To Pay or Not to Pay College Athletes?
In the article, “The Shame of College Sports,” noted author and historian Taylor Branch discusses the injustice of the National Collegiate Athletic Association not paying their college athletes. Branch references and goes into detail about several legal cases, in which the NCAA blatantly takes advantage of players and their families. He lectures his audience on the extensive history of the NCAA, pointing out many ignoble and hypocritical actions committed for selfish reasons. Branch goes on to talk about the “student-athletes” whom the NCAA claims to represent and protect have ended up with virtually no constitutional rights when it comes to NCAA proceedings. The most important point of the article is that the NCAA, at its heart, is an eminently self-serving organization that cares little about the very student-athletes that it claims to protect. Branch said it best with this phrase, “For all the outrage, the real scandal is not that students are getting illegally paid or recruited, it’s that two of the noble principles on which the NCAA justifies its existence—“amateurism” and the “student-athlete”—are cynical hoaxes, legalistic confections propagated by the universities so they can exploit the skills and fame of young athletes. The tragedy at the heart of college sports is not that some college athletes are getting paid, but that more of them are not. (3)”
In my opinion, the strongest evidence of the exploitation of the athletes is in the legal cases that against NCAA. They use the deliberately ambiguous “student-athlete” label as a legal shield. Branch defines the term with, “College players were not students at play (which might understate their athletic obligations), nor were they just athletes in college (which might imply they were professionals). That they were high-performance athletes meant they could be forgiven for not meeting the academic standards of their peers; that they were students meant they did not...
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