Opinion: Why college athletes should not be paid

Stephen Means II

One of the biggest topics in college sports right now is whether or not student athletes should be compensated. The answer to that question is no.

To be honest, athletes actually are paid. They just aren’t able to spend the money the way they want to spend it.

Kent States tuition for 2015-16 is $10,012 and $18,212 for out-of-state students. This does not include dorms, meal plans and books. Since athletes usually obtain full ride athletic scholarships, they are lucky enough not to pay these fees.

These scholarships also mean that they will never be in a position where they have to pay back college loans or student debt.

In a documentary called “Schooled: The Price of College,” Houston Texans running back Adrian Foster, talked about how there were nights when he did not have enough money to eat. That would be a good argument if a meal plan was not included in their scholarship.

At Kent State, those who choose to live off campus and choose not get a meal plan, receive a check. Besides, trying to eat without a meal plan is something that every student who lives off campus struggles with.

There are things that athletes go through that the average student will never have to deal with. Things like 6 a.m. workouts or missing class for an extended amount of time. But the same thing can be said about someone who is pre-med, pre-law or any other major.

No matter what you decide to do with your life, there is a period when you are not properly rewarded for the services you provide. For most people that will come in the form of an internship, while for athletes it’s college sports.

Now there are some instances where there can be an exception.

For example, the 2014 O’Bannon v. NCAA lawsuit, where video games depicting college basketball players image and likeness are used to make a profit. However, that doesn’t mean that because you play a college sport you deserve to be paid. Not being paid is what makes you an amateur.

There are a lot of things that are wrong about the way the NCAA handles things. But to come out and say that players are in no way compensated for what they do for the school isn’t one of them. Now to say that they are not fairly compensated is a whole different discussion. Because at the end of the day they are paid; they are paid in the form of a free education.

Contact Stephen Means II at [email protected].