We are pleased to announce that Natalie Dybeck, a graduate from the University of California is the winner of the 2022 ChapmanAlbin Law School Scholarship Essay Contest.
Natalie will be awarded $1,000 to be used towards tuition and/or expenses at the University of California, Hastings School of Law in San Francisco, CA.
For this year’s essay, scholarship applicants were asked: “Should collegiate athletes be paid? Argue for or against and provide at least 3 reasons for your position.”
Read Natalie’s winning essay below.
Collegiate Athletes should be paid.
Compare a collegiate athlete to a PhD student. PhD students have their tuition paid for by the school and receive stipends for their work. In return the school receives their name on any newsworthy research the PhD student might complete while at the university and may call on the student to be teacher assistants. A collegiate athlete represents the school. Their newsworthy accomplishments are attached to the school by the jersey they wear on their back. Their participation in their sport is, like the PhD student’s role as a TA, a job, as it takes time away from their studies. While the counter argument may be that student athletes get full ride scholarships so all they lack in comparison to the PhD student is a stipend, that it not the case. According to the NCAA, most athletes only receive a portion of tuition covered by scholarships, not a full ride. In comparing the two, both groups further the school’s reach and notability through their actions on campus, however it’s the PhD student, not the athlete, who likely has no tuition payments and also receives a stipend for their efforts.
In addition to their athletic skills generating valuable exposure for their schools through televised games, headlines, and in some cases student athletes becoming household names, schools also greatly profit off of their athletes through merchandise. Jersey sales are a prime example. A fan buys a specific player’s jersey because they admire that student, yet the school gets all the profit, not the student whose name is on the back of the shirt. In the NFL, according to the agreement between the NFLPA, the players’ union, and the league, players get two-thirds of the money made by selling jerseys. The other third goes to the union — and some of that goes into a pool for all NFL players. In the NBA jersey profits also go into the union pool heightening players’ income. Yet while professional sports pay their players both a salary and allow players to make profits off the sale of their name, collegiate athletes get neither.
Finally it is important to quantify the risk of play. There is an inherent risk of injury in sports. By playing for one’s college team athletes risk injuries that could jeopardize their opportunity to play professionally and receive a professional athlete’s paycheck. Smaller injuries could result in having to sit out for a season and put at risk their scholarship for being on the team. And in the worst case scenario some players could even face lifelong disability if the damage from an injury is permanent.
Schools have been taking advantage of student athletes for much too long. California’s Fair Play to Pay Act allowing student athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness through endorsements is a great first step. However colleges themselves should pay their student athletes for the notability, profit, and risk they bring to the table.
Congratulations Natalie! If you are an incoming or current law student, be on the lookout for our next scholarship opportunity.
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