Should student athletes be paid?

As school kicks off yet another year, controversy still surrounds the possible financial compensation of student athletes.

The times have evolved with the change in culture. The rise of the internet and other options for cable television have allowed college events to be aired and viewed anywhere all over the globe.

According to the total revenue of the National College Athletic Association, 81 percent of their profits come from television and marketing deals. This really makes a person rethink how the NCAA actually operates in the entertainment industry.

Players are providing the service of entertainment that allows this industry to exist, which should entitle them to compensation based on the NCAA revenue.

The top 20 football programs made $925 million in gross revenue. On top of that, they make money off of players by selling jerseys with their numbers without giving them a single cent. Most schools where these players stay get 10 percent of the royalties.

Some people will argue that they are being paid with their education, but really in all honesty they can be paid much more. These students do not have the spare money to feed themselves, yet they sometimes put 40 to 60 hours a week in their respective sport without any thought of compensation.

Special players bring notoriety to their schools. Johnny Manziel who plays for Texas A&M, and Lorenzo Ball who plays for UCLA became household names and elevated media coverage for their institutions.

March Madness itself generated about a billion dollars last year in ticket sales, media rights, corporate sponsorship, and television ads. In the tournament there is some compensation to teams based on how far they go. I believe this should be the same across all sports, especially with companies lining up to be the official brands of the NCAA.

The athletes are the lifeline to sports entertainment, yet the NCAA say that they are not allowed to have their cut of this enormous pie. It’s about time players get paid operationally to what profits they generate.