The world of college football is a multi-billion dollar industry. In 2014, the NCAA generated $6 billion in revenue from college football games. That’s more than twice as much as any other sport on American campuses. And yet, unlike all those who work behind the scenes to make this money possible–the coaches, trainers and staff–college players don’t get paid a dime for their efforts.
It’s time for that to change. It’s time for these athletes who are making millions of dollars worth of profit each year for their schools to be treated with some respect and dignity by getting paid what they deserve: at least minimum wage.
The demand isn’t particularly new or revolutionary; it was first introduced in 1951 when former Notre Dame football player Creighton Miller sued for compensation. Ever since, the idea of compensating players has only gained momentum with groups like the National College Players Association lobbying for change. And yet despite popular support–and at least one prominent example of a university president even suggesting they didn’t need to be paid–the NCAA still hasn’t budged.
The idea that college athletes are excluded from the money-making side of college sports is flawed in and of itself. For example, at Duke University, one team alone–football–generated $72 million in revenue for the school during 2013-14. And according to Business Insider , top football teams generate between $15 million and $20 million in revenue per year. That’s a whole lot of money to be leaving on the table and turning a blind eye to.
The truth is, college athletics wouldn’t exist without these young men and women. And yet unlike everyone else who works for the school–from professors down to janitors–players get nothing out of their efforts besides an education (which is already a benefit many of these athletes could not afford to pay for on their own).
This isn’t fair, and it’s time for the NCAA to recognize that. College football players are employees of the school, and they should be paid at least minimum wage for the work they do. Anything less is an injustice.
One of the biggest arguments against paying college football players is that they are “student-athletes” and not professionals. However, the fact is that these players generate a lot of revenue for their schools, and they do the same job as other players in the NFL.
There is no reason why these players should not be compensated for their hard work. They are essential to the success of college athletics, and they deserve to be treated fairly. It’s time for the NCAA to pay college football players what they are owed.