College Athletes: to pay or not to pay

By Matt Dahlberg

There is a rising controversy surrounding college athletes and the larger sporting world. More and more people are calling for college athletes to be paid and some are now suggesting there should be a union representing collegiate sports.

Recently Northwestern University formed the College Athletes Player Association (CAPA). Those involved in the creation of the CAPA hope this association eventually becomes a full-fledged union that represents college athletes.

While the building blocks for a new system of compensating college sports stars is still being built, the debate on whether college athletes should be paid at all still rages. Joe Theismann, a former College and

NFL player told CNBC, “We need to be progressive in thinking how do we take care of the athlete who really does make money for the university.”

There is a good deal of money in college sports. In the 2012-2013 college football season alone the NCAA FBS (formerly division I-A) were found to have 3.2 billion dollars of revenue, recorded by the U.S. Department of Education.

This debate isn’t limited to sports aficionados. Our own Olivet athletes weighed in on this topic.

David Powers, junior track and cross-country athlete, is in favor of college sports players being paid.

“It seems somewhat unfair that these colleges are just getting so much money off of work that they aren’t even doing themselves.”

When Powers was asked which student athletes should be paid he said, “I think it should be all [athletes]. I don’t think there should be a line. Then it’s unfair to other athletes. While they’re not getting the same recognition as these ‘prized’ athletes as you would call them, they’re also doing as hard of work.”

Clara Ruegsegger, a sophomore tennis player at ONU, disagrees. Ruegsegger doesn’t believe athletes deserve any more compensation then just their scholarship, “That [scholarship] is getting paid, there’s no need for money on top of that.”

In response to the argument that certain college athletes actually generate money for the university and therefore deserve part of the profiting revenue, Gradute Assistant for the tennis program, Andres S. Esquetini said, “You go to college for an education not money.”

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