College athletes in revenue-producing sports should be paid

elliottIn the wake of the 2015 NCAA championship football games, which are the three most highly rated cable television “events” ever, colleges and universities must pay the athlete-students who generate billions of dollars for their schools and millions annually for their coaches.

During last night’s title game, ESPN announcer Chris Fowler drove this point home forcefully when he explained why Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott was only carrying the football in his right hand.  The star running back broke his left wrist in preseason and can’t hold a football with his left hand as a result.  Now that the season is over and with championship in (good) hand, Elliott will undergo surgery.  He played great and apparently didn’t aggravate the months-old injury but what if he had?

The need to win now and rake in huge profits was too strong for his school and coach to focus on his injury first.  If this is the mindset in high-level college sports, then it is essential that the players, who are risking their health and future, be paid for doing so.

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8 Responses to College athletes in revenue-producing sports should be paid

  1. jeff linder says:

    How much should they be paid? Does that make them employees? Why just revenue producing sports? How does your plan affect title IX since most women’s sports are not revenue generating.

    Is the system perfect? No. Will paying athletes make it better? Don’t forget…college athletes may not be paid but they are compensated.

  2. halginsberg says:

    Good questions Jeff. I didn’t have time for an essay but I have written on this topic before. I’d like to hear what you think about paying college athletes in revenue-producing sports.

  3. halginsberg says:

    For Shade – I agree that my back/neck problems limit my abilities. They’re probably the result of congenital stenosis coupled with a bike collision I suffered in 1997-98. If I had suffered the injuries at work, and could not longer perform duties, I’d be entitled to worker’s comp. I don’t see how one could argue that college athletes who suffer debilitating injuries while performing for their schools shouldn’t also get compensated.

  4. halginsberg says:

    For Jeff – I agree that the scholarships have real value but that value is woefully inadequate in too many cases.

    • Jeff Linder says:

      What is the value of that scholarship Hal? 20K/year? 30K? 50K? 100K?
      What is the value of the training they receive?
      What is the value of the coaching they receive?
      What is the value of the tutoring they receive?

      You continually rail that people shouldn’t be paid what they are worth but rather some arbitrary pay scale that some enlightened liberal determines it should be…either through wage control or confiscatory taxation.

  5. jeff linder says:

    You haven’t answered the basic questions. Which scholarship athletes get paid? How much do they get paid? How does title IX fit into your decision? If an athlete is paid then the value of tuition, room & board etc could be subject to taxation the value of which could reach $100K/year depending upon the institution.

  6. halginsberg says:

    Brief, incomplete answer – College athletes in revenue-generating sports should be able to negotiate with the universities to get paid what they are worth, subject to minimum wage laws, with guaranteed healthcare (which would be unnecessary if we had universal single-payer coverage) and worker’s compensation. In addition, all NCAA limitations on compensation to athletes should be declared illegal as in restraint of trade.

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