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The Current System Of Collegiate Athletics And The Ncaa

2615 words - 11 pages

The current system of collegiate athletics and the NCAA

Meggyesy, David. "Athletes In Big-time College Sport." society 37.3 (2000): 24-28. Print.

The NCAA has become a revenue generator as college athletics have become a multi-billion dollar sports entertainment enterprise. The most prominent contradiction with the NCAA is that amateur rules are applied to the athletes, while the rules of the market apply to the university’s athletic departments. By classifying athletes as “amateur student athletes” the college athlete labor market does not fall under federal or state antitrust laws or state workers compensation laws. The NCAA member schools are allowed to set the wage for the student athlete and not give benefits to players who suffer injury. Due to the rewards being bestowed onto the NCAA member schools and not the student athletes who produce the product, this system can be described as exploitative.
The student athlete receives an athletic scholarship with the intention that student athletes will receive a quality education for four years of athletic service. Though, the low graduation rates among the main revenue sports show that the university does not live up to end its end of the deal.
Due to the rising tide of student athlete protests, the NCAA instituted Prop. 48, which changed the four year athletic scholarship to a one year renewable grant. This allowed the athletic departments and head coaches the ability to control a misbehaving player by terminating their scholarship. Experts have argued that Prop. 48 was an attempt to reduce the number of black athletes in college sports, shown by the outrageously high number of black student athletes who were ruled ineligible because Prop.48 established a minimum academic standard for incoming athletes.
The article is from the journal, Society, which is a peer reviewed journal that publishes ideas and research findings of the social sciences. The author of the source David Meggyesy is a former American football player and union organizer. He served as a union representative for the National Football League Players Association. Therefore, from the author’s background it is clear that he is biased towards player rights and uses his experience as a player to form his opinions on the topic. Therefore, from this article Meggyesy attempts to show how the athlete is exploited and the need for a union to defend these players. He quantifies his opinion by using research from Andrew Zimbalist’s book, Unpaid Professionals: Commercialism and Conflict in Big-Time College Sports. Andrew Zimbalist is a Professor of Economics at Smith College and is viewed as one of the most prominent sports economists.
I don’t understand how the NCAA can be categorized as a nonprofit organization, even though the NCAA generates massive revenues from athletics. The NCAA treats its athletes as slaves, in that student-athletes produce the goods, while the slaver owner’s, the NCAA, profit from the athletes cheap labor. The...

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