Student athletes deserve to get paid

Dakota Ratley

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In the wake of the “Johnny Football” autograph scandal, an important topic has been raised and leaves a question to be answered. Should the NCAA allow their athletes to be compensated for the sacrifices they make to generate the hundreds of millions of dollars the NCAA collects every year?

Last year alone, the NCAA had a total revenue of $871.6 million. That includes a surplus of around $71 million. Athletes saw a total of zero dollars of that.

What type of business model makes money off of its workers, but does not actually pay their workers? The NCAA is a non-profit, but does that mean that they shouldn’t compensate their athletes?

Yes, student-athletes get a free education. Is it really free though? They go through grueling practices, travel all over the country to compete in these sports, and have to go to class. That’s not to mention the hours of homework.

There are athletes who manage to be outstanding scholars, who graduate with a pre-medical degree while still being named all-conference.

However, that is not the case usually. Many athletes choose general studies to put their all into their sport. Some elect to come back to pursue a more challenging degree when they are finished with their playing years.

Many basically sacrifice four years of their life to their university, only to have nothing but memories to show for it.

For example, Forbes reports that the University of Texas’s football team alone made a profit of $71 million.

That’s as much as the NCAA! Where does that money go? It doesn’t go to the people who are responsible for all of that.

I’m not saying that all of the money should go to athletes, but when you have that much extra money there is no reason to leave athletes out of the money fold.

Obviously, ULM is not Texas. Texas spent 25 million just on football. ULM spent $9 million on all sports. ULM’s budget for this year’s athletics predicts about a $300 thousand profit.

Why not use some of that money to compensate these young men and women who dedicate themselves to this university’s athletic program?

College athletes should not get paid millions.

However, it is a shame that there are universities rolling in money, and yet their athletes, who are a big reason for that, are scraping by on ramen and microwave pizza.