Monday, September 26, 2011

The student athlete exposed

This excellent article in The Atlantic reveals aspects of NCAA athletics that most Americans have refused to face. I've heard Frank DeFore rant about the absurdity of the NCAA and not paying college athletes but never fully understood his point.  This article shows that the idea of "student athlete" is designed to clear universities of any liability of athletes get hurt. The article tears back the veil that makes us nostalgically cling to the amateur ideal, even when the Olympics has abandoned amateurism without collapsing. Rugby has also abandoned amateurism, in 1995, and is arguably better off for removing the hypocrisy that existed before that. The article is excellent in showing how many "ideals" are actually manipulated by those in power for their own material interests. In this case, all these 18-22 year olds working for universities but not costing anything, while the universities, coaches (even assistant coaches!), television stations, and advertizes all benefit. This article is sure to change a lot of people's opinions. And it shows that there are lawsuits making their way through the courts that may cause the NCAA to collapse even before it loses in court.

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