With the NCAA hosting its annual College Basketball Championship Tournament, or as most people know it, March Madness, the recent debate about whether student athletes should recieve a paycheck or not has been raging. During March Madness, companies from all over get to cash in on a great opportunity to advertise their products with millions of people around the country tuning in to watch the games.

The NCAA sure is making millions of dollars off this and their athletes do not receive a single dime. Many people would agree that they should receive a pay, but why?

“Students are not professional athletes who are paid salaries and incentives for a career in sports,” wrote Horace Mitchell of USNews.com. “They are students receiving access to a college education through their participation in sports, for which they earn scholarships to pay tuition, fees, room and board, and other allowable expenses. Collegiate sports is not a career or profession.”

Mitchell has a valid point. These are student athletes, not professionals. Sure these athletes are out their playing and representing their school, risking injuries whether it be basketball, football, baseball, soccer, track and field, etc.

But for these athletes, the number one goal for them should be their education. Not many people are lucky enough to get into a well-known Division I school. Many non-athletes that apply don’t get in. They are the ones who would value and appreciate getting their education at one of those schools.

If the athletes were to be given a paycheck, then how would they value their education when all they would worry about is receiving money? These schools and universities are here for one reason: to educate young people and to receive some kind of degree to show what you are capable of doing out in the real world.

Kate Murphy, a student-journalist at Elon University, agrees that athletes should not play for money.

“College athletes need to recognize their opportunity as a privilege, that most young kids aspire to attain, but are never given opportunity to have,” Murphy wrote in one of her articles for The Pendulum, Elon University’s student news organization. “Just do it for the love of the game…It should never be about how much material value your play is worth.”

With the NCAA already having a minor problem with many student-athletes leaving to the professional leagues after just staying at school one or two years, more players would follow that same direction and less athletes would graduate if they were paid. That would become an even greater problem because someone’s education is always more valuable than the amount of money someone has in their wallets.

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