Opinion: College vs Professional Sports


Provided by Klayton Ilhardt and Elizabeth Miles

On the left Ilhardt poses in front of the Miami Dolphins stadium. On the right Miles and Zachary Lutz pose in front of UCF sign.

The debate regarding professional and collegiate sports has been a centuries long argument. The NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL have taken over millions of TV screens throughout each sports season. 

Professional sports continue to rise as 50% of the American population would rather watch them compared to college’s 20%. The other 30% either had no opinion or didn’t watch any.

Although college sports are arguably more entertaining to watch, professional sports remain dominant  as the quality of game remains higher than NCAA games. 

“The skill level between the two is so big. Professional sports are played much cleaner because only the best of the best make it to the top level,” Liam Fitzgerald, sophomore, said.

National sports leagues can be considered more well known. According to the National Football League (NFL), 200 million viewers watched Super Bowl LVII in February, while the 2023 Football College Championships had a record low viewership of 17.1 million. 

“I feel like the Super Bowl is more known than the National Championship for College football,” Fitzgerald said. “On a national scale, it is much more recognized than College.”

NCAA has stricter rules for college athletes compared to professional athletes as collegiate coaches are barred from even buying their athletes dinner. With the more relaxed limitations, professional sports can be more entertaining and less rule-driven. 

Other rules include game changes like catching the ball in bounds. In college, you are allowed to have one foot in bounds while in the NFL you must have both for it to be a catch. 

“The different rules between the two really make it difficult for the players to transition. I think they need to get the same rules to make it easier and more fun to watch,” Fitzgerald said. 

Many people argue that NIL deals given out to college players are ruining the game and making it harder for the smaller schools to win. 

“I don’t think NIL deals are ruining the game because if the player is good enough then they deserve the money,” Fitzgerald said. “However, if sports are taken away from education, then that is a problem. The whole point of college is to further your education.”

NIL deals are clearly destroying the athletics in college sports. They are taking away opportunities from smaller named schools whilst keeping the big schools on the top, a clearly unfair advantage and popularizing for Big 10 and SEC schools. Unless NIL deals are taken away, we will continue to see the same schools in championships.