Should Student Athletes Get Paid?

Should Student Athletes Get Paid?

Has anyone checked out the video of Cam Newton giving viewers a behind-the-scenes tour of a $1 million closet? Don’t get me wrong, I’m amazed at the fact that a two-story closet with tons of fashionable items exists, but I’m mostly fascinated with how the former Carolina Panther has taken his career into his own hands.  Then my next thought was, but what if it didn’t turn out this way for him? Why? Well, it’s hard to believe that slightly over a decade ago, way before NIL deals were conceived, Newton was involved in a pay-for play scandal.

Quite the contrast from today’s world of sports, college athletes were prohibited from making any streams of money off their own name, image and likeness while in school. And who was there to keep track of this debate? Me. Well, not physically, but back in 2012 I wrote a grad school essay title, Should Student Athletes Get Paid? Read a few excerpts below and share your thoughts.

Today’s elite athletes can’t afford the finer things in life due to their commitment to becoming the very best, which often means countless hours spent excelling at their respective sport. As a result, this leaves no time for a job while also dealing with the realization that they can never be fully compensated with an education. In the words of a former college basketball player, all scholarships do is pay for tuition, books, food and housing. While many people believe that a scholarship should be payment enough, many athletes would beg to differ as the scholarship – worth from $15,000 – $25,000 per year covers the bare essentials of being in college.

The plight of former college football standout Ryan Leaf along with 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton,  2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush and most recently – Auburn football players Stanley McClover, Troy Reddick, Chaz Ramsey and Raven Gray ( were all the lead-in stories on national sports telecasts detailing the accounts of how all these players allegedly failed to be in compliance with the longstanding National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rule which forced players to vigorously follow the rules and regulations of this governing institution. Major colleges reportedly scurried to spell out what could happen to violators who failed to work to educate boosters on NCAA rules compliance.

Former Auburn University and Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton caused a great stir when his father admitted to soliciting money from Mississippi State during the recruiting process. ( The NCAA was investigating the recruitment of Newton, who led the Tigers to the 2010 national title when his father, Cecil, admitted to soliciting money from Mississippi State during the recruiting process but said neither the player nor Auburn knew about his pay-for-play attempt.

If you would like to read the full essay, email me at [email protected]

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