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SHOULD COLLEGE ATHLETES BE PAID???

This is a major question that has been asked for many years and one that may never be solved. ESPN along with ESPNU aired a 2-hour town-hall meeting on the 16th of March to address this issue. I do thinks lots of points were made on that show and it still left us with along way to go before we come to a final conclusion on this matter.

People for paying players say they do not get enough even from scholarships in order for them to attend a school. That they showcase the top quality talent without giving then any residual money from an airing of game on network such as ESPN classic. They also say that most people cannot get any money from a special fund for athletes that need money.

People that do not want college athletes to get paid say that a college scholarship is payment enough and that college athletes are amateur players that do not get paid at all.

I do think college athletes can hold paying jobs as long as it does not interfere with school grades and the team.

The two main sports for the men, basketball and football, bring in the bulk of money and the bulk of the TV ratings as well. Billions are just spent alone for the contract rights to air the NCAA basketball tourney. Those two sports also help keep other lesser sports like track and field around at colleges that have it. I will agree the main two sports have to keep all the lesser sports going.

Most schools though do not have profitable sports programs which I found out by watching the town-hall meeting. I found that to be a very interesting and shocking stat though. I thought with all the money spent on contract rights to air such things like the BCS bowl games and the NCAA basketball tourney you would have enough money to go around for all college athletes and for all college sports programs. That would be the first place to look at for paying college athletes imo. Not having profits can easily kill chances of paying people playing sports at a college though.

Another thing you can do for the top of the line schools is to cut the salary of the coach so you help pay the players some salary. One to two grand per player for a coach making 500 grand a year is not much. I do think that coaching salaries are getting out of whack, but that is a whole different topic.

In the end I think college athletes need to get paid weather or not they are professional or not. To me they only need to get paid a few grand at most of taxable money. How you wind up doing it for the over 300,000 NCAA athletes is not going to be an easy thing to do.

SOURCES

“ESPNU Town-hall Meeting” With Bob Ley, John Thompson, et al. ESPN & ESPNU. March 16, 2005