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Should College Athletes be Compensated Past Scholarships?

Michael White, founder of Solomon's Debate League, opens the debate Argument: "Should College Athletes be Compensated Past Scholarships?" 10/22/14 Schools: Boys and Girls High School (arguing "yes") versus Christ the King High School (arguing "no") S
Michael White, founder of Solomon's Debate League, opens the debate
Michael White, founder of Solomon's Debate League, opens the debate

Argument: "Should College Athletes be Compensated Past Scholarships?" 10/22/14

Schools: Boys and Girls High School (arguing "yes") versus Christ the King High School (arguing "no")

Synopsis of arguments:

Boys and Girls High School: Yes athletes should be compensated, because we pay for tickets to view live sporting, pay a cable bill to view live sports and for tickets to entertainment services, then it should be no problem to pay for live talent. The NCAA legal article was established with the purpose to protect the now and in the future. But if the legal article becomes unfair or abusive, it can be challenged to be changed.

Christ The King: No, athletes should not be compensated beyond the scholarship they received. We go to school to get an education. Playing a sport is an extra-curricular activity. When you receive scholarships, they are the reimbursement for playing the sports.

BHGS: The structure of the NCAA was established 108 years ago to protect athletes from injury. The physical safety was their highest priority. They would have never fathomed it would become the money making conglomerate it was today. Everyone is profiting now in the billions. Why should the athletes be the only group left out of the money.

CTK: Athletes are not forced to play sports. Athletes play at their own volition. If the focus is on sports while in college, they will not focus on their education

Boys and Girls High School debates
Boys and Girls High School debates

BHGS: A culture has been created around sporting events, including local businesses that thrive in the host cities as a result of the events, media partnerships, resulting in $240 million each game at schools. It's a win-win for everyone involved except the players who are merely receiving their scholarship. All teams around the country break even by game-4. The rest become profit. Collegiate athletes are in need of protection against exploitation.

CTK: We keep talking about the NCAA. But what about the sports that do not fall under that category. What about bowling, swimming, field hockey. How about those players and how they should be compensating. We're not arguing about the NCAA compensating; we're talking about the institution compensating their players. And once again, they are not there to play a sport; they are there to get an education.

BHGS: These are not the 6-8 teams that NCAA started out with in 1906. The charter needs to be changed to what the NCAA really is: America's minor league. Treat them as the minor league that they are. They receive more national tv coverage on major broadcast networks than any other minor league. Remove the illusion and follow the true progression. The NCAA should employ the players as employees, period. They deserve to be contracted.

Christ the King debates
Christ the King debates

CTK: While it is quintessential to recognize that they may have been practicing from before high school, they are still amateurs until they move onto the pro league.

BHGS: According to Malcolm Gladwell, author of "Outliers," it takes anyone 10,000 hours to develop a skill set of expertise. Collegiate athletes are not amateurs. They have practiced and competed way past 10,000 hours. The truth of the matter is that these young people dedicate countless hours of practice and need additional finances to eat when cafeteria hours are closed. The NCAA charter was written pre-NFL and pre-NBA, so their term of amateur is accurate for the time period. The NCAA cannot hide behind the charter.

Brooklyn Reader Analysis:


What was done well: The students made a laudable effort to present most of their arguments without reading their points. This shows they were serious about truly understanding their arguments, they took notes in between the presentations and distributed their arguments across several of the team members.

What could have been done better: The argument seemed to rely on two points and could have been developed out a bit more. Also, their argument was based on what "should" happen, versus disproving the validity of a document, rule or procedure, making their argument more challenging but also providing an opportunity to define a new procedure altogether, which they did not do. Also, it would have helped if they were a little more rehearsed.


What was done well: The students picked a document that served as the opposing argument's defense and picked it apart by disproving its relevancy today. The team was poised, rehearsed and well practiced. Their arguments came from various angles against a single point (the NCAA legal charter).

What could have been done better: The fact that everyone read from their notes didn't seem to take away much, because it was clear that they understood their point of view. However, if even one or two (or all) had presented without notes, it would have been that more powerful.

The Brooklyn Reader gives the win to BGHS for this debate. They had the better argument and the better overall presentation.

Actual winner: BGHS