Salary Discrimination Towards College Football Players

One current United States’ issue that is growing in popularity due to its natural tendency to be controversial is the debate on whether or not college athletes should be paid. We live in a society built on this idea of an “American Dream” where working hard, showing dedication and ambition, should inevitably allow one to be provided for. This societal construct however, is not being seen in college universities where collegiate football players are being insufficiently provided for, despite their unhuman level of devotion. Many people believe that college football players should not be paid anything besides their scholarships because they are not defined as employees, however, I contend that they deserve additional financial stipends, aside from scholarships, due to their extensive devotion of unmatched time and effort.

This is an important issue to solve because the profitable nature of sports creates discrepancy when players are not being paid some of the money. Universities are economically benefitted by the athletes each year in tremendous amounts, but yet the players salary has yet to change and they continue to go broke each year. A New York Times writer, Scott Martelle, argues for the players saying that colleges are a “big business built on the performances of student athletes, and they deserve a bigger slice of the rather rich pie”. College football coaches are earning millions each year  while players are not being benefitted off of any of the profits they are creating. College football players give everything they have and succumb to bodily torture every day, just to not receive any of the money they provide. This is primarily because the NCAA does not define the players as employees . If the players aren’t defined as employees then they are not required to be paid or even receive compensation for work. A data chart from Business insider shows a rather shocking data set for the year 2014. It shows that $144 million was earned in revenue from players, on average, from the top ten colleges, but just $12 million was spent on college scholarships. This is outrageous considering the gap in profit and actual expenses towards players. Its outright unfair and illogical to not see any injustice in the system of university football players.

I also chose this issue because many of my family members play or played college football, and they have seen first-hand the injustice of the NCAA. For example, my uncle played middle linebacker at McNeese University and despite having a scholarship, he was overwhelmed by student debt and other economic factors. College football took up so much of his time and energy that he could not have a job outside of college. Any of his excess energy was spent up grueling over classes and assignments. Because of this, he misleadingly assumed college football was his life and prioritized that over school, hurting him in the long run. The point is, even though college football players can have the workload of a job at times, they are not being sufficiently provided for that work. They may sometimes sacrifice education for football and end up not getting the very degree/education that originally incentivized their participation in athletics. There are other issues in the United States that are more important, but this is a tangible, blatantly unfair, issue that could easily be solved by America.

The social responsibility to solve this problem falls on the state’s governments and ultimately the federal government because this is a nation-wide problem that affects college football players all around the world. Certain states have begun to introduce bills that would give players some of the profits they provide. California for example, has introduced a law that allows college athletes to sign endorsement deals, which is a huge step in the right direction. States like California and others have taken the step forward and helped solve the issue. They acknowledged their social responsibility and acted on it.

The national government should also help solve this issue to make a national solution, helping these players. Colleges are all around the world and in every state. This means that the problem is all around the nation, demanding for action from the national government. The national government needs to enact a law helping these athletes. States governments can really only go so far to fix issues like this. The only true way to fix a problem of this scale is for the national government to get involved and enact laws helping these students. If only states were to make a solution for this problem then the college that pays athletes would see a surplus of student athletes going there. There would be a huge competition to go to college in a state that pays players and the nonpaying colleges would suffer from this.

To summarize, we should get involved in this because it’s an issue that often gets overlooked. At some point this does need to be brought up and fixed. Individuals in the United States could help this issue by publicizing it and bringing light to the unfairness it creates. Individuals could protest and petition against not paying college players. Petitioning and protests are often great ways to publicize an issue and get governments to notice the injustice. They also help to gather other individuals to help solve the issue, as well as enlightening individuals about what’s going on. Understanding the problems of collegiate players is the first step to solve the issue. The more people that know about what is going on and why it is wrong, the greater chance of action being taken. However, the most influential action individuals can do is to exercise their right to vote. This problem is a national problem and voting for the candidates that would best help problems like these is the only true way to help. Individuals should stay politically active and be sure to vote for candidates that want change and show signs of open-minded outlooks towards issues like college athletics.

Works Cited

  • Berkowitz, S., & Varney, J. (n.d.). College Football Head Coach Salaries.
  • Gaines, Cork. “Chart Shows the Simple Reason Why College Athletes Should Be Paid.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 9 Oct. 2015, 
  • Opinion: Despite court ruling, college athletes deserve a richer slice of the pie. (2015, September 30). 
  • U.S. congressman to propose college athlete payment bill. (n.d.). 
07 July 2022
Your Email

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and  Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

close thanks-icon

Your essay sample has been sent.

Order now
Still can’t find what you need?

Order custom paper and save your time
for priority classes!

Order paper now