Paying College Athletes has been a disputed topic of discussion for a while, but people seem to disagree with the idea of university athletes receiving paychecks.

Two opinions

In a public poll, 60% of respondents said that student athletes should not be paid and the other 40% were in favor of the idea. While Arizona State University athletic officials declined to comment on this subject, there were multiple comments from supporters of both sides of the spectrum.

Why athletes should not be paid

ASU student Jenna Van Rooy disagrees with the concept of paying athletes.

“I think the exposure or experience gained from playing in college, on top of potential scholarships, is a sort of compensation in itself. If the athletes' names or figures are used for commercial purposes (for example, football video games that allow you to play as the college athletes), I think that the athletes should be paid some kind of royalty based on the success of the product. Playing a college sport isn't mandatory, nor is it the only way to get into college with a scholarship, so I think it being a conscious choice shouldn't make it a payable job, Van Rooy said.

Makaela Wade, University of Arizona student, agrees, and described playing for a university team as “a treat in itself.” Wade said, “If the athlete's name is being used on merchandise in a university bookstore, I believe he/she should receive some portion of it, but not until after their career at the university is over.”

Rochester Institute of Technology student Riley Vodicka believes paying them would be unfair to other students and said, “If they get paid for playing sports I should get paid for participating in clubs and organizations.”

Elizabeth Bushnell, University of San Diego student said that since many universities already have many athletic scholarships to offer, “paying them would be like doubling up.” Bushnell said, “Universities aren't going to give up any money, so the cost of paying them would be passed to the students.”

Kaylee Burkes, ASU student, agrees that paying athletes would only add up to higher costs.

“Universities even now are struggling with money and how to disperse it. ASU has upped their tuition for the two years that I've attended so where will this money come from? The game should be about the game not the money.” Burkes said. “If universities decide to take this route I believe it will damage the image of sports events for students, parents, families, and even the athletes.

Their payment should be the experience, the many scholarships, and the memories that will last forever. There is a big difference between college sports and the professionals.”

Why they should receive pay

On the other end of the spectrum, América Parra, Autonomous University of Baja California student, thinks they should be paid.

“They are putting their time and effort to give their best at something that is going to benefit the university as well. Instead of maybe working or just working extra time, they are spending it on practice.”


While she falls under the 60% opposed, Northern Arizona University alumna Brandi Brumfield suggested a sort of compensation for playing versus steady pay. “If it's not their scholarships basis, then maybe a tuition stipend for being on the team could be made available to them,” she said.

Ryan Holck, Arizona resident, also believes that for those playing through a scholarship, there shouldn’t be any compensation. But, if a student athlete did not get in with a scholarship, they should be able to earn pay.

“Some athletes didn't get the benefit of a scholarship [and are] struggling to make it through school. If they pay college athletes to play, scholarships should go elsewhere,” he said.

As for the present, student athletes are not being paid and there are NCAA regulations to prevent pay from happening, but perhaps change is possible in the future.