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Should College Athletes Get Paid to Play?

EH 1020 English Composition II

Columbia Southern University

Should College Athletes Get Paid to Play?

Deford: Paying College Athletes Would Level The Playing Field. (2014, April 2). Morning Edition. Retrieved from

Deford: Paying College Athletes Would Level the Playing Field.” Covers Frank Deford chastising the NCAA and College administrators for continuing to not pay student athletes for playing their sports. He describes the NCAA as an out of date governing body and states that the NCAA should stand for Nineteenth Century Athletic Aristocracy. Mr. Deford is upset that the NCAA uses the adage that most student athletes play for the love of the game not for the prospect of being paid. He talks about the NCAA and colleges benefiting financially and how they show their greed. An example of this is during the 2014 college football championship both conferences that had a team in the game received $23 million and they only paid the games officials a measly $2,100 to referee the game. Also discussed was the National Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of Northwestern University football players creating a union. I plan to use this source to show the pro side of paying college athlete to play the games they are receiving scholarships to play.

Hobson, W., & Guskin, E. (2017, September 14). Poll: Majority of black Americans favor paying college athletes; 6 in 10 whites disagree. Washington Post. Retrieved from

Poll: Majority of black Americans favor paying college athletes; 6 in 10 whites disagree is a reference that will provide multiple things to my research paper. This resource is a poll that was completed by Post-UMass Lowell and was conducted from Aug. 14-21 2017. It was a random national sample of 1,000 adults that were reached on cellular and landline phones, with overall results carrying a 3.7-point margin of sampling error. It covers the feelings of not only how black Americans feel about paying college athletes but also has statistics from white and Hispanic Americans. Inside is also a quote from Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany covering his perspective on why the current system works and should be left in its current state. There are also opinions from Andy Schwarz, an economist who has consulted for plaintiffs in class-action lawsuits against the NCAA and college conferences over restricted benefits for college athletes. Andrew Zimbalist, a professor of economics at Smith College also lends information to defend his perspective that adds to the overall pro side of the argument for paying college athletes.

Wallsten, K., Nteta, T. M., & McCarthy, L. A. (2015, December 30). Racial prejudice is driving opposition to paying college athletes. Here’s the evidence. Washington Post. Retrieved from

Racial prejudice is driving opposition to paying college athletes. Here’s the evidence

Is an article that discusses results from a few polls conducted in 2014 to show how racial prejudice drives the opinions of white Americans regarding paying to play issue. It makes the argument that many white Americans disapprove paying college athletes due to negative racial views towards blacks. One of the polls used two sample groups of white Americans and asked them if they approved paying college athletes. One group they showed group pictures of young black men with stereotypical African-American first and last names. The second group they showed no picture at all. This experiment was used to prove a point that there is a real racial divide that severely influences and impacts the college athlete pay for play issue. It also brings to the fore front the type of money that is being made by the NCAA and colleges from the backs of these very athletes that are not being paid for the time and effort they put in to their respective sports.

Stipends, not salary, fair for college athletes. (2011, April 4). USA Today, p. 12A. Retrieved from

Stipends, not salary, fair for college athletes is a short article from USA Today that shows the con side of paying student to play sports, stating that they are already benefitting tremendously with the scholarships that they receive. It covers the opinions of two individuals. One says that paying students is outright wrong. He goes on to purpose that a stipend system that is spread out over the course of a year could work out better than outright paying the student athletes. His opinion is based on the idea that a scholarship for a male basketball player is an average of $120,000. The other states that the primary purpose of college has been lost to the student athlete. He goes on to say that most college athletes are using college as a gateway to their professional career. His opinion is that the full-ride scholarship should be eliminated and that the athletes should be paid for their services and just call it entertainment for the school. I will use this source to show a con perspective of paying student athletes. It has a stipend system outlined in it that is an alternative way to assist student is need of extra funds.

Paying college athletes would hurt traditions, NCAA chief Emmert testifies. (2014, June 19). CNN Wire. Retrieved from

Paying college athletes would hurt traditions, NCAA chief Emmert testifies is source that I will be using to show the con side of the paying college athletes argument. In this article NCAA President Mark Emmert argues that paying college athletes would hurt traditions as well as transform division I sports entirely from their current status. He states that if universities in division I were forced to pay student athletes many schools would leave due to an inability to afford paying so many students and would have to join either division II or division III were its not a requirement. He testifies that the schools that remain would also have to revamp the way they conduct business and possible cut smaller sports to afford paying the salaries. He goes on to say if this occurred it would also transform the championship games as we know them today. Mr. Emmert believes that the customs most college sports fans hold most dear are at stake. These customs mentioned were the camaraderie of game day such as tailgating as well as the atmosphere of a stadium packed with close to 100,000 fans.

Miller, A. W. (2011). NCAA Division I athletics: amateurism and exploitation. The Sport Journal, 14(1). Retrieved from

NCAA Division I athletics: amateurism and exploitation is a source that covers the topic of compensating college athletes more than they already receive through their athletic scholarships. It covers the NCAA and its exploitation of its student athletes. It goes on to discuss and define both amateurism and exploitation in relation to NCAA Division I athletes. It also covers not only the origin of college athletics but also the expansion or evolution of college athletics as they relate to the student athlete. A brief review modern Intercollegiate Sports is covered and followed up by the question of if today’s student athlete is truly being exploited? It goes on to use Wertheimer’s two arguments for the exploitation of student athletes. These arguments demonstrate that some student athletes are victims of exploitation while there are others that are not exploited. This is proven by examining mutually advantageous exploitation and consensual exploitation as it relates to the student athlete. I will use this source as an examination of how the current model used by the NCAA for compensating college athletes is ethically questionable and it will lend itself to the pro side of the argument.

Johnson, D. A., & Acquaviva, J. (2012). Point/counterpoint: paying college athletes. The Sport Journal, 15(1). Retrieved from

Point/counterpoint: paying college athletes is an article that takes a point/counterpoint approach to the topic of paying athletes. It starts with an introduction of the history of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). It then has Dr. John Acquaviva cover the point side of the argument which is college athletes should not be paid. He lists five points to defend the current system in which colleges provide an athletic scholarship that provides a “free college education” in return for playing on the university team. His five points are 1). education is money, 2). There are problems with payment, 3). The universities offer more than just education, 4). The athletic department has its role, and 5). Athletes know the deal. Dr. Dennis Johnson follows with a counterpoint which is making the case that athletes in these sports should receive compensation beyond that of a college scholarship and forwards five proposals to pay the athletes. His three counter points are 1). Athletic scholarships provide a “free education” is not correct, 2). Athletes don’t know the “real” deal, 3). The university offers more than education- It’s possible but not probable.

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