Monday, November 29, 2010

Dr. Boyce Watkins Debates the idea of paying college athletes


Transcript for an interview with Dr. Boyce Watkins of Syracuse University about whether or not college athletes should be paid.


- What, in your opinion, are the benefits of paying collegiate 
athletes, especially those from low-income backgrounds?

I don't necessarily care if college athletes are paid.  I just think they should have labor rights.  That means that they can negotiate a fair market salary, as well as make their own endorsement deals, rather than allowing universities to make deals for them and keep all the money.  The benefit is that the athletes in poverty would be able to use their prodigious human capital to make a living for their families.

- Would you be in support of paying all college athletes, or simply the 
ones from the major revenue sports like basketball and football?

I believe that any athlete in any sport that generates revenue should have access to the free market.  We are not a socialist country, so the idea of paying everyone the same doesn't make much sense.  So, if a tennis player is going to draw a crowd and can negotiate compensation, fundamental American labor rights say that he should be given the right to do so.

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