Dec 26, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Aaron Donald (97) waves to fans exiting the field after defeating Bowling Green Falcons 30-27 to win the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA: College Athletes Deserve To Be Paid For Their Efforts


Nov 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers tight end J.P. Holtz (86) runs after a pass reception as PITT tight end Manasseh Garner (82) blocks Miami Hurricanes defensive back Antonio Crawford (21) during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Miami won 41-31. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers tight end J.P. Holtz (86) runs after a pass reception as PITT tight end Manasseh Garner (82) blocks Miami Hurricanes defensive back Antonio Crawford (21) during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Miami won 41-31. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It is almost inevitable that college athletes will be getting paid at some time in the near future. The college sports industry generates an annual revenue of $11 billion and much of that is due to the work and labor of the athletes.

One can make the case that students deserve to be compensated for their labor. After all, they are the ones waking up at 5 a.m. for practices, doing all the work and watching all the film – and on top of that, keeping up with school.

Fifty colleges exceed $50 million in revenue and five colleges exceeded $100 million. These revenues are passed along to NCAA executives, athletic directors and coaches. Head coaches in the NCAA Bowl Championship Series earn an average of $2.1 million dollars. In 40 of 50 states the highest paid public employee was a head football or basketball coach.

Jan 21, 2013; Syracuse, NY, USA; ESPN broadcaster Jay Bilas looks on prior to the game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 21, 2013; Syracuse, NY, USA; ESPN broadcaster Jay Bilas looks on prior to the game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Granted, coaches are necessary, but they are getting paid handsomely for all the work that players do. Why shouldn’t players get paidfor signing their autograph?

In the end, paying college athletes might help them stay in school longer. Too many times, especially in college basketball, it is one and done. They go to school for one year, get the experience of playing in March Madness and then enter the draft.

With a little incentive they may actually stay in school longer.

I am not the only one who feels this way. Jay Bilas, a college basketball analyst for ESPN, was recently quoted in a Duke Chronicle article written by Jen Chen:

“The problem I am trying to solve is one of fundamental fairness,” Bilas said during a panel discussion. “[NCAA is] running a professional sports organization and I don’t think it’s fair that only one class of people is restricted to their expenses only and nothing more.”

Bilas advocates that student athletes should receive compensation because sports enterprises and universities get benefits from athletes’ efforts.

Tags: College Sports Jay Bilas NCAA

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