Paying College Athletes is Not Acceptable

 

[Editor’s Note:  The Digest posted an article on March 22 that was based upon a piece written by Dr. Boyce Watkins, a business school professor at Syracuse University.  The article also contained a link to the article written by Dr. Watkins, which was in fact a strongly worded attack on the current scholarship system used in college athletics in Division I and II.  This piece by Dr. Bestmann is a response to that article].

 

In response to Dr. Boyce Watkins recent diatribe (“The Madness of Not Paying College Athletes”) indicating that college athletes should be paid because they suffer in poverty while generating millions for their colleges and coaches. He only refers to the revenue generating sports; i.e. football and basketball; I surmise he does not recommend paying those athletes such as swimmers, wrestlers, gymnasts, baseball, softball, track & field, and a few other “minor” sports that only cost the colleges.

 

All sports, however, are “major” to the participant and who can say a football or basketball athlete works out longer/harder than a swimmer, wrestler, or gymnast? What about the women athletes? Do they train less than the men? Since none of these athletes generate anything for their college coffers, they don’t deserve any more than they are already getting?? Using Dr. Watkins’ logic, we should pay them too.

 

The erudite Dr. Watkins is a finance professor at Syracuse University. A brief analysis of his recommendation to pay the aforementioned football and basketball athletes, would

Lead to the following:

  1. Bankruptcy of college athletic departments.
  2. Demise of all college athletics, except for a few intramurals and clubs.
  3. Loss of jobs for all coaches.
  4. Less skilled Olympic athletes.
  5.  Ripple effects unknown, such as a decrease in high school sports.

 

The only positive contribution:  No more lawsuits over failure to comply with Title IX.

 

Professor Watkins’ grade for this “assignment” would be an “F”, only because this is the lowest grade we can give. Tar and feathering could be a fringe benefit for this scholar, however.

 

Dr. Bestmann is a Professor Emeritus at the United States Sports Academy.  He continues to teach as a distance learning faculty member for the Academy.

 

11 Comments

  1. Tegroup44 April 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    If it wasnt for football and basketball programs and those athletes and the TV revenues they bring in, the other sports wouldnt even exist at the collegiate level.

     
    • Anonymous April 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm

      Thanks for your reply. It is true that football and men’s basketball pretty much provide the revenues to operate college sports programs. Some baseball, men’s hockey, men’s lacrosse, and women’s basketball programs do generate a lot of revenue. I wouls also point out the articles I saw recently about the monies the Cal-Berkeley non-revenue programs have raised to save those programs. This may be a model for the future even if the NCAA does one day decide to pay student-athletes more money through their scholarships. The editor.

       
  2. Tegroup44 April 11, 2011 at 8:25 am

    If it wasnt for football and basketball programs and those athletes and the TV revenues they bring in, the other sports wouldnt even exist at the collegiate level.

     
    • tyler8643 April 20, 2011 at 8:51 am

      Thanks for your reply. It is true that football and men’s basketball pretty much provide the revenues to operate college sports programs. Some baseball, men’s hockey, men’s lacrosse, and women’s basketball programs do generate a lot of revenue. I wouls also point out the articles I saw recently about the monies the Cal-Berkeley non-revenue programs have raised to save those programs. This may be a model for the future even if the NCAA does one day decide to pay student-athletes more money through their scholarships. The editor.

       
  3. Cbogar April 11, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Since only a handful of intercollegiate athletics departments actually generate excess revenue over expenses, would Tegroup44 say that football and basketball programs at the large majority of institutions that lose money shouldn’t exist?

     
  4. Cbogar April 11, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Since only a handful of intercollegiate athletics departments actually generate excess revenue over expenses, would Tegroup44 say that football and basketball programs at the large majority of institutions that lose money shouldn’t exist?

     
  5. Jlcox2 September 12, 2011 at 3:22 am

    I completely agree that students should not be paid.  Athletes can apply for BEOG grants/Pell Grants that do not have to be paid back.  The max for 2011-2012 year payout is $5,550 a year.  I understand not everyone will receive the grant, nor that much, but I can only assume there are a lot of other ways out there to help athletes.  I would also like to know the figures for athletes that are struggling money-wise that are carrying around the latest technological cell phones, MP3 players, and name-brand clothes.  And not to stereotype athletes, that’s just something I’ve noticed. 

     
  6. Jlcox2 September 11, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I completely agree that students should not be paid.  Athletes can apply for BEOG grants/Pell Grants that do not have to be paid back.  The max for 2011-2012 year payout is $5,550 a year.  I understand not everyone will receive the grant, nor that much, but I can only assume there are a lot of other ways out there to help athletes.  I would also like to know the figures for athletes that are struggling money-wise that are carrying around the latest technological cell phones, MP3 players, and name-brand clothes.  And not to stereotype athletes, that’s just something I’ve noticed. 

     
  7. Greg Adams November 2, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I got quite a chuckle at this article. While I agree that student-athletes are not being properly represented as the major universities capitalize off of their abilities in Men’s football and basketball, I also have to agree that pay-for-play puts monetary gains in jeopardy for these schools and creates much more problems with women’s and Olympic levels sports/athletes.  Its going to be hard to justify the inequalities created by paying male football and basketball players and not including athletes such as women’s basketball players, especially if the women’s program is more successful or have equivalent attendance marks.

     
  8. Greg Adams November 2, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I got quite a chuckle at this article. While I agree that student-athletes are not being properly represented as the major universities capitalize off of their abilities in Men’s football and basketball, I also have to agree that pay-for-play puts monetary gains in jeopardy for these schools and creates much more problems with women’s and Olympic levels sports/athletes.  Its going to be hard to justify the inequalities created by paying male football and basketball players and not including athletes such as women’s basketball players, especially if the women’s program is more successful or have equivalent attendance marks.

     
  9. Kristen Moose June 10, 2016 at 8:50 am

    I agree that college athletes should not be paid. Just because some athletes generate more revenue for their schools than others does not mean that other athletes do not put in just as much time. Some sports are naturally bigger spectator sports than others and are going to bring in more people and money. Each athlete spends time working to become better for their team and to represent their school. Paying athletes would cause numerous problems as well deplete program resources. Coach’s would have less control of their teams and the sense of entitlement among college athletes would only increase.

     

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