Excuses, Not Reasons: 13 Myths About (Not) Paying College Athletes
The final version of this paper was presented at the Santa Clara Sports Law Symposium on September 8, 2011. Check out the PDF for the clean, final version. below are the various section of the paper, in a web-friendly format
- Myth 1: It’s too hard to figure out how to pay players fairly.
- Myth 2: A market system will kill cohesion.
- Myth 3: Paying players will mean that schools cannot afford to play football or basketball anymore. After all, almost all Athletic Departments are losing money now, so they would all go out of business if they were forced to pay athletes.
- Myth 4: If we set up a system where rich schools make larger scholarship offers than poor schools, there will be no competitive balance. Only the big “Have” programs will get talent and the “Have Nots” will be left outside looking in.
- Myth 5: We can’t pay them or else we’ll have to cancel other sports.
- Myth 6: We can’t pay them or else we’d violate Title IX
- Myth 7: The NCAA sells amateurism and if we allow players to get paid, the popularity of the sport will decline.
- Myth 8: If student-athletes earn anything more than they currently get, they stop being students.
- Myth 9: If we pay them, inevitably they will all just become mercenaries. Alternately, if we pay them, we might as well give up the charade of academics and just make them into mercenaries.
- Myth 10: What they get is very valuable, it should be enough. How can you say what they get is unfair? I wish my kid got that deal!
- Myth 11: We can’t pay them or else we’d violate NCAA rules. These people are not employees!
- Myth 12: It would be dangerous to have students on campus with that much money. They aren’t old enough to know how to manage it. Athletes will just blow it all on bling and drugs.
- Myth 13: Because a few college athletes are good enough to play in the major leagues or Europe, or because college athletes could choose to take a non-sports job directly out of high school, trying to change the system is anti-capitalist or anti-American.