Sunday, March 31, 2013

Unpaid Workers: The NCAA's Indentured Servants


For the life of me, I don't understand how they get away with this. These fat cat colleges, the multi-millionaire college coaches, and the highly paid bureaucrats at the NCAA make big, big money off college sports.  Cities all over the country rake in piles of dough when fans come calling, paying lavishly at stadiums, hotels and bars as the basketball or football teams duke it out.  With this college sports system, everyone wins!  Everyone wins except the players. 

Just who are these young denizens worthy of awe and worship?  Kids, they're kids. Kids willing to risk their life and limb to participate in the sports they love. People say college sports give opportunities, such as a college education, to some who could ill-afford it. True. These kids, 18 - 22 year olds, have high hopes and dreams. Sometimes the dreams come true.  Someone has to win the Heisman trophy and go on to a long career of fame and wealth. But, the fact of the matter is that most of these kids don't make it to the pros, let alone have illustrious careers, and their college athletic careers may be the pinnacle of their lives. 

For the time being, let's ignore the physical toll these kids pay, brain damage, broken bones, torn ligaments, which oftentimes plague these players throughout their lives.  Let's look at the economic consequences to these kids that give their all for the love of their college team. Those who do not make it to the pros oftentimes leave school without a college degree.  They were there to play the sport they loved, not really to go to classes. I don't know what the future holds for these young has-beens.  All I know is that a lot of people cash in on the blood, sweat and tears of these unpaid young athletes.  But these kids who may develop traumatic arthritis or closed head injuries don't get to share in the spoils, even if their teams are the victors. 

In what other business in this country do the workers raking in big bucks for fat cats get totally shafted? We were supposed to have abolished indentured servitude long ago.  Everyone else in America who works gets paid. Why not these guys?  If colleges won't pay them, the NCAA or other agency should set up farm teams, like baseball. These kids work hard and risk their bodies and souls for their team. For crying out loud, let's quit wringing out the best from them and discarding them at the end of four years.  These hard-working kids deserve to be paid!  Their coaches are; the athletic directors are; and so is the NCAA. These kids need a union in the worst way. 

7 comments:

  1. At two meters tall, I was virtually compelled to play basketball. I mark the beginning of my adulthood with the moment I walked off the court & never played again. I don't even watch it, now. Thank you for the phrase 'traumatic arthritis'. I had never heard it before, but I can tell you what it is, & when its going to rain. I was used.

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  2. The people who support the indentured servitude of college sports are the same type of idiots who cant see that this blog is written by an AMBOOLANTZ CHASER!

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  3. Yes let's get a union in there, after all it's done for our school system in America. (see sarcasm) You are wrong that these kids get nothing. They get a free education. They get experience to possibly compete on a professional level and earn millions. If they aren't at that level, then they graduate with a degree. Providing they apply themselves. If there wasn't big money involved at some level, then it wouldn't exist. The basketball and football programs pay for the scholarships of less popular sports. Kids who are good at volleyball or softball get an education thanks to that money. Your problem, as a litigator, you see through dollar green glasses, and everyone is a potential victim of "big money".

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  4. So, you think I'm the greedy one here? Interesting.

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  5. No. I think you are in the business of making money. Nothing wrong with that. See how that works? All due respect, but comparing athletic programs to slavery is a hell of a stretch. Interesting out of every word I wrote you picked up on what you perceived as an insult. Winning coaches get paid for producing winning teams. Winning teams pull in money. More kids in otherwise unpopular sports get a free ride. Everyone wins. Sadly in todays litigious society anyone who is successful is a target, the bad guy. I've had to hire more than a few lawyers in my life. I've never met a poor one. A lawyer can charge hundreds even thousands an hour. A surgeon is another example. Using your logic, they are guilty of getting rich off the backs of their clients and adversaries. What's the difference? More importantly, why is it ok for some people to make a ton of money off of the misfortune of others and somehow tantamount to slavery when a kid gets education and opportunity for a few years of athletics?

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  6. Trickle down theory. In professional sports, the people with the skill get the most reward. Do you think player unions have hurt professional sports?

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  7. Byron FunkhouserApril 2, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Do all of these free scholarships drive up the cost for everyone else? A local school board decided to cut coaching positions for middle school football coaches. The Athletic Director for WVU organized a walk to Canton to draw attention to their plight. Shouldn't the NFL pay for these salaries?

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