The most gratifying aspect of the student-athlete experience is a college education. Tuition and fees, accommodation and board, and course-related materials are all covered by full scholarships. Most student-athletes who get sports scholarships receive a portion of these fees covered. The remaining amount of money must be paid by the athlete.
Besides getting an excellent education, many student-athletes benefit from other advantages that come with being a part of a team. They develop skills that can be used after graduation, such as time management, organizational skills, and leadership abilities. Some even go on to become coaches or managers in professional sports.
Some colleges may provide some entertainment expenses but not all schools can afford to do so. For example, some universities might provide food for their athletes but cannot cover other expenses that could include movies and games.
In addition, some schools pay their players regardless of whether they compete or not. These types of programs are often in less popular sports such as baseball or football where there are not enough fans to make financial sense for the school to continue the program. However, many student-athletes enjoy the opportunity to play at these schools without worrying about finances.
Finally, some schools provide special incentives for their players to perform well. These can include housing bonuses, tuition discounts, and access to special events.
Sports also provide a natural structure for student athletes to ground and discipline them. College sports departments help student athletes by monitoring academic performance and providing targeted academic support as required. Scholarships are available to Division I athletes at a variety of colleges. These scholarships cover tuition, fees, room and board, and other expenses such as transportation and books.
Student athletes benefit from the experience of playing college sports because it teaches them responsibility, teamwork, endurance, courage, and discipline. In addition, college sports teach students skills that they will need in order to succeed in college and beyond. For example, football players learn how to block and tackle; basketball players develop hand-eye coordination and concentration skills that are essential to success in school and career; and baseball players practice making decisions under pressure and learning from their mistakes.
College sports also offer an opportunity for students to make money. Many schools have revenue streams related to their sports programs, such as television contracts or royalty payments. Some student athletes receive compensation above what is provided for in their grants-in-aid, which includes items such as bonuses for winning games or performing well on campus recruiting visits.
Some college sports even provide an educational benefit for those who do not earn degrees. Professional leagues such as the NFL and NBA allow former players to continue their education through sponsorship programs that provide funding for tuition, fees, and books.
Xiii Along with the direct advantage of a college scholarship, student-athletes frequently receive educational subsidies to assist them pay for non-tuition college fees, in addition to tutoring and other academic support programs. Many schools also benefit from having sports fans as customers or donors.
Xiv Student-athletes help attract new students to schools by creating an atmosphere of competition that encourages students to join teams and participate in activities outside of class. They can also help generate revenue through ticket sales and advertising contracts with shoe companies, etc.
Xv By providing role models for youth, student-athletes can improve their community by being good examples in terms of education and behavior. They can also promote health and wellness by serving as promoters of exercise and nutrition.
Xvi The relationship between schools and universities and their student-athletes is mutually beneficial. Universities benefit by receiving free publicity and income generation opportunities while students gain access to a quality university experience with all its benefits.
Approximately 2% of high school players obtain athletic scholarships to participate in college. NCAA student-athletes complete their degrees at a greater rate than the general student population. In 2010, 26% of football players and 13% of men's basketball players completed their degree within five years.
The majority of college athletes do not receive scholarships. A small percentage of students enroll in college without any intention of earning a degree. Most professional athletes who don't go to college move on to play in the NBA or NFL. Only a few major league baseball players have been able to turn down MLB contracts and continue playing elsewhere.
Many factors determine if an athlete will be able to land a scholarship. The most important factor is often how good is he/she really? Even if you're the best player in the country, there might be another player who comes out of nowhere to take your spot. If that happens, you'll likely lose your scholarship.
Some schools may also require you to maintain a certain grade point average or test score thresholds to remain eligible for a scholarship. These are usually called "rolling admissions" because even if you lose your job as a ballplayer, say because you got drafted by a big league team, you can still keep your scholarship if you're able to regain eligibility by graduating or meeting other criteria.
Paying college athletes would assist to instill a sense of financial responsibility. Another advantage of paying collegiate players is that it may help teach the fundamentals of personal finance to athletes, many of whom have had public financial difficulties after retirement. Finally, paying players would provide much-needed revenue for schools that cannot afford to pay their athletes.
The case for paying college athletes: If universities paid their athletes like professional sports teams do, it might encourage them to be more responsible with their money and less likely to run up debt chasing athletic dreams.
The case against paying college athletes: Of course, not all students who play college sports will ever make any money from their efforts. But as long as they're being paid anyway, why should colleges be allowed to keep all of the money they generate?
The conclusion: Paying college athletes is a good idea because it would help schools improve their finances and help students learn about money management. It also wouldn't hurt if more students chose academic careers instead of trying to make millions in the NBA or NFL.
While opponents contend that college football and basketball stars receive free college tuition, stipends, and a platform to demonstrate their abilities for professional clubs, supporters argue that same players' skills generate more than $14 billion in yearly income for college sports programs. The sum is made up of three main components: the cost of attendance, licensing fees, and performance-based payments.
The total amount of money generated by college sports programs has increased dramatically over the past few decades. In 1990, the most recent year for which data are available, colleges and universities reported a total revenue of $1.5 billion from men's basketball and football. That number had increased to $6.9 billion in 2015.
The total amount of money generated by all forms of collegiate athletics has increased nearly every year since 1990. This can be attributed to the rising costs of attending school and the increasing value of licenses and trademarks. In 2015-16, the most recent year for which data are available, colleges and universities reported a total revenue of $1.7 billion from men's basketball and football.
It is clear that college sports have the potential to be a powerful vehicle for generating revenue that helps schools cover the expense of education. However, due to the high level of participation in certain sports such as football and basketball, many students do not see any way out of paying full price for an education.