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The Ncaa And College Athletes: Should College Athletes Be Paid?

1464 words - 6 pages

College athletes juggle busy academic and practice schedules all throughout their stressful weeks, so why shouldn't they be compensated for their time dedicated to sports? NCAA rules strictly prohibits players from being paid for all the hard work they do to protect “amateurism”, but are you really an amateur putting in over 40 hours a week between practice and other activities? Although students earn a college scholarship, that doesn’t cover living expenses, and access to a degree at the end of their career, players should be paid because schools, coaching staffs and major corporations are profiting off their free labor.
The NCAA prides itself as an organization dedicated to safeguarding the well-being of student-athletes and equipping them with the skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom and throughout life. In order to ensure that participants are students first and athletes second the NCAA has specific rules pertaining to athlete amateurism. The requirements prohibit contracts and tryouts with professional teams, salary for participating in athletics, prize money, and representation by an agent. (Amateurism) These rules not only limit the freedom of the player but also put the player at risk of being taken advantage of due to the lack of a players union and illegality of employing an agent. Other aspects of the NCAA’s rule book have been under scrutiny as well. Marc Edelman, Professor of Law at Baruch College, wrote in his treatise: Why the NCAA’s No-Pay Rules Violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act that courts are now beginning to overturn certain rules that are deemed anticompetitive. This development is important because according to the Sherman Act “Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is hereby declared to be illegal.” In this case, the restraint of trade or commerce would be the NCAA’s wage fixing principles. The NCAA compensation cap allows universities to pay their football and basketball players only in the form of tuition, books, room and board and related fees which is similar to a wage-fixing agreement. If found illegal schools would have to start paying out full scholarships to athletes or extend the benefits already provided to cover more needs.
It’s no secret that college athletics is a multi-million dollar industry. Some schools are raking in upwards of $100 million annually from ticket sales, sponsorships and broadcast rights. The New York Times reported that the NCAA collected $770 Million dollars from the three-week March Madness Tournament in 2011. All of the money collected goes toward the coaching staff, athletic directors and the schools and the players that are providing their labor never see a penny. It is not uncommon for the state university football or basketball coach to be the highest paid employee in the state. In 2013 out of the 50 United States, 27 states highest paid...

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