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Coleman Barnes
HELA 10 Hour 3
19 February 2016
REVISED Student-Athlete Compensation
In 2014, the NCAA had a total revenue of nearly $1 billion (Berkowitz). The NCAA and
its colleges profit millions of dollars due to their sports programs; however, athletes receive
nearly no compensation for their hard work and talent. College sports are a lucrative business,
and the athlete deserves a share of the revenue they bring their program because they earn their
school millions. They deserve the right to capitalize off of their likeness because athletes work
hard but live in subpar conditions. The argument of whether or not to pay college athletes has
generated heated debate on both sides; however, the facts suggest that student-athletes deserve
Student-athletes should be compensated for bringing in millions of dollars for the NCAA
and its colleges. CBS alone pays the NCAA $720 million a year to broadcast NCAA sports
(Futterman). It is ethical to give players a share of the profits their colleges make off of
broadcasting college sports. In business, employees are paid for the work or service they provide;
this should be no different for a business that generates over a billion dollars. Nick Saban, head
coach of the University of Alabama football team, is paid nearly $7 million a year to coach at
Alabama (Berkowitz). Administrators and coaches are receiving lucrative paychecks, but athletes
receive next to nothing despite doing the majority of the work. Everyone involved in college
athletics makes money except for the student athletes who bring in the revenue. The NCAA,

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administrators and coaches are making large amounts of money; it just makes sense to pay
athletes for the money they are earning. Not only are student-athletes not being paid, they cant
even capitalize off of their own likeness.
Video games, merchandise, and apparel all utilize college athletes to make money.
Recently, EA Sports was under fire for using players likeness (height, weight, appearance, etc.)
in their highly popular College Football video game. West Virginia Athletic Director Oliver Luck
feels like athletes should be compensated for the use of their likeness: "If we are in fact using
name, image and likeness of student-athletes, they should be compensated" (Fowler). Companies
should not be able to capitalize off of student-athletes who are not allowed to make any money
off of their likeness. The NCAA has strict rules when it comes to student-athletes receiving any
money or benefits because of their position. However, Jay Bilas illustrated how the NCAA store
capitalizes off the likeness of their unpaid athletes because it's possible to go into the search
engine of, type the name "Johnny Manziel" and end up on a page filled
with items connected to Texas A&M and Manziel's jersey number despite the NCAA's long
insistence that specific jerseys for sale aren't connected to specific players (Parrish). If the
NCAA and its partners are allowed to profit off of their players likeness so should the players. It
would be logical to allow players to profit off of endorsements, autographs, and merchandise.
Players should be able to capitalize off of their incredible talent and commitment to their school
and sport. Student-athletes should also be provided with adequate living conditions.
Student-athletes put in countless hours yet live in subpar conditions. Athletes often spend
40-50 hours a week practicing their sport and participating in sport-related activities (Arsdale).
Arsdale explained that those hours were on top of their school workload: For most people, that's
a full-time job. For college athletes, it's in addition to their course load (Arsdale). This absurd

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workload leaves little to no time for school work or social life. Student athletes one
compensation is a free education; however most athletes are not able to fully take advantage of
this opportunity because of the hours they spend at practice or traveling for games. A recent
report by the National College Players Association found that 86% of student athletes live in
poverty (Hayes). That is a staggering statistic for athletes who generate millions of dollars in TV
contracts, apparel, and ticket sales for the NCAA and the school. Athletes who give up 50 hours a
week to play for their college deserve -at the minimum- adequate living spaces and reduced
practice hours to allow students to take advantage of the free education they are given.
There is always another side to an argument; in this case, opponents argue that a free
education is more than enough compensation. One might argue that players are fairly
compensated for the work they provide in terms of a free college education. College education
costs on average over $30,000 for private colleges and $10,000 for public state colleges per year.
This is a valuable gift; however, many students dont have the time to focus on receiving their
free education, and the education is not an adequate compensation for the millions of dollars they
earn their colleges. For example, Duke basketball players are valued at over $1 million each in
terms of the revenue they bring to the school (Hayes). A $30,000 payment isnt nearly enough for
the money they earn and time they spend.
It is ethical for student-athletes to be paid for earning the NCAA, administrators, and
coaches millions of dollars. It is logical to allow players to capitalize off of their brand and talent.
It is emotionally appalling that athletes spend countless hours working yet live in inadequate
conditions. College sports are a lucrative business and the athletes deserve a share of the revenue
they bring their program because the athletes earn their school millions, deserve the right to
capitalize off of their likeness, and are working hard but living in subpar conditions.

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Works Cited
Arsdale, Jackson Van. "The Life of a Student Athlete." HigherEd Jobs. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
Berkowitz, Steve. "NCAA Nearly Topped $1 Billion in Revenue in 2014." USA Today. Gannett,
2015. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
Fowler, Jeremy. "Big 12 Officials Take Stand: Pay Players for Name and Likeness." Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
Futterman, Matthew. "The Debate Continues: Should the Players Get Paid?" Wall Street Journal.
19 Mar. 2015: D.8. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
Hayes, Matt. "Report Concludes 86 Percent of Student Athletes Live in Poverty." Sporting News.
2013. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
Parrish, Gary. "ESPN's Jay Bilas Spent Tuesday Afternoon Embarrassing the NCAA." Web. 18 Feb. 2016.