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Nicole Mailhoit / Gavel Media

Should Collegiate Athletes Be Paid?

The issue of whether or not to pay collegiate athletes has increasingly been in the spotlight in the past few years, especially with the FBI and NCAA probe into the University of Louisville’s recruiting tactics and the subsequent firing of the men’s basketball head coach, Rick Pitino. Some argue that the free education many athletes receive is more than enough compensation for their work. Others say the endless hours dedicated to their sport and the amount of money athletes bring to their schools warrant a paycheck.

Some sports bring in more money than others, and nobody is saying that every student-athlete should be paid equally. Not all student-athletes should be paid the same amount, or even be paid at all. This being said, the athletes on teams bringing in a significant amount of revenue to a school should be paid. For students on these teams, the cost of partial, or even full, tuition of college is less than the amount they are earning for their school. When students are bringing millions of dollars of revenue to their schools, they deserve to see some of that money.

Being a student-athlete is a full-time job for many. Students spend countless hours every day training on and off the fields, courts, and gyms. On top of that, athletes have to balance schoolwork and maintain their GPAs. Even in the off season, athletes need to stay in shape and remain healthy just to keep their spot on the team. They are constantly competing at the collegiate level, while many are shooting to be professional athletes.

While there could be problems with paying student-athletes, it is impossible to ignore the advantages for both the schools and individuals. Providing paychecks could help athletes stay in school and finish their degrees before declaring for a draft. The money would give athletes an incentive to keep learning. This is beneficial not only for a school's graduation rate, but also its sports teams. If there were older, more-experienced players on the teams then they would be able to stay longer, bringing in more money and awards for the school.

This money paid to players could also help out their families. Many students-athletes are on a partial scholarship, at least, because they wouldn’t otherwise be able to pay the outrageous college tuition prices. Paychecks could be sent home or used to help cover expenses while a student is in school.

Thousands of fans gather in Alumni Stadium on Saturdays during the fall to cheer The Eagles to victory. These games bring in a significant amount of money for Boston College, and the athletes see none of it. Each year ACC football teams bring in tens of millions of dollars in revenue for their schools. This amount may vary depending on how well a team performs but is still a significant amount that can be reinvested in the team or put towards a multitude of other things.

It’s wrong that players like AJ Dillon can lead BC's football team to many wins, and even a national ranking for the first time in years, and not see any of the revenue made from that success. For prestigious, wealthy schools like BC, paying athletes is an investment into the future of not only the athletics department, but also the athletes themselves.