In college sports, the argument that athletes should be paid has been going on for over a decade. The argument has really picked up steam over the past couple of years. Many now feel that a portion of the money being brought in by the sports programs to enhance universities and coaches salaries should go to the ones who earn it on the field or court.
Notre Dame de Namur University has 11 sports teams, the scholarships per team at the division II collegiate level are no where near the same amount as the division I level. The National Collegiate Athletic Association II scholarships regulations for men’s and women’s sports are listed below.
Men’s Sports Scholarships Available at Division 2 Level
Basketball 10 Scholarships
Cross Country 12.6 Scholarships
Golf 3.6 Scholarships
Lacrosse 10.8 Scholarships
Soccer 9 Scholarships
Women’s Sports Scholarships Available at Division 2 Level
Basketball 10 Scholarships
Cross Country 5 Scholarships
Soccer 9.9 Scholarships
Softball 7.2 Scholarships
Tennis 6 Scholarships
There are a ton of arguments for collegiate athletes being paid a salary. College sports is a billion dollar industry. According to CollegeSportsScholarships.com, the coaches, Athletic Directors and universities are making millions off of their respective athletic teams. CollegeSportsScholarships.com also pointed out that collegiate athletes spend an average of 30-40 hours per week participating in their respective practices, games and team meetings. On a typical day, the athletes will wake up before 6 a.m. for weight lifting and conditioning, go to class from 8 a.m.-1 p.m., and then head to practice until 6 p.m. After practice, many teams have meetings, study hall and other mandatory team requirements. This schedule is usually six days a week, with colleges only required to give the athletes one day off per week. The athletes also have to balance a full schedule of classes and many also work a job. The number of hours the athletes are participating in their sports is a close equivalent to a full time job.
In return, the college athletes are given a scholarship for their education. This scholarship can be as little or as much as the university believes the athlete is worth. Most athletes are rewarded a scholarship that covers roughly 25-100 percent of the entire tuition. The biggest myth about scholarships is that they are all cover 100 percent of books, food, dorms, and tuition. This is almost never the case. As the break down of scholarships at the division 2 level per sport states above, most teams do not have anywhere near enough scholarships to give out one full scholarship to each player. Another myth behind scholarships is that once you are given one by a university, that is it valid for all four years. Scholarships are given on a year to year basis and are based on the players past seasons performance. This business model can put a ton of stress on the athletes, who have little to no security. It is a business model that allows its employees, the athletes, to make a minuscule fraction of what the universities earn. It is extremely tough for a college athlete to have piece of mind in regard to the next year. If an athlete is inured, he or she could easily loose their scholarship and education.
Most NDNU athletes do not feel they should be paid a salary outside for their efforts, but definitely feel their needs to be some changes around campus. After sitting down with a volleyball play and a basketball player, the issues on campus were made clear. An anonymous volleyball player said the following,
“I don’t think we should get paid. We’re just like everyone else.If there was going to be any compensation for the time we put in for the school, it should be to able to park by the gym or for the caf to actually stay open and serve us dinner when our practices run late. We’ve gotten denied food so many times when we’re only a couple minutes late.”
The dining hall being closed at inopportune times seems to be the root of every NDNU athletes angst. A NDNU basketball player echoed the volleyball team’s point of view.
“We can’t control our practice schedule and it sucks when we work so hard and have to go off campus and buy food instead of eating the food we already paid for in our tuition.”
It is clear that changes need to be made in order to give our athletes some improvements in basic accommodations on campus. We need to be able to give the athletes a fraction of what they bring back to this University.