UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | April 18, 2024

Paying athletes not an option

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Athletic departments are making millions of dollars off games, and players see none of it.

The topic was brought up after Mack Brown, University of Texas head football coach, said in an interview in July his players should be paid for the hard work they put in for the school and the athletic program. 

The Longhorns football program alone makes, on average, $103 million a year, which is the most in all of college football according to ESPN.com. Brown said it would be no problem for his program to pay its athletes, and he said other top rated colleges could as well.

The only problem with this plan is the smaller schools that don’t pull in that much money would not be able to participate in the new stipend for their players because their programs would not be able to support that much money.

Jason Boothe, Dixie State University athletic director, said the Red Storm would not be able to support an athletic program if the players were paid outside of scholarships.

“We would be decimated,” Boothe said. “To fork out all that money is impossible.”

There are 13 NCAA-sponsored teams at DSU with 309 total athletes. If each of these athletes were paid $2,000, it would cost the university $618,000, which is money DSU doesn’t have, Boothe said

While athletes do not see cold hard cash, they are paid for what they do through scholarships. Most athletes who play for the Red Storm are compensated with a scholarship of some kind.

“The school pays for their education, which will help them more in the long run than any money we could give to them,” Boothe said.

Athletes are pleased with the money they have received from the school, but some players’ scholarships are not full tuition or don’t cover books.

Colin Wilson, a member of the Red Storm football team and a senior communication major from Frisco, Texas, said having the money to pay for books and housing would be helpful.

“If an athlete doesn’t have a full scholarship, the school should grant the student the remaining amount,” Wilson said.

Paying the athletes might not be possible, but there is the argument that players should have the option to be endorsed by companies, or at least sell their autograph to adoring fans.

This debate was brought up after an investigation was started on Texas A&M quarterback, Johnny Manziel, after he allegedly sold his autograph through a dealer.

There is also the option of giving players a cut of the share when their jerseys sell.

While this would give players the option to make a little extra cash, some feel it would cause players to become too self-absorbed.

“They would lose focus,” said Britta Greenhalgh, a freshman biology major from Provo. “They will get really cocky about themselves.”

Greenhalgh said some players are not good enough to play professional sports, and the ones who make it to that level can be paid.

“Making it to a pro team is a rite of passage,” Greenhalgh said. “That is where players can make their money.”

Wilson agreed with Greenhalgh.

“They are college athletes,” Wilson said. “They can get paid when the time comes for them.”