ERIC Number: EJ931382
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr-28
Reference Count: 0
Even Playing Field?
Ford, William J.
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v28 n6 p11-12 Apr 2011
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) governs intercollegiate sports under the premise of amateurism. That premise is incompatible with the idea of paying players. But "amateur" in no way means "nonprofit." The NCAA signed a 14-year, $10.8 billion contract last year with CBS and Turner Sports to air March Madness, the men's Division I basketball tournament. College football's Bowl Championship Series (BCS) is in the midst of a $125 million television deal with ESPN. A deep run during March Madness or a victory in a high-profile BCS bowl game can mean millions of dollars both to the university and to its conference. The monetary award for the athletes themselves? Zero. The long-running debate about whether to pay players for their athletic accomplishments has garnered renewed attention recently due to a rash of scandals involving some of the nation's highest profile players and programs. In a story that aired in March on HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," several former Auburn University football players recounted receiving cash from boosters during recruiting trips and after games. The scandals have prompted some to question why schools and the NCAA can profit from a player's on-field exploits while the players cannot. Not every athlete receives a scholarship, and that such aid is not guaranteed from year to year. Subpar performance, injury, or a coaching change can cost players their scholarship, leaving them without the funds to continue their education. Also, the vast majority of collegiate athletes never play professionally, and so never cash in on their athletic ability. In essence, student athletes possess a temporarily valuable commodity that they give away to the NCAA with little hope of recouping its value later.
Descriptors: Team Sports, College Athletics, Physical Activities, Athletes, Intercollegiate Cooperation, Athletics, Scholarships, Higher Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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