speech written on 10-04-2024

Should collage athletes be paid for playing on a sports team?

Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed guests, and fellow sports enthusiasts, I stand before you today to address a topic that has sparked significant debate and controversy in the world of collegiate athletics - should college athletes be paid for playing on a sports team? On one side of the argument, there are those who believe that college athletes should not be paid, as they already receive compensation in the form of scholarships, access to world-class coaching and facilities, and the opportunity to further their education and potentially pursue a career in professional sports. They argue that paying college athletes would blur the lines between amateur and professional athletics, undermine the purity and integrity of collegiate sports, and create an unfair playing field where only the most prestigious schools with the most lucrative sports programs would be able to afford to pay their athletes. However, on the other side of the argument, there are compelling reasons to consider paying college athletes for their contributions to their respective sports teams. These athletes dedicate countless hours to training, practicing, and competing at the highest level, often at the expense of their academic studies and personal lives. They generate significant revenue for their schools and the NCAA through ticket sales, merchandise sales, television and broadcasting deals, and sponsorships, yet they receive no direct financial compensation for their efforts. It is undeniable that college athletics has become a multi-billion dollar industry, with coaches and administrators earning substantial salaries and schools reaping the financial benefits of successful sports programs. Yet the athletes themselves are not allowed to profit from their own likeness, image, or name, and are often restricted from earning money through endorsements, sponsorships, or other opportunities that would be available to professional athletes. This is a glaring injustice that must be addressed. College athletes are students first and athletes second, but it cannot be ignored that their athletic abilities and achievements are a significant part of their identity and the reason they have been recruited to represent their schools. They deserve to be fairly compensated for the time, effort, and dedication they put into their sport, just like any other student who earns money through part-time work or internships. Paying college athletes would not only recognize and reward their contributions to the athletic program, but also help to level the playing field and provide a more equitable system for all athletes, regardless of the sport or the school they attend. In conclusion, I believe that college athletes should be paid for playing on a sports team. It is time to acknowledge the value they bring to their schools and the NCAA, and to treat them with the respect and fairness they deserve. Let us strive for a future where college athletes are compensated for their hard work and talent, and where the principles of fairness, integrity, and equity prevail in collegiate athletics. Thank you.

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