OPINION: College athletes should have been able to receive financial compensation a long time ago

Though it’s a divisive topic, college athletes deserve pay just as much as any other student employee does, as they put in just as much work and effort into benefiting their universities. 

College athletes should have already been able to financially benefit from their name, social media accounts, and anything else relevant to their sports career, and am glad the NCAA finally ruled in their favor. I am glad the NCAA finally ruled that this is allowed. 

As soon as it was announced that they could benefit from name and image and likeness deals, athletes have jumped on board and haven’t looked back. 

One of the reasons college athletes should benefit financially is the required amount of time that they put into the sport.

 

According to College Sports Madness, “Various statistics show that college athletes spend at least 40 hours per week dedicated to their sport, including games and training sessions.”

Obviously, these name and image and likeness deals aren’t for an hourly wage. These players are getting compensated in most cases far more than they ever could at a minimum wage job. The point is that college athletes are putting just as much time, if not more time, into a sport that would be the equivalent of a full-time job. 

Also, having even one player that may be a star player on a sports team for a big Division I school, can drastically change recruiting. This can show prospective players that want to play at that school that many things are possible and that you can achieve your dreams if you trust the coaching staff. Even though the name image and likeness deals are about the players, the school that the player attends definitely plays a part in getting a deal. 

Now, players can go to college and benefit from name and image and likeness deals and know they have some sort of paycheck because they are an athlete. They still may have the stress of classes, but they can relax knowing that they can benefit from their skills on the sports field. 

Sports are also very draining, tedious, and exhausting, so at the end of the day when athletes, especially from large DI schools can benefit from name and image and likeness deals, it can be reassuring. 

Unfortunately, athletes at smaller DI schools or Division II or III schools don’t have a legitimate chance at getting the name and image and likeness deals that athletes from DI schools can, because of the lack of recognition being at a small school brings. 

Athletes can look back at a long day full of practice, classes, and maybe even a game, and they know they are being appreciated.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association allowing college athletes to benefit financially from name and image and likeness deals was the right decision. 

The main reason is that they have other options than going to college, such as developmental leagues for basketball that would allow them to be paid, but not have the stress of college courses hang over their head. 

High school basketball players who are high five-star recruits can potentially either get drafted out of high school, which is happening less and less these days or they can sign with the NBA’s G League if they are really good. This gives them the opportunity to play basketball without the stress of class. 

However, I think this new decision from the NCAA will make them want to choose the college route, play on a big stage and not have to play at the G League, NBA’s minor league basketball organization, potentially for multiple years. 

All this should have happened a long time ago because it is obvious how hard college athletes work. They work sometimes harder than professional athletes because they still are working for something in terms of an ultimate dream. This is a good thing for all the athletes that are now able to benefit from the name and image and likeness deals financially.

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