Not Getting Paid to Play


Margaret Pingelton

With the changing times, football, among other things, isn’t what it used to be. It’s still an intense sport adored by many, an American pastime and something to bond over. But one major factor is different.
In the 1950s, college football was a fun, casual sport. It wasn’t used as a way to make money, and that’s because the country wasn’t yet as money-centered as today, and people liked the sport for what it was. But as the country became more capitalist, college football, among other industries, changed, and now millions of dollars are spent on the sport. The focus is beginning to be about making money, not just throwing a football around. An example is the University of Texas, whose football department alone made 95 million dollars last year, according to Business Insider. Although it’s a lot of money, none goes to the actual players.
Some might say the athletes chose to play, so a scholarship should be enough, but that thinking isn’t entirely correct. According to CBS News, only two percent of high school athletes receive a NCAA sports scholarship, and these rare opportunities aren’t as perfect as they sound, even for full scholarships. At the end of their career, players receive a bill listing the goods and services that weren’t covered by their college. For athletes promised a full scholarship, this number is on average $3,222, and although it is significantly less than tuition, it is still an unmentioned sum that the players must pay. And while the athletes are owing money, the coach is making millions.
Typically for most colleges, the highest-paid individual is the football coach, rather than any professor or employee who works equally, or often, more. Coaches earn several million dollars a year, the average annual salary for a college football coach being $1.64 million, far more than any professor would make. In fact, that number is more than 70 percent larger than it was in 2006, just 10 years ago.
Football makes colleges tens of millions of dollars each year, making football the most money making sport in the US. With there being costs for tickets, parking spots and merchandise, football is no longer an innocent game. It is a heavily funded activity with millions of dollars going to the coach and college- just not the players. With all that football has become in the modern era, the athletes should be paid for what they do, all the time they spend, and the money they make for their college. They’re the ones playing the sport and making publicity, yet they get a small amount in return.
Prior to the 21st Century, sports were nothing more than a game, but with the changing of the times, things should be adapted to be fair for the athletes. The game doesn’t exist without the players, so the fact that the coach is the only one getting rewarded is unfair. This is just an example of a situation where fans don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, and those who want to make change should contact those in control with their suggestions.
There are different sides to every topic, but those who spend their time and effort helping the team should get equal pay for all their contributions. That’s what being on a team is all about.