The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) is a multi-billion-dollar business in which the only people restricted in their earnings are the athletes who are providing the entertainment. Though it seems by now this problem would have been addressed, college athletes continue to be taken advantage of by colleges and universities. There are three main reasons collegiate athletes need to earn a salary and money from sales of individual player-related merchandise. These reasons include the NCAA being an $11-billion-dollar industry, college athletes spending an average of up to 40 hours a week dedicated to their sport, and it might alleviate pressure on professors to treat athletes differently from other students.
The NCAA is a non-profit organization that makes up to $11 billion in revenue each year. Out of this $11 billion dollars, the players receive zero. Meanwhile, top executives, coaches, and athletic directors reap the benefits of massive salaries. "Athletics directors at schools in the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision (excluding four that moved up to the FBS in 2012) make an average salary of roughly $515,000, up more than 14% since USA TODAY Sports last looked at AD compensation in October 2011."- Pauline Hyman
However, the audience isn't paying to watch a coach play the game. The players are the ones providing the entertainment for the fans and should be paid for doing so. These massive amounts of money continue to be used to pay staff and improve facilities instead of paying those who physically provide the entertainment.
The hours athletes spend training, practicing, and playing, are enough to constitute a full-time job. However, these athletes still have an academic standard they are required to maintain in order to play and in many cases retain their scholarships. Combining the number of hours, a student has to commit to attending classes and to doing the work for those classes with 40 hours already committed to their respective sport is overwhelming to say the least. The physical and intellectual toll these athletes take should be rewarded with some sort of payment or base salary.
Regardless of the type of job, money management is an extremely important skill for young people to learn. Receiving a salary would allow student athletes to gain an understanding of how to manage their money responsibly. Professional athletes going broke has been a serious problem in our country, and is partially a result of these athletes not being paid during their tenure in college. Many of these athletes have no idea how to spend and save their money once they receive their salaries. Also, when you're a student there are usually a ton of resources that you normally don't have access to. Combining a salary with the help of these resources could improve these student athletes' money-management skills tremendously and better prepare them for the world after sports.
The problem of student athletes not going to class or getting meaningful majors is an issue in college sports. Many of these athletes are only seen as a four-year investment for the school rather than a chance for the students to educate themselves for their futures. They could spend even more money on tutors and internship programs and make sure athletes really are ready to enter the workforce, rather than pretend players benefit from coaches making more money. 
If the NCAA expects its athletes to perform both athletically and academically to its standards, the athletes should expect to be compensated in return. While I understand it may be hard to determine the amount the student athletes should receive, I think it's about time the NCAA provided some possible solutions. This "non-profit" organization reaps the benefits of massive revenues that are the result of the players providing the entertainment. It is time for these student athletes to be able to monetarily capitalize from their athletic commitment to their respective college or university.
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