The Daily Weekly Podcast: Should Student-Athletes Be Paid?

Monday, February 24, 2020 - 2:22am

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In 2018, the NCAA made over a billion dollars from college athletics from events such as March Madness and the College Football playoff. College athletics generated over $195 million for The University of Michigan in the same year. The visibility, profitability, and intensity of collegiate athletics have all increased significantly since the creation of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, better known as the NCAA, in 1906. Nonetheless, the spirit of amateurism has remained largely intact through those changes--at least, in the minds of NCAA officials. To the NCAA amateurism means student athletes can only be compensated through scholarships provided by their school. Currently, they are not allowed to be paid to play, earn endorsements, or be paid to participate in events.

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Contrast this to Jim Harbaugh, Michigan’s head football coach who is paid $7.5 million a year and Juwan Howard, Michigan’s Head Basketball Coach who earns $2 million a year. Last year, the NCAA did state an intention to allow student-athletes to receive compensation in response to the state of California passing a bill to allow student athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness. The specific steps involved in acting upon this intention, however, remain unclear, as do the answers to several questions surrounding the compensation of student-athletes. Spending countless hours practicing, traveling, and playing in front of large crowds of paying customers and on TVs across the nation in addition to the normal academic schedule, student-athletes work hard for their teams, making the University considerable money in the process. We wonder, should these athletes be compensated in addition to their athletic scholarships? How much? What about students who aren’t on scholarship? Does this answer change depending on the sport, or the individual athlete?

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of The Daily Weekly. This episode was produced by Audio Engineer Gibson Gillett-Behrens, Executive Producer Sonya Vogel, Audio Producer Jon Coonan, and Content Producers Kareem Rifai, Rachel Fagan, Gerald Sill, and Doug McClure. All the amazing music in this episode was made by Gibson Gillett-Behrens.