Should College Students Get Paid To Play Sports? – Learn Liberty


Peter Jaworski:
College football is big business. This
is Nick Saban. In 2013, he made north of $5
million dollars. Kirby Smart, his assistant coach? He made a comparatively meager $1.1
million dollars. You know, the ushers get paid, the guys who
help the athletes do this get paid, the people who sell merchandise make money. Everyone
gets paid in dollars and cents–everyone, that is, except for the 18 year olds.
They tackle each other in war without killing, risking injury, concussions… health consequences
that last for the rest of their lives. And all for a meager, tiny, infinitesimal chance
to maybe make the NFL, or more realistically, become a part of Tuscaloosa’s football lore.
Why shouldn’t these college gladiators get paid?
The most common reason given by the NCAA and others is that paying student athletes would
corrupt them. It would undermine the values and virtues of amateurism in sport. Amateurism
is the idea that you should pursue an activity for love of the activity, and not for the
love of money. [grunts as he tackles a dummy]
But why should remuneration be thought to have a corrupting effect? We pay professors
and teachers like me, and hardly anybody worries about the corrupting influence of money in
teaching. Is it not possible to play football while getting five dollars for an autograph,
or maybe wearing a sponsor on your jersey? But if opponents are so worried about the
corrupting power of money, why is the coaching staff immune from it? Or how about the president
of the NCAA? This year Mark Emmert will make a cool $1.7 million dollars. Why is it consistent
with the goals of amateurism for everyone surrounding the athletes to make money except
for those student athletes? It makes no sense!
In a particularly cruel twist, college athletes get scholarships. And scholarships are in
themselves a form of payment. It’s just that the NCAA, they’ve instituted a salary
cap. A particularly low salary in an industry that rakes in about $875 million dollars per
year. You know, somebody’s getting paid–it’s just not the athletes.
Love of sport and making money at it are not incompatible. College athletes should be paid.
Maybe they can take me out for a fancy dinner for making this video.
Roll tide! Tim:
Hey guys! My name is Tim, I’m a video producer here at Learn Liberty, and I make videos like
the one you just saw. But the reason I’m here is ‘cause I want to invite you to join
me and a lot of other people in something called Learn Liberty Academy, where we take
these little videos to the next level. So click here, or here. Actually, here, here,
here, or here, or here. Any of those boxes will do. The point is, click on one of them,
it’s gonna be frickin’ awesome, I promise. Come hang out with us, join our community.
Yeah, it’s gonna be great.

56 thoughts on “Should College Students Get Paid To Play Sports? – Learn Liberty”

  1. It's NOT like they volunteer: Getting "Paid" anywhere from 30000 to over 100000, PER YEAR (Tuition) not to mention Not having that debt destroy the next ten to twenty years of your life.

    If they want to get paid, they should try out for Arena football.

  2. Nope for the same reason kids playing t-ball shouldn't be paid. Injuries, shit sitting through my college classes freshman year injured my brain, and I didn't get shit.

  3. I was going to say that they do get paid. They don't have to pay for school. Plus at some schools, the tuition is more than I can hope to make out of college in 4years.

    That being said, I don't think they should be paid. Ultimately, it is the student athlete's choice to play. Yes they do a lot of extra things being a student athlete, but it's a choice.

  4. The school can do whatever it wants with its money.. so long as there's no government subsidies like tax payer guaranteed tuitions.. oh wait, so I guess they can't.

  5. I'm still amazed that we avoid the elephant in the room: the athletes that shouldn't even have graduated from the 6th grade somehow getting into a University! what?

  6. Fuck sports.  That would just make college fees be higher for something we do not care about.  Force the Olympics to accept paid athletics first. 

  7. how about less payment for the sports, and more money going into the universities. 5 mil a year? how many scholarships is that?

  8. Should student researchers have rights to patents they help create?  Should those patents be profitable, should they be entitled to some of the profit? 

  9. This opens a hornet’s nest of other problems that occur once the players are paid. What is the purpose of a college football team? Salaries? Benefits? Unions? How long can an employee… “ahem” student stay at the university? Suddenly, playing football for the university is no longer a gateway to somewhere else, but becomes the end goal. Why go to class when you’ve got a full paying job in the stadium nearby. There might be a lot of money in the program, but those people aren’t going to college, they’re going to work.

  10. Why should people who are typically mentally unqualified for college be allowed to go to college for free or near free? Because they dance for our amusement. Nertz to them. They get paid in easy women and free education.

  11. You left out one big thing, HOW to pay the college athletes? Are you going to pay Field Hockey, Soccer, LAX, & Volley Ball player alike, or just Football & Basketball. Also, how much money are they going to be paid?

  12. I think this video is not a impartial view of the issue. What about the right to voluntary contracts? If an athlete and a university both agree the athlete will come and play for free, what is the problem?

  13. So what happened to leaving it between the player and the organization? I thought this channel was about keeping government out of private business.

  14. Schools have a right to pay student athletes if they wish. In my opinion it could be highly beneficial if they are paid.

  15. most, if not all, of these schools get government subsidies. then, these schools facilitate, promote, and profit from kids running their skulls into things, among other violent actions. I guess you could argue that the kids are voluntarily participating, but where do you draw the line? Can a gladiator league be set up where people fight to the death?

  16. The NFL benefits from government subsidies.  This is just another example of those subsidies.  The NFL gets a free farm system that others have to pay for. 

  17. Student athletes. They're there to get an education that will one day turn into a career. Sports are for fun, that's not gonna be their job

  18. The Olympics dropped the "amateur" regulation and so should colleges. I can understand where they are coming from but getting paid for a day's work is an important step in life regardless what is it. What if they do get injured badly? Having that money will certainly help if they have no choice but to follow a different path.

  19. I don't really understand the lesson of liberty with this video. This one only criticizes the relationship between the student athletes and their schools – seemingly forgetting that the students voluntarily agreed to provide labor for an established compensation package. I'm also confused as to why LearnLiberty falls into the misconception that only cash is an acceptable medium of trade – implying that, without a salary, these students receive no value in return for their labor. If that were true, why did they sign up for it? Are they implying that these students were involuntarily brought into the arrangement?

    Should student athletes get paid? Only if all parties involved voluntarily agree too it. If the student want things to change they have to refuse to participate if the terms of the agreement are unsatisfactory.

  20. Tuition toward and education, housing, food, equipment and apparel, and a stipend.  Plus in some of these towns, being a sports hero means they'll have an easier time landing a job in their communities.  So they may not get a paycheck but they are compensated.  Where else can these people with only a high school degree be given so much?  I see the point about a "salary cap" but it's very misleading to say these athletes are not paid.  

  21. Most schools actually LOSE a very large amount of money because of sports. Paying the athletes will just widen that margin. I like to think of playing college sports as having an internship. You work like a professional, but you don't get paid, and aren't guaranteed a job at the end.

  22. Baseball has the best system. 18-year-olds can be drafted if a team values their skill. If the NFL allowed drafting out of high school, the athletes that draw money would get money. Alternative to the arena league or a theoretic minor football league, an NFL team could draft a player's rights after high school and then pay for the cost of their studies while playing college football.

  23. Students should have the liberty to receive endorsements and gifts outside of the university as well as using their personal autograph however they want. Payment for attending school or participating in sports is fine, the school should have the right to pay whoever they want as much as they want as long as the school is not receiving ANY taxpayer backed government support (I don't know of a single school that would qualify). The NCAA makes the rules to level the playing field between schools, a school also has the right to leave the NCAA or start their own athletics association if they don't like the rules.

  24. If we had real liberty in education this would not be an issue. With all schools privately owned and no legislation governing education, the market would sort this out, and nobody would have to pay for something he didn't want. Would athletes be paid? Who cares, as long as you're not being forced to do business with the school (as I am now forced to "do business with" numerous state-supported universities through taxation)?
    If there had never been any state involvement in higher education, I suspect there would be roughly as many football teams at colleges as there are at home improvement stores. Why would Home Depot want to defeat Lowes in a football game? Sounds absurd, right? Why is that? Because it has nothing to do with the products Home Depot and Lowes are selling, just as football has nothing to do with the products that colleges are supposed to be selling.
    Of course I can't know for sure how this would shake out in a free market. If colleges with paid athletes competing in expensive sports programs were able to make higher profits than schools without such programs, then that business model would be imitated. If they suffered losses, the practice would disappear. Either way, problem solved.

  25. Tuition would rise causing a lot of the colleges to cut their programs. There are always side-effects to every decision.

  26. When I first heard of this channel I assumed it was very right leaning, and yet I'm shocked how often I agree with the videos on here.

  27. What happened to LearnLiberty?  I used to love this channel because it explained vast economic principles in an easy-to-understand-and-share way.  But this video has none of that.  This was an argument about what's fair, not what's economically efficient.  Where is the analysis on externalities?  What would this do to smaller schools?  What would this do to big schools?  What would this do to all other sports besides football and basketball?  How does Title 9 play into this?  Did they explain why scholarships and other compensation packages weren't already enough?  What effect would this have on the taxpayers who already foot the bill with most colleges?  What incentives would this create with the players, fans, coaches, and the NFL?  
    This was a terrible video.  I'm really disappointed with LearnLiberty.  Thumbs down.

  28. A few things to point out:

    1. Just because you enter a certain industry, you don't automatically deserve pay. I did a year unpaid work, then 3 years at £3,000 salary before I made a living
    2. They undertake the sport on their own decision
    3. Would the college pay them? Would that not increase fees for other students? 

  29. Disagree with the video message. These institutions are for education, not recreation. Yes, SOME of these colleges make money, big money, from their sports programs but that should not mean the athletes get paid. Can you imagine what would happen? The Jameis Winstons of the world would be driving around in Porsches and living in McMansions while attending college. A class system would be created on campuses. No, if this professor is so concerned about these athletes being compensated for their athleticism, then pay these athletes WHEN THEY GRADUATE, NOT WHEN THEY ARE ATTENDING COLLEGE. Daily stipends could be increased for each athlete so that no athlete is underfed or can't buy a ticket home for Christmas. Frankly, I have trouble believing some of the stories some of these poor athletes tell but there are reasonable solutions, and paying them is not one of them. Heck, my preference would be to only allow students to participate if their grades were satisfactory. Most of these guys don't even get a real education. I would rather watch a college game with REAL student athletes rather than top athletes posing as students.

  30. Well if the athletes wanna get paid, then they can ask for it.  It is about the power dynamic, you can drop out of the squad if money is really important for you, someone else who is ready to play without pay can then replace.

  31. Ummm… so I've seen a few videos on this channel with illogical philosophies (including the idea that the gender gap is inherently bad) and now I see this. Like c'mon, guys. What's so wrong with them not being paid if they singed up for it voluntarily? Why is something like this even an issue?

  32. It would be nice to see some Anarcho Capitalists giving their views on certain subjects in your videos, something that would challenge most other people in your videos.

  33. Why would being paid money corrupt players, but TRYING to get paid money doesn't?  Because let's face it, a lot of college players are only playing because they think they can get in the NFL and make major dough.

  34. if one is worried about college football being "corrupted" by paying players or allowing them to sign autographs for money, I have news for you–it's already "corrupted."

    Back in the day when Woody Hayes was seeing "3 yards & a cloud of dust" most teams were playing 9 or 10 regular season games. Then it was expanded to 11, complete w/ gargantuan TV deals & the # of bowl games skyrocketed. If you were 6-5 & had a pulse, you went to a bowl game probably sponsored by someone who produces weedeaters.

    Now everyone is playing 12 in Div I, we have a playoff & some teams will be playing 15 (!) games. These are just kids, but again–if you're worried about it being "corrupted & commercialized", been there done that.

    That said, why shouldn't Marcus Mariota get paid? He puts thousands & thousands of butts in the stands, he makes big money for OU.

  35. Let's pay them, then charge them for all the goods and services they get for free now, no one forced these guys to play.

  36. If they do get paid, they shouldn't be considered amateur players anymore. They should just make the whole thing a professional league. That would create a lot of job's.

  37. And let's pay the marching band, cheer leaders, and all the players on the practice squads that never suit up for the big game, and why not all those interns both under grads and post.

  38. Solution:  No sports program at Public Universities.  Privates can  spend their money any  way they want.  Concept:  A University is a place to go to  study your ass off.

    Ultimate Solution:  No Public Universities. 

  39. No they shouldn't be paid, and they should stop charging to see the games and using the students for promotional items.

  40. you know what, I do think collage football athletes should get paid because of what they did and how they helped their coach to win games. Collage athletes should at least  get paid 300 dollars each game to make it fair for football students.

  41. In contrast, all the other positions you mentioned are hired positions. Hired to do a job for an agreed salary. There's no free package opportunity that comes with that like earning your own degree. The voluntary transaction between you and them is your talent benefitng their sports program and their academic program benefiting your own future aspirations.
    Just because their sports program grosses large sum$ of money doesn't mean you deserve a portion of it. Just like if you graduate with a degree from them, or leave early to play professional sports and either way make large sum$ of money doesn't mean that they deserve a portion of your money.
    No, the college players should not get paid from the NCAA to play sports, but they should be allowed to receive monetary gifts from family, friends, etc. or get a job and earn a wage from that just like the other college students.

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