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The Name Of The Game Essay

2284 words - 10 pages

Fans of a celebrity or athlete jump for joy at any opportunity to support the people they idolize. There is no better example of this love than the recent scandal of Antoine Turner. Turner is a college student who has just signed with Boise State University’s football team. Turner lost one parent during childhood, and was estranged from the other. He lived in California with his uncle for some time, but certain state laws prevented him from living there any longer. Without a family to return to in his native New Orleans, Turner had no place to stay and was considered homeless. When fans of the football program at Boise State caught wind about the homeless freshman, many reached out to help him. However, due to restrictions that are imposed on players by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, (NCAA), Turner could not accept a roof over his head, a meal, or a single cent, due to fear of becoming ineligible to play for accepting what the NCAA has dubbed “impermissible benefits” (Harris-Gershon 1). This is a prime example of the issues that many college athletes struggle to overcome as they are faced with academic strain, no way to earn money, and a complete loss of the rights to their merchandise, numbers, and names as they fall under the rule-bound umbrella that is the NCAA. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, regulates all aspects of collegiate sports, including payment of athletes, or rather, lack thereof. Although many people believe that attending America’s top universities on scholarships is payment enough, the NCAA should change its rules on player payment because it would encourage players to stay in school, help players who live below the poverty line, and distribute the money to the players who rightfully earn it.
Interestingly, the NCAA was created to protect college athletes, not exploit them. In the 1905 college football season, nearly twenty players died during football games. There was pressure from both families and universities to ban the increasingly dangerous game: “The early contests were both hard fought and dangerous, including “gang tackling” and tactics such as the "flying wedge," a device by which the ball carrier was shielded by his ten teammates in a wedge formation that was thrust full-speed into the opposition (National Collegiate 1). In response to the public backlash towards a popular pastime, the United States President Theodore Roosevelt, himself a big fan of football, created the NCAA from thirteen representatives to prevent the game from being abolished. Thus, in 1906 the NCAA was founded to protect young athletes from the dangerous collegiate athletes of the time.
Many argue that college athletes should not be paid because attending America’s top universities on scholarship is payment enough. People wonder where the money to pay these athletes is going to come from. Many schools do not have the money in their budgets to operate without student fees and investors, so finding the money...

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