Human capital can be defined as a collection of knowledge, habits, and personal creativity that are important in performing labor with the goal of producing an economic value. From an economic perspective, human capital is associated with the ability of a state or an organization to improve performance outcomes significantly.
It is important to differentiate human capital from monetary capital, which does not grow for a long period. In fact, even its short-term growth trends are not always linear. Over the years, there has been a debate about whether students participating in college sports activities should be paid. This paper seeks to develop an argument to support the idea of rewarding college athletes with money on a regular basis.
Ross Eisenbrey states that the utilization of the unpaid labor of students on internships has been on the increase over the past ten years. He contends that if an individual works for any firm or person for financial gains, then he or she should be paid for his or her services. This is irrespective of whether individuals are students or graduates. Colbert claims that students who participate in athletic competitions on behalf of their colleges should be paid.
Based on the human capital model, the scope of athletics in colleges represents a positive contribution to human development and well-being. The model has six domains that should be considered before one can decide whether college athletes should be paid.
These are physical capital, emotional capital, individual capital, social capital, intellectual capital, and financial capital. For the purpose of the argument in this paper, financial capital is given a priority. It refers to gains with regard to earning power, productivity, and work attainment.
Some athletes come from low-income families. Thus, they can hardly sustain themselves. When they engage in college sports events, they cannot find time to look for jobs that would provide them with a regular source of income. It is evident that a significant amount of the funds generated from athletics is used to support other games, such as basketball and football. However, if students participating in athletics would be paid by institutions of learning, then they would focus on studying and developing their careers in sports.
In an era where the internet is playing a great role in broadcasting athletics events at colleges, it is no doubt that the institutions of learning are making huge profits, some of which can be used to reward the participating students financially.
Some college students qualify for scholarship grants that cater for expenses, such as travel and food. However, it is important to note that not all expenses are covered by the grants, implying that student athletes would hardly meet the demand of catering for their needs because most of their time is spent in sports exercises and practices.
It is notable that some team members engage in abuses, such as illegally taking cash from boosters. This can be avoided by remunerating them. Athletes may sustain injuries that might negatively impact them in the long-term. Although colleges might cater for their medical bills in the short-term, they might not cater for their health care for a long period. If student athletes would be paid, then they would cater for the long-term expenses in relation to treating injuries.
That notwithstanding, paying the students would lead to high levels of inequality in colleges due to the fact that some would feel that their efforts in other activities are not being appreciated. In addition, paying athletes in colleges is not supported by the law. Thus, a move to pay them could be challenged in a court of law, which could lead to huge financial implications.