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Philosophy Of Paying College Athletes Essay

1464 words - 6 pages

One of the most debated topics across all Division I colleges nationwide is whether or not college athletes should be compensated for their impact on the revenue of the school from sports. Many schools call sports the “front porch” of their campuses, bringing in the bulk of their revenue, creating nearly free advertising, and attracting students that would otherwise not attend their school. A 2009 court case brought this issue to light when a former college player sued the NCAA and EA Games for using his name in a video game and not paying royalties. The case is headed towards an NCAA payout, and many athletes are joining the plaintiff side as allowed by courts, as their names were used as ...view middle of the document...

As I read through the article, many of the schools mentioned were the likes of Notre Dame, Boston College, Oklahoma, UCLA, Michigan, and Texas. I would agree that these schools make a ton of money on sports and can understand the idea to pay their athletes, but how can we do this when there are also other level schools that are Division I but do not make the insane amounts of money that those types of schools do? It is simply unfair to allow some Division I athletes to be paid and others not.
The theory that I believe relates to this idea is Spencer’s “Social Darwinism”, the theory that might makes right and survival is best for the fittest. I think the idea of paying college athletes relates to them being the fit students within a university and some people thinking that those most fit deserve a reward. Both theories argue that competition is the reason of improvement, but I think that both theories: paying athletes and Social Darwinism, fail to have technical views on the impact of the theory and that is why they both fail. Just as Social Darwinism fails because of changing context, paying athletes is not right because of the existence of change. How can we assume that a school’s football team and basketball team will remain successful programs years into the future? If we decide to pay athletes and then a top program’s team becomes sanctioned, like some do, or a school begins a downturn and the program loses relevancy, how will that effect our payments to the players? What would happen if college sports as a whole become increasingly unpopular due to the existence of concussions or loss of interest? The simple fact is that paying college athletes assumes there is a constant line of improvement, and that is very naïve. One of the best critiques of Social Darwinism says that someone is not always the fittest because of skill or intelligence. There are many other factors and situations, and I think this relates to the paying of college athletes. The suggestions talk about previously seek to only reward certain individuals at certain top programs, which would be unethical according to this critique of Spencer’s Social Darwinism.
Another problem inherently with this issue is how the goals of major athletic programs seem to be different from the missions of the universities they represent. Although some of these athletes are on track for professional careers, while enrolled they are students in academic universities or colleges first. The athletic program is a part of the academic institution, not the other way around. A quote from a player mentioned in the article that I thought was powerful said he was an “athlete-student” not a “student-athlete” as the NCAA wants people to believe. 1 We hear of so many cases where universities baby athletes in the classroom, giving them favorable treatment so they are allowed to suit up on game days. Paying players would make even more of a mockery of education. This is not to say that sports cannot teach...

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