NCAA Pushes $2K Increase for Athletes: Fair or Not Fair?

December 14, 2011

Political Theory


In an article on ESPN.com, Mark Emmert, the NCAA president, has backed a proposal that allows conferences to increase grants to the student athletes by $2,000. This increase in grants would allow the student athletes to pay for additional costs that aren’t included in the athletic scholarships given for tuition, fees, room, board and books.

The thinking behind this proposal is that college athletes don’t have means to make extra money for themselves. College athletes aren’t allowed to be paid to be athletes, and due to their rigorous practice and game schedules having a job is essentially impossible. College athletes still have other expenses, and therefore need money like any other college student. Since the student athletes already get school, room, and board paid for the question becomes is it fair that they would just get an additional $2,000 just as spending money?

The argument can go either way. On one hand the college athletes are already getting free education, books, board which is way more then what most college students get, and therefore it could seem unfair to supply them with spending money. However, on the other hand athletes do generate a lot of profit for universities through the athletic department. Athletes are essentially the universities free workers that they don’t have to pay for, and with out them there would be no revenue. Yes, the universities pay for their athletes in terms of free education, but athletes do deserve to reap some of the rewards of their efforts monetarily. I agree with the NCAA rules that they should not be “paid” because that is what maintains the integrity of college sports

I personally think that just giving $2,000 to student athletes just seems irresponsible on the universities part. You have no idea how the students would spend their money, and the purpose of the grant is to help alleviate financial costs for these students not just give them shopping spree money. Therefore, I think that if this proposal went through, it would be more responsible to give the grants through student cards such as our M-Cards. This way the students could spend money on food and school supplies, but at the same time the money is just getting put back into the university.

Either way though, the core of this topic is equality. Athletes are treated differently because of their higher status within the universities. Within the university they are not equal to other students. Yes, they generate profit but students who win national prizes give universities great recognition so shouldn’t they reap benefits for their efforts? You would maybe hope so, however athletes always receive the most benefits and always will.

So what are your thoughts? Do you think that college athletes should receive $2,000 to pay for other needs, or do you think that they already get enough benefits as it is?

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4 Comments on “NCAA Pushes $2K Increase for Athletes: Fair or Not Fair?”

  1. joethahn Says:

    The resolution to give NCAA athletes $2,000 in spending money seems reasonable to me. Athletes are some of the most busy students on campus with practice and traveling to competitions so they would not have the time to acquire money from work. If the resolution passes there should be a specific criteria for those who are allowed to receive the spending money. The athlete should only receive the money in certain circumstances. Reasonable circumstances to receive the grant would be if he or she is independently supporting him/herself or if the parents of the athlete could not afford to support their child. I also feel that the athlete should have to earn the right to have the extra money by maintaining a certain grade point average (something like 2.5gpa). However I feel that it is unfair to grant only NCAA athletes the opportunity to receive spending money. Although athletes represent and generate revenue for the university the non-athlete students also have the ability to do the same. There are many student who are just as busy as athletes with extra curricular activities who do not have the time to get a job. There should be a system where a university looks at a student’s schedule, to see how busy he or she is, and parents ability to give their child spending cash to assess whether he or she is eligible to receive extra money from the university. A university should give all students equal opportunities. If the above qualifications are met the NCAA should pass the legislation of granting athletes the $2,000.

  2. mpogoda3 Says:

    I completely believe that the NCAA is heading down the right path by paying these players money. I understand the argument that these players are STUDENT-athletes, and are at the university to get an education first and foremost, but these kids are helping gain a ton of revenue for the school. Another reason why they should be payed is that many athletes are at the school on scholarship and while they are making the university millions of dollars, they can not even afford food for dinner. I think that 2,000 per year for these athletes is more than reasonable, and gives them more freedom and rewards for the job that they are doing. I do not think by paying these athletes they are being treated unequally, but rather getting payed for the work that they are doing for the university. In terms of not being sure what these kids will spend their money on, it really SHOULD be up to them . They are just like any other teenagers and should not be regulated just because they are athletes. To me, regulation would be unequal. While other students are helping the school flourish academically, this is not about more importance, but revenue. Those students are also doing a great job, but are not bringing in all the money that the athletes are.

  3. schoiidaho Says:

    I can definitely see where this argument is coming from, but I do not think it is very fair to grant the athletes $2000 more on top of the benefits they have now. It is true that their acitons and participations are bringing the schools a lot of money and recongition, but they do receive a full tuition for their contributions in return. Although a full tuition does not cover all college expenses, I can say for a fact that it is something any regular students will be more than happy with. Also, the school will have to make up for that extra $2000 from somewhere, and my best bet is that it will come from the tuitions of the students, which will mean another tuition hike on top of what we have right now. Also, I firmly believe that we should put more money towards funding scholarships for the less well-off students that really deserve to be here. I enjoy and support college athletics, but after all, the reality is that there are more students at the schools than athletes, and there will always be more of them who are in need of financial aid. A good college education is the only guaranteed way of moving up the social ladder, and giving the less privileged students a chance is only way of granting them equal opportunities to success in the future. In the end, even if you have no choice but to take out loans for books and supplies, paying off those debts in the end will be nothing compared to the students who are stuck with having to paying back $200,000.

  4. pelarkin Says:

    This is an interesting situation, since I could see how both sides of the issue could be convincing. There are valid arguments on both sides as to why or why not student-athletes should be receiving a grant of $2,000 to help them pay for expenses through college.

    First off, the reasons as to why not; the most obvious of which is the fact that the athletes are on full scholarships to whatever university or college they are playing for. While other students are paying anywhere from $20,000 – $50,000 a year to receive their education, these athletes get to save all of this money and go to school for free. For some of the more expensive private universities (take the hated University of Notre Dame, for example), these athletes could be potentially saving up to $200,000 over their playing career. In my personal opinion, the free education is more than enough compensation for the athletes.

    However, there are other reasons as to why the athletes should be provided this extra money. As was pointed out in the article, since these athletes’ lives are some of the busiest in the entire school, having a job could be next to impossible. I already can’t imagine trying to balance class, practice, games, homework, and studying. Trying to fit a job in there isn’t healthy, as it would just be too much for one person to handle. Even though these kids are receiving a free education, an argument could be made that most of these kids come from backgrounds that are not as advantageous as some of ours. Since this may be true, even receiving enough cash from home to pay for meals might be a burden, and in these cases, I could totally understand as to why these kids are receiving an extra grant to help them out.

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