To Pay or Not to Pay

Why College Athletes Should Not be Paid


Isabella Carlin , Reporter

All over the country, college students are protesting for star college athletes to be paid. Recently in California, Governor Gavin Newsom passed the much-acclaimed Fair Pay to Play Act. This act will go into effect in 2023 and will allow college athletes in California to hire a personal agent and receive up to $10 million each year in personal endorsements. This act could influence other schools around the country to allow athletes and sports teams to be paid as well. 

College is a time for students, regardless if they are star athletes, to find themselves, have a good time, and to focus on their academic careers for the future. They should not be worrying about how much money they are making, but about their performance for their team. Paying college athletes would prioritize athletics over academics, allow athletes to lose their passion for the game, and would benefit larger schools over smaller schools. 

On average, student-athletes spend less than eight  hours a week outside of class on academics including- studying, attending tutorials, and working on projects. They spend over 25 hours per week practicing their sport, including- workouts and watching a film to prepare for upcoming competitions and games. When attending college, whether on a sports team or not,  focusing on studies is the key to a successful future. Paying athletes would allow them to become too absorbed in making money and competing with their peers.

According to a recent survey conducted by College Pulse, 60% of the college students surveyed say that college students should be paid. If college athletes were to be paid, they would start to develop a “pro mindset” and treat their sport as an irritating job, not an activity they are passionate about and enjoy. With the constant stress about getting paid, athletes would forget the reason why they even play their sport in the first place and more about how they can earn a larger endorsement deal. 

If college athletes were to be paid, larger colleges would benefit over smaller colleges. In Texas, the University of Texas (a D1 school) would receive many more funds from endorsements than Mary Hardin Baylor or Southwestern University (D3 schools). This would be a disadvantage for smaller colleges who are trying to improve their athletic programs. Larger colleges would continue to dominate in athletic programs and have larger funds to afford better scouts, coaches, and equipment. The cycle would continue and no smaller colleges would ever improve their athletic programs or attract student-athletes to compete for their school. 

Over time, paying college athletes would become a disadvantage to the athletes and sports industry in general. Athletes would become so absorbed in making money, that they would not care about their athletic performance or academic career. It is best to leave the law as it is and not pay college athletes, but allow them to enjoy their college athletic experience.