Students first, athletes second
Today's professional athletes live in an age where $30 million contracts resemble pocket change. These athletes normally come with a heavy skill set and an overwhelming dose of talent. However, rich or poor, they have all undergone a process of grade school and sometimes college in order to earn the wealth they so vigorously crave.
Due to the money-starved society we have all grown accustomed to, athletes have become impatient with the norms of reaching the professional level before getting paid. Athletes feel inclined to attain their pot of gold at the college level. They want their money and they want it now.
The recent media storm over University of Texas A&M; football quarterback Johnny Manziel has once again reopened the gates for any athlete who wishes to receive compensation after a college or university openly markets their merchandise.
According to USA Today, Manziel was reported to having signed and sold photographs of himself, therefore violating National Collegiate Athletic Association rules which prohibit players to market themselves or receive income for anything that pertains to their status as a college athlete.
Many people question why the NCAA is so adamantly opposed to the payment of college athletes when it is the NCAA that is continuously marketing merchandise of their star players.
However, this might not be for the sole purpose of putting more money into the pockets of NCAA officials, but to further advance the programs in which the fame of these athletes is born.
Mark Emmert, NCAA president, stated on the organization's website, “The money we generate buys services that support those students. If we can keep the athletic programs financially healthy, they can create more opportunities for students to participate in athletics.”
If the NCAA were to provide compensation in the form of cash to its athletes, it would be a heavy step down on an already flawed and declining academic system. A pay for play set up would be disastrous for academics and the entire education system as a whole.
The will for a student athlete to be enriched in school through academics would be heavily damaged in favor of a blind motivation to make a quick buck.
High school athletes might concentrate on advancing skills in the gym and lose focus on their education. The emphasis on financial success in a greed-filled world would overtake the structure of academia that education professionals have so strongly tried to induce.
This is not something as simple as paying an athlete for hard work. The ripple effect of such a movement would be a great cost to the education system
College athletes should consider how much their market value would be without the help of marketing. They spend so much time protesting the actions of the NCAA for not giving them what they feel entitled to, and do not realize the reason they are the superstars they are is through the NCAA's marketing.
Should National Football League quarterback Tom Brady have gotten the marketing and publicity as a college athlete that Cam Newton or Johnny Manziel received, would he also be inclined to his share of wealth?
There is nothing wrong with wanting to make a living or support family. However, these athletes need to understand that there is a system in place. It is a system that many athletes before have had to follow.
There should not be any more reason to further annihilate education, which should be one of the nation's top priorities. Student-athletes should abide by NCAA regulations and control their lust for money and fame for as long as they are just that: students.