Research/Audience Assignment : Should college athletes be paid?

My issue is should college athletes be paid ? The NCAA prohibits college athletes from getting paid and it is a problem that has been going on for almost 15 years. College athletes risk their careers out there by playing the game they love and the NCAA takes advantage of this to make the most money out of viewer entertainment. For my first message, I wrote an email to the NCAA to persuade them to change their point of view on this matter, since they are technically the ones in charge. I chose an email because it would be the most appropriate way to communicate with a company. For my second message, I chose to post in a school newspaper, more specifically in Duke University’s school newspaper The Chronicle. Duke University is a place where college basketball is the most popular and hopefully other school newspapers, from more colleges, will see this message and spread it throughout the nation. I chose to post it in a school newspaper because the major college basketball fans are the college students themselves.


Message 1:

Dear NCAA, 

College basketball is one of the most profitable entertainment sources in television today. According to , the NCAA brings in about $1 billion dollars of revenue every year, most of it in “March Madness”, the period through which college teams compete in the tournament to win the national collegiate championship. Now, the NCAA is against paying their college athletes, even to not let them make money off their image of likeness. You guys should in fact overturn this decision. For one, college athletes risk everything by going to your league and playing their hearts out to demonstrate to the NBA scouts that they are talent-worthy enough of making it to the big pro leagues. Besides this, college athletes risk their health by playing in this league. A perfect example of this would be the recent Duke star Zion Williamson. He was the most hyped 5-star recruit that came out of high school since Lebron James in 2003 and he has definitely brought in viewers and money to the NCAA. He risked his career by playing in your games, and because of this he suffered a knee sprain that, if unlucky, could have jeopardized his career. Many people believed he should not play one more college game for the sake of his career. But he still returned to be able to play the game he loves so much. Besides this, college athletes don’t really have a choice than to play for college basketball teams. Because of the rule the NBA passed years ago, players aren’t allowed into the NBA Draft within a year from graduating from high school, meaning have to go play college basketball or go overseas to play. Even besides a salary pay, college athletes should be able to make money off their image. Under current NCAA rules, “the NCAA strictly prohibits remuneration for any activity by any student athletes including endorsements, appearances and advertisements”. Because of this, college athletes have no way of making money while attending college, maintaining their grades to be able to play, and play the actual games. The NCAA brings in 1 billion dollars every year, so why not pay college athletes by a salary ? If not, then at least let them make money off their image. College athletes put their careers at risk out there on the court every night just for entertainment purposes of college basketball viewers. Allowing college athletes to make money will be a relief for the families of these young and aspiring players. Basically, they would be healthier by not having to worry about having a job or trying to balance a job with school and basketball.

Overall, paying college athletes is a must. The young amateur players will go onto play basketball for a living, and paying them would be a relief to them and their families. If not a salary pay, then perhaps let them make money off endorsements or their image. It would be a big help to guide them in the right way and help them take that first step to transition into the professional players that they will soon become one day.


Message 2:

MAKING MONEY ! : The big question everyone is talking about. Should college athletes get paid ?


Many months since the scary injury that Zion Williamson suffered during a college playoff game, the spark on college athletes getting paid has been lit up once again. The NCAA brought in $1 billion dollars in the 16-17 school year with most of that coming through the Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament : March Madness. This injury ignited controversy among many college basketball fans, as well as NBA fans as they see their number 1 recruit get injured, jeopardizing his career in the professional league. Many believed he should just never play a college game again but he continued. The NCAA justifies not paying their athletes by claiming that amateurism keeps it from becoming an anticompetitive trust (monopoly). In, the editor claims  “ the NCAA declares student-athletes shall be amateurs in an intercollegiate sport, and their participation should be motivated primarily by education… ”. This came straight out of the NCAA Division I Handbook, where it goes on to say that college athletes cannot make money off endorsements or any other deals involving their image and/or appearances. College students ! Will you just sit there and do nothing while your fellow peers who are college athletes put their whole career in jeopardy ? Will we, as college students, watch how our classmates play their hearts out day and night and put their careers, and consequently their whole life, at risk for viewing pleasure of others ? Recently, lawmakers have been pushing in favor of laws to allow college athletes to make money in some way. According to an article by the New York Times, because of a law passed in California, college athletes will be allowed to promote products and companies in 2023. This is a first step towards the right direction. What we all, as students, can do is to support our fellow college athletes in their fight towards getting paid in some way for their service. 

One way we can all fight for this cause is to protest peacefully. We as college students can come together to achieve great things. For one, we can all boycott our basketball games. Everyone knows college students are the number one fans of college basketball teams and this will impact the NCAA significantly. Another way would be to encourage government lawmakers to act on this since they have superiority over the NCAA. The California law mentioned before is a great example of this. Hopefully, these types of laws will spread out to not only California, but to the whole nation and allow college athletes to receive money from doing what they love, which is a first step into them going to the professional league. 

Standing up to a higher organization is what we must do. Us college students must unite to fight against the NCAA and their unlawful rules which prohibit college athletes from getting paid.

Annotated Bibliography

AbigailJHess. “Majority of College Students Say Student-Athletes Should Be Paid, Survey Finds.” CNBC, CNBC, 11 Sept. 2019,

Blinder, Alan. “N.C.A.A. Athletes Could Be Paid Under New California Law.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 30 Sept. 2019,

Cameron, Steve. “The NCAA Brings in $1 Billion a Year – Here’s Why It Refuses to Pay Its College Athletes.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 26 Mar. 2019,

Roshaun Colvin, Joshua Jansa. “Analysis | California’s ‘Fair Pay to Play’ Law for College Athletes Has Other States Racing to Join up. Here’s Why.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 18 Nov. 2019,

“The Chronicle.” The Chronicle,


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