College athletics should get paid

Peyton Finnegan , Courier Staff

College athletes are undoubtedly some of the hardest working people in the world. Not only are they living the life of an average student, they also have a strenuous schedule with their specific sport. One of the most discussed topics in the world of college athletics is whether or not student athletes should be paid money for playing a sport. The people who disagree with the idea have some good arguments to make. The primary reason is that the athletes get to go to school for free, or at significant discount for playing a sport. Another argument is that if student-athletes were to get paid, it would ruin the amateurism of college sports. People who are against paying athletes do not want to see them become focused on money, but rather stay focused on their love for the sport as well as their academics. However, as times change, there is a greater profit margin in college sports than there was half a century ago. I am not proposing that college athletes should be given excessive amounts of money, but that they should be fairly compensated for their effort and dedication to their athletics.

For instance, in 1950, Bud Wilkinson earned $15,000 per season as the head football coach of the Oklahoma Sooners. During that same time period, the football players were only given scholarships. This year, Bob Stoops, the current coach of the Oklahoma football team, will earn $4.55 million. That is 300 times more money per season than just 69 years ago. College football and men’s basketball generate revenue of more than $6 billion every year. Yet, not one penny goes toward paying the people who make the sports possible: the student athletes. It is only reasonable that student athletes have a share in the millions of dollars that their sports businesses bring in. If it weren’t for them, college athletics would not even exist. The universities, coaches and sports companies are getting rich off of these athletes and it is time for a change. It isn’t necessary that colleges begin to pay players thousands of dollars each week, but just enough money so they do not struggle with finances. If universities truly care about the well-being of the student athletes, then pay them what they deserve. Colleges should start reimbursing athletes for the millions of dollars the school makes off of their athletic abilities.