SHOULD STUDENT-ATHLETES BE PAID?
Each week, ESPN.com surveys the student-athletes on our panel to see how they feel about a topic that directly affects collegiate life.
Should student-athletes get paid?
"I believe that giving scholarships is enough for student-athletes. However, I don't feel there are enough scholarships available. If every player on my soccer team had some sort of scholarship, then I would feel they were being compensated fairly. The amount of time that athletes put into their sport and the amount of money that universities profit is substantial. So when I see people on my team and other teams within SMU that have to pay alot of money to participate, I think it is sad. But I don't think it would be a good idea to give an athlete money, because an 18- to 22-year-old with alot of cash, in a college environment, is asking for trouble."
-- Chase Wileman, SMU men's soccer
"Yes, of course student-athletes should get paid. Experiencing money problems is just another type of stress that an athlete doesn't need. Trust me, I've been there, it can really affect one's performance. We have enough to deal with as it is. I don't think that we need nearly as much as professionals receive, but an extra $80 to $100 a month would really help tie the loose ends that athletic scholarships don't cover."
-- Nicky Anosike, Tennessee women's basketball
"I think student-athletes should only be paid in the sense that they receive athletic scholarships. It would not be acceptable to provide money in the form of cash to student-athletes. Making money may then become the priority of some student-athletes, instead of going to school to gain an education."
-- Mike Leveille, Syracuse lacrosse
"No, student-athletes should not be paid. Scholarships, equipment, money for books and during traveling are a form of payment already. Being a college athlete is a privilege and maintaining our amateur status separates us from the more formal paychecks of professional leagues. We play because we thrive in competition, and love our sport and our teammates."
-- Meghan Murphy, Notre Dame women's lacrosse
"My short answer is no. I don't believe that student-athletes should be paid to play their sport. However, if I could dream for a moment, I would say that every student-athlete at every university should be on an athletic scholarship or at the very least receive something like training table (dinner provided during the week). I realize that this is a lofty request, but I see athletes who are not on scholarship constantly trying to make ends meet with tuition and rent while giving all they have physically and mentally to their sport. I'm not saying that student-athletes are deserving of any kind of extra benefit, but unlike a normal student, most athletes cannot get jobs because of their practice schedule. It's wishful thinking I know, but definitely something I'd like to work toward in the future."
-- Scott Smith, Cal football
"It depends on a lot of things. First is in what context. Should an athlete get paid if he places at a event in his sport or any sport that pays for placing? Then yes. For instance, if a college athlete can make the Olympic team and place at the Olympics, he should get the award money and any sponors that come with winning. That athlete earned that money. We spend our lives doing this sport; it is our income and when we cannot take the money, it hurts us. If this athlete took third at the worlds the year before and received the money, then that athlete could use it to improve himself (eg. more international tournaments). However, if this athlete is in college, he cannot accept the money and is not given that opportunity to improve himself."
-- Sam Hazewinkel, Oklahoma wrestling
"In order to be fair to all NCAA student-athletes, I think that athletes should not be paid. First of all, many of the high-profile athletes already receive scholarships worth upward of $40,000, so to some that could be counted as some sort of payment. Also, how would the NCAA decide who gets paid and how much? Certain sports receive more attention and generate more revenue for the schools, but does that mean those athletes deserve to get paid more than a more obscure sport athlete who may be just as talented? In order to avoid all conflicts and controversy, I think it should remain that student-athletes do not get paid for their services, because that would also essentially make them professionals, and would defeat the purpose of collegiate sports."
-- Cory Schneider, Boston College men's ice hockey
"I don't think athletes need to be paid, but I think those athletes that are getting full scholarships, which I am not, deserve more than the $50 monthly stipend. This $50 is the same amount athletes have been receiving for at least the last 30 years. Inflation should have raised that amount considerably. As far as paying players thousands of dollars -- or as some might argue millions -- because of their worth to their university or to the NCAA, I don't really agree with. The reason I love watching college sports is the spirit of the game. Paying players would take away from that spirit, and it would change players motivation. I think paying players would in turn cheapen the experience of college sports."
-- Tyler Henley, Rice baseball
"No, I do not think student-athletes should be paid. Those who are fortunate enough to receive an athletic scholarship are being paid in the form of a top-notch education. Most schools have contracts with major athletic brands such as Nike and the amount of gear that we receive for being a part of the team is more than generous. We are also fortunate enough to travel all over the United States, stay in nice hotels, and get a set amount of per diem per day on the road. The way I see it, I am fortunate to be a student-athlete, it is my job to perform to my fullest potential on and off the field."
-- Cori Alexander, Portland women's soccer
"In principle, I think many student-athletes should receive some monetary compensation since their time commitment to their sport can make it impossible to hold down a job. Logistically speaking, however, paying student-athletes would be a nightmare. How can you really determine which athletes deserve compensation and how much? Could we pay some student-athletes without paying all of them? What if some struggling athletic programs could not afford it? Additionally, one might argue that student-athletes are already receiving their compensation through athletic scholarships. While I would love to see certain student-athletes get a little extra help with the bills each month, the bottom line is that paying college athletes would probably cause more problems than it fixed. College athletes have managed to get along fine thus far without receiving paychecks."
-- Tyler Tidwell, Navy football