Do College Football Players Get Paid?

College football is a big deal in the United States. The home games garner a huge audience every year. The college football player tag is a big deal among students. For the huge time and effort these students put in, do college football players get paid? 

As of yet, NO. College football players or any other student-athletes do not directly get paid for the games they play. No matter how popular a college game is, these are still just student clubs and they are amateur athletes who play these games. Most universities do not have sufficient funds to pay their athletes.  

However, if you are a college football player there are still plenty of other ways to earn money from your playing field. With the new laws in place, you will find many different opportunities to earn from beside your football scholarship and added perks.  Here is all you need to know about this new change. 

Do College Football Players Get Paid?

Do College Football Players Get Paid?

No, college football players do not get paid by the university. At least not directly. In fact, it is illegal to pay college athletes for competing in games in college. Under the current rules, these athletes must maintain amateur status in order to play in college. This means they cannot get any sort of monetary remuneration for their efforts.

There has been an age-old debate on whether college athletes should get paid and there are plenty of reasons on both sides. The National Collegiate Athletic Association or NCAA usually governs all rules and regulations regarding college football. You, as a college athlete, are not only prohibited from getting paid but also from receiving any prize money for the games that you win. 

Apart from a few top colleges, the bodies governing these activities are often very low on funds. It can be very difficult for them to pay their football players. A lot of people refute this by saying that college football games gather large audiences and raise a lot of money. Even so, this is only true for bigger colleges. 

Most colleges simply do not have sufficient funds to pay their athletes. Even if your college decided to pay the athletes, this would pose a number of new challenges for the entire “industry”. 

Only certain games like football and baseball actually garner any interest from the crowds. You would be unfairly paid if you were part of a less popular sport like Softball for instance. 

You will only face more and more hardships as money gets involved in the process. Only a select few will be able to profit from this in large amounts. This fails to level the playing field for everyone.

It also introduces more scopes for corruption and injustice into the system.  You would require legal committees to ensure that no injustice is being done and that all players get equal pay and that simply would not be realistic for most colleges to implement.

But you would know if you are a college athlete that becoming one takes a lot of sacrifices. It is a complete change in lifestyle and all of your time goes into practice. It becomes hard for many students from lower-income families to sustain themselves since they cannot earn much outside of their athletic activities either.

Can College Football Players Make Money?

While it is still illegal to pay college football players, there is some good news to look forward to. As of June 2021, the NCAA has declared it to be legal for college football players to take on advertisements or endorsement deals and make money off of their fame. College football players and other student-athletes can now earn profit from their NIL.  

This is great news for college football players, because for years now they have been losing out on such deals. As college football is a big deal in the States, these athletes also end up growing a following. This allows many other companies to profit off their fame, by selling off their jerseys, or pictures, or even endorsements.

But before this new law was passed, none of these profits could be cashed out to the athletes. They basically had to do these deals for free and anyone could wrongfully use the player’s fame for the company’s profit. If you did manage to make money off it, you would have to pay if you were caught.

But now you can do brand deals and endorsements and also earn a lot of money from your name. Since the athlete lifestyle doesn’t leave much time for other part-time jobs and they legally cannot work other jobs during the year either, this a great source of income for those struggling financially.

And perhaps this may even be a step in the direction of a future where football players will legally get paid. This is why this change is such a huge, historic step in the right direction for the college football scene.

What Perks Do College Football Players Get?

The main argument against college football being termed as “unpaid labor” is that these athletes get a lot of perks due to playing college football. If you are riding on a football scholarship for instance, then you are saving thousands of dollars in tuition money. These players also get complimentary training, nutrition, and access to study halls, tutors, etc.

 This is especially true for the big colleges. Each year the college spends thousands on each student if they are playing for the college football team. Millions of dollars goes into giving these students the best training as well as an environment for playing. You will also get special access to “training grounds”.  These are almost resort-like places equipped with the best field and training gear. 

Not only that, these students get access to top trainers from the field and can use all their time and effort to improve their skills. This makes it easier for many of these players to transition smoothly into playing football professionally as well. Plus, major league coaches will also have their eyes on these players. You will get noticed much more easily if you play college sports. 

And even apart from these perks, if you can make it to the top teams, you also get the added perks of fame. You can (now) make money off your name, do brand deals and endorsements and earn a lot of cash for yourself. And it’s also nice to get attention.

And even in smaller colleges, the college football players are the cool kids of the bunch. Everyone knows who you are, even the teachers. You can get by with a lot of things with your college athlete tag. You will be popular no matter where you go.

This all seems like a sweet deal, especially the scholarship. Not having to pay for your degree, while still getting access to the best things in college can be amazing. But with the added living expenses it can be difficult living without pay. Especially if you aren’t already financially well off, the fact that you aren’t earning any money can be a problem.


So next time someone asks you, “Do college football players get paid?” you’ll know what to answer. But if you are a college athlete yourself, there is still hope for you. The tides are changing and soon you might receive payment for your games.  

Thanks for reading and I hope this article here was able to answer your queries. Until next time, farewell.