Wednesday, September 11, 2013

If You're Going to Pay College Athletes You Should Treat Them Like Regular Employees

In Sean Gregory's Time Magazine article It's Time To Pay College Athletes (Time.com September 16th), Gregory makes the case of why college athletes like Johnny Manziel should be compensated for their services.

Gregory goes as far to say that college athletes are exploited and aren't paid like regular employees. He argues that college athletes make hundreds of millions of dollars for their schools.

I'm not going to argue if we should or shouldn’t pay college athletes even though I don't agree with it but I will argue that if colleges were to pay college athletes then they should be treated like regular employees.

If a compensation structure were to be in place, I believe that college athletes should be given a choice of being able to choose between the the traditional scholarship system and its rules or take the compensation route.

If an athlete takes the compensation route, they should have to pay for their education. They should also have to be accountable for their performance like every other employee. If their performance suffers, they should receive warnings from their supervisors (head coaches and administration) and if they fail to perform the school should be able to terminate the athlete.

In states that are at will states, the college should be able to terminate the employee in the same manner other employees are terminated.

Gregory says that based on research it is estimated that a college athlete would be compensated in excess of $200,000. An athlete like Manziel would be compensated even more.

So if you pay a college athlete like an executive of a regular company because it is believed that college athletes are exploited and not being compensated like a regular employee, they should have to perform on the field to receive their compensation.

I do agree that the current stipend offered to college athletes is not enough. They should be receiving a better stipend but if the courts, the players and the colleges deem it necessary to pay the college athlete, they should be given a choice of utilizing the current system (their scholarships should guaranteed if basic academic standards are met) or entering a pay for performance model where their compensation would be based on their on-field performance.

All state and federal laws regarding the employee/employer relationship should govern the relationship. All disputes of employment by either the employer or employee should be governed by state and federal laws.

I also think that all athletes should have to follow basic academic standards to remain at the college and on their teams. Expected academic standards should be in every contract that the college and employee/student enter into.

I know many of you will disagree with my opinion but I don't think that money should be thrown at athletes when they don't perform. There should be some sort of accountability for that college athlete/employee.



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