Learn Liberty veteran Professors Peter Jaworski and Art Carden met up at a Samford University Bulldogs game to wax philosophical about the economics of college sports. In the video below, Carden asks, “Would it compromise the integrity of the sport if the student athletes were paid for the value they produce for their school?” to which Jaworski responds “absolutely not.”
This conversation dovetails nicely with a recent book Jaworski just coauthored with Professor Jason Brennan titled Markets Without Limits: Moral Virtues and Commercial Interests. The overall thesis of the book, and what Carden and Jaworski argue in the video, is that being paid for creating value for others should not be something that’s stigmatized.
Historically, it seems there’s a sort of cultural reflex to look down on certain activities that people engage in for money. Some argue that it’s somehow wrong or immoral to pay college athletes, organ donors, or sex workers. But why? We often consider it the height of generosity to donate blood or bone marrow, so what’s wrong with compensating donors for their time and energy? Why not go a step further and pay organ donors? Some have argued that this move could have real implications to help solve the obscenely long wait lists for kidneys.
So why not pay college athletes? When coaches are paid millions of dollars by their respective universities for leading their teams to greatness, the argument that paying athletes somehow “corrupts” the sport seems to fall flat. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.