With March Madness just around the corner, the debate on whether or not college athletes should be paid is heating up. And while collegiate sports bring in large sums of money every year, college athletes should in no way receive a salary.

Compensation, on the other hand, is completely acceptable and, if anything, extremely necessary.

The Institute for College Access and Success reported that seven out of 10 college seniors graduate with an average of $28,950 in student loan debt.

On top of their scholarships, college athletes also receive help paying for textbooks, supplementation of the cost of on-campus living, and meal plans.

Most, if not all, college athletes receive some sort of scholarship for competing at the collegiate level and that is a small burden to bear to graduate with little to no debt, especially when you consider how many hours a non-athlete would have to work to achieve the same goal.

There is also no plausible source where the money to pay these athletes would come from.

Forbes.com reported data released by the NCAA showing that only 14 college athletic programs were making a profit.

A substantially more damaging aspect to paying college athletes would be the gap between salaries for men and women’s sports.

Daily Local News reported figures from the NCAA showing that 28.3 million viewers watched the 2015 NCAA Men’s Division 1 National Championship between Wisconsin and Duke and only 3.1 million viewers watched the 2015 NCAA Women’s Division 1 National Championship between Notre Dame and UConn.

Based on those numbers, male athletes would be paid marginally more than female athletes. Both female and male athletes receive equal scholarships and paying them different amounts would introduce a very damaging bias into the collegiate world.

Paying college athletes is too complicated and completely unnecessary to pursue. College athletes are already compensated more than enough and the idea of paying them only arises from a culture of entitlement.

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