What Are the Pros and Cons of Paying College Athletes?

The benefits of paying college athletes include increasing the popularity of schools students play for and allowing students to recover the costs associated with college tuition while negatives include shifting the focus of sports away from social activities and sportsmanship and development of favoritism for certain sports and athletes. Supporters of paying college athletes assert that paying students provides an incentive for them to put in good performances, which makes games and matches more exciting and attracts more viewers. This gives teams and players more playing opportunities, which ultimately gives schools more chances to make money.

Other reasons for supporting the payment of college athletes include that doing so creates greater opportunities for students, particularly those from low-income families, to receive an affordable education. By providing payment for student athletes, supporters argue, the students can offset costs associated with tuition that are not already covered under scholarship money, such as fees for books and materials, room and board, travel and more. Others argue that paying students puts pressure on them to perform well in sports, and may detract attention from academic studies. Arguments against paying students also include that doing so favors traditional money-earning sports, such as basketball and football, and may not compensate men and women equally.