College athletes should not be paid to play


Ethan Edmondson, Eriq Kitchen and Nick Dawson pose for a picture at practice. Photo by Makayla Puckett.

Photo by Makayla Puckett

The life of a student athlete comes with many perks, and getting paid for being a student athlete is not one for a reason. 

The endless amount of work a student athlete puts in day in and day out sometimes goes unnoticed. A typical schedule for an in-season student athlete is a hard schedule to work with: workouts at five to six in the morning; practice before class; classes all day; practice after class; and watching and breaking down film after practice. This workload is just a glimpse of what a day in the life of a student athlete consists of. 

Yes, this may come off a little harsh, but at the end of the day, they are putting their body through much more energy, stress and work than the regular student. They are doing it for the love of the game, not because it’s their job.

Some would say that Division One student athletes do not get paid enough to put their bodies through what they go through daily. This is true because they aren’t getting paid at all. They do not make a salary for what they go through, but the student athletes who are good enough are granted scholarships. 

These scholarships  serve as their paycheck. At the end of the day, they are student athletes. There is a life after sports. Only one percent of student athletes play at the professional level; the other 99 percent are put in the work field. Having a helping hand in paying for college is the best paycheck any college student could ask for. Not all student athletes are on scholarship, but that just gives them a goal to achieve as a student athlete. 

Not only do scholarships play a factor in a student athlete’s life, but so does traveling. Teams travel across the nation and get to experience some of the biggest cities and see sights that not all college students get to see while they are in college. The best part about the student athlete experience is that they travel for free. The student athletes don’t pay to travel; instead, they play their way.

Between scholarships and traveling experiences, Division One student athletes get paid just fine for what they do as student athletes. It is not a paycheck they are playing for; it’s the love of the game. The other things that come with it are just extra incentives to continue to play the game they love. 

The endless workload may seem to be underappreciated to the student athletes and ultimately lead us to this conversation, but at the end of the day, they are still students just like every other college student trying to make it in the world. 

Put in the work to land a scholarship or put in the work to make it to the next level. Don’t complain about putting in work to play a game you love so much at the division one level, because not all athletes get to compete at such a high level. 

Be grateful for the opportunities both in sports and in the classroom.