Editor’s note: The Daily Journal is pleased to start a new Students in Sports submission series. High school students are invited to submit sports-related opinion columns to sports@daily-journal.com to be considered for this ongoing series. Ideal submissions will be between 350 to 500 words and must be sent as a Microsoft Word attachment or a Google Doc.

Whether or not college athletes should be paid is one of the most controversial topics in all of college sports right now. There are numerous opinions, facts, pros and cons. Many analysts, role models and well-known professional athletes have made public statements on the issue.

What are the true pros and cons of paying college athletes? Some pros include the obvious, such as money — an extra bit of pay will help with financial aid, and a little bit more money would help families living in poverty. Paying college athletes also would help reduce the percentage of students leaving graduation in debt.

On the other hand, paying college athletes could cause a sea of problems. Some smaller NCAA Division I colleges would get hurt by not getting the players because they choose to be paid. Problems also could arise with paycheck inequalities, which would eliminate the line between professional sports and collegiate sports.

Through countless hours of research and taking into consideration the opinions of professional analysts, I have concluded my own thesis. College athletes should not be paid directly from their university; however, they should be able to receive endorsement money and publicly display their respective university.

One prime example of an endorsement is NCAA Football 2014, one of the most sold and popular sports video games in the world. The amount of revenue these types of games have brought to the National College Athletic Association is tremendous.

Giving student-athletes a cut of the revenue creates an additional reason to perform at the highest level during college. This could be 100 percent performance-based pay. Another example of this is jersey sales. College athletes do not receive revenue for the sale of their own jersey. By letting college athletes receive endorsement money, it not only would help with tuition and the whole college bill but help families living on the poorer end of the spectrum.

Jay Lemenager is a senior at Clifton Central High School. Typically a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball, Lemenager also golfed this fall, earning Daily Journal All-Area honors in his first year on the links. He was also an all-area selection in baseball and football in 2019.

An honor roll student at Central, Lemenager is sorting through scholarship offers to decide where to continue both his academic and football careers. When he’s not in the classroom or on the field, Lemenager enjoys hanging out with his friends because “you never know how much time you actually have with people until it’s gone.”