Pierce Pioneer

Should College Athletes be paid?

Kevin Collins / Staff Photographer

The debate of whether or not we should be paying college athletes has come to prominence with the introduction of a new California law regarding the subject. Recently, California governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which would allow college athletes to make money from sponsorships and product endorsements.  

The National Collegiate Athletic Association objects to this law. According to NPR, they see it as a threat to the traditional model amateurism in college athletics. However, considering that colleges make money off of the athletic games, it doesn’t seem so fair that the students aren’t being compensated, but their professional counterparts are compensated with significant payment.

Take Zion Williamson, a basketball player from Duke University, for an example. According to The New York Times, Williamson is college basketball’s best and most prominent player. 

However, back in February, he suffered an injury to his right knee after his sneaker split open during a game. 

This unfortunate event led to calls for him to stop playing college basketball, seeing as he was already an NBA draft prospect. 

This drew criticism towards the NCAA for not paying student athletes. In another case years earlier, a college football player chose to end his college career prematurely after receiving an injury more serious than Williamson’s. This was due to the fact that he wouldn’t be compensated, along with the athlete wanting to limit the risk to his professional payday, according to the NYT.

Of course, there are arguments against paying college athletes. Some college athletes get numerous privileges from the schools they’re at – scholarships, reduced fees, and getting priority when picking classes for each term. However, the law does not say that the students would get paid by the college itself, or by the NCAA. 

The money would come from sponsorships by outside companies to use their name, image, and likeness for product endorsements and advertisements. 

If the money paid to athletes came from the university, the student athletes would become student employees, presenting Title IX challenges.

There are cases of athletes being drafted into the professional leagues right out of high school, meaning they might not have to play in college in order to get a position in a major sports league like the NBA or NFL. This may distract them, and prevent them from pursuing an education, which is a risky way to go. Besides, the odds of getting drafted right out of high school is small, and having a good education is the safer route.

So, while I still support college athletes being paid, I can see reasons why others would go against this.

Pierce College at NWAC Volleyball Championship

See some highlights of the state championship, as well as hear Coach Finel share about his vision for next year.

Lady Raiders are No. 2 in Conference


Women’s Volleyball Places Third in State Tournament

Pierce’s women’s volleyball team competed in the Northwest Athletic Conference championships from Nov. 15 to Nov. 17, hoping to rank in the top four, which would be a first for the program since 1980.

Though Pierce lost to Spokane and Highline at the Tacoma Convention Center, the Raiders placed third and felt proud of how they ended the season. Players Hattey Smith and Jocelyn Hillyer were the team’s most valuable players throughout the season and during the tournament.

In order to qualify for the championships, teams have to place in the top four out of 16 in the regular season. The tournament was held at the Tacoma Convention Center.

“Jocelyn was the MVP of the West; she finished the season first. She was first team selection,” said women’s volleyball head coach Greg Finel. “Hattey actually finished the season first in assists; she made second team (selection) for the West, and she made second team for the alternate team also.”

Even though those two stood out, the rest of the team did their part and held their own during the matches, Finel said.

“You have players who do really well when they lead different categories,” Finel said. “But it took everybody, every single person and every single moment to be as successful as we were. We had some players stand out this day, and another player stand out that day. So when one player wasn’t doing well, another one stepped up just to pick the other one up.”

The coach reflected on his time here at Pierce and working with the volleyball team. “I’ve been here three years, so it was a combination of all the work we’ve been putting forth in the last three years as far as going out and putting the right foot forward,” Finel said.

The chances of the Pierce women’s volleyball team being in the final two was squashed when they lost to their toughest competitors in the tournament.

As for any changes in the team’s roster next season, Smith said: “Some new freshman. But we have a lot of freshman this year, so the sophomore class will be really big.”

Finel shared his vision for next year’s team. ‘We’re losing three key players. But the goal is to bring in five to six new players that are bigger, better, faster, stronger than the players leaving and some of the players we have. The goal is to find the right fit, not just they can play, and they’re athletic and they’re big. But will they fit into the system and will they get along with the girls we already have?’


For more about Pierce College’s Raiders at NWAC Volleyball Championship, watch this video!

Student athletes search for balance

Student athletes balance their time between school, studying, and the sport they compete in, sometimes-even balancing a job as well.

In the life of a college student is this to rushed and busy or is it fine to have so much going on?

One might say it is up to the student themselves to decide whether or not they are to busy for all of this. However some can take on too much and become easily overwhelmed and crack under the pressure.

There are two kinds of student athletes; the ones who flourish with the chance to participate in their sport and in school, and the ones who become overwhelmed and end up letting both get 50 percent of the effort.

Lets take a closer look at the first kind of student athlete, they can use school to push and fuel the sport and they can also use the sport to fuel school.

In most if not all schools of any type of level to participate in sports one must keep a grade point average above a 2.0, meaning if it drops below this the athlete cannot play in the games, or sometimes cannot participate in practices, this may seem like a good incentive to keep grades up.

However, looking back to the second type of student athlete mentioned, the student becomes over-taken by this allowing grades to drop.

When the student’s grades drop they are required to raise their grades to a passing level, however they have no extra time to do so.

This now leaves the athlete below where they need to be. The student would then have the choice whether they choose to take time away from the sport to pull the grade up or take time away from sport.

Being a student athlete is a delicate mix of school, and sports that not everyone can handle. For a select few this mix is ideal allowing one to push the other to produce a wonderful result.

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