Exploitation Of College Athletes Research Paper

For many young people, getting an athletic scholarship is a dream come true because they earn free tuition while being able to play the game they love, yet, they could also get these scholarships taken away for very small actions by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA. Athletes may say goodbye to any sort of gift or payment if it is deemed necessary by the NCAA. Knowingly or not, if the athlete is breaking any sort of policy or rule while accepting any kind of money or payment, the athlete may be dismissed from the school. The NCAA makes massive amounts of revenue off of these athletes but will not give these athletes or their families any extra financial help, so some athletes accept small payments, which eventually leads to their expulsion. Coaches and schools make millions of dollars per year, yet colleges and the NCAA cannot provide any extra help for the athletes and their families beyond tuitions, meals, and their room and board. The NCAA has been exploiting college athletes for decades and there needs to be some sort of regulation that stops them from profiting from these hard-working athletes.

The NCAA is doing the exact opposite of what they were created for. Although the NCAA exploits these athletes today, the NCAA was originally founded to protect young people and athletes from dangerous and exploitative practices. The NCAA was originally established in 1906 by Theodore Roosevelt to respond to the repeated injuries and deaths in college football and protect them from exploitative practices. This is incredibly ironic because they use collegiate athletes for their own benefit and profit. Since then, the NCAA has changed to being an organization that does not have the player’s best interest in mind.  Perry Jones III is one of the many athletes who have been suspended or expelled from their schools for reasons other than their own actions. Perry Jones was a star center who played for the Baylor University Bears. Jone’s was suspended for six games because his mother, who had been out of work due to a heart condition, had accepted- and quickly repaid-several short-term loans from Jones’ AAU coach to cover her rent (Nocera and Strauss 4). Despite Jones not knowing and having no idea about these short-term loans, he was still punished and suspended for six games because of it. Although this may be a short amount of time compared to other disciplinary actions the NCAA has issued, it is still a prolonged amount of time. A D1 basketball team plays 35-40 games per season, and considering this, that suspension was around 1/6th of his season. This case is very significant because it shows how the NCAA doesn’t care about these athletes or their families. This family couldn’t receive supplemental support from the NCAA to pay for rent, and, as a result, a player, who had no idea about the loans, was suspended for six games. They turned this Coach’s empathy and kindness into a crime. The Basketball player was in college, so he could not help his mother with any funds, payments, or needs. No one should ever be punished for anyone else’s actions, especially if it is a necessity. Some athletes have purposely broken the rules and received the proper punishment for their actions, such as Reggie Bush. Reggie Bush, a running back at USC, had allegations that he had received improper benefits, which eventually led to the forfeit of his Heisman trophy.  However, athletes such as Perry Jones III, were suspended for outlandish reasons.  This implies that the NCAA is still unjust and continues to exploit college athletes. (for their own personal gain) 

Similarly, other players have received other forms of consequences due to receiving payment that goes beyond the NCAA’s rules. One other popular consequence amongst NCAA athletes is having wins revoked or rewards rescinded. Several recent recipients of the Heisman Trophy (an annual award given to the most outstanding college football player) have been tainted when the players were found to have received benefits beyond the NCAA’s prescribed limits, and similar allegations are pending against both the still-active 2013 winner, Jameis Winston, and a leading candidate, Markus Mariota, for the 2014 Trophy (Sanderson and Siegfried 116). There are a lot of things that determine the NCAA’s ‘prescribed limits’ but to have something you’ve rightfully earned become tainted possibly years later is deranged. The fact that these players work so hard to receive these rewards and then  have them taken away, proves how corrupt the NCAA can be. This shows us how money-hungry America can be. Not only is the government greedy for money, but so are the corporations that are supposed to be protecting these athletes.

The NCAA refuses to give extra funding to athletes, yet Head Coaches make millions of dollars per year. Among head basketball coaches, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski earns $9.7 million per year and Kentucky’s John Calipari is above $7 million per year. The median head football coach among the 126 Football Bowl Subdivision institutions earned $1.9 million in 2013; the comparable head basketball coach’s salary was $1.2 million (Sanderson and Siegfried 115). These D1 colleges are incredibly presumptuous; they give no additional fundings or benefits for the athlete’s families, yet they are paying head coaches millions of dollars per year. The average college athlete makes only $44,480 per year and considering that these coaches make over 42x the salary of these athletes, that is insane.