Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Shame of College Sports

Name a multi-billion dollar industry where everyone involved makes boatloads of money - except the people who actually do the work. There is only one - collegiate sports. This industry is overseen by perhaps the most hypocritical organization in the country, the NCAA, whose leaders zealously protect the "amateur" status of it's athletes while administrating the changing of hands of vast sums of money. Many coaches have multi-million contracts, the schools make millions, Nike, Reebok, ESPN, NCAA executives, and countless others make fortunes. But if an athlete trades an autographed jersey for enough money to go out on a date, the NCAA eviscerates them, sanctimoniously invoking the need to maintain the "amateur" ideal.

The courts are starting to pay attention to this remarkable state of affairs.

"A litany of scandals in recent years have made the corruption of college sports constant front-page news. We profess outrage each time we learn that yet another student-athlete has been taking money under the table. But the real scandal is the very structure of college sports, wherein student-athletes generate billions of dollars for universities and private companies while earning nothing for themselves. Here, a leading civil-rights historian makes the case for paying college athletes—and reveals how a spate of lawsuits working their way through the courts could destroy the NCAA."

Read more:     The Shame of College Sports      by Taylor Branch : The Atlantic