Should College Athletes Be Paid?

by Melissa Brunner

Arguably one of the most exciting athletic events is about to unfold - the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament, a time affectionately called "March Madness."

It also may be one of the most lucrative - consider alone the 14-year, $10.8 billion deal between the NCAA and CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting for the rights to broadcast the tournament.

Among the reasons I and many others love college athletics is because you see young athletes competing for the love of the game - not the professionals for whom it is a job and a multi-million dollar paycheck.

But an antitrust lawsuit asks whether that's the way it should be. Is providing a scholarship and free living expenses enough of a payback for the young men and women via which the NCAA and universities are making the multi-billion dollar deals? A hearing in June will determine if the lawsuit will move forward as a class action, opening the door for young athletes to get a cut of the big paychecks. 

The lawsuit was set in motion when former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon noticed his likeness being used in a videogame without compensation. CBS News did a more indepth report on the lawsuit here: www.cbsnews.com

It is an interesting question with no easy answer. On the one hand, why shouldn't the people making the money for the organizations receive compensation for their efforts? On the other hand, how much would introducing payment into the equation lead to corruption and unfair play? (and, I know, some of you are thinking that already exists with schools allegedly breaking the rules)

Let me know what you think!

 

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