December 3, 2013
End Athlete Exploitation
Many people will tell you that the opportunity to go to college is enough for student-athletes, but it is time to start offering more than that and paying the athletes. Athletes that take their talents to the collegiate level bring the school and NCAA a large amount of money while not being fairly compensated for it. There are many different commodities and experiences that are given up to pursue college sports and the people that choose to do so should at least see some of the benefits of making that choice. The time has come for the traditional rules of amateur athletes not being paid to play to change. There are ...view middle of the document...
Investigations have dug up past scandals of college athletes violating this rule and the NCAA doesn’t let these things go. Even when a player has moved on into the Professional league the NCAA still pursues in punishing them. Reggie Bush accepted things from money to free lodging during his time at USC and years later he was punished for it. Reggie was stripped of his Heisman trophy and he wasn’t the only one who suffered, USC was also hit hard by the NCAA. They were forced to give up their wins from the 2004-2005 season and lost 30 scholarships over a three year period. A rule that is highly debatable is taking away players achievements and crippling entire college programs for years.
Many people don’t realize what players will give up in order to play sports at a collegiate level and for a scholarship that is worth a small percentage of what players bring in. Between classes, weights, practice, and film players have to search for time just to eat and sleep. I saw a small glimpse of what it is like traveling over 4 states for college basketball, which we only do once, but bigger schools do multiple times a year. It was a 6 day affair that started with a three a.m. departure time with flights all day. In the following four days the routine was the same, wake up, practice, eat, play, sleep and then do it again and again. For young people this is just physically and mentally draining, and I couldn’t imagine how much more difficult it is at higher levels. The commodities of sleeping in on the weekends and going out are just completely given up.
There have been players and groups in the past that have tried to stand up to this and show the nation how the players are being taken advantage of. Some of the University of Michigan basketball players in the early 90’s started talking about how it wasn’t fair and that they were being exploited. The group of basketball players were referred to as the Fab Five because of their skill and that they were all true freshmen. Nike took advantage of the Fab Five being a household name to basketball fans, so they started marketing their shoes as Fab Five shoes. The amateur status rule prevented any of the players from taking money so they couldn’t sign a shoe deal and profit off of their name being used. This team also traveled worldwide in the summer, playing professional team’s across Europe. Ray Jackson, Michigan point guard, said “We were out playing professional teams on TV and they have a stadium full of fans who paid to watch us play, but what do we get? Somebodies getting paid this summer and it’s not us”. (Cohen & Hehir 2011)
Coaches see the majority of the benefit, as far as money goes, from a successful that the players helped produce. I’m not trying to take away anything from the coaches because they do a lot to help a team win and have a good season, but the combined salary for in 2011 for the highest paid college coaches was 53.4 million, while the combined salary for...