Professional Amateurs?


Sports are such a big deal. College sports teams are extremely popular, generate tons of revenue and give great meaning to Saturdays all over the nation,especially college football. College football brings fans out on chilly fall mornings to sit outside, grill meat out of the trunk of their cars and drink until they can’t drink anymore, all awaiting the start of a thrilling game that reminds me of survival of the fittest. Why do these athletes work profusely throughout the week and risk their lives every Saturday? Many like mways2014 say that these athletes do it “for the greater good of their team and the satisfaction of winning the game”. Would these athletes still put their life on the line if there was no promise of higher pay from their performance at this “amateur” level, at the professional level in the future? My answer is no, these athletes play these sports at a collegiate level and many if not all hope to one day become professional athletes. Paying athletes at a collegiate level would be similar to paying medical students. Both of these groups of people are getting the training that is required for them to succeed at the next level, accept football players do get some sort of compensation for their hard work. Scholarships, scholarships are usually awarded to these athletes so they don’t have to pay to attend some of these great schools like the University of Michigan.

In Eric Dunning’s “Dynamics of Modern Sports” he says that athlete compete for multiple reasons and among those were opportunities. Thats what these schools give these athletes, opportunities, opportunities to play professionally, opportunities to become physically ready for competition in the professional league and opportunities to get a free education, just to name a few. Paying athletes at a collegiate level would take away from the play aspect. Dunning says that Professionalism takes away the fun of sports because the competitiveness increases therefore the action becomes more serious. Are these premiere sports ever lacking a high level of competitiveness? It starts when you’re younger, football players play as kids to get on the team in middle school, and then play and work hard to make the team in high school to hopefully play in college where they wish and dream to play in the NFL. The intentions are never purely for fun.

If schools do choose to pay these athletes how would they determine which sports are paid the most? Just as there is an argument that athletes have the right to be paid because they generate so much revenue for the school, what about the athletes that work just as hard as football players, if we are paying athlete for their efforts shouldn’t all athletes get paid the same? Should older athletes get paid more? Many would say to pay every athlete the same but what about those athletes who generate thousands of dollars in sales of their jerseys do they deserve more than athletes who aren’t exactly the most popular.

Paying athletes is a very sticky subject, yes, they do work hard and generate tons of money for these select universities but without these universities, would they be equipped and ready to play at these professional levels where they then make tons of money. Collegiate sports are an institution, they have traditions, they have many rules and regulations as some of us are all too familiar with, and most of all they allow great opportunity for their athletes. Athletes should focus on the play aspect while they can because for some of them before they know it, the game they love could become all to serious.


3 thoughts on “Professional Amateurs?

  1. I found your post very interesting. You brought up a lot of good points that people should consider when they think about sports, not only while thinking about if athletes should get paid, but also how serious the sport atmosphere is already becoming. Although many of the reading we’ve done in class have argued that as a society we’ve already corrupted the true meaning of “games” I think deciding to pay collegiate athletes to compete would damage further, if not destroy, the concept of “amateur” sports.


  2. Well I do think that the University does play an integral part of setting up student-athletes for the professional teams, I still think that the student-athletes should still be paid. Many images of student-athletes are exploited by the University to advertise certain campaigns or to bring more people to football games. At the end of the day, the University is making a lot of money off student-athletes and I think that they deserve at least some compensation as they are putting a lot of work and time in for the University.


  3. I agree that student athletes should not be paid. Why should we take away the last level of somewhat innocence of sports. In professional sports many play just to make money, with no real love, and why would we wan to start implementing that at an even younger level. I believe paying athletes would take away from that innocent, intense, love of sport that is so attractive about college sports.


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