Why Shouldn't College Athletes Be Paid?

College athletes should not be paid above scholarships received for tuition, fees and lodging. Several plausible arguments indicate that paying such athletes would have detrimental effects, rather than benefits, on athletics, the universities and players involved.

While proponents of paying college athletes argue that the athletes generate millions of dollars for the NCAA, student participation is voluntary and is part of their educational experience. As a result, student athletes willing to represent their schools in exchange for a scholarship, or even no remuneration, are not in short supply. The payment of royalties and salaries would potentially result in bidding wars and crooked recruiting tactics among coaches.

Paying student athletes detracts from the true purpose of higher education. The low graduation rates present in many programs, such as the University of Connecticut men's basketball program, which was once gauged at just 8 percent, would most certainly suffer even more.

Data also indicates that just a fraction of athletic departments are profitable; those that are rely largely on Division I football and men's basketball earnings to support those sports that don't generate revenue. Paying players off their ability or image would also widen the gap between small and large schools, likely resulting in many institutions moving toward a Division III model where athletic scholarships are not offered at all.