Should College Athletes Be Paid?


Emma Pampino, Journalist

Recently, California Governor Gavin Newsome passed a law that college athletes can accept endorsement deals. This new law, taking place in 2023, attacks the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (N.C.A.A) rule that has been in place since college sports first started in 1910,  (according to Britannica Encyclopedia) that college athletes should earn a degree, not money and they can be compensated with scholarships. This long standing NCAA rule could possibly change very soon.


University of Washington. Washington State University. University of Oregon. These are all well known colleges whose athletes are not getting paid. Is this fair? Well, that’s for you to decide. Some people think that student athletes deserve to be paid. After all, they are doing all the hard work. When a player is really good and well known, people want to buy jerseys and other merchandise. If Adidas makes the jerseys, Adidas gets money. Also, when the team is really good, the college is going to sell tons of tickets to the events, so the college is also getting money. The only people not making money are the athletes. According to, “The average student athlete spends about 30 hours a week on class and schoolwork, then turns around and spends 20 hours a week on athletics. This leaves very little time for much else, including relaxation or a social life, much less additional commitments.” This shows us that student athletes work super hard, and have to be very committed to the sport in order to succeed. So don’t they deserve to be paid? “The 231 NCAA Division I schools with data available generated a total of $9.15 billion in revenue during the year 2015.” (Cork Gaines). This suggests that most colleges have more than enough money to pay athletes, so the money factor should not be a problem for most schools. In addition, without student athletes, private companies, like Nike and Adidas would not make as much money. So the athletes should be getting some form of payment, they deserve it! With California’s new law in place, college athletes attending school in California will be allowed to wear and promote products for other companies, by signing an endorsement deal. By doing this, athletes will be paid by companies like Nike, Adidas, or any company for wearing their athletic gear. We wonder if other states will follow in California’s footsteps, because even though the law only applies to California athletes, it pushes the possibility that leaders in college sports will have to reconsider the laws they have in place right now. This new law could change a big aspect of college sports, possibly forever. 


 Okay, but why shouldn’t college athletes be paid? Well, some people say that college athletes should not be paid because they are students, and should be focused on school, and the sport. Money is just another aspect that possibly distracts the students.  Patric Hurby, a journalist for The Athletic said, “Paid players would study less and play sports more. (…) Opportunity to do an autograph signing, or an endorsement would distract campus athletes from what’s really important, which is the educational component.” Most athletes already get equipment access, medical care, travel support, and scholarships. They just don’t need to be paid. Students are going to college to get a job one day, and earn a living. College is not a job, college educates you, and prepares you for a job. Students should not be paid for going to college.  Another dilemma is smaller schools. Would all schools pay athletes the same amount? What about smaller colleges who don’t necessarily have the money to pay athletes? Also, paying college athletes would eliminate the line between college and professional sports. By definition, paying an athlete would make them a professional, and college athletes are not professionals, they are students. If a student is being paid or accepting money, they could, and probably would, be kicked off the team. As this debate goes on, we are excited to see what college sports will look like in the future.

Chief, Editor in. “14 Should College Athletes Be Paid Pros and Cons.”,

Writers, Staff. “14 Surprising Facts About Being a College Athlete.”,, 22 Aug. 2019,

Writers, Staff. “14 Surprising Facts About Being a College Athlete.”,, 22 Aug. 2019,