Student-Athletes and Compensation

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Created in the 1950r’s, the term student-athlete is still the NCAAr’s foundation of all prior and current debates about not paying collegiate athletes. The current debate is less about should these high caliber players be paid by the universities and now seems more focused on how they can receive their share of a multi-billion-dollar industry and the effects if student-athletes do get paid. The effects of student-athletes being paid is where the opposition continues to rely on an out of date defense that tuition is fair compensation.

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Pay for students is illegal and competitive balance in college sports will be compromised. The NCAA has a history of dealing with players being paid on a case to case basis. Most recently permitting some athletes to earn money for use of their name, image, and likeness (NIL). A great example of these inconsistencies would be Katie Ledecky having to leave the Stanford swim team to take advantage of her Olympic success, whereas Arike Ogunbowale was allowed by the NCAA to continue playing basketball for Notre Dame while being paid to be on Dancing with the Stars because it was not related to basketball (Brennan 2). After hearing the NCAAr’s explanation, Commission chair Condoleezza Rice said, ?I couldnt for the life of me understand the explanation . . . because obviously sher’s there because she hit two winning shots in two basketball games (in the womenr’s Final Four), so thatr’s the connection…It’s time to clear this up (qtd. in Brennan 2). If Commission chair Condoleezza Rice believes NCAA policies are confusing, it must be time for existing policies to be reevaluated. The NCAA executives should clearly define a consistent way and then allow student-athletes to be compensated for their personal name, image, likeness, and participation in non-collegiate events because the non-profit organization has evolved, there are ways to properly regulate payment, and numerous cases of paying student-athletes already exist.

In 1906 President Teddy Roosevelt founded the NCAA to provide safety for college football players, and at the time students were not allowed to be recruited based on athletic ability (Katz, Vaughn and Gilleran 1). Athletic scholarships were not first introduced until the 1950r’s, and the term student-athlete was used soon thereafter by the NCAA President of the time, Walter Byers, to protect the NCAA from legal issues (Katz, Vaughn and Gilleran 1). The main issue the NCAA faces today, pay for play, goes back to 1984 when they were forced, by the Supreme Court, to stop limiting the telecasts of college sports and revenue started rapidly increasing (Katz, Vaughn and Gilleran 2). A century after its creation, the NCAA President Myles Brand spoke at the NCAA convention in 2006 about the status of the organization (Katz, Vaughn and Gilleran 1). He expressed that the NCAA as an enterprise had commercialized,

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