Should College Athletes Be Paid?


A debate on whether college athletes should be paid has raised concern over the years. Despite getting aid such as scholarships to study, these student-athletes may need payment to sustain their needs. There are some public opinions as to why sportspersons should be paid. Most college sports programs generate a substantial amount of revenue for the government, which provides a reason why they should be paid (Knoester & Ridpath, 2020).

The student participants’ economic rights allow them to benefit from their talent since everyone is entitled to be paid after participating in any money-earning activity. In most college-level, athletes are seen as a major business that should be packed, marketed, and sold just as any other goods (Meyer & Zimbalist, 2020). To allow student-players to benefit from the above income, a new legislation should be implemented. The proposal should strive to encourage student-athletes to form unions and gain money from their image and name in the same way professional players do. Every college team should have a wage limit and a basic pay per participant. This paper shows the collaboration between principles of microeconomics and the reasons why college athletes should be paid.

Basic Principles of Microeconomics

Microeconomics is a small branch of economics that scrutinizes individuals’ and firms’ responses in decision-making regarding the allocation of scarce resources. It also shows the relationship which exists between the organization and people in terms of operation. Its main goal is to analyze the market, which forms a basis for business and price determinants of goods and services. Furthermore, factors of production such as land, capital, and workforce are critically analyzed. The principles provide a framework for the operation of microeconomics. Without this knowledge, economic issues could be neglected, hence reducing efficiency (Greenlaw et al., 2017). Consequently, since the majority of learners who study sports economics are sports enthusiasts, some of them may be appointed in school sports management boards to help improve better methods of compensating student-athletes.

Demand and Supply

Demand is the number of goods available to clients, whereas supply is the quantity delivered to the consumers. The demand is affected by various factors which influence the flow of goods and services. The commodity price should be affordable and not extremely expensive (Chindarkar & Thampapillai, 2018). The income of consumers should be high for them to be able to purchase. The buyers’ tastes towards the merchandise should be favorable for them to buy. The supply chain is also affected by the price since the current costs of goods and services form a basis for inflation (Greenlaw et al., 2017). Likewise, various sports are organized, and their demand determines the criteria of choosing participants. The availability of players is also crucial since no game can progress without them.

Athletes being one of the most liked personalities, their demand is high. After winning a game, they are likely to be awarded trophies and money depending on the terms of the agreement. The issue of race can also influence the decision whether they should be paid or not (Knoester & Ridpath, 2020). Additionally, these individuals need more energy and time sacrifice as they might have preferred spending their leisure time doing other activities.


The interaction between suppliers and consumers leads to exchanging goods and services, and this is known as the market. The interaction should be positive and genuine for it to be a success. Business contacts between the manufacturers and consumers are not usually direct but made possible through intermediaries (Chindarkar & Thampapillai, 2018). Wholesalers, retailers, itinerant traders, and brokers channel the distribution of goods from producers to consumers.

Similarly, athletes should also be paid according to the market system. People have preferences in which type of game to support and like. Sportspersons are one of the most liked individuals, and they contribute huge revenues to the government, therefore, as their market value is high, they should be paid. The college competitors face economic challenges, including their tuition expenses (Meyer & Zimbalist, 2020). Thus, such payments are essential for them to satisfy their needs and also cater to their college fees. To be marketable, these young participants must be highly competent so as to have a decent history of remarkable performance.

Production Theory

This depicts the relationship between the physical output of production and physical input. Resources such as labor, capital, and raw materials influence profit rates made. Labor supply and experience in manufacturing affect the quality of goods produced (Chindarkar & Thampapillai, 2018). The value of output should be high for the increased consumption. In correspondence, the relationship between the trainees and the trainer influence the results achieved at the end of the course. The coach must have high experience, and they should be competent. Positive interaction must be emulated in the course of instructions for a better outcome (Meyer & Zimbalist, 2020). The attitude towards each other should be good, and both coaches and athletes should be aiming at one goal.

Perfect Competition

Competition in the market influences the way consumers use a commodity. The products must be homogenous in the market such that there is no confusion in terms of branding (Chindarkar & Thampapillai, 2018). A business cannot exist where there is stiff rivalry from other firms. A state of macroeconomics equilibrium in competition is suitable for the functioning of a company (Greenlaw et al., 2017). External threats such as environmental degradation can affect the operation. The antagonism also exists in any game where each team strives to outdo the other. Higher competition may lead to defeat, which may pose a challenge for more practice to sharpen skills. Team managers should treat each team with equality and fairness. Racial discrimination should be avoided as the athletes may be from different backgrounds.


Chindarkar, N., & Thampapillai, D. J. (2018). Rethinking teaching of basic principles of economics from a sustainability perspective. Sustainability, 10(5), 1486. Web.

Greenlaw, S., Taylor, T., & Shapiro, D. (2017). Principles of Microeconomics 2e.

Knoester, C., & Ridpath, B. D. (2020). Should college athletes be allowed to be paid? A public opinion analysis. Sociology of Sport Journal, 1(a), 1-13. Web.

Meyer, J., &Zimbalist, A. (2020). A win: College athletes get paid for their names, images, and likeliness, and colleges maintain the importance of academics. Harv. J. Sports & Ent. L., 11,247.

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