Academic Master

Sport

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

Introduction

In the American academic culture, sports form an important part of the school curriculum, and large numbers of students actively participate in athletics. Most of these students put their hearts and minds into their games and work quite hard to make their teams win. Some of these players play highly professionally and often end up pursuing sports as their career in the future. Thus, suggestions are being put forward in many schools and colleges that the players of these sports, football, in particular, should start getting paid. Scholars have debated the topic among several schools and their faculties as well as in academia, but a certain result has not yet been achieved. It is essential and fair that the NCAA should pay college athletes for their contributions towards sports in order to compensate for their efforts and difficulties in managing their time and energy in academics and games.

NCAA And Payments To College Athletes

The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) is a board that oversees the workings of different sports clubs and athletic activities across a wide variety of schools and colleges in the United States. It not only supervises the sports activities in educational institutions but also arranges sports competitions at a national level among and between these institutions all around America. This institution is highly beneficial as it provides an opportunity for those who are passionate about sports to pursue it as their career. It provides them with a platform where they get to test their abilities and work on improving their skills. Since these competitions promote healthy competitions, students receive remarkable training and being a part of these competitions has proven to be extremely beneficial for them.

The NCAA has been doing great work for college students who are active in athletics, particularly basketball and soccer (Green, 1992). The NCAA not only arranges these competitions but also supervises the functioning of sports programs and events in individual schools. It ensures that every school has professional coaches who can train the students, appropriate and well-maintained spaces where sports activities can take place, and new and up-to-date sports gear for every game. Though the NCAA has worked a lot for student-athletes, there remains one overlooked area that it has not paid much attention to.

It must be highlighted that college work can be very stressful at times, especially if one is pursuing a degree in engineering or accounting. Most of the time, students are so burdened with academic workload and stress that they are barely able to spare time for other activities. In a recent research that was conducted, it was found that most of the students who are inactive in extracurricular activities always seem to be occupied with their academic commitments (Sanderson et al., 2015). When asked in interviews, most of the students said that since they are always so overwhelmed with academic stress, they do not find the time and accumulate energy levels and capacity to be able to manage extracurricular activities. This shows that those students who somehow manage to participate and engage in these kinds of activities are greatly hard-working. This is especially true for sports because athletics are more physically challenging and exhausting than other activities such as dramatics, debating, art, and related fields. (Purdy et al., 1982).

The students who are a part of sports teams have very hectic schedules and are forced to go through extremely intense training sessions that exhaust them physically. These sessions sometimes last for hours with no days off. Sometimes, training has to be done during stressful time periods, such as a few days before or even during the exams. This training cannot be missed because if one fails to attend them, he/she suffers in acquiring the necessary skills needed in the particular sport. It cannot be doubted that excessive and intense training polishes one in the sports, and without its proper attainment, the athlete can lack the major professional expertise of the game. (Sanderson et al, 2015). Thus, all the team members have to make sure that they attend as many training sessions as they possibly can. Sometimes, they are required to train and practice on their own, apart from the formal sessions that are conducted by their coaches. This also improves and enhances their performance.

It is important to be mindful of the fact that training and preparing for sports is not only time-consuming but also extremely challenging, both in terms of physical and mental. Constantly practising for hours on end throughout the week can be very stressful for the body as well as for the mind. Most of the time, students suffer from extremely painful cramps and injuries, which can sometimes be very dangerous and impede them from carrying on their everyday activities. This heavily impacts their academic performance, which is something that most professors do not take into account (Purdy et al., 1982). Neither does the NCAA do anything about it, nor does it take any action to compensate such students for their academic losses.

It has been proposed that to compensate for these losses and to provide these students with a reward for working so hard to represent their colleges in sports competitions, the NCAA should start paying them. In fact, it is being argued that not paying these students is unfair. This argument is very rational, to say the least, and makes a lot of sense given the fact that these students are giving up on a lot of important things just so they can contribute towards the athletic disciplines of their schools. These students, like all other students, have a lot of academic work and pressure, which makes it hard for them to manage. They are not even provided with advantages or flexibilities with respect to adhering to class timings and schedules, for example. They are subject to the same strict rules that the other students are following. Adhering to these rules and regulations for the other students is easier because they do not have commitments that they have to abide by apart from their academics. However, following these rules is harder for athletic students because they are overburdened with workload and stress, which can hamper their performance both academically and in sports.

Another significant argument to make is that usually, in colleges, marking and grading are done on a relative basis. This means that the grades of one student depend on how well the other students in the class are doing. To roughly summarize, under this system of grading, if a student receives more marks than others, he/she is given a higher grade. Similarly, if he/she does worse in comparison with other students, he/she is given a bad grade. This makes things even more difficult for the athletic students because the other students, in most cases, seem to be doing better than them. It means that their academic grades suffer simply because they have more to focus on their plates than the other students (Philips et al., 1971). It is another unfair element attached to them, so that is why they should start being paid by the NCAA or the institution where they are studying.

Paying these students would also result in a drastic improvement in their performance since they would then be given an incentive to work hard. If the students know that they will be paid, they will automatically prioritize sports more than they already do. Moreover, an increased number of students participating in sports activities would be observed in colleges at all levels since more students would be motivated to be active in sports. This would not only be beneficial for the students but also for the colleges themselves because an improvement in the student’s performance means more wins for the college. Better sports teams mean increased victories, which lead to an increase in the pride and prestige of the colleges. Thus, paying the students who participate in sports activities is beneficial for the colleges and extremely important for the students if not necessary (Philips et al., 1971) because this would result in much more motivated and skilled players, something which would improve the status of the colleges.

Conclusion

To sum up, the students have to put in extraordinary struggle and hard work to keep a balance between sports and academics, and hence, their efforts should be regarded by their colleges and the NCAA. It has been argued that managing sports alongside other college commitments, particularly academics, is not easy. Therefore, the students who are a part of the sports clubs or teams in colleges must be provided with some form of incentive to reward them for their determination and commitment. One way of doing that is to start paying them, and therefore, it is suggested that officials should look into this matter. Even though the institution is already doing a lot for these students, it is overlooking a significant concern that college athletes are faced with. This problem must be paid the attention that it deserves, and students must start getting paid so that they can demonstrate more zeal and zest in their sports performances.

Works Cited

Green, Robin J. “Does the NCAA Play Fair? A Due Process Analysis of NCAA Enforcement Regulations.” Duke Law Journal, 1 Oct. 1992, www.jstor.org/stable/1372755.

Sanderson, Allen R., and John J. Siegfried. “The Case for Paying College Athletes.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2015, www.jstor.org/stable/43194698.

Purdy, Dean A., et al. “Are Athletes Also Students? The Educational Attainment of College Athletes.” Social Problems, vol. 29, no. 4, 1982, www.jstor.org/stable/800032.

Phillips, John C., and Walter E. Schafer. “Consequences of Participation in Interscholastic Sports: A Review and Prospectus.” The Pacific Sociological Review, 1971, www.jstor.org/stable/1388646.

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