Research Proposal

Should College Athletes Get Paid to Play?

EH 1020 English Composition II

Columbia Southern University

Should College Athletes Get Paid to Play?

The Topic

For years there has been an ongoing debate regarding whether student-athletes should be getting paid for the efforts they put into their sport. The idea of paying these student-athletes goes back and forth between the two sides of the argument, each side sticking to their arguments and defending it with statistics that only highlight their point of view. The two major sports usually brought up in these discussions are college football and basketball. The NCAA and colleges currently making millions of dollars from TV revenue of events such as football bowl games and basketball’s March Madness using the likenesses of these student-athletes continues to fuel these discussions.

The Controversy

The controversy of this topic is that the NCAA and the institutions are making fistfuls of money on the backs of these “amateur” student-athletes. The National College Athletic Association (NCAA) will receive $7.3 billion from ESPN for the right to broadcast the seven games of the College Football Playoffs (CFP) between 2014 and 2026, and $11 billion from CBS and Turner Sports to broadcast “March Madness” over the next 14 years (Wallsten, Nteta, & McCarthy, 2015). Some people believe that these student-athletes should be getting paid more than just school scholarships. On the other side of the debate are the people that argue these college players are receiving an education as well as other services and benefits to play the sports that they love.

Pro Side

The pro side of the controversy is to pay these students for playing their sports. The NCAA and the universities are making more than enough money to compensate these student-athletes past the basic school scholarships. More than half of black Americans, 54 percent, support paying college athletes based on revenue they generate, the poll finds. Among white Americans, however, a far smaller 31 percent support paying athletes while 59 percent are opposed. Hispanics split more evenly: 41 percent say athletes should be paid while 47 percent say scholarships are adequate (Hobson & Guskin, 2017).

Con Side

The con side of this controversy is that student-athletes are receiving an education that can be valued between $20,000 – $100,000 depending on the university that they attend. One argument from Daniel Cotter is “a basketball scholarship for male players is worth $120,000 per year. The value of what the schools already provide is significant” (Stipends, not salary, fair for college athletes, 2011). In the same article Chuck Cabrera states that “college sports are incredibly huge money makers for the big-name schools. Regrettably, this minimizes the real purpose of colleges, which is education” (Stipends, not salary, fair for college athletes, 2011).

Tentative Thesis Statement

Paying student-athletes to play sports is a highly debatable topic and will continue to gain in popularity until it is taken seriously. The NCAA and universities benefit greatly from the current system that is in place at a minimum a review should be conducted to see if there is a way to also benefit the players as well.

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