Opinion: Should college basketball players be paid to play?

Travis Willmann, Assistant Editor

 Courtesy of Unsplah.com

Courtesy of Unsplah.com

The views and opinions expressed in this editorial are solely those of the original author(s) These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of The Vision website or North Greenville University.

At this time of year, college basketball is at the center of attention of the sports world.  March Madness brings conference tournaments, which ultimately leads to the NCAA tournament where the champion of college basketball will be crowned.

Players and coaches find themselves working overtime to get their teams and their bodies in the best possible shape to give their respective teams the best chance of being crowned champions.

With all this hard work comes many unanswered questions that the NCAA has yet been able to answer. One such question is the age-old question of whether or not college players should be payed to play. I believe the answer to this question is an easy one. They should not be paid.  

Why is it so hard to get to this answer? The reason is simple: players want money. Players see all the money that NBA players are making and they want in on the action. However, the NBA is not set up like college basketball and it should not be.

In the NBA, players can play for as long as they can get contracts and stay healthy. Players in college only have four years of eligibility and once they commit and play for one team, it is hard for them to switch teams and play for another college.

One of the main problems with paying college basketball players is the power struggle that will occur. Right now, there are 20 to 25 teams that are in competition every year for a national championship and many more that make their splash in the tournament. If colleges are allowed to pay their players, then those 20 to 25 teams will shrink to five or six.

Only the top teams in the nation will be able to afford to pay the best players in the country. Teams like Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, and Kansas will be able to dominant every year without having to worry about teams like Gonzaga, South Carolina, Xavier and other teams that usually make runs in the tournament. There will be no more Cinderella teams in the tournament and college basketball will slowly die.

College players do not attend college just to play ball, they are also there to get an education and this should be the main reason they attend college. If players are paid to play basketball in college, then the education they receive will mean nothing to them. They will attend college simply to play basketball and after their careers are over, they will not have an education.

Finally, college players are compensated plenty for all their hard work. For those who are good enough to make it in college and receive a scholarship, they receive a free education, free coaching, free room and board and many other benefits. Trainers work with the players every day to make sure that they are taking care of their body.

If we look at it this way, college players already get paid, just not with money. For the walk on players that do not receive scholarships, they get “paid” too. They are more focused on their studies and ready for the world after basketball. They know that they are not going to the NBA and are ready for a career.

Then comes the question, what do we do with Division 2 and Division 3 players and the players in other sports as well. The colleges in these two divisions do not have the resources to pay their players, so basketball will die out in these divisions and this will ultimately effect Division 1. 

When it comes to other major sports, they might make the money to pay their players, but what about non-major sports such as fencing? If the NCAA makes it mandatory to pay college athletes, then many colleges will be forced to get rid of these types of sports programs.

In the end, paying college basketball players will affect every sport in a negative way and cause many sports to disappear. Colleges cannot afford to pay every athlete and many colleges cannot even afford to pay their basketball players. The answer to the question is simple, colleges should not pay their players and they should be disciplined if they do.