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Should College Athletes be Paid?

This ongoing discussion regarding the profit of college sports and their players has reached no current progress, however a future decision will soon be made.

Let’s take a look at both sides of the argument:

Pay the College Athletes

Just because the athletes are younger, why should they not get reimbursed for doing the same job as that of an NFL or NBA player? The NCAA works their players, similar to a job, extremely difficultly while additionally expecting them to engage in school classes. By this, college sports should be similar to an internship; the student athlete should attend college and get paid for their outside work, sports. Many college players are willing to sacrifice their education for a chance to play in their respective professional league. If the athletes are paid in college, there will be less of an incentive to leave schooling in hopes of the big money.

Additionally, college athletes gain the same publicity and criticism as those in the professional league, exemplifying how the younger players should be given the same treatment of payment with those who are older. Also, college debt is a major issue in the country, and minimizing the money that students owe after college through athletics, may be a solution. Lastly, college is a profitable business which heavily relies on athletics for money. Although the student athletes can receive scholarships, they should be paid to be recognized for their hard work and money that they make for the colleges.

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Which Leagues are Fair in Sports?

Although surprises happen each year, certain leagues tend to either breed success of their teams or always have the same all-star superpowers.

Here are my rankings of the 4 major sports from the least fairness to most parity:

  1. Basketball by far has the most dramatic change between the elite and the rebuilding teams. For example, aside from the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, no team has any opportunity to get anywhere close to the NBA title. Instead, the majority of the teams have one, maybe two great players with the rest of their team being average. The Warriors and Cavs have an entire team of amazing players as they take the strongest athletes from the lower teams, pay them insane amounts of money, and then become “superteams”. When looking at the last few champions and LeBron James’ resume, it becomes evident how the same teams are in the title games every single year.
  2. Football maintains a drop off between the successful and weak, however the change is not as drastic as basketball. That being said, approximately only 5 teams each year have a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl and building a legacy. The New England Patriots are truly the only exception, seemingly always discovering a way to win. Teams can rebuild in minimal years to contend for a championship.
  3. Hockey for the most part has new teams each year making it into the Stanley Cup finals, but the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks are the reason that hockey does not give each team the opportunity to win; they have discovered a method to win consistently. On the other hand the length of success from the Blackhawks and Penguins does not last long, maybe 2-3 years maximum, which gives the rest of the league the ability to make their own legacy.
  4. Baseball gives almost every team the chance to make a push for the World Series each year. This is because teams play a series during the year, which causes different clubs to split the games in the series giving each team wins. The Arizona Diamondbacks were absolutely brutal in the last few years, but now are 8-2 in their last 10 games, on a 5 game win streak and 2nd in the National League West standings this year. Additionally, the Colorado Rockies and Houston Astros are surprise division leaders. Lastly, the National League Central is shockingly terrible this year, with the defending World Series champions, Chicago Cubs, just an average team. This goes to show in baseball that winning changes in a quick moment and building a team with a strong, successful reputation is nearly impossible.

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The Blame Game; Officials in Sports

From little league baseball and recreational soccer to the Superbowl and the Stanley Cup playoffs, officials play a significant role in a game. Although the judges truly are not “playing” the sport, their crucial decisions can produce lasting impacts and momentum-swinging moments. Many calls go under severe scrutiny from players, coaches, fans and broadcasters. This raises an important discussion. Do these referees deserve the blame for their opinions on a game?

Let’s discuss the key factors in the process and whether their job can be modified:

In the moment- As a referee, games can change in a split-second, specifically in professional sports including hockey and football. Officials are forced to make pivotal calls in a quick second or two. They do not have instant replay in their heads and cannot go back in time to reverse a call unless looking tape after the play concludes. Therefore, it is ignorant to harp on officials to make a perfect call exactly when something happens.

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Regular Season vs Playoffs

The question still lingers out there…does the regular season prepare teams for a grueling run at a title, known as the postseason?

Let’s break it down:

Regular Season impacts playoffs

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  • Seeding- As evident in March Madness, being a #1 seed vs a #2 seed can be the difference between statistical chances of success
  • Opponent- Most likely, when a higher seed, a better draw against a lesser opponent is given
  • Confidence- A better seed receives recognition from fellow teammates and the media giving the team confidence and belief that they can be win a championship

Regular Season does NOT impact playoffs

  • Unpredictability- Anything can happen in the playoffs. The sports world has seen crazy things, specifically when the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup after being the lowest seed going into the playoffs

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The Role of Technology in Sports

Technology plays a significant role in both the real world and sports. It is hard for Americans to imagine a society without computers, cell phones or a laptop. However, face-to-face communication has been the price for this international connection. Sports too has undergone alterations to conform to this changing world.

Let’s dissect 3 major areas that technology impacts sports:

Social Media

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Positive: Social media enables people from a variety of countries to embrace in the sports culture by sharing their input on crucial games or news. It promotes team pride and establishes friendly competition between friends, family or others. People can watch games on their devices which include score updates and analyzation of the game.

In 2016, 78% of Americans had a social media profile; that is 54% more that just 2008!

Negative: Unfortunately, collaboration may become violent or abusive on the multitude of social media platforms; cyberbullying is a risk of this online usage. Additionally, being on one’s phone during the game can take away from the natural thrill that sports provide.

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