Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Making all college students amateurs

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Sep• 27•13

If you have read my blog, you know from time to time I dabble in topics outside of health care. One of those interests is sports. Of late, there has been a lot of discussion in the media regarding whether college athletes should be paid. As an economist, it should come as no surprise that I support individuals being compensated for their labor. A new documentary titled Schooled: The Price of College Sports, looks at the issue in more detail. Below is a quote from Wages of Wins that puts some perspective on the topic.

I don’t doubt that people care about athletes.  But if you care about somebody, deal first with their rights. Imagine this: suppose the university were to say we’re going to have amateurism for all the students on our campus, so we can be consistent. And that means that you can’t get a job at the campus bookstore if you’re an undergraduate, that you can’t be paid as a teaching assistant if you’re a graduate student. You’re an amateur.

Speaker from a national convention of campus athletic directors

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One Comment

  1. Steve says:

    Grad students aren’t amateur teachers, they are pro. They teach real students and do it as we’ll or better than professors in many cases. Same goes for undergrads filing books inlibraries–they do it like pros in “real libraries” because college libraries are real libraries.

    But how many college basketball players could get minutes in the NBA? 1%?

    If college athletes generate so much value why don’t they just get rid of college sports and let pros leagues hire them. How many would make more than they get from a scholarship? Now imagine they got rid of college libraries and put the buildings into the county libraries systems. How many undergrads could still qualify for part time jobs at the libraries?

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