An Examination Of College Football and the NCAA
College Football is big business, and the landscape of this business rests on top of murky waters. The art of recruiting can be the shadiest part of college sports. In efforts to get the best athletes coaches are often caught in NCAA violations that damage the entire program and their universities. We all remember what happened to USC. The NCAA is the governing body of college athletics. The NCAA may be a non profit organization but they are as greedy as any successful company. Ruling the world of college sports, the NCAA brings home the bacon. It operates on the premise that student-athletes (A term they invented for legal purposes) are amateurs that don’t need to be paid. College sports are lucrative because the blood sweat and tears of the football players is free. Sure they get an education but most athletes do not take school seriously and the school finds ways to keep uninspired students playing football. With the heavy work load that a “student-athlete” must do there is an argument that athletes are employees of their schools. If you consider them employees and you consider how much players make for their schools, there is no denying that the players are getting ripped off.
The latest accusation of foul play is from former West Virginia quarterback, Pat White. He claims that he was offered a Corvette to play for Alabama. Now every reporter in college football is barking up Nick Saban’s tree. If I was a reporter I’d go straight to Morgantown. If a Corvette did not lure an 18 year old Pat White, I can’t imagine what West Virginia gave him. College Football players are not allowed to receive gifts or payment, but we’re naive to think no one crosses the line. It seems to me that there is a culture of rule bending and covering your butt in college recruiting.
The North Carolina scandal-if you want to call it that has to raise attention to the problems in college football. The Tar Heels football program was recruiting young men who could barely read or write. They enrolled these students in easy classes that only required them to write one paper. If the NCAA wants to claim that these are students, this cannot happen. Are we naive enough to think UNC is the only school that does this? Im sorry I was not born yesterday.
The college football players are not students first. This is a faux. Many of them take advantage of the education but many of them do not. A scholarship may be great for the back up linebacker but the starter has his sights solely on the NFL. They are employees of the university who do not earn a fair wage.
This huge industry takes advantage of players. Scholarships are a fraction of the value great football players have to their universities. The NCAA is being battled in the courts on issues such as profiting of a players likeness in a video game and other battles. What really brought this into the forefront was the Northwestern football program.
Through the legal system the Northwestern football program won the right to unionize; a judge ruled that they fit the criteria of employees of the school. Northwestern’s football players were not just looking for a pay day, they wanted a collective bargaining agreement. It was more about working conditions than the idea of getting paid. Since then the Northwestern players have backed down many people think their coach talked them out of it. They were the first but they won’t be the last, there will always be a group of players looking to take down the system.
This is one of those no right answer kind of topics. Its not fair not to play the players, but how do you do it? This is the way its always been and the powerful universities will do anything to keep it that way. The NCAA has a stranglehold on college sports. The NCAA is a farce. It is not about helping students both in the class room and the playing field. It is about dollars and cents and control. There is no right answer because the wrong answers are in power.