The NCAA is in the midst of very exciting times. With the signing of a 14-year, $10.8 billion March Madness television contract and the upcoming college football playoffs, the business of collegiate athletics is booming. As a Sport Management major at Rutgers University, I have paid close attention to and noticed the success the NCAA is seeing in terms of revenue generation. For the most recent year that audited numbers are available, 2011-12, the NCAA generated $871.6 million in revenue. In addition, NCAA member institutions generate billions via ticket and merchandise sales, donor contributions, etc. For revenue-generating Division I sports like football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball, there is a strong market. Looking at the numbers shows how big the business of the NCAA has become. With this increase in business comes an ethical dilemma. The very athletes competing in these sports are unable to receive any compensation. An older article that still holds true today called “Intercollegiate Athletics: An Economic Explanation” says, “The NCAA is properly viewed as a reasonably effective, somewhat unstable, cartel” (Koch 361). Participants of college sports are labeled by the NCAA as “student-athletes”. Under the rules of amateurism, student-athletes must not receive benefits beyond their scholarship in order to remain eligible. As the NCAA has grown into a sports business giant, the players have evolved into much more than just a student who also happens to play sports.
Even though the NCAA generates revenue on par with the major American professional sports leagues, it has been unwavering in its stance on amateurism. The major difference between the NCAA and professional sports leagues like the MLB, NBA, NF...
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...ence”). What this all means is that college sports is no longer about a competition between student-athletes. The study makes it apparent that the term student-athlete is incorrect. Since the NCAA has become more like a professional sports league, the athletes involved should not be subjected to the rules of amateurism. In the book titled “New Game Plan for College Sport”, it can be seen how college sports are growing. “Athletics budgets have increased more than twice as fast as have university budgets in Division I institutions” (Lapchick ix). If colleges are focusing on athletics more and more, it’s not hard to see why athletes are doing the same. Either the NCAA has failed to see this change or they have willingly turned a blind-eye to it. By labeling the players as student-athletes, the NCAA has uncovered a way to make millions without having to pay the players.
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