When discussing the concept of college athletes being paid, it can be easy to just name all the reasons why it should happen without thinking about the logistics of the situation. Paying college athletes would be complicated, and there would be no set salary for each and every player. In order to pay college athletes to play, you would have to adjust every individual player’s salary to their desirability and talent level. Doing so would not only be time consuming for the university, it would also discourage players who are getting paid less than their teammates from working their hardest.
It could also be difficult to determine if a player is being paid the accurate amount of salary. If a player’s desirability increases, does that denote a raise in salary as well? Logistically there would be no way to accurately predict how much school budget would have to be conserved for players’ salaries.
In addition, different sports teams bring in more revenue at different schools. The chart below displays just how different revenues between different athletic departments can be.
Universities would have to determine which departments would be getting more salary, and the lower income departments would be discouraged as well. Would every department be receiving a salary, or solely those who bring in revenue?
To add, many colleges can not actually afford to pay their athletes along with all their other expenses, and would definitely not be able to generate enough money to pay them all equally. Steve Patterson, the athletics director at the University of Texas, agrees.
“There’s no more money. Everybody is working as hard as they can to generate as much revenue as humanly possible and all, but a handful of schools operate in the red.”