Amidst controversy, NCAA athletes do not deserve paychecks despite injuries to star players

Hunter O. LyleSports Editor

Anyone who watched the largely anticipated NCAA rivalry game between University of North Carolina and Duke on Feb. 20 saw NBA first-overall-pick prospect Zion Williamson go down with a knee injury in the first minute of the game due to an exploding shoe.

Without Williamson, Duke, who was – and still is – ranked first in the nation, lost the game to the Tarheels, but a long-debated conversation once again rose to the table: should collegiate athletes be paid for playing in the NCAA?

The conversation arose when Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell tweeted, “Again let’s remember all the money that went into this game…. and these players get none of it…. and now Zion gets hurt… something has to change @NCAA.”

From there, the question has been asked on multiple sports talk shows and podcasts, with everyone giving different perspectives.

From one humble sports editors view, who notably has logged a total of zero minutes on a NCAA court but has been following college basketball for some time, I do not believe that collegiate athletes should expect a pay check any time soon.

Southern, like most other universities with athletics programs, gives out scholarships to their players which cover the intense fees that come along with attending an institution of higher learning, such as room and board and meals, among other expenses.

In my mind, your scholarship is your payment.

Think of all the students who bust their behinds, working long hours while attending classes when they can, just to afford the cost of admission. Even more so, think of all the people who cannot raise enough money to step foot on a campus.

Being able to attend college free-of-charge, that is, on a full-ride scholarship, is a gift that many people aren’t lucky or skilled enough to achieve, and athletes should be appreciative of what they get (obviously, I am not saying that all college athletes aren’t grateful).

Many of these full-ride athletes, more so on the Division I side of this argument, are expected to have an NBA career in the near future, usually after their first and only year in the NCAA.

According to a Sports Illustrated article NBA rookies can expect to sign a million-dollar contract upon entering the NBA.

Not everyone gets handed a golden ticket that could potentially let them reach their dreams, and for some of those who do, it is just not enough.

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