Let’s Debate: Should College Athletes Be Paid?


The controversy over the new possible NCAA rule allowing players to be paid like employees has been around for a while, and on October 29, 2019 the NCAA responded to the controversy and stated for the first time that they will consider passing the rule to allow players to make a profit off of their name, image, and likeness. California has already passed the new rule, they are the first and only state as of now to pass a law on this subject. 

Many gamers are excited about the change because it means the possible reappearance of NCAA football video games after being discontinued. The last game to be made was NCAA 14 on July 9, 2013. NCAA 14 had an overall rating of 77%. EA Sports started making NCAA 15 but it was canceled due to players suing the company for being in the game but not getting paid. 

An article on CNBC states, “other priorities for the NCAA’s three divisions to address are enhanced principles of diversity, inclusion and gender equity, as well as protecting the recruiting environment going forward.”

The difficulty that the NCAA will have with this change is the distinction between collegiate athletes and professional athletes.

A big question many people have is how will they decide how much they pay the star quarterback compared to how much they pay the backup? Most likely, both of the starting and backup are on scholarship so their college is already paid for. If the NCAA is trying to create a clear distinction between college sports and professional sports, it only makes sense for the two players to make the same amount of money. 

On the other hand, some people believe that the scholarships collegiate athletes acquire should count as money, like a person makes at a job and the athletes should have to pay taxes on them. Sen. Richard Burr stated on twitter, “If college athletes are going to make money off of their likeness while in school, their scholarships should be treated like income.” 

Some think that since they have never paid players before they should not start to pay them now. The lawsuit that sparked this debate was started by Trey Johnson, a former Villanova defensive back. He thought that not paying the players was going against minimum wage laws. There is conflict on whether or not this law should apply to athletes.

It is a difficult subject to debate because there is no previous knowledge of this exact topic. Even though this law has been passed, there will still be controversy and more issues may pop up in the future.

What do our readers think? We invite all to debate this topic in the comments.