Sports

Opinion: It's time to pay college athletes

HS journalism column: Compensation is fair for physical toll

Liberty High School journalist Zack Anderson thinks college athletes should be compensated. (USA Today Sports)
Liberty High School journalist Zack Anderson thinks college athletes should be compensated. (USA Today Sports)

NORTH LIBERTY — According to a recent survey of 2,501 college students, 71 percent voted in favor of compensating their student-athletes.

Athletes risk a lot to become what they always have dreamed about. Most do everything they can to be the best.

One of the best parts of being a college athlete is the love and passion most have for their sport and school. They leave everything out on the playing field. But a lot of times, student-athletes suffer very harsh injuries, some career-ending. Not only is their life goal out of the picture, but this also could affect their everyday life. For example, a torn ACL could cause a limp, whereas a really bad concussion could cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is a progressive brain disease commonly found in athletes who have repetitive brain trauma.

“A huge difference between high school and college sports is how demanding it is on your body, so one thing you really have to focus on, is recovering,” Iowa offensive lineman Kyler Schott said. “Everybody has their own way of how they do this. I like to sit in the hot tub and ice bath to recover for the next day where you do it all over again.”

A stat from the NCAA shows 7.4 percent of all college injuries are concussions. These athletes are putting their careers and bodies at risk every time they step foot on the playing field for practice or game. They deserve to be paid for the serious health risks they are taking.

Student-athletes still are students and most are in college for education, not sports. They are spending more time in practices, workouts and team meetings than some people spend each week in a normal job.

“During (the) season, we start (practice) at 6 a.m. and go until around 11:30, then come back at 5 for two more hours of meetings and dinner,” Schott said.

These athletes are basically working a full-time job while also taking classes.

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“I’m currently taking 13 semester hours, which is around what the regular student takes,” Schott said. “Athletes have a building that we can use to study and free tutors are provided if asked for.”

These sports are bringing in millions of dollars for their schools. The NCAA basketball “March Madness” tournament brings in almost $900 million by itself. The College Football Playoff also bring in millions of dollars.

While spending seven to eight hours each day with the team, all the workouts and practices really take a toll on the athletes bodies.

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