Young Runs

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Are College Athletes Still Student Athletes?

Are College Athletes Still Student Athletes?

“Exploitation, hypocrisy, duplicity are harsh words yet precisely describe the workings of the NCAA and its member schools in their treatment of college revenue athletes, the young men and women upon whose backs this multi-billion dollar college revenue sports empire rests. It is America’s modern plantation,” said Professor Alan Sack. Professor Alan Sack, author of Counterfeit Amateurs: An Athlete’s Journey Through The Sixties of the Age of Academic Capitalism, and Director of the Institute for Sport Management and Professor of Management at the University of New Haven; discusses the role of college athletes and all the ideals surrounding each person. These athletes are taking intercollegiate sports just as seriously as they would a job but don’t have the same opportunities and compensation as a regular employee would. College football players are risking their health and lives every time they step onto the field but have no back-up plans for compensation if they get hurt while trying to make their school proud and richer.

Professor Sack was able to talk about his life experiences dealing with the NCAA and how he formed his hypothesis and beliefs on the topic of Counterfeit Amateurs. Amateurism is student athletes during free time/un-obligated time that engage in sports during discretionary time, participate in extracurricular activity, having fun. Professor Alan Sack integrates his own experience as a high school and college (Notre Dame) football player with the larger story about the professionalization and perversion of intercollegiate athletics.

College athletes are being planted all around the country and are being used as guinea pigs to created revenues for their colleges without anything in return. Professor Sack experienced this in his lifetime when he attended Notre Dame on a football scholarship. He experienced firsthand the way athletes are treated by colleges that just want to make money off of them. He received a college scholarship for football and didn’t meet the standards that Notre Dame thought he would; but he feels that now present day, the players need to prove themselves and not get hurt to keep their scholarship to that school. The team did keep him as a player because he was under contract and because they still felt that he had something to offer to the team. Colleges are just paying players to play for their team and try to get the best team possible and compete with the other top teams.

The colleges are just paying off athletes to play and this is a violation of Amateurism Act Agreement of 1906 that I feel is truly correct. The violations are the offerings of inducements to players to enter college because of their athletic abilities, or supporting or maintaining players while students on account on their athletic abilities, either by athletic organization, alumni, or otherwise, directly or indirectly. With all divisions of college athletics and influences with the athletic scholarships and coach influences, these basically control the athletes lives and experiences. Professors have no affect on what goes on during college athletics because they do what the coach says. He feels that the coaches are the ones that tell the professors what to do and the student and the professors really have no say on what is going to go on with that student’s time. Dr. Larry Forness stated,

“This book is poignant, shocking, and true. I’ve read over a dozen books on the problems of college athletes and college athletics and all the hypocrisy and failed attempts to solve these problems. What makes this book so fascinating is that it’s not a dry study or philosophical discussion. This book is first-hand information. The author actually was a superlative football player at Notre Dame, who turned down an offer from the pros, and immediately entered graduate school and obtained his Ph.D.”

There has been some discussion about the three rules/stipulations that the NCAA made in the years 1956, 1967, and 1973 that I do agree with. These rules just help with the belief of Athletic Scholarships from “gifts of contracts for hire.” In 1956, this rule allowed NCAA to provide Athletic Scholarships. Byer, a reader of Sack’s book, feels that now it is “Nationwide money laundering scheme, a free ride for just athletic ability and nothing else.” Student athletes are no longer that they are just athletes and their education and what they will do in the future comes second to that. In 1967 the NCAA made it worse by instituting the Fraudulent Misrepresentative Rule which allowed the schools to tell the athletes they must play to retain aid and obey all directions of the coach and do as told. In 1973 a one-year renewable scholarship act that made a contractual “quid-pro-quo” saying that the athlete can be quote on quote fired for poor performance, injury or whatever else that may be relevant.

Student athletes that who compete in intercollegiate sports are no longer students; they are hired employees of the team. The players should be treated as employees including compensations and rewards for what they did and if they were recruited for sports they should be paid for the full four years and not screw them over in the end because of something like injury or performance. Not many people agree with what is being saying but I strongly agree that college athletics is a whole different part of life; it is like a 60-hour work week for each athlete and they don’t get the same treatment as regular employees do. You make up your mind and see if you agree with these beliefs and ask yourselves, are student athletes not student athletes anymore?