Student Athletes Are Deserving Of Economic Remuneration

Decent Essays

The seven most popular sports (in order) in the United States are: NFL, MLB, NCAAF, auto racing, NBA, NHL, and NCAAM (Rovell, 2014). Five of the sports included are professional where the athletes are paid. However, two of them--NCAAF and NCAAM--are amateur sports headed by student-athletes who are not paid. When these college sports are on par with professional organizations that are worth billions of dollars, then the amateurism behind the NCAAF and NCAAM is questioned. In fact, the NCAA generates almost a billion dollars annually. Since the athletes in question are amateur student-athletes, paying them might damage the integrity of the sports. Therefore, there is an ongoing contested debate over whether student athletes are deserving of …show more content…

However, amateurism is an illusion because the NCAA “insatiably embrace[s] commercialism in all facets of intercollegiate athletics except on a single issue — athlete compensation” (Zola, 2013). The 1980s is where NCAAM and NCAAF exploded as businesses. The Supreme Court, in 1984, struck down the NCAA’s restrictions on television appearances. This coincided with the government deregulation of cable television and, ultimately, led to massive television contracts and sports stations covering NCAAM and NCAAF. As the athletic departments of universities expanded profoundly, they continued to reiterate the student in student-athletes. By doing so, they built the boundary up as an effective defense from allowing college athletes to get a cut of the newfound income. In 1988, the NCAA became an effective private institution when the Supreme Court ruled against Jerry Tarkanian and allowed the NCAA to dismiss due process during their investigations. Amateurism, in the sake of college football and men’s basketball, is a falsehood and a boundary created by the NCAA and enforced by college coaches and athletic departments. The meaning behind the category of student-athletes was empowered by the NCAA in the 1950s to fend off lawsuits and implement the sanctity of college sports as amateur sports. The NCAA’s moral authority lies in the term “student-athlete” and “is meant to conjure the nobility of amateurism, and the precedence

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