Should college athletes be paid for playing?
The field of college athletics has undergone various transformations which have affected the lives of the athletes in different ways. One of the transformations that led to widespread controversy was the introduction of policies by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to deny remuneration to college athletes. According to Roger, these NCAA policies made college athletics the only field in the U.S.A that does not pay its key revenue producers (2010). From a legal and economic point of view, the NCAA was not justified to restrict the compensation of college athletes, and hence these students are entitled to payment.
According to McCormick and McCormick, the NCAA refers to these athletes as “student athletes” leading to significant legal implications (2006). This term signifies that they are amateurs who should not expect any form of reward after they participate in sports activities. However, the reality is that these students are employees under the National Labour Relations Act (NLRA) because they meet the common law and statutory requirements for employees (McCormick & McCormick, 2006). Therefore, these athletes are entitled to benefits that are legally associated with being an employee including salaries and wages.
From an economic point of view, the field of college athletics generates millions of dollars each year, but most of the athletes live below the poverty line. This field has been highly commercialised with the NCAA providing the media with programming material for profits, yet they insist that the revenue earners are amateurs (Roger, 2010). Moreover, the generated revenues benefit only the NCAA and the associated institutions. The comparison between the amount of capital arising from college sports activities and the economic status of these athletes is an example of exploitation (Roger, 2010).
The NCAA decision to deny college athletes payment is not justifiable. This is because these students meet the legal requirements of employees under the NLRA and hence they should be compensated for their services. Moreover, these athletes should not be referred to as amateurs because the NCAA has commercialised this industry for profits hence they should be paid (Roger, 2010).