Restoring the NCAA


You can hardly turn on any television station these days without hearing about some violation or wrongdoing in the NCAA.  If you’re like me (a daily viewer of ESPN and Sportscenter, that is), then you probably see stories like this way more often than you can take.  It almost seems like any mention of the NCAA is a kiss of death at this point.  While the NCAA has always appeared to have good intentions, the execution of some of its ideas has fallen short in recent years.

A few days ago, I told a friend that I was writing a paper about the current state of the NCAA and the changes that should be made.  His response?  “The NCAA? Oh yeah, it’s nothing but corruption and doom.”  Responses like this are exactly the reasons why I chose to explore this topic further.  As a student-athlete myself, I thought the topic really hit close to home.  Check out the paper if you love sports and can never hear enough about the crazy things some people did (i.e. Derrick Rose having somebody else take his SAT).  Check out the paper if you hate sports (you’ll get to hear what the NCAA has been doing wrong).  Either way, check it out.


White Paper Proposal #3 – State of the NCAA



Well, as I was going over my white paper so that I can add it to the blog later, I realized that I never actually posted my third WP proposal.  So here it is.  Better late than never…

At first, I struggled to think about how I would execute the government proposal.  I wasn’t really sure where I should look.  As I began reading up on the NCAA, though, I decided to try to find an article about its relationship with the United States Justice Department. Continue reading

White Paper Proposal #2 – Amending the NCAA Business Model

After thinking about my white paper topic more deeply, and after some feedback from Jordi, I realized that the possibility of paying college athletes is not the issue in question but rather a possible solution to the existing issue.  I realized that the real problem is the deteriorating structure of, and as this Sports Illustrated article posits, the failing business model of the NCAA. Continue reading

They Get Paid How Much??

For my white paper, I will be examining the issue of compensating college athletes (outside of the the scholarships that already exist).  This image presents various salaries and revenues from icons/organizations such as University of Texas head football coach Mack Brown, Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino, and the NBA (among others).  The purpose of the chart, which came from a New York Times piece, is to show the extremely high salaries that these coaches and leagues receive.  If they earn such large amounts of money, the Times article argues that athletes deserve to be paid as well because they are really the people who are generating the revenue.  In fact, the image even shows that (in the case of Texas) the head coach is paid more than the combined value of all players’ scholarships.  This is a very to-the-point, simple graphic that very effectively portrays the argument of the entire article.

White Paper Proposal #1 – Compensation of College Athletes

For my white paper, I will be writing about the compensation of college athletes.  I want to look into each side more deeply before I decide which I will argue, but there are definitely compelling arguments for both why athletes should be paid in excess of their scholarships and why they should not.

I think the best way to begin the paper would be to examine the notion of exploitation.  Are college athletes used as workhorses?  Are they actually exploited, or are the scholarships they receive enough to justify their workload?  The answer to this question will be the impetus for the rest of my paper — if they are exploited, then perhaps additional compensation is the answer; if not, then perhaps no change is necessary.  Whatever my decision may be, there is plenty of evidence to support both sides.  As a college athlete myself, I want to make this decision based on evidence I find, rather than on my own personal experiences.

Current thinking on this subject is very split — there are people who believe that although many college athletes receive scholarships for their athletic efforts, they still need and deserve more money because of the amount of revenue their schools generate because of them.  If they are a large part of these profits, why shouldn’t they get to reap some of the benefits?  On the other hand, people against the idea of additional compensation argue that athletes have various inherent advantages over their respective classmates.

Finding resources from the society angle of this issue has proven to be relatively easy.  Taylor Branch, a writer for The Atlantic and a renowned civil rights historian, wrote a very thorough examination of the system.  His entire point was that college sports as a business have become very corrupt — that the structure of college athletics has led to a system in which athletes generate tons of money and then get none of it for themselves.  There was another large piece in The New York Times (courtesy of Joe Nocera) that argues for the payment of athletes.  This piece presents a multitude of evidence, and focuses a lot on the amount that college coaches are paid (often millions of dollars in big-time programs) vs. their players ($0 outside of scholarships).  An additional piece from Forbes claims the current state of college athletics resembles “indentured servitude” and should end immediately.

There are also plenty of resources that outline arguments for why college athletes should not be paid.  A New York Mag article argues that proponents of compensation want to enact these reforms in order to save college athletics.  Paying athletes, the author argues, will not actually have any effect on this goal.  Doug Gottlieb, a popular ESPN analyst, wrote a short piece arguing that college athletes receive many other benefits.  The NCAA itself has also released countless articles describing its reasoning for not allowing athletes to be paid.

Depending on my position, I would need to consider if there are other reforms that have the same effect.  For now, though, I think I have a lot of opinions to examine and lots of evidence for both sides of this ongoing argument.