By Daegiona Wilson
Staff reporter

The argument over whether college athletes shall be paid has been debated for years. Now it is time for the Supreme Court of the United States to finally issue a decision on this matter.

NCAA v. Alston is a case in which the Supreme Court will decide whether the National Collegiate Athletic Association prohibition on compensation for college athletics violates federal antitrust laws. This was heard on March 31 and a decision will be reached within the next few months.

Lower courts have already passed bills allowing for compensation. The most recent was on March 24. The state court of South Carolina ruled that colleges and universities can allow athletes to be compensated for ads or sponsorships.

Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska and New Jersey have also passed bills allowing athletes to be compensated. Florida will put this bill into action starting as early as this summer. Michigan and South Carolina will be the summer of 2022. The other states will be 2023 or later.

However, the NCAA could file an injunction to stop these payments without the Supreme Courts official ruling.

With a billion-dollar revenue, supporters of the bill argue that the NCAA can afford compensations. They also say that it isn’t fair for the NCAA to profit this money without sharing with student-athletes.

#NotNCAAProperty trended across social media platforms, and live in person at games this past basketball season. Protests are still ongoing on social media.

On March 17, Geo Baker, Rutgers University guard, said, “Someone on [a] music scholarship can profit from an album. Someone on academic scholarship can have a tutor service. For [people] who say ‘an athletic scholarship is enough,’ anything less than equal rights is never enough.”

The real concern is, is this actually about equality and fairness? For this bill to be passed and be equal and fair, all athletes shall receive compensation. Even with a billion-dollar revenue, it is impossible for the NCAA to provide all collegiate athletes compensation.

Yes, many athletes go to college with the mindset that playing is the No. 1 priority. However, can we disregard the price of education?

How can we disregard one of the biggest components that set collegiate and professional sports apart? How can we disregard the dedication and hard work, that leads to the big money once graduated from college?

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Alston, will collegiate sports be as entertaining to watch? Players will have the mindset of promoting themselves on social media and be more entertaining during competition with the focus of making a profit.

The approval by the Division I board of directors in January of 2012, permits NCAA athletes to receive a monthly allowance, given on a financial needs basis, up to $2,000.

There are many amenities that have also been put in place, allowing athletes to be holistically successful. Scholarships, free and reduced housing/ meal plans, technology provided, and the list continues. The decision by the Supreme Court favoring that compensation for college athletes does not violate federal antitrust laws will only hurt collegiate athletics.