Last night’s Daily Show addressed the issue of whether or not student athletes should get paid.  This is not a new issue.  People have been arguing about this for years and will most likely continue to argue about it for many years to come.  But I needed a topic for today’s blog and I couldn’t think of anything else.

The basic argument for paying student athletes is that student athletes bring in a lot of money for colleges and universities because of their athletic abilities, and they should therefore be monetarily compensated for that contribution.  There are many variations on this argument as well as a number of other arguments people use to argue for monetary compensation for student athletes.  But most arguments stem from this basic idea that universities are making huge sums of money on the backs of their athletes, but the athletes (those doing the work) are not seeing the monetary fruits of their labor.

I’m actually not going to tell you where I stand on this issue.  But you might be able to figure it out.

Many think the NCAA should change their rules to allow universities to pay their athletes.  But what would this look like if it happened?  I have a huge list of questions.  Here are just some of them:

  • If universities were allowed to pay their athletes where would that money come from?  Solely from the money generated from athletics or would they be allowed to draw from a larger pool of university funds?
  • Which athletes would get paid and how would that be determined?  Do you have to pay the tennis team or the swim team?  Do other sports get paid as much as the football and basketball players?  Does the third string kicker get as much as the star quarterback?  What would the pay scales look like?  Who makes this decision?
  • Would this just apply to Division 1 athletes or would Division 2 and 3 athletes also get paid?  Does this apply to both public and private schools?
  • How would recruitment work?  Wouldn’t the big schools with the most money just end up dominating every sport because they can pay students more?
  • Would students then be allowed to also sign endorsement deals becuase they would no longer be amateur athletes, but professionals?
  • How would all of this change the educational goals and standards of the universities?

I could go on and on, but I’ll leave it there.  What additional questions can you think of.  Where do you stand on this issue?