Should the NCAA Allow Its Athletes to Receive Monetary Compensation

Open Access
Lutschaunig, Christian
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Brian Davis, Honors Advisor
  • Christoph Hinkelmann, Thesis Supervisor
  • college athlete
  • college athletics
  • NCAA
  • Sports
  • Paying athletes
  • Payment method
  • O'Bannon
Since the turn of the 21st century, the debate surrounding the compensation of NCAA athletes has been growing exponentially. College athletics as a whole has become a billion dollar a year industry, but its participants see no financial benefit from this except for the scholarships they receive. Our society today is driven by the principles of a free market economy. As such, individuals have the opportunity to benefit financially from marketable skills they possess. Therefore, it is difficult to understand why this principle does not apply to revenue generating college athletes. This paper attempts to discover a way to compensate these athletes more fairly, while maintaining the integrity of intercollegiate athletics in the process. By analyzing both quantitative and qualitative factors related to this issue, I seek to find a plausible method that more fairly compensates the athletes in question. I consider financial data from the NCAA, its conferences, and its member universities, and attempt to create sustainable methods for compensating these athletes that represent their marketable values. I also consider nonfinancial factors related to the implementation of these methods, such as their feasibility, sustainability, and the effect on college athletics as a whole. After developing and thoroughly analyzing each of these methods, I will determine which one should be applied in practice based on which has the greatest chance of success.