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Should College Athletes Be Paid?

Should College Athletes Be Paid?

Author Yusra Khan by

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Should college athletes be paid? The topic has been long debated; with those supporting the notion arguing that scholarships are simply not enough to cover college costs for athletes, especially when their colleges continue to profit off of them, while others believe it fair because of how much it would cost to compensate athletes, and because of the possibility of creating injustice between different sports as a result of unequal pay.

As of now, the National Collegiate Athletic Association does not pay its athletes, with its 12th amendment stating that student-athletes are not allowed to take money in exchange for allowing “his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind.” The amendment also forbids sponsorships and participation in a college sport if the student has agreed to be represented by an agent.

In recent years, however, the NCAA has experienced a growing amount of opposition from the public. California recently passed a law, effective in 2023, that makes it illegal for college athletes to be penalized for accepting money for the use of their image, name, or fame. The state has not been alone in pushing for this type of change. Two members of Congress, along with legislators in about 20 other states (Georgia included) have proposed similar laws.

In late 2019, the Board of Governors, the NCAA’s highest governing body, met at Emory University gathered for a hearing on the issue. Through a unanimous vote, the NCAA decided to allow college athletes the opportunity to benefit from the use of their image, name, and fame in a way that aligns with the collegiate model. The model includes guidelines that ensure a distinction between professional and collegiate opportunities, that non-athlete and athlete students are treated similarly, and make clear that college athletes are students first rather than employees, amongst other principles.

Regardless of the mentioned changes, the NCAA has stated that much of their updated guidelines will not truly go into effect until their next convention, which is scheduled for January of 2021. So, what do you think? Should college athletes be paid?

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