Should College Athletes be Getting Paid? The Supreme Court Debates

The Supreme Court this week heard a case that could forever change the future of college sports by deciding if college athletes should be getting paid.

In the case NCAA v. Alston, a group of student athletes led by former West Virginia RB Shawne Alston seeks expanded compensation for players in Division I men’s and women’s basketball, as well as the Football Bowl Subdivision.

The 9th Circuit Court upheld their argument last year. It accused the NCAA of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act with its strict limits on compensation.

In its defense, the NCAA says its rules on compensation for student athletes are necessary to preserve the distinction between college and professional sports. It also claims that it maintains the public’s interest in amateur athletics. Furthermore, the NCAA fears the case will usher in a wave of future lawsuits demanding additional benefits, including direct cash payments.

Opponents have argued that college athletes should be getting paid for all the time and energy they put into sports. It is often at the expense of schoolwork. But it seems clear to me that students would abandon classes altogether if they were getting paid to play sports. 

The NCAA has support from major conferences including the Big Ten, SEC, ACC, Big 12, and Pac-12 as well as eight US states, while Alston has support from the Biden Administration, the professional players associations for the NFL, NBA, WNBA, and the NWSL, and eight other US states.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court is expected to side with Alston.

“To pay no salaries to the workers who are making the schools billions of dollars on the theory that consumers want the schools to pay their workers nothing” seems “entirely circular and even somewhat disturbing,” says Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.×280&!3&btvi=4&fsb=1&xpc=2UlfGodeJw&p=https%3A//

“It just strikes me as odd that the coaches’ salaries have ballooned…and they’re in the amateur ranks, as are the players,” adds Justice Clarence Thomas. 

Complicating matters for the NCAA is a nationwide debate concerning name, image, and likeness legislation. In fact, California and Florida have already passed laws (in violation of NCAA rules) allowing players to earn money through endorsement deals. 

Author’s Note: College sports are popular because the players are amateurs. They are real college students who go to class and parties just like everybody else. Free education and a chance at fame should be more than enough compensation for their hard work.

Click here to read a great article by PBP’s Joe Gilbertson on the ramifications of increased compensation to student athletes.


Supreme Court Weighs NCAA Athlete Compensation Dispute 

Talk To The Court: Justices Will Hear Case On Student Athlete Compensation 

Supreme Court to hear NCAA case that could usher in a pay-for-play system 

Supreme Court Seems Ready to Back Payments to Student Athletes 

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12 Thoughts to “Should College Athletes be Getting Paid? The Supreme Court Debates”

  1. Tom

    No. Simply END College. Go to Specialty Schools but absolutely NO athletics. The athletes will hate this but they are the ones who caused it. The professors who encouraged them to get paid will take a 90% cut in salary. The tuition will be 1/8 of today’s cost. Degrees in Specialty School will be given in two years.

  2. Den

    He’ll no !they already get paid !free college.

  3. Den

    No already gets paid free college !

  4. Den

    No ?free college.

  5. Richard cashman

    College athletes deserve no pay. Free education , room and board is worth thousands and the stupid ( in many cases) black and white kids could care less about a degree. How sad.

  6. Jo


  7. flashy0ne

    ABSOLUTELY NOT !!! They are “supposed” to be getting an education. If they wish to be paid, they should turn pro. College is NOT supposed to be the “minor league” training ground for the pros — It’s supposed to be an EDUCATIONAL Institution — admittedly, basket weaving and “certain” useless studies are included so the “student athlete” is not mentally challenged. Unfortunately, many worthy students are denied advanced education as schools devote themselves to Saturday afternoon hieroglyphics.

  8. Charles Nicholas

    I say no to paying college KIDS a salary to play a kids game in fact in my opinion the pro athletes are way over paid

  9. Bud

    This action will only make the large power five schools seperate even more from the smaller schools. The best players will go to the highest paying schools and the smaller schools will not be able to compete for them money wise.

  10. rottenrollin

    College football is already far too large a scandal with the money it raises and distributes unevenly, in the colleges that worry far too much about sports and far too little about education, ethics and free speech.

    College football players should be paid if they’ve got an after-school job. BUT NOT for playing their game.

    Colleges need more and more to have RICO applied for all the seditious crap they engender.

  11. NO NO NO. They are already going to school free. Everyone else is paying.

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