Scholarship or Paycheck

Money made from college athletics.

It's become a second religion for many sports fans in America. Gathering to enjoy college sports no matter the time or day of the week. Making the still amateur sport more than a billion dollar industry.

Bringing up one of the biggest debates in the sports world.

Whether college student athletes should receive pay while playing for their school.

We bring you Nebraska's opinions on both sides and how it would affect the smaller schools in the NCAA.

"The reports of all the money that's now involved in running a college athletic program," UNL Sports law professor Jo Potuto said. "You know it's the stories of the big media contracts."

Now the debate comes up what to do with all that money? Whether it should keep going back to pay coaches salaries and for school facilities, or be distributed amongst the players.

"I'm pretty much against it," Former UNK Softball coach Dan Simmons said. "I think it ruins the concept of why young people go to college to play athletics and I'm really worried about where that's going."

Some argue giving only certain athletes payment to play makes the rest of those on the team lose the will to play for the love of the sport.

"What I wouldn't want to do is discourage all these other kids that go to college to play because they love the sport and they want to compete," Simmons continued. "Then suddenly you start driving the dollar sign in front of it and it really scares me where that would head."

Most of the debate focuses on big division one schools who bring in the most money and said to be the hardest workers. Simmons however begs to differ, pointing out his division two team took down the huskers in his final year of coaching.

"How do you explain to your athletes who get minimal scholarships and working part–time jobs that you just went out and beat a team that's all pay to play athletes," Simmons stated. "You know some of them would go to a job then come and lift later, so to say that they weren't working as hard as the D1 kids I think that's a foul statement."

Some sports law professors however think athletes deserve more individual freedom using publicity to make money. Saying other college students can use extra curricular activities to make extra money. Why can't athletes?

"I would support permitting student athletes to market their own name, images and likenesses," Potuto said. "Maybe hold the money till they graduate that doesn't implicate the amateur model if you think about it."

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