Why College Athletes Should Not Be Paid Essay Example


“More than 460,000 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) student-athletes compete in twenty four sports every year” (NCAA).  In the NCAA there are 19,500 teams, which make up three divisions.  In the United States, many argue whether college athletes should be paid or not.  Many college athletes are having trouble providing for themselves. Leaving very little time for anything else, collegiate athletes end up committing nearly twenty hours to school and forty hours to their sport (Johnson). Therefore, athletes do not have enough time to get a job, making life very hard for them. Although college athletes spend forty hours every week practicing and playing their sport, paying college athletes would result in numerous issues. If college athletes were paid a salary, athletes would have to pay taxes, many legal issues would arise, and overall college athletes are financially irresponsible. 

If college athletes were paid a salary they would be charged taxes as employees (Maisel). Regardless of the pay they would receive as employees, paid athletes would be required to pay federal and state income taxes (Maisel). For example, if an athlete receives a $100,000 salary, they would owe $23,800 in federal income tax and $6,700 on instate tuition, which totals $30,500 in taxes (Maisel).  As an employee, players would have to pay at least $4,400 on other taxes (Maisel). After taxes are taken out of the student’s salary, the athlete would be left with approximately $65,100. However, college expenses can be estimated to equal $65,000, this includes room and board, books, and tuition. After taxes and expenses are deducted, athletes would be left with approximately $100, which would not assist athletes in their financial state. 

Some people argue that college athletes are bringing exorbitant additional income and interest in their schools, therefore, they deserve to be paid. The more popular sports (basketball and football) bring in additional income.  According to Forbes staff member, Chris Smith, “ Texas A&M is now college football's most valuable program” (Smith).  “Across the three years prior to last season, Texas A&M averaged annual revenues of $148 million, the most of any program in the nation” (Smith). While Texas A&M’s football program is earning enough money to pay the school’s football players, the women’s sports program at Texas A&M is only earning $6,234,980 in revenue throughout the twelve sports the college offers (Texas).  On the women’s teams, each head coach makes on average $291,672 (Texas). They are supported by twenty assistant coaches, who earn on average $102,752 (Texas). Thus, the women’s sports programs at Texas A&M do not generate nearly enough to pay the women who play the sports. Only paying the athletes that participate in the more popular sports would result in many legal issues and controversy concerning the equal pay for men and women. For example, only paying men and not women would violate the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Title IX Law. 

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, The Equal Pay Act of 1963, “Prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility under similar working conditions” (The Equal). The NCAA  points out that, “Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states: ‘No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance”’ (Title). Therefore, not all college sports (especially women’s college sports) have enough money to pay the athletes. Only compensating the athletes of the sports’ programs that do generate enough  money would violate the Equal Pay Act and Title IX Federal Law.  

Excess money creates problems for college students. Adding money to the life of a student athlete, will only exacerbate this fact. Most college students are terrible with money. They do not know how to manage money, they are buried in credit card debt, and most do not keep a budget (Bidwell). According to research, only about sixty two percent of students at a four-year school check their bank account balances and only thirty nine percent of these students use a budget (Bidwell). Student athletes, who suddenly have access to a lot of money, tend to go crazy, making purchase after purchase (Bidwell). College students are reckless, and would think nothing of dropping $100,000 on a car now.  Since only thirty nine percent of students actually budget their money, the odds are very high that the money the students would be paid could cause financial issues both now and in their future (Bidwell).  Research has shown students who dropout of college frequently do so because of financial struggles (Bidwell). 

Though many college athletes are spending countless hours working hard to pursue their sport financial compensation would have negative results. Student athletes would be required to pay federal and state income taxes on their salaries. Legal issues would arise, because only the popular sports would generate enough revenue to pay their athletes. Lastly, the majority of college students do not manage their money wisely. Therefore, paying college athletes will not solve any current problems, but will create numerous issues for the universities.

 

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