Same amount or none at all: should college athletes be paid?

Juliana Villanueva, Staff Writer

The debate on whether student athletes should be paid has been around for numerous years now. In a recent survey, 56 percent of US adults said that student athletes should be paid equally, regardless of sport. 

Additionally, “42 percent of US adults believe schools should pay players, compared with 36 percent who oppose such a model,” Morning Consult writer Alex Silverman stated in his article on Name, Image and Likeness.

US adults and college athletes now have their answer. The name, image or likeness (NIL) rules were passed and scheduled to go into effect soon among the states. NIL rules under the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) now allow for student athletes to be paid based on their partnerships and images they portray on and off the field or court. 

Oregon’s NIL rules have been in effect since Thursday, July 1 of last year; meanwhile, California’s NIL rules are set to be enforced on Sunday, Jan. 1 2023. 

“It’s not fair how a college athlete would be paid a few million dollars just based on his name and image, [versus] another college athlete who is not paid at all,” Tualatin High School chemistry teacher Thomas Duggan shared in an interview. 

Just recently, Texas A&M University was accused by Alabama football coach Nick Saban of purchasing their players in its recruiting class of this year. However, Texas A&M football coach Jimbo Fisher denied the accusation. 

“We didn’t buy one player, all right? But I don’t know if we’re going to be able to sustain that in the future because more and more people are doing it. It’s tough,” Fisher stated in the articleTexas A&M football coach Jimbo Fisher rips Alabama coach Nick Saban’s NIL accusations,’” written by ESPN staff writer Dave Wilson. 

College football teams and college sports may increasingly feel pressure to buy players, but the NCAA is planning to prevent that from happening. 

“The NCAA enjoys the contractual authority to punish schools that violate rules; the NCAA could even expel a college as a member,” Sportico writer Michael McCann stated in his article the “NCAA Ban.” 

If a college is expelled of NIL benefits, the school’s athletes could argue their reputation or ability to sign a partnered contract has been damaged.. 

Even so, the debate on college athletes being paid has not come to a successful conclusion, but minor improvements like the NIL rules being implemented brings us a step closer.