Unpaid Athletes

In 2022, the sports world is at the peak of entertainment. The industry makes so much in ticket sales and sponsorship money. Not only that: fans are eager to see their favorite athletes lace up their shoes.

College sports, like football and basketball, are some of the most lucrative forms of media today. The NCAA March Madness competition is one of the most-watched events yearly. This event features 64 of the best collegiate teams in the US playing single-game elimination series.

Until July 2021, there was no way for these college athletes to make their hard work profitable. Even today, the only profits athletes make are from Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deals. This NIL deal only lets athletes make money from sponsorships they acquire from companies. 

It’s a step in the right direction, but NIL deals are something that shouldn’t have to be an innovation. While athletes now benefit from these deals, most athletes still aren’t compensated for their countless days of hard work and dedication. It’s unfair considering how much value these men and women give to their schools. An easy way to solve any issues is to pay all athletes a salary for their work.

Who’s a prime example of a college athlete not being compensated you may ask? Zion Williamson. With all this attention on him, Duke University’s, Williamson’s alma mater, ticket prices were amongst some of the most expensive seats to any university game.

In one game, against the University of North Carolina’s Tar Heels, ticket prices were reaching upwards of $2000. Keep in mind the average ticket price of a game this season was anywhere from $60-$100. How much of any tickets or jersey sales did Williamson see? Nothing. So many issues come from underpaying people in their respective fields. 

If we can make a change, there would be fewer stories of college athletes going to practice, then to school, and then to work in just a day, four to five times a week. We’d see fewer stories of athletes going broke as soon as they leave school. Fewer stories of athletes dropping out of school because of the enormous amount of stress they are constantly endearing.