By: Elijah Price

If you are a fan of collegiate sports, you may know that the NCAA, an industry worth over 800 million dollars is made up of over 460,000 student athletes. Hearing those figures, you might think that the athletes could or should get paid — but I’m here to talk to you about why they shouldn’t get paid.

At Northwestern University, a group of football players created a labor union petition and were fighting for the right to be employees of the university. Their argument is that according to several employment regulations, they fit the criteria for employment. This to some extent is true. For instance, according to the Employment Board of Chicago, an employee is someone who is under contract to hire. An employee is someone who works to perform the services for another. The letter of intent and scholarship offer is the employment contract. Additionally, the hours of practice and games that generate millions of dollars for the school are the employers benefits, the coaches rules is the control, and the scholarship is pay. So yes, according to the board of Chicago, college athletes, based on the time and commitment they have to the sport, are considered employees.

The phrase “student­ athlete” describes a collegiate level athlete who receives advanced education at universities and colleges that most people don’t get to attend. The phrase “student­ athlete” describes a majority of athletes who get to attend the college or university on a dime. The phrase “student­ athlete” describes someone who is paid through these colleges in scholarships, which save tens of thousands of dollars in tuition costs. The phrase “student ­athlete” is someone who receives a higher education for basically free in addition learning values from their sport that can progress them in the workforce.

Most colleges and universities don’t make enough money off of their athletics. A study made by USA Today recorded that in 2013, only 23 of 228 athletic departments in the NCAA Division One public schools generated enough money on their own to cover their expenses in 2012. For the majority of the time the revenue brought in from these athletic events do not outweigh the cost to set up these athletic events. The average annual wage for an athletic trainer, who is someone who helps make sure all these athletes are in prime condition for their athletic events, is only about 45,000 dollars, which is less than the cost for tuition for many universities. Furthermore, student athletes get housing and most school supplies paid for and a lot of the time are given meal plans. The staff and everyone who makes it possible are the ones who should receive the money first and if they can’t receive a reasonable salary for all they do, then where is the money going to come from for the athletes? College athletes need to realize that the opportunity that is given to them is a privilege and a dream that many teens and children dream of doing. College athletes need to realize that they need to play it for the love of the game, not make it a job or chore because then where’s the love for the game? It gets lost.