Let the NCAA rot in hell for the Money Sports.
I read this article with the preconception that the NCAA was inexorably corrupt and self serving to increase their profits while only using the artifice of "student-athletes" to cover their greed. I had that opinion based on only a few things that I knew the details of and I knew to be wrong that the NCAA has done. Firmly believing that there is never just one cockroach, I figured that there had to be systemic corruption at the NCAA.
This article provides the evidence of that systemic corruption and hypocrisy. I am not happy at all, because after reading the article, it is only a matter of time -- like maybe 5 years -- until the NCAA is gone (thank god) from interfering with college football, but what will replace it? Probably a sound business model that treats the athletes as workers, entitles them to a share of the revenue they generate and workman's compensation
when they are injured. That will probably be bad for GT since our higher academics will be a hindrance compared to better partying environments at the foot ball factories.
NCAA football is unstable right now because of the magnitude of money coming in, the changes in technology driving the capabilities of the teams to recruit and technology change in general changing our lives. But there is a supreme irony in all this. The article posits that the NCAA was created at Roosevelt's behest to further Harvard over Yale and look at where they are today in college football. So there will be many unintentional and unexpected consequences. Hopefully, we will go towards the model of the Olympics, but who knows. We don't live in a rational world.
Just one excerpt - this should be must reading for all those supporting (but not supported by) the NCAA. The history of the student -athlete moniker:
"Today, much of the NCAA’s moral authority—indeed
much of the justification for its existence—is vested in its claim to protect what it calls the “student-athlete.” The term is meant to conjure the nobility of amateurism, and the precedence of scholarship over athletic endeavor. But the origins of the “student-athlete” lie not in a disinterested ideal but in a sophistic formulation designed, as the sports economist Andrew Zimbalist has written, to help the NCAA in its “fight against workmen’s compensation insurance claims for injured football players.”
“We crafted the term student-athlete,” Walter Byers himself wrote, “and soon it was embedded in all NCAA rules and interpretations.” The term came into play in the 1950s, when the widow of Ray Dennison, who had died from a head injury received while playing football in Colorado for the Fort Lewis A&M Aggies, filed for workmen’s-compensation death benefits. Did his football scholarship make the fatal collision a “work-related” accident? Was he a school employee, like his peers who worked part-time as teaching assistants and bookstore cashiers? Or was he a fluke victim of extracurricular pursuits? Given the hundreds of incapacitating injuries to college athletes each year, the answers to these questions had enormous consequences. The Colorado Supreme Court ultimately agreed with the school’s contention that he was not eligible for benefits, since the college was “not in the football business.”
The term student-athlete was deliberately ambiguous. 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 have to be compensated, ever, for anything more than the cost of their studies. Student-athlete became the NCAA’s signature term, repeated constantly in and out of courtrooms.
Using the “student-athlete” defense, colleges have compiled a string of victories in liability cases. On the afternoon of October 26, 1974, the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs were playing the Alabama Crimson Tide in Birmingham, Alabama. Kent Waldrep, a TCU running back, carried the ball on a “Red Right 28” sweep toward the Crimson Tide’s sideline, where he was met by a swarm of tacklers. When Waldrep regained consciousness, Bear Bryant, the storied Crimson Tide coach, was standing over his hospital bed
. “It was like talking to God, if you’re a young football player,” Waldrep recalled.
Waldrep was paralyzed: he had lost all movement and feeling below his neck. After nine months of paying his medical bills, Texas Christian refused to pay any more, so the Waldrep family coped for years on dwindling charity.
Through the 1990s, from his wheelchair, Waldrep pressed a lawsuit for workers’ compensation. (He also, through heroic rehabilitation efforts, recovered feeling in his arms, and eventually learned to drive a specially rigged van. “I can brush my teeth,” he told me last year, “but I still need help to bathe and dress.”) His attorneys haggled with TCU and the state worker-compensation fund over what constituted employment. Clearly, TCU had provided football players with equipment for the job, as a typical employer would—but did the university pay wages, withhold income taxes
on his financial aid, or control work conditions and performance? The appeals court finally rejected Waldrep’s claim in June of 2000, ruling that he was not an employee because he had not paid taxes on financial aid that he could have kept even if he quit football. (Waldrep told me school officials “said they recruited me as a student, not an athlete,” which he says was absurd.)
The long saga vindicated the power of the NCAA’s “student-athlete” formulation as a shield, and the organization continues to invoke it as both a legalistic defense and a noble ideal. Indeed
, such is the term’s rhetorical power that it is increasingly used as a sort of reflexive mantra against charges of rabid hypocrisy."
"No legal definition of amateur exists, and any attempt to create one in enforceable law would expose its repulsive and unconstitutional nature—a bill of attainder, stripping from college athletes the rights of American citizenship."