Paying college athletes

Eli Fowler, Sports Editor

On June 2, 2021, the NCAA passed a law where college athletes can be paid for their name, image and likeness. An athlete’s name, image and likeness are three pieces of a person’s “right of publicity.” 

For many reasons, this should not be allowed to happen.

One of the many reasons this shouldn’t be allowed is because scholarships are fair enough compensation for college athletes. According to the NCAA, the organization provides more than $3.6 billion dollars in scholarships annually to more than 180,000 student-athletes. And with any other scholarships or types of financial aid they receive, the scholarships are more than enough for college athletes.

Very few college athletes will go pro, so they should jump at the opportunity of education instead of worrying about brand deals or being sponsored. According to the NCAA, out of about 74,000 football players, only 1.2% will go to the NFL, and out of about 19,000 basketball athletes, only 1.3% will go to the NBA. The NCAA had stated that the chances of getting a college degree are significantly higher than going pro. College athletes have an 87% chance of acquiring a college degree.

The last problem is paying college athletes would not solve the real issue being that the American amateur sports system is broken. Football and basketball athletes cannot play in the pros immediately after high school anyways. People portray life as an athlete like Lebron James or Kobe Bryant coming straight out of high school, but it’s not. The truth is the NBA has rules for athletes that make them play in college. These rules can effectively limit players’ options to playing in college or choosing another profession altogether. This means the colleges could be paying players that may not be worth what their future is.

So colleges should not pay their players for their image or likeness because scholarships are fair enough compensation, very few college athletes go pro and the college system is broken so they’re wasting money.