As the debate about whether or not high profile or revenue earning collegiate athletes deserve to be paid continues, one very important fact continues to escape the consciousness of those who so passionately defend the idea: These athletes are ALREADY being paid. Thats right. Student-Athletes in the Football Bowl Subdivision (Or FBS) or NCAA Division 1 Basketball have the potential to earn almost a quarter of a million dollars over the course of a four year college career on scholarship. While regular students manage full time academic schedules, work sometimes multiple jobs or go into crippling debt to pay for their education, scholarship athletes simply go about the business of doing something they love while never giving even a single thought to the cost of paying for school. While they certainly have demanding schedules, they have the financial freedom to balance their studies with practice schedules without the worry of how to pay for school. In addition, they live a life of constant VIP treatment; signing autographs, traveling around the country at no cost, being on TV every week, and having the rare opportunity to build their resume to possibly go into the National Football league (NFL) or National Basketball Association (NBA) and be paid millions in salary and endorsement deals, all before ever proving definitively that they are even capable of playing at the professional level. .
None of this is to say that there are not problems with the current system. Players need more than they are given. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (or NCAA) have gone far too long without examining this issue and making much needed changes. Players should be allowed earn financial rewards in cases where their likeness or image is used. They maintain rigorous physical conditioning in order to perform so making sure they have unlimited access to proper nutrition at no cost would be appropriate.