Student-athletes shouldn’t be paid by their universities

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By Alexandra Laurence | LTVN Reporter/Anchor

Although a university paying its student-athletes may sound good in theory, it logistically could cause challenges and difficulties.

No. 1 reason: Student athletes already get a yearly stipend with their scholarships.

Student athletes on scholarship receive yearly stipends to ensure all their expenses are covered. These stipends can vary from school to school, but they usually range from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars, depending on the location of the school. The stipend is intended to cover the cost of living, including rent and meals not provided by the university. If student-athletes are good stewards of these funds, they could save thousands of dollars by the time they finish college.

No. 2 reason: Student-athletes are provided with multiple types of resources to help them be successful.

In addition to receiving a yearly stipend, student-athletes have their tuition and fees paid for through scholarships for free textbooks and other academic needs. The student-athletes are provided with a high level of resources to make sure they are set up for success inside the classroom while managing their sports’ demanding schedules.

No. 3 reason: Student-athletes are set up for success after college, with the potential to make big dollars.

Being a student-athlete means you have developed a work ethic that is very valuable to future employers. Student-athletes have a platform that can be used as an advantage over other job candidates due to their networking opportunities. If student-athletes network at college the right way, they can use that to their benefit in job searches.

No. 4 reason: Other sports could get cut.

If a university starts paying student-athletes, it could negatively affect other sports programs. There would not be enough funds to pay every single student-athlete equally and to be able to keep every single sport. The smaller sports that do not generate enough revenue to sustain the program would definitely get cut. The schools would have to address Title IX issues for equality, which could mean the cutting of athletic programs that may generate revenue but are not Title IX compliant. This would further limit opportunities for future student-athletes. Other areas of an athletic program could be negatively impacted, such as employees taking a pay cut or the maintenance people being laid off. It’s a domino effect. Colleges are not swimming in money. This would affect more than just the student-athletes. The athletic department could possibly crumble, and the smaller sports would be no more.

No. 5 reason: Where do you draw the line?

In high school, schools make money off of athletes and games too. Does that mean that high school athletes should also be paid? Does that mean college athletes could be considered professionals instead of amateurs? The hypothetical situations could go on forever. This creates a lot of grey area and room to possibly push the boundaries.

No. 6 reason: Big schools will get bigger, and small schools will get smaller.

It is no secret that the big public powerhouse schools have some very generous, high-profile donors, but what about the small schools with a fraction of the donors? Recruiting would not exist anymore. This would lead to big schools becoming powerhouses, as many donors and recruits would only want to go to those schools because they would be paid significantly more money. As a result, the smaller Division II schools could disappear simply because they cannot compete with the amount of money that bigger Division I schools have.

Student-athletes are not employees of their university, and it would be foolish to treat them like they are.