College Athletes Should Be Paid: Here’s How and Why

college athletes football field

You might be one of the 62% of Americans that think college athletes should be paid.

The surprising thing is that despite a big win for college athletes in 2021 to be paid, the verdict is still out if college athletes should be paid directly from universities.

In fact, the NCAA still believes that paying them directly would take away the “amateurism” in college sports.

In this post, you’ll learn about how college athletes get paid now and if they will be paid by schools in the future..

Let’s dig in.

Why Should Student-Athletes Get Paid?

There needs to be impactful, dynamic bylaw change within the association. Student-athletes deserve better compensation, in whatever form it may hold”

Maggie Mihaylova: Columnist of The Michigan Daily

Since 1906 the NCAA prohibited student-athletes from any compensation until recently. Now college athletes can get paid for name, image, and likeness opportunities, though still not directly from schools.

It might be easy to ask yourself, “Why should they get paid if they get scholarships”, right?

That’s a valid point, especially considering that the average cost of a public 4 year college is $23,480 for out of state students

But of more than 480,000 college athletes nationwide, only 1% get a full-ride scholarship (you’d have a better chance of getting struck by lightning (10%).

And whether you’re for or against it, it’s no secret that there’s money made in the process. To be exact, college sports programs make over $18 billion per year.

(source)

Here’s are the top 3 reasons why you might think they should be paid:

1. They make money for schools and the NCAA

You’d probably agree college athletes are the faces of universities and the NCAA. Without them, those unforgettable nail-biting game moments you might’ve experienced wouldn’t have existed and nor the billion dollars in revenue.

To put it into perspective just the Texas A&M Aggies (a top football team) has a three-year average profit of $94 million.

So naturally, while some coaches are being paid up to $9.3 million, the student-athletes wanted a piece of the pie.

2. Sports takes away from study and career opportunities.


Most college athletes dedicate more 40 hours per week on team activity. That’s just like a full-time job cutting into their study time significantly. 

Above all, Fewer than 2% of them go pro, meaning after college they enter a highly competitive job market. Let’s not forget that some sports, like football, take a major toll on the body.

The trauma is so bad that a 2017 study found that 91% of former college football players who had died had a degenerative brain disease.

 In short, California governor Gavin Newsom put it perfectly:

“Colleges reap billions from these student athletes’ sacrifices and success but, in the same breath, block them from earning a single dollar”


3. Sports teams lift exposure and status of schools.

Whenever you hear about a team that makes it to the final four, what does that mean for a school?

Other than more airtime on big sports channels, it’s an opportunity to attract more academic and sports talent, donations, and revenue from apparel and ticket sales. 

Doug J. Chung, of Harvard University, found that schools with Cinderella football teams that make it to a playoff round consistently see a lift of 18.7% in applications (the “Flutie Effect”).

flutie effect chart

How They Can Get Paid Now

As of July 1st, 2021, student-athletes have had the opportunity to get paid with traditional endorsements, personal appearances and social media opportunities.

Some of the biggest earners to date are University of Miami quarterback D’Eriq Kin ($20,000 contract with a moving company) and  Hercy Miller of Tennessee State University ($2 million contract with a tech company).

Through apparel, sponsorships, social media campaigns, and appearances some college athletes can bank in before going pro. But let’s not forget that these are a small few that can make such lucrative deals.


The StudySoup Sponsorship Program


As of now, lots of well-deserving athletes have been left out of the mix. It’s still early on and there’s definitely more to come. 

If you’re still in school now, you definitely know how 4 years pass in a flash. So for active student-athletes, it makes sense to be on the lookout for compensation opportunities.

On top of that, for intramural and club athletes- travel, food, and gear costs aren’t covered by universities.

That’s why StudySoup has just launched the sponsorship program for NCAA, intramural and club athletes. 

In addition, our sponsored teams have the opportunity to get compensated without cutting into study and practice time.

The UCSB Burning Skirts and the UCLA Smaug ultimate teams kicked off the program and are continually building towards their compensation goals to have a winning season.

How it works

We know that student-athletes have commitments not only to school but personal life matters as well. That’s why our program focuses on two things:

• Help teams reach their financial goals with sponsorship actions.

• Help teams get the most exposure possible in as little time as possible.

With those two goals in mind each team gets an upfront bonus just for signing up for the sponsorship program.

UCLA Smaug Team: Click here to support them (each signup gives them compensation). (source)

After, each team has one job- Get as many students as possible to fill out a notetaker job application form (takes 1 minute and free). Each time a team gets a signup, they get a commission from us with bonuses.

womens college athletes
UCSB Burning Skirts: Click here to support them (each signup gives them compensation).

To get started, send us an e-mail (stephen@studysoup.com) and we’ll:

1) Set up an initial introduction meeting with compensation details for your team.

2) Review a custom made action-plan from our marketing team that takes teams minutes to implement.

Conclusion: Will college athletes ever get paid by schools?

At first sight, you might think the answer to that would be a “Hell yes!”.

Aside from keeping all of the $18 billion yearly profit is better business for colleges than splitting it with athletes- You should consider the following:

•Should all colleges pay all athletes the same salary/wage? What about D3 schools that may not make the same revenue as a top D1 school?

•Does Title XI still apply in paying women’s and men’s sports athletes equally? Could this create another layer of gender inequality?

•Would student-athletes compete for payment rather than purely competing?

All of these and more have to be considered. It’s still uncertain what the future might hold, but one thing is for sure, the Fair Play Act means progress.

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