It is the position of the SAA that all college student athletes begin and remain amateur athletes while attending college. Payment for college athletes should be scholarships that can include tuition, books, dorm accommodations, meal on campus or while traveling. Anything above this should be considered “subsidized” and is considered in violation of the SAA’s governing body.
The SAA (Student Athletic Association) is an organization that was developed to protect and keep all college athletes in an amateur status. The SAA’s job is to make sure student athletes are not being taken advantage of and are remaining true to the student first mission set forth by the SAA “College studies should not undertake for the love of money, not for fame, not out of ambition for some livelihood beyond college, but only out of love.” (Lewis, 2006). The college experience is in jeopardy among college athletes and the SAA stands firm on the values system that is the college university.
Football is the reason for the beginning of the SAA. In 1905 18 college football players died as a result of their injuries while playing football. There were no rules or regulations that governed the sport or guidelines for Universities to follow. In 1905, President Roosevelt, asked to see the representatives from Harvard, Yale and Princeton. “In his best table-thumping style, Theodore Roosevelt convinced them that the rules needed to be changed to eliminate the foul play and brutality.” (Theodore Roosevelt Association) Charles Elliot from Harvard, wanted to abolish the game, but Roosevelt convinced him that reform was the better way to proceed. (Smith 1988) Later that year a meeting was held in New York City with 62 schools present. These schools formed the members of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (Theodore Roosevelt Association)
After World War II, college athletics was increasing in popularity and size. Television was now involved and issues with recruiting and financial aid where taking on a life of their own. It seemed that the SAA needed a full time staff just to deal with the complexity of these problems. In 1952 the SAA was created as we know it today to deal with these complex issues.
Women’s Athletics were introduced in 1980, when Divisions II and III established 10 championships for 1981-82. “A year later, the historic 75th Convention adopted an extensive governance plan to include women’s athletics programs, services and representation.” (Crowley, 2006)
What has happened to the idea of attending college for the sake of an education and playing a sport that is loved by the athlete to help offset the cost of a college education? That simple thought seems to be lost as of late as college sports have become a stepping stone for anyone wanting to play a professional sport. The current dilemma in college athletics is weather to pay, especially football and basketball athletes...