ANDRE MAZUR, Special to The Denisonian—For decades now, there’s been an ongoing debate about college athletes being paid. Should they be allowed to receive money for their likenesses and use of their image? Should college athletes get paid at all?

Many people support the NCAA’s policy that these student athletes should not be able to make money off of their likenesses, as they think that a free education from a university is enough “payment.” Those who are on the opposing side believe that they should get paid because they bring in revenue to the school while putting their bodies and minds on the line.

Collegiate athletes should be allowed to receive money for their likenesses, and in many different ways. The three main ways I believe they should be allowed to receive money are: direct payment from their athletic/sport program, through advertisements and sponsorships, and through merchandise and memorabilia.

One concern about college athletes getting paid by the school is the ‘equality’ aspect. What athletes should get paid more than others? Should the best football players in the country be making more than the people on the golf team? My take is that the University should not be the one paying the players. The specific sports program for that school should pay the athletes on their respective teams. For example, if a top D1 college football team makes $50 million of revenue, they should be able to divvy that $50 million among their players however they like. If that same school’s golf team brings in $1 million in revenue, the golf program should be able to pay their athletes with that money. They should be allowed to get paid by their sports programs because sometimes, athletics can be like a job. They spend most of their time putting in physical and mental work in this sport, and their work brings in revenue for the school. They should get rewarded with some of that revenue.

Players should also be allowed to make money off of their names. This means the players are allowed to earn money is through advertisements and sponsorships. A college athlete should be allowed to get sponsored by a certain brand as well as feature in commercials for that brand. They deserve the right to represent themselves as individual athletes.

Lastly, they should be able to profit off of merchandise and memorabilia. They should receive a small portion of jersey sales with their name and number. Also, they should be allowed to sell autographed merchandise and make money off of their signatures.

This is why I feel college athletes should be allowed to receive money for their likenesses. The NCAA makes billions of dollars off of these athletes every single year, and some of them deserve more than just a full scholarship to a school.