Nocera wrote an article in the New York Times on “Ways to Start Paying College Athletes.” The article focuses on large schools with football and basketball programs. He proposes we start paying players based on their positions and potential of going pro. He states schools generate money based on college games and ticket sales, televised games, college video game sales, apparel, and boosters and athletes should receive a salary of that profit. He believes each player should have minimum salary of $25,000 and then speciality and star players can be offered anywhere between $40,000-$60,000 at recruitment. One of his arguments is that if college athletes are paid it will reduce the one year drop outs and encourage college athletes to complete their 4 year college experience, resulting in academic benefits. According to his plan, athletes should have lower academic loads and extended college time and still be considered full time students. Nocera goes on to explain that smaller colleges or universities (not known for their sports) would have to figure out a way to pay their players.
For me as a former college athlete I believe this is wrong on so many levels. In his article he focuses on basketball and football athletes but what about other sports and other players that generate money into the school. By paying only basketball and football players you would draw a wedge and would be giving a message that they are above others students. Another concern is giving an 18 year old, so much money and them not having a clue what to do with it. Lawyers and financial advisers would have to brought in which is even more of an expense. I believe paying college athletes gives the message that money triumphs over education, respect, and self worth. I wonder how the the sports programs would be affected by this money going to the athletes instead of school programming. Would schools be able to still travel and cover travel expense, new stadiums, uniforms, facilities, athletic trainers and coaches. Could college sports programs still give scholarships if this money is being given to its players as salary? It seems as if this money is going to be taken from programming for students. Playing college athletes loses the focus and importance of a college education. It sending a wrong message to our youth that excelling in sports is everything, that you don’t need to be educated in order to make money. Its taking away the message that the college journey of hard work, team work, unity, and goal making the college experience provides. Our youth are worth more than just the money they make.