Student-athletes should be getting paid by the NCAA

Donald De La Haye’s life seemed as though it couldn’t get any better. He was a kicker for the University of Central Florida Knights football team, enjoying a full-ride scholarship, and directing his passion for video production towards his YouTube channel “Deestroying” where he posted about the days of his life as a student-athlete, and other football videos.

His YouTube channel had started to gain some traction, which gave him the opportunity for him to monetize his videos through advertisements. Over the course of about four months, he had acquired several thousand subscribers and earned around $2,000 from the monetization of his videos.
Then one morning, he was called into a meeting with his compliance officer and was told that he was using his image as a student-athlete for UCF to profit off of the NCAA, and that this violated the terms of his scholarship.

He was given an ultimatum: delete every YouTube video he had ever posted involving his football abilities or his status as a UCF athlete, or give up his NCAA eligibility. After days of contemplation, De La Haye chose the latter.
The NCAA did not want him to continue his YouTube channel because it would change his status from being an “amateur” athlete to “professional,” and professional athletes are not allowed to participate in NCAA athletics.

This being said, the average student-athlete spends about 40 hours a week dedicated to their sport, the same amount of hours that the average person would spend working a job. Outside of those 40 hours a week, student-athletes must also manage their schoolwork to maintain eligibility.
It is almost impossible for them to find additional time to make some extra money.
In order to eliminate this conflict, the NCAA should pay their student-athletes, and here is why.

First of all, it will give student-athletes the opportunity to learn about personal finance. Since their schedules don’t allow time for even a part-time job, they would be able to learn money management and personal finance skills that they would not be able to otherwise.
Second of all, not all athletes are on full-ride scholarships. Depending on the sport, programs are only allowed to give a certain number of scholarships to student-athletes, which does not allow every player on a roster to have a full-ride.

Receiving a stipend will relieve some of this cost and will essentially reimburse these students for their athletic contributions.
Third and finally, the student-athletes are the reason for the NCAA’s revenue in the first place. These athletes and their respective teams develop fanbases, who go to or watch the games to drive ticket and merchandise sales, all of which goes straight to the NCAA. And if “student-athletes are at the heart of the NCAA’s mission,” as their website claims, doesn’t it only seem fair for the ones making this all possible to be compensated for all their efforts?
If student-athletes were to be given stipends, they would no longer need to risk their NCAA eligibility by turning to methods such as YouTube or social media to make some extra cash.

While I’m sure that this process is not as simple as I imagine, it is the most sensible solution to this issue and would benefit both the NCAA as well as their respective student-athletes.

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