Are College Basketball Players Paid?

When it comes to the world of College Basketball, most of us feel like these athletes go through more than they should. Heck, ALL college athletes are forced to deal with a rigorous play schedule, attend practice and training, and then find some way to mix schoolwork into all of that. THEN they are expected to maintain a full-time student schedule while keeping a good grade-point-average. But are college basketball players paid?

One would assume due to all of this, there would be some sort of money given to these men and women. Several sports make a lot of money for schools, like college football. However, college basketball can make more money for several colleges across the United States. This might be due to the success of the team, notoriety, or something similar.

You might wonder, are college basketball players paid for all they contribute?

The quick answer to this is, sadly, no. In spite of all they have to do and deal with, they don’t make a dime while in college. It seems wrong, right? That is likely because it honestly is.

Why NCAA Basketball Players Should be Paid

Due to their inability to have as much as a second of time to themselves most days…these athletes often cannot take on a job. Most of the other college students can, allowing them to make money while in school and use it for anything they need. However, college athletes are given a small Per Diem each month for things like food. This money is barely enough for most students, while many more need a lot more from this.

They must deal with so much, but the worst part is that their school profits heavily. The other big profit amount goes to the NCAA and Conference the team is part of. Basically, everyone is profiting off of the players except for, well, the actual players. Even jerseys with their names on them do not result in a profit fo the players either.

Therefore, when one questions whether or not if college basketball players involved in the NCAA should be paid…it’s clearly yes! Without them, others could not profit anyway.

Why NCAA Basketball Players Should Not Be Paid

We could point to all the reasons why college basketball players should be paid but what about the reasons they should not? There are some relatively good arguments on the subject. For example, the question regarding payment is truly: “how much?”

Most of the major colleges could afford to pay their players a lot of money. However, you do not want any school to have an edge over another because of money. Rather, you want them all to be paid the same. The issue is that the amount they will need to be paid has to be agreed upon by all, and many schools might be unable to afford specific amounts.

This is not just regarding college basketball but ALL sports. Therefore, since it would be tough for people to agree, and you do not want other schools to have a monetary edge, it could be argued that we should not pay them at all.

One could also say that since they are not professional players, paying them ruins that appearance. As it takes away their amateur status.

Can College Athletes Make Money Off Their Name?

Right now, this is a big fat no. Former College basketball players like Zion Williamson nearly got in trouble for this at one point but he was not alone. If one is paid in any way for their name or likeness based on college sports, it is a violation of current NCAA rules. They can sign autographs all day long, and can even sign jerseys that a local store can sell.

They simply cannot make money off of the sales. This is in spite of them signing their OWN signature to a jersey with THEIR NAME on it. They cannot even accept awards or gifts from people. That is how tight things are for them, and it’s completely horrible to see.

Will The NCAA Ever Allow Players To Be Paid?

Funny enough, this has been a topic that the NCAA itself has had to discuss a lot in recent years. There were some threats from professional leagues regarding bringing down the age of those they allow. The NBA’s decision to not allow a person to play until age 19 or one full year removed from high school gave us the “one and done” rule.

College Basketball was forever changed by this, as we were able to see some of the greatest future NBA stars before they went to the pros. While some players went overseas to be paid for a year before jumping to the NBA, the rest played in college. As a result, some only increased their stock to force NBA executives to look at them more. However, others saw it as more of a risk than an asset.

The XFL, CFL, and even the NFL have considered dropping their age gap in recent years too. Major League Baseball even drafts players right out of high school and while they’re in college. Not to mention, soccer clubs take kids on starting around 15 or 16. This is why some of the best soccer stars in the world rarely played in college. They were recruited by a club and trained there, being paid the entire time.

All of this has made the NCAA consider payment for several years, but sometimes it takes a bigger push to force action.


The NCAA was rocked the most, however, when several states began passing laws that will force colleges to pay players. California really started this, then they were joined by Georgia and many more. Things like the Fair Pay To Play Act were pretty significant changes.

After all of these changes, the NCAA made a former announcement to allow players to profit off of their name, image, and overall likeness.

The NCAA knows this, so they have been discussing a payment plan. One idea proposed is that schools will be allowed to share some of their profits with players. Other plans include the NCAA chipping in to meet colleges halfway with a specific number.

Others believe the NCAA will not allow payment plans to go through. Instead, they’ll allow mostly likeness to be of prime importance. In April of 2020, the NCAA pushed forward a plan to allow athletes to take on endorsement deals.

The big thing that is now being proposed the most is that college athletes will not be paid by their school, conference, or the NCAA. This means they can all be sponsored by an outside source, which could be a local company or perhaps a well-known national company. Either way, the safe bet is allowing this level of payment because it would remove any money being passed from coaches to players while recruiting them.

It is not completely certain, as of now, when exactly the NCAA will allow players to be compensated. However, it could be as soon as 2021 if everything can be completely figured out by then. If not, many expect things to be figured out by 2022 or 2023 at the latest.


The NCAA is now pushed into a corner. Professional Leagues and the American Government have been making them consider changing their ways. It took a law to change them completely, and it does appear that there will be options for any and all college athletes when it comes to payment. Sure, the amount that players might be able to get from ANY company or brand will need to be limited.

However, the fact that we’re getting this close for people to get paid for the work they put in is great to see. Now, all we’re waiting for is the official change to be put in place. College basketball, football, and even soccer or other sports could likely be improved. People jump to the pros earlier because of the money. People avoid college altogether because of money.

When everyone is paid, that only means great players will go to college and stick around longer. If you’re the NCAA, how could you avoid the potential to make even more money due to this? Literally, when you pay players…everyone wins.


Obi Toppin’s Growth Spurt Better Late Than Never

James Wiseman From Memphis To No.1 Pick?

Anthony Edwards: Basketball And Likely Landing Spots

Will LaMelo Ball Fit Into The Most Likely Landing Spots?

2020 NBA Draft Key Updates: Early Entry, Withdrawal, Lottery And Combine. Here’s What To Know

Makur Maker: Future Drafts In NBA To Feature More Prospects From HBCUs?

The Evolution of the College Basketball Court Size

How Important Are the NBA Draft Lottery Picks for Team Success?

How to Watch Future NBA Prospects on the Top-25 NCAA Teams Playing on Opening Night Tuesday