“Pay for Play” is a phrase used to describe different situations when money is paid to get privileges or services. As a result, a person has to engage into the certain type of activity. The principles of “Pay for Play” have gained an outmost importance in sports in particular. College athletes are often being motivated and encouraged by paying for their efforts.
However, the mechanism of “Pay for Play” represents a coin with the two sides. On the one hand, college gives many benefits to the student athletes, such as the scholarship and tutorial aids. On the other hand, it can be difficult for student athletes to make a decision between the academic success and making a pro career. As a result, the opinion of the scholars concerning the importance of the applying of “Pay for Play” in sports has divided. Supporters of the “Pay for Play” mechanism for college athletes claim that sportsmen remain one of the most mistreated students in campus. Thus, athletes deserve their pay. On the contrary, great amount of scholars believe that the issue of “Pay to Play” systems in sports is being overestimated. For instance, nobody forces athletes to study and they have an opportunity to leave the college sports program. As a result, college athletes may be the ones who actually exploit the college. The issue of “Pay for Play” system in colleges has two opposing viewpoints, including the necessity of the adoption of the mechanism in order to reward the work of the students and the refusal from the acceptance of “pay to Play” as unnecessary tool.
Indeed, college athletes have many benefits. They include expenditures on living on campus, expert coaching, daily medical care, and meal. However, there are a great number of scholars who support paying money to student-athletes. In particular, Bandow divides college athletes into two categories. The first group includes those students who want to study. The second category includes athletes who want to make a pro career. For this group of students, college system represents an indentured servitude. As a result, many student athletes are obliged to work for an education they do not want. This is true particularly about those students who want to make a pro career. For them, higher education is not an advantage but rather an opportunity cost. Moreover, athletes perform mostly a volunteer work. Economically, great amount of money belongs to the players and they have to be paid off.
In addition, the current system and athletic programs result in making high salaries for coaches. Student-athletes often remain without any reward or get the minimum sufficient for tuition, fees, room, and books. Thus, Haden supports additional compensation for college athletes and gives various reasons these students should be paid (673). The author provides several reasons why college athletes should be paid. Among them, there are the peculiarities of the juridical aspect of the current system. For instance, Haden states that the students should be treated as workers (680). As a result, “Pay for Play” system has to develop payment methods that can provide college athletes with the compensation they deserve. Student-athletes have to be treated as employees under the legislation. To achieve this, the students have to meet two requirements, including covering and acting within the terms of the employment (Haden 677).
According to Haden, “Pay for Play” is not incorporated by the colleges as it has many disadvantages (680). Adoption of “Pay to Play” mechanisms into the colleges and universities also meets several obstacles, including antitrust and taxation issues. In particular, the assignment of stipends can fall become a subject of Sherman Act restrictions. “Pay for Play” mechanism also imposes additional expenditures on colleges. Higher educational establishments can no longer enjoy tax benefits based on the status of the student-athletes as amateur players. In particular, colleges do not pay federal tax on tuition and other kinds of educational activities.
Haden does not agree with the opponents of “Pay for Play” system. He does not support the idea that paying for the student-athletes education and providing them with free housing, meal, and health insurance is enough compensation (680). On the contrary, he mentions that the colleges and universities make great amount of money per year on the play of the athletes. Moreover, students create a positive image of the universities. Thus, they have to be rewarded properly.
Opponents of the “Pay for Play” system state that the student-athletes can be exploited under the conditions of the system. Additional compensation for student-athletes may result in a range of legal issues, such as compliance of the Title IX, federal antitrust legislation, or money laundering. In addition, appliance of “Pay for Play” mechanism to student-athletes can change the perception of the collegiate students. For instance, athletes can be accepted as the employees rather than students. As a result, colleges and universities have to provide athletes with employment benefits.
According to Mondello, “Pay for Play” system in colleges is based on the perception that colleges and universities gain great amounts of money from marketing their collegiate sports programs (294). Thus, college athletes may be the ones who exploit the college as athletic programs generate big revenues (Mondello, & Beckham 294). Moreover, college athletes benefit from travelling around the world and train the best facilities with no intention to ever graduate. Athletes also receive medical insurance and travel expenses. They also have a right for unlimited use of the athletic facilities. In addition, they have an opportunity to get a national audition for a professional job. Student-athletes already receive athletic scholarship that covers all expenses for four years. For example, scholarship includes free leaving on campus, expert coaching, daily medical care, and meal. Moreover, scholarship covers the expenditures related to books, tuition, and professional development. Thus, the student-athletes save approximately from 30,000 to 60,000 dollars per year depending on the university. At the same time, student-athletes get an opportunity to receive invaluable training from coaches. The value of the education cannot be overstated. As a result, a higher educational establishment has a value for athletes. After graduating from the college, former players get a degree. As a result, they have a chance to earn greater amount of money than players who have a high school diploma.
Mondello criticizes the idea of the supports of “Pay for Play” that the student-athletes have to be paid “fair market value” (295). The author mentions that the college athletes can worse a lot of money in case they are qualified to play in NBA or NFL (Mondello, & Beckham 295). Otherwise, they should not be paid even a cent. Another statement against “Pay for Play” system is that it cannot eliminate scandals involving athletes. Indeed, reward cannot completely remove the determination to win at all costs. On the contrary, it can fuel the greed of the athletes and motivate them to cheat.
Additionally, the application of “Pay to Play” system will increase the disparity between athletic teams that represent small and big universities. Universities with more revenues have an opportunity to buy out the best athletes. As a result, smaller universities and colleges can be at great disadvantage. Moreover, adoption of “Pay for Play” system cannot protect the student-athletes. They can be imposed to the growing of the market force.
Thus, there is a significant discussion among scholars if student-athletes should be paid for their contribution to the sports or not. There are two distinct opinions that deserve audience attention.