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Great piece on the NCAA and amateurism


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The Shame of College Sports

?Scholarship athletes are already paid,? declared the Knight Commission members, ?in the most meaningful way poss-ible: with a free education.? This evasion by prominent educators severed my last reluctant, emotional tie with imposed amateurism. I found it worse than self-serving. It echoes masters who once claimed that heavenly salvation would outweigh earthly injustice to slaves. In the era when our college sports first arose, colonial powers were turning the whole world upside down to define their own interests as all-inclusive and benevolent. Just so, the NCAA calls it heinous exploitation to pay college athletes a fair portion of what they earn.

In other words, if unpaid internships are exploitative, the student-athlete (read the article to find out where this phrase originates) is a slave.

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I can see a day in not too long from now where you have a pretty much professional college system seperate from the NCAA, at least in some sports, running through the bigger colleges. I am not sure whether or not that will be a better reality than the current reality in the end (you'll get a flood of stories of monied sports guys tearing up campusses, and that sort of thing). But it all feeds into a movement to get proper college playoffs in football, and a fairer way to sort out March Madness, and who gets into it. Personally I kind of feel like it's a be careful what you wish for situation.

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What's to keep these colleges from separating from the NCAA and completely revising their eligibility requirements? Bobby Q. couldn't cut it in the pros, so we'll let him back to Wherever State for a 7th season of eligibility. Now we have a grown man playing against 18, 19, and 20-year-olds in the name of "student athleticism".

The possibilities are there, and I don't like any of them.

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I was surprised Steve Spurrier and the majority of the coaches in the SEC suggested the idea of paying players $300 after games.

Did anyone notice the "hint" in the sentence that possibly reveals the team in the Final Four last year devised a "wildcat plan" that if they made it to the championship they would protest the lack of athlete compensation by sitting on the bench and choose not to play? "Wildcat plan?" Kentucky?

It sounds like the future of college sports is waiting for the outcome of the O'Bannon v. NCAA case. The article said that if O'Bannon wins, the NCAA would have to start paying players or stop profiting from them IN ADDITION TO paying "hundreds of millions of dollars" in damages.

This thread could be merged with the "Pointless Realignment Outpost," haha, because the large conferences will probably dominate sports, paying players, differentiate levels of professionalism. Pac-22. Big-19. Etc. Imagine the debates at your school (or your state! On a ballot!) when they choose whether to support the schools' players.

If we thought the arguments between professional major league players unions and club owners was the closest we would see labor law to sports, a ballot measure in each state with an FBS team could end 100 year-old out-of-state football rivalries on one day in November (during football season!).

Keep your "Obscure Ramifications" coming.

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You know in the NCAA it is against regulations to give them any more than Bagels and Fruit for Breakfast. This inlcudes proving spreads and cheeses. It is a minor rules infraction.

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Did anyone notice the "hint" in the sentence that possibly reveals the team in the Final Four last year devised a "wildcat plan" that if they made it to the championship they would protest the lack of athlete compensation by sitting on the bench and choose not to play? "Wildcat plan?" Kentucky?

Well, a wildcat strike is a strike that's not approved by union leadership. That doesn't necessarily mean it was Kentucky, but it's highly believable given the mercenary composition of that team, and it's a very nice piece of writing between the lines if it was.

There are enormous systemic faults with the NCAA--not the least of which is that this is unpaid labor--and they need to be fixed. Fear of disrupting the status quo because "duh, I like watching Alabama" is not a reason to be against it.

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You know in the NCAA it is against regulations to give them any more than Bagels and Fruit for Breakfast. This inlcudes proving spreads and cheeses. It is a minor rules infraction.

And I can tell you for a fact every college in Divsion 1A violates that rule and thinks nothing of it either.

The NCAA has a hard enough time figuring out USC paid for a house for Reggie Bush's parents. You really think they're going after a college for giving out food?

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?In order to reach due-process issues as a legal Constitutional principle, the individual challenging has to have a substantive property or liberty interest,? she testified. ?The opportunity to play intercollegiate athletics does not rise to that level."

To translate this from the legal jargon, Potuto used a circular argument to confine college athletes beneath any right to freedom or property in their own athletic effort. They have no stake to seek their rights, she claimed, because they have no rights at stake.

Ouch.

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You know what bothers me? Jersey Sales. Fans buy the jersey of a specific player example Auburn #2 last year its making money off the athlete's name.

I think this is a bit of an overstated argument personally. How much of shirt sales is down to one guy? Would people not buy Auburn jerseys if Newton were playing for someone else? Yes Universities use players as marketing, but players know this is going to happen.

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The players who make money for the universities are promoting themselves in the bargain. That's worth a lot to them in their future careers. Not to mention getting access to a fine education for free, which in many of these cases carries a very high price tag.

I know he says that they could be cut and lose that scholarship, but the moneymakers, those who some propose paying, they won't be and don't.

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getting access to a fine education for free...

...is difficult when your classes are scheduled around practicing for and playing revenue-generating sports. It's misleading to point to the poor dumb kids who are being floated through remedial English classes and say "look at this fine free college education they're getting" when they're really not getting anything more than the Government Babysitting that most high schools offer.

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I'm sorry if you think so little of teachers to make that charge.

College students are adults. They are free to make use of their educational opportunities or not. But their choice not to does not somehow render their opportunities without real financial value.

Sure, there are undoubtedly some schools happy to fail in their academic mission if it helps the sports program. But after all, for every SEC school, there's a Big Ten school. :P

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I think extremely highly of many teachers and very little of others. Any serious criticism with education is at levels above the teachers. But at any rate, it's extremely naive (I'm missing the diaeresis on the i because I don't have a Mac and it;s even harder to stick one on there than it is to issue a longwinded preemptive apology :( ) to think that scholarship athletes are being afforded the same educational opportunities as everyone else. That college students, athletes or not, are socially full-fledged adults is debatable as well but a discussion for another day.

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