Every once in a while, the same argument resurfaces concerning collegiate sports. It is heard mostly concerning basketball and football players, but the same issue is probably present in other sports too. It is whether to pay college athletes for their contributions to colleges. This is not just about bringing a national championship to their university, it is about contributing to its financial success.
The athletes have argued that the NCAA exploits them by using their likeness for profit. This actually has lots of merit because according to Deadspin, former athletes sued the NCAA for using their likeness. They were awarded a sum of money but it continues to show us the issues surrounding collegiate sports. The NCAA can get away with profiting off its players but they're not eligible to at least be compensated for it.
The biggest criticism against this, is that athletes are being rewarded in a scholarship. Now that is true, but there's a lot more athletes have to worry about. How about gas? How are they going to travel across town, or get to campus if they live in an apartment further away? How about food? Some schools encourage students to move off campus when they become upperclassmen, to free up space for the new freshman class. They may lose access to campus resources like meal plans, or etc. How about buying new clothes, lotion, toothbrushes, just everyday living items? The school is not going to always provide those things.
I mean, the University of Texas just spent $10,000 on new lockers. Yes, they did! You think that is a lot? Guess what? Last year, according to ESPN, the NCAA inked a new deal with CBS that will make them a billion a year! Broadcasting players, using them on posters, and their teams as a brand.
Maybe this is why the one and done basketball players are leaving for the NBA. If not the reason, it contributes to it. Or why many underclass football players declare for the NFL draft. Why stay and struggle to pay your rent at school, when you can make a lot of money after your signing bonus?
Until serious discussions are had about this, the NCAA will continue to have a disconnect with its athletes. A living stipend seems to be the least they can do.