College athletes getting paid—this topic has been debated about for years. College sports bring in an abundance of revenue to the college, much more than people realize. According to USAToday.com, Texas A&M and the University of Texas both made over 180 million dollars in sports revenue. These two schools were ranked at the top of the list of schools that made the most money in college sports. There are numerous college athletes who feel like the NCAA treats the players on fairly. Some college athletes have strong opinions about National Collegiate Athletic Association because it makes the rules and polices that surround college sports.
Ben Simmons, a college basketball phenome, played one year at Louisiana State University (ranked 7th in sports revenue in 2015) is a good example of an outspoken athlete.
Now the current point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers, Simmons said, “The NCAA is really f—ed up. Everybody’s making money except the players. We’re the ones waking up early as hell to be the best teams and do everything they want us to do and then the players get nothing. They say education, but if I’m there for a year, I can’t get much education.”
Simmons was quoted saying this on the film “One and Done,” a film that aired on November 4, 2016.
Shabazz Napier, current NBA player for the Portland Trail Blazers, led UConn to an NCAA championship victory. Napier told reporters in 2014 while in college, “We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food in. Sometimes money is needed. I don’t think you should stretch it out to hundreds of thousands of dollars for playing, because a lot of times guys don’t know how to handle themselves with money. I feel like a student athlete. Sometimes, there’s hungry nights where I’m not able to eat, but I still gotta play up to my capabilities.”
Even though student athletes have special talents, they are still everyday people. Many college athletes cannot afford the jerseys they wear on their backs, and this is the same jersey that people buy to support them.
However, even if the NCAA did want to pay players, they would not be able to compensate every college athlete.
The current basketball coach for the Kentucky Wildcats John Calipari said in a 2015 press conference, “I think we have to move to paying for their insurance. These kids [currently] have to pay their own disability insurance,” according a the Huffington Post article.
According to the Huffington Post, the NCAA provides student-athletes with catastrophic-injury insurance coverage, but in a 2013 court filing, the association said it “denies that it has a legal duty to protect student-athletes,” arguing that it is the responsibility of individual schools.
Various amounts of college athletes get scholarships to play a sport, but other students get scholarships to go to school. These students are not bringing in the same money as the college athletes. This does not mean that a free education should be taken for granted, but college athletes should receive something more than just a free education. More action could be taken to take care of college athletes, like making sure they eat and paying for their insurance.