can be sold on jerseys and other merchandise, then they should get a percentage of the proceeds. It’s because of the athletes that the conferences and sports are even succeeding.

   Some people and even some student-athletes don’t think the NCAA should pay athletes for a number of interesting reasons. These people feel that because SOME student-athletes get scholarships, free gear, paid meals and transportation that they shouldn’t get any cash payout. But not every athlete gets a scholarship. You won’t find any Division I or Division II team with every player having a full or partial scholarship. The not so fortunate players without scholarships have to pay for school out of their own pockets while being a student-athlete. Senior Kevin Lawas said “it’s the same as high school, it’s an option to play.”

   The NCAA places rules and regulations on why an athlete shouldn’t get paid and what would happen if an athlete is found receiving money within the school or outside parties. Back in 2015 a homeless Baylor football player was ruled ineligible to play because he received housing and food. It took the NCAA until 2014 to finally give all athletes unlimited food cards. Prior to the unlimited food cards, athletes were only getting three meals a day even though they had practices.

   Whether student-athletes get paid or not, many will still continue to play the games they love. The NCAA may be against paying its athletes, the question still remains. With every season passing by, the possibility is getting closer to actually happening.