Paying College Athletes

Yesterday on CBS’s Sunday Morning program they had a feature about whether college athletes should be paid. I don’t have a dog in this hunt but I don’t think the advocates really understand the argument they were making.

As I understood it they were arguing that due to the athletic scholarships they receive college athletes (not all college athletes are on scholarship) are already employees of the university and, consequently, the universities should shoulder the responsibilities of employers including paying their athletes cash wages.

To me the most obvious solution to the problem would be to end athletic scholarships.

I also suspect that the advocates don’t want to think about the fact that payments in kind are taxable and if athletes are employees then a Northwestern University athlete on scholarship owes on the order of $20,000 to the IRS but that’s a different subject.

3 comments… add one

  • Andy

    I agree it’s a bad argument. On the other hand, I’ve always been bothered the notion that everyone can make hordes of money from college athletes except the athletes themselves. More annoying still is that athletics are gradually overtaking academics at some institutions. “Amateur” my ass….

  • ...

    Ending athletic scholarships is about as politically feasible as Hitler getting elected Prime Minister of Israel. There’s too much money at stake, and not just in the obvious places.

  • Will Truman

    Out of curiosity do other tuition- reduction compensated employees have to pay taxes on the lack of tuition? I keep seeing student athletes compared to student teachers and whatnot and don’t know how it’s handled there.

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