The concept of paying college athletes has been an ongoing debate for years, although its intensity has escalated recently. The question why the sport that brings enormous financial benefits to universities is still called amateur baffles a lot of people all over the country and causes scandals. It is a controversial subject for discussion on whether the benefits the college athletes get are an equitable and fair deal for their dedication, effort and hard work on the field. Colleges and universities propagate the idea of amateurism, appeal and integrity of college sports; though they simply exploit the fame and skills of young promising players. A burning pay-for-play issue is no longer to be ignored.
Thousands of spectators attend games since colleges have turned into a minor league for professionals. College athletics is rooted in the culture of the American nation and intercollegiate competitions have become major events of the national level that are attended and widely discussed. The industry generates huge profits owing to the player's dedication and ability to perform. They bring money to their educational establishments but do not get any amount commensurate to their contribution. Payment to college athletes should serve as a proportional compensation for their tireless training and work as it happens to college coaches who are paid rather professionally. The notion "student-athlete" itself is rather ambiguous. College players are not athletes in college and not students at play. Thus, they are high-performance professionals who are at the same time supposed to meet their peers' academic standards.
College athletes put themselves at the same risk of injury or stress on muscles, bones and tissue as professional players. They are managed, controlled and dominated. They are subject to obligatory drug testing, various checks and limitations. They are supposed to adhere to the strict regime and food rationing. An average workload of a college athlete is significantly bigger than that of a common student. Moreover, fatigue of frequent exhausting and nerve-racking trainings, as well as certain social isolation, keep the athletes from active involvement in academic life. What is referred to as an amateur sport turns out to be a tough full-time job with loads of responsibilities and commitments to the superiors, peers and fans. Undoubtedly, it leaves no time for any part-time job that can help the student earn money for their own expenses.
The idea of giving salary-type money to student-athletes who are provided with a number of benefits like access to the best gyms to workout, free rides to school, equipment, health insurance and even free tuition seems ridiculous to some opponents of the pay-for-play point of view. One of their arguments against paying the student-athletes is the fact that playing at the college level provides them with experience that can be used at the professional level afterwards. Besides, college players easily get media exposure, dedicated fans and name recognition which generally takes money and years of effort for a professional athlete. Those arguments are reasonable, though the main issue of compensating hard work is not addressed.
To sum up, college athletes should get paid beyond the college scholarship. Securing profits using the labor force without paying salaries is pure and simple exploitation. The long-held system is flawed and should be rectified to establish justice. College athletes give their commitment, exert efforts and bring money, so they are not merely students but also employees to their educational establishments. Thus, they are to be adequately rewarded to avoid any kind of controversy and give a fair deal. Even a minor compensation to student-athletes will be a step towards creating a new system free of financial disparities.