By: Nick Austin
With former College star Zion Williamson being selected the #1 overall pick in this year’s NBA draft, people have questioned whether he should’ve returned to the College basketball playoffs this past year after suffering a grade one knee sprain in a game against North Carolina earlier in the year. He could’ve possibly hurt his draft chances and future in the NBA without compensation because Williamson along with every other college level athletes don’t get paid for the games they play.
Companies like ESPN and other sports networks broadcast division 1 games on national television. NIKE and other companies also pay certain colleges for endorsement deals. Both of these things generate revenue for the school itself, so many people argue that colleges should use this money to pay their players. The problem is, most of the schools that do receive money from endorsement deals and Broadcasting use said money for renovations to their fields, locker rooms, other parts of the college, and for paying student athletes tuitions. The money that is being generated from these players is getting put to use, but not for the players directly.
Another reason that the NCAA and others don’t want to pay college athletes is because it would ruin the economy of college sports. If colleges had to pay their athletes that would result in schools bidding for top recruits which would then cause smaller schools to not get top athletes because they don’t have the money to do so. An article from the New York Times stated, “among the roughly 350 athletic departments in the N.C.A.A.’s Division I, only about 24 schools have generated more revenue than expenses in recent years.”
On the flipside though, many people believe that colleges should do more than cover their tuition and provide housing. These players have to eat well to play at their best and this costs money. These players can’t really go get jobs on the side because they are always practicing, playing games, or studying for classes. If they get injured while playing that could hurt their chances of going pro, but the NCAA won’t compensate them for their injury.
These players risk their bodies and their chance at being a professional athlete every game for minimal in return and many feel that something needs to change in the world of college sports. Many feel that even if the NCAA wanted to change it couldn’t.