Saturday, August 20, 2011

Should NCAA Athletes Be Paid A Fair Wage?

My poll question of the month; do you think NCAA athletes should be paid a fair wage? Without a moment's hesitation my answer is yes, these players might be young, but they are still adults. They generate massive amounts of revenue for their schools and their only compensation is an education and some food stamps (assuming they are even able to graduate). The earnings window for football players is one of the smallest in professional sports to accumulate compensation for the hard work, pain, and punishment they endure. Many of these players never even get a chance to earn a pro pay day because they suffer career ending injuries at the collegiate level or aren't skilled enough to make the NFL.

If you empowered NCAA players with their own money that would in theory make them less vulnerable to the enticements of boosters. Granted I could see there being a slight moral hazard to giving college students large sums of money. Thinking back to my own collegiate days, if somebody put a million dollars into my bank account any given year, there's a really good chance I would not have graduated. So there are two sides to the argument. Perhaps instead of a pro scale wage, we start by paying them minimum wage? That seems fair.

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