Is pay-for-play okay?

Video by Natalie Cole and Greg Williams, written story by  Natalie Cole

Williams and Cole look into the issue of athletes being paid for play at the collegiate level and if it is right or something to be frowned upon.

Ohio State, University of Southern California  and Miami are just a few of the schools that have recently come under investigation or been found guilty of  practicing pay for play in their athletic programs. Many might wonder why so many colleges are feeling  the pressure to offer players extra incentives.

     Athletes receive free tuition, housing, food, books, medical care, tutoring, athletic apparel — which could be worth more than $50,000 a year. They practice in palatial facilities and showcase their talent to future employers on national TV. They leave college debt-free, unlike many students, according to the Miami Herald. 

Median college costs at public universities exceed an athlete’s scholarship coverage by about $4,000, according to a recent USA Today analysis. However, offering extra incentives can be very damaging to universities’ reputations and raise a host of legal issues, as well as run the risk of championships and other rewards being stripped.

It is difficult for most students in college to stay afloat, and they too feel the pains of college costs, but often they do not see the rewards like college athletes gain.

“I feel like those funds could go to other things on campus,” said Marlon Turner, University of Memphis photography major.

Playing at the collegiate level is not an obligation but a privilege.

“It’s not their job; it is a privilege for them to be doing this,” said Dusty Jolliff, University of Memphis photography student.

“If we are going to pay student-athletes, why even have university-based teams? Just go watch a pro game,” NCAA President Mark Emmert told the Miami Herald.

There could be some major changes on the way, however. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, major-college athletes could receive up to $2,000 a year more in institutional aid and be granted multiyear scholarships under a wide-ranging set of proposals to be presented to the NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors next week.

Other ideas under consideration include the elimination of foreign travel and nontraditional-season competition, reductions in regular-season games, fewer scholarships for big-time football and men’s and women’s basketball teams, and stiffer eligibility standards for athletes, according to an NCAA document obtained by The Chronicle.

Plus, high price TV deals being made and sweet deals for coaches has not helped with the issue.

“They got something to lose and don’t even know it yet … you [athletes] have a choice, have a decision to make are you going to go about your collegiate career on the right path or you gonna take that back road?” said Kendall Shaw, University of Memphis sports fan.


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