College athletes should not be paid


Carter DeBus

NCAA jerseys supports the program. Athletes should not be paid.

Nicole Skalicky, Writer

With the NCAA’s March Madness tournament just around the corner, college athletics have repeatedly been in the spotlight. One of the reasons for this regards the topic of college athletes earning a salary. There are two strong arguments to this discussion. The main point for people who say athletes should be paid is that athletes are risking their future professional careers to play in college. Athletes are also being advertised everywhere, but they are not receiving any income from it. Taxes are the answer to why this happens.

According to Money, if an athlete were to receive a $100,000 salary, they would only be left with $65,100 after federal, state, payroll and social security taxes. A full athletic scholarship for high college tuition is a total of $65,000. After deductibles, student-athletes will pay around a total of $620 in taxes, leaving the rest towards academic expenses. This gives paid athletes an advantage of $720 per year, but at the expense of athletic departments paying an extra $35,000 per athlete per year.

Most colleges and athletic departments cannot afford to give their athletes a salary. After an analysis by Listland from 2013, it was found that only 23 out of the 228 Division I schools can afford to pay athletes. If they were to give athletes a salary, many programs would be vulnerable to being cut. Obviously, this salary would range depending on the player, but many of the elite players would receive the highest cut, initially more than their previous scholarship. This increase in money needs to come from somewhere, and it will most likely be from the smaller programs resolving in large amounts of cuts all over the spectrum.

In the end, the NCAA said, “Fewer than two percent of NCAA student-athletes go on to be professional athletes.” The majority of college athletes are in it for the experience and discounted academics. Junior Ruth Livingston said, “It is similar to high school, and it’s more of an opportunity for people to use their skills and grow as people.” College athletes believe they deserve money, but a salary is not the smartest financial answer.