Recently, The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has made headlines due to a class action lawsuit first filed by ex-UCLA basketball star, Ed O’Bannon. The lawsuit claims that college athletes deserve compensation from the NCAA because they generate mass amounts of money for the NCAA.
Six prominent college athletes have since joined the lawsuit against the famous organization, bringing the total number of plaintiffs to seven. These players claim that the NCAA is using their likeness to make profit without proper payment and recognition. In laymen’s terms, college athletes are not getting paid for their “work.” The NCAA currently bans the college athlete from using his/her name in order to make money, and these athletes feel as if this policy is a bit hypocritical because of the NCAA’s sales of merchandise containing athlete’s names.
These policies should stay in place because they promote fairness to all those attending college.
Through the use of scholarships, universities essentially pay prominent college athletes to attend their institution. This payment does not come in the form of a check, but the medium in which the payment is disbursed is irrelevant. These athletes receive compensation in other ways besides a check: reduced (or even free) tuition, equipment costs, airfare, hotel rates, food costs, nutritionist expenses and personal training expenses are all covered by the university to ensure the utmost satisfaction of the student athlete. The list goes on and on.
Regular students, like me, do not receive any of these benefits.
What do regular students receive that college athletes do not? The answer is absolutely nothing. Sure, we can receive scholarships to attend a university at a lower cost just like athletes, but we do not possess nearly the amount of benefits that some college athlete do.
An article published on ESPN.com quotes one of the players who joined the lawsuit, Arizona Linebacker Jake Fischer. He was asked why he joined the lawsuit in the first place.
“Honestly, I stepped forward for the future well-being, safety and health of student-athletes,” Fischer said. “We have both met a ton of people since we’ve been here who have lingering effects from injuries, not getting a great education, not having all the capabilities or the opportunities that a regular student would have, and honestly, we would just like to try to fix that.”
Am I missing something here? How are college athletes not getting a great education? They have the same academic opportunities as the rest of us students, if not more.
Universities PAY for college athletes to receive tutoring, in order to keep them in good academic standing. Also, are these athletes really looking out for their fellow student-athletes? The athletes that joined the class-action lawsuit either play football or basketball, which are the two sports that generate the most revenue. If universities have to end up paying football and basketball players, what happens to the other sports that generate less revenue? Do they suffer? Will they receive less compensation because the football and basketball players happen to make the university more money? This lawsuit seems very selfish to me.
I do agree that the NCAA sits back and collects fat pay checks off the likeness of collegiate athletes, but these players should absolutely not receive compensation in the form of a payment. Athletes have to recognize they are a student first, and an athlete second. They have a plethora of benefits in front of them that regular students cannot obtain, and they should try to put themselves in our shoes and recognize that this lawsuit is extremely unfair to the majority of students. There is a problem with collegiate sports, but paying the college athletes is definitely not the answer to the problem.
Chris Chipman is a junior English major and a columnist at The Vidette. Any questions or comments on his column can be sent to email@example.com.