The Drumbeat for Pay for Play Grows Louder

 

It seems that everywhere a person looks these days for sports news the issue of whether or not NCAA Division I football and men’s basketball players should be paid for their services is constantly in the news.  The calls to pay these players increase every time there is news of another scandal involving high profile NCAA programs.

Connecticut won the men’s Division I basketball championship just the other night.  School administrators earlier this season self-imposed penalties on its men’s program for several major rules violations involving the recruitment of a player who enrolled at UConn but was dismissed before ever playing in a game.  One of the penalties involves a 3 game suspension at the beginning of next season for Coach Jim Calhoun.  The player involved just went on a radio sports talk show and revealed that he had been paid money by boosters and claimed that the head coach knew about it at the time.

Two articles recently appeared that take a somewhat new look at this problem.  One appeared in a blog called Bleacher ReportThe other is a piece that appeared on Bloomberg News.  The former article looks at whether or not even a modest attempt to increase the value of athletic scholarships would result in a “haves and have nots” situation similar to that of the NBA, where a few superstar free agents tend to sign with a few teams and the competitive gap between the elite and also ran teams seems to be getting wider.

The second article reports on remarks recently made by NCAA president, Mark Emmert, who has begun talking about the need for some kind of increase in the value of an athletic scholarship.

Many people now believe that change in the makeup of college scholarships for athletes is inevitable.  No matter what side of the debate you are on this is probably the single most important issue currently confronting the leaders of college athletics in this country. 

The role of ethics in sport management and administration is an area of focus for all students at the United States Sports Academy. The first course taken by bachelor and master degree students is a course in contemporary issues in sports.  For more information on Academy programs go to www.ussa.edu.

 

7 Comments

  1. Greg Adams November 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Most Division I athletic programs operate at a deficit mainly because they are trying to keep up with their “big dog” competitors. The NCAA just enacted legislation that would enable athletes to get funds in additional to their full grant-in-aid, but where is this money going to come from?  Who is going to be affected in recruiting for not offering the funds?  Does this separate the 14 schools who operate in the black from the rest of the programs who operate in the red?

     
  2. Greg Adams November 2, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Most Division I athletic programs operate at a deficit mainly because they are trying to keep up with their “big dog” competitors. The NCAA just enacted legislation that would enable athletes to get funds in additional to their full grant-in-aid, but where is this money going to come from?  Who is going to be affected in recruiting for not offering the funds?  Does this separate the 14 schools who operate in the black from the rest of the programs who operate in the red?

     
  3. Jody Evans December 13, 2011 at 3:30 am

    I understand completely the argument posed by supporters of paying college athletes. When an athlete signs a sports scholarship to play at a college or university he/she is agreeing to dedicating many hard working hours toward their sport and team. Although the sport may be fun and enjoyable to play, the practice time and game preparation turns in to a full time job. This full time job comes with no payment other than scholarship money. Students not on sports scholarship have the opportunity to work their way through college by picking up a paying job on the side. I would see nothing wrong with giving these college athletes, who work so hard to making their college proud, a payment plan. Before putting together a payment plan many questions would have to be answered. How could the athletes at smaller D1, D2, NAIA levels and women’s programs be treated differently from the larger programs? Should only the D1 football and basketball players be paid for their hard work and disregard the other sports? If the athlete is being paid by a college, does this mean that that athlete becomes an employee of the institution?  

     
  4. Jody Evans December 12, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    I understand completely the argument posed by supporters of paying college athletes. When an athlete signs a sports scholarship to play at a college or university he/she is agreeing to dedicating many hard working hours toward their sport and team. Although the sport may be fun and enjoyable to play, the practice time and game preparation turns in to a full time job. This full time job comes with no payment other than scholarship money. Students not on sports scholarship have the opportunity to work their way through college by picking up a paying job on the side. I would see nothing wrong with giving these college athletes, who work so hard to making their college proud, a payment plan. Before putting together a payment plan many questions would have to be answered. How could the athletes at smaller D1, D2, NAIA levels and women’s programs be treated differently from the larger programs? Should only the D1 football and basketball players be paid for their hard work and disregard the other sports? If the athlete is being paid by a college, does this mean that that athlete becomes an employee of the institution?  

     
  5. Marti Ball January 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    To a certain degree I do understand the argument for paying players, however I keep seeing in articles people stating that it is the players who are responsible for the hefty television contracts and selling the jerseys and other items.  As a player perhaps I could understand this argument, but as a fan I completely disagree.  I am a college football fan, more speficically a Univeristy of Alabama fan.  When I buy merchandise it is for the University of Alabama logo or colors not because Trent Richardson is on the team. In fact my son has a number 22 jersey we bought when Mark Ingram was playing, he still wears it, now that Mark has moved on that number 22 can represent many different Alabama greats including the current number 22.  In my opinion it is the team as a collective whole that brings in the money, not the individual players.  And as long as there is a football team, it will not matter who makes up the collective parts, the money will still be there. With this being said, I do believe that the value of a scholarship should constantly be reveiwed and take into consideration cost of living and inflation.  If it is true that current scholarship money is not allowing players to buy some of the essentials of college life and that they are walking away from school with debt, then I think the amount should be reevaluated and increased.  It seems that the proposed $2000.00 stipend is an effort by the NCAA to bring the scholarship money up to date, so I think it is a good thing for college sports.  Schools might have to make some changes to be able to afford the stipend, but in relation to the average overall atheltic budget of FBS schools, I believe that most  will find the money somewhere. 

     
  6. Marti Ball January 19, 2012 at 11:30 am

    To a certain degree I do understand the argument for paying players, however I keep seeing in articles people stating that it is the players who are responsible for the hefty television contracts and selling the jerseys and other items.  As a player perhaps I could understand this argument, but as a fan I completely disagree.  I am a college football fan, more speficically a Univeristy of Alabama fan.  When I buy merchandise it is for the University of Alabama logo or colors not because Trent Richardson is on the team. In fact my son has a number 22 jersey we bought when Mark Ingram was playing, he still wears it, now that Mark has moved on that number 22 can represent many different Alabama greats including the current number 22.  In my opinion it is the team as a collective whole that brings in the money, not the individual players.  And as long as there is a football team, it will not matter who makes up the collective parts, the money will still be there. With this being said, I do believe that the value of a scholarship should constantly be reveiwed and take into consideration cost of living and inflation.  If it is true that current scholarship money is not allowing players to buy some of the essentials of college life and that they are walking away from school with debt, then I think the amount should be reevaluated and increased.  It seems that the proposed $2000.00 stipend is an effort by the NCAA to bring the scholarship money up to date, so I think it is a good thing for college sports.  Schools might have to make some changes to be able to afford the stipend, but in relation to the average overall atheltic budget of FBS schools, I believe that most  will find the money somewhere. 

     
  7. Tim Merritt September 25, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Beginning to pay student athletes is a slippery slope. I have a unique perspective going through college as a coach and Grad Assistant. Athletes not only get meals, tuition and apartments paid for, but they also get LEGAL spending cash when on the road. If a student athlete practices a little self control, they can already make a very comfortable living. Opening student athletes up to getting paid on a scale or revenue raised standpoint, there will be more lawsuits than we have already began to see with title IX today along with countless other problems.

     

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