By Alexandra Laurence | Journalist / LTVN anchor
While a university paying its student-athletes might sound good in theory, it could pose logistical challenges and difficulties.
Reason # 1: student-athletes already get a annual allowance with their scholarships.
Student athletes on scholarship receive annual stipends to ensure all their expenses are covered. These allowances can vary from school to school, but they typically range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on the location of the school. The allowance is destined 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 graduate from college.
Reason # 2: Student-athletes have many types of resources to help them succeed.
In addition to receiving an annual stipend, student-athletes have their tuition and fees paid for through scholarships for free textbooks and other academic needs. Student-athletes have a high level of resources to ensure they are prepared to succeed in the classroom while managing the demanding schedules of their sports.
Reason # 3: Student-athletes are ready to be successful after college, with the potential to make big bucks.
Being a student-athlete means that you have developed a work ethic that is of great value to future employers. Student-athletes have a platform that can be used as an advantage over other applicants due to their networking opportunities. If student-athletes network properly at college, they can use it to their advantage in their job searches.
Reason # 4: Other sports might to cut.
If a university starts paying student-athletes, it could negatively affect other sports programs. There wouldn’t be enough funds to pay every student-athlete equally and to be able to keep every sport. Small sports that do not generate enough income to support the program would certainly be cut. Schools are expected to address Title IX equality issues, which could mean removing sports programs that may generate income but are not Title IX compliant. This would further limit the opportunities for future student-athletes. Other areas of a sports program could be negatively impacted, such as employees experiencing a pay cut or laid-off maintenance staff. It is a domino effect. Colleges are not swim in the money. It would affect more than student athletes. The sports department could collapse and small sports would no longer exist.
Reason # 5: Where do you draw the line?
In high school, schools also make money from athletes and games. Does that mean high school athletes should be paid as well? Does this mean that varsity athletes could be seen as professionals rather than amateurs? Hypothetical situations could go on forever. This creates a lot of gray areas and space to possibly push the boundaries.
Reason # 6: Big schools will get bigger and small schools will get smaller.
It’s no secret that large central public schools have very generous and high-level donors, but what about small schools with a fraction of the donors? Recruitment would no longer exist. This would lead to making the grandes écoles into power stations, as many donors and recruits would only want to go to these schools because they would be paid a lot more money. As a result, the smaller schools in Division II could disappear simply because they cannot compete with the amount of money available to the larger schools in Division I.
Student-athletes are not employees of their universities, and it would be foolish to treat them the way they are.