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Should College Athletes Be Paid? Essay

2164 words - 9 pages

Cameron Newton was a coveted recruit coming out of Georgia’s Westlake High School in 2007. Upon signing with the University of Florida, he earned a back-up spot behind Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner. After being arrested on felony charges, Newton dropped out of Florida and enrolled at Blinn Junior College in Texas. Newton led his team to the 2009 NJCAA National Football Championship, after which he was the only 5-star recruit for the 2010 season, as stated on His top two choices for college: Mississippi State University and Auburn University. After his first year at Blinn Junior College he committed to Auburn. During the 2010 football season, Newton led the #1 ranked ...view middle of the document...

One side of the argument in favor of paying college athletes claims that athletes should get a take of the millions of dollars schools athletics make. Major contenders like Texas, Alabama, or Michigan make millions of dollars off their college athletes. reports that The University of Texas football program brings in 68 million dollars profit each year, along with The University of Michigan, which brings in 44 million dollars each year. With revenues like this many sports enthusiasts argue that athletes should receive a cut in the money. Most programs, however, are not making as much as these big programs. The NCAA reports that of bowl-eligible schools, fifty-three schools split $26 million dollars. The NCAA also reports that within those fifty-three schools, eight of the schools lost money.
Those who are not in favor of college athletes being compensated, claim that schools that are losing money make up for those who make money. An NCAA report claimed that the fifty-two of the FBS (football sub division) schools reported loss from their football program. On average those schools lost around 2.7 million dollars. With this being said, many against paying athletes claim it to be improbable to pay athletes. Schools in major conferences such as the Big Ten, SEC, and Big 12 report earnings from their football program. On the opposite side are teams in small conferences, like the MAC, who struggle to earn a profit. Central Michigan’s football team last season set record lows for attendance. Central Michigan’s campus paper Central Michigan Life reports that football games sold on average 4,473 tickets per game. Numbers like these are common around the nation in small conferences like the MAC. For people who are against paying athletes, this is a very compelling statistic.
At the University of Auburn, Cam Newton’s worth was estimated to be hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more, with one source putting Newton’s worth at millions. Newton led his team to the NCAA National Championship and Auburn received $17 million just for playing in the game. This does not include bonuses paid to coaches, and other payments distributed throughout the SEC for sending a team to the national championship. In 2010, Cam Newton’s jersey was going for roughly $60 according to With all this money swirling around the program, why do athletes not receive a portion of the profits? Myles Brand, NCAA president voiced his thoughts on the issue saying, “We have a model for paying players. It’s called professional sports.” Still many question why the players are not paid.
The answer for many simple; they are being paid. Premier athletes, such as Cam Newton, go to school for free at leading universities around the nation. The University of Auburn’s website tuition is different depending on where the athlete is from. For an Alabama resident, total costs are around $23,000 per year, compared to a non-resident around $37,000. With these numbers...

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